Naturopathic doctors work across North America in licensed and pre-licensed jurisdictions.
What are the benefits of being a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND)?
- Offers protection to the public and a guarantee that the provider has met educational standards and continuing education requirements
- Increases access to, and provides a pathway for established and regulated care
- Provides oversight and recourse for patient claims and medical malpractice
- Codifies the naturopathic doctor in the jurisdiction and paves the road for broader inclusion in government-funded programs
- Positively impacts the healthcare community and fosters interprofessional practice
To be licensed as a primary care naturopathic physician by a state or jurisdiction which requires licensing, one must:
- Graduate from a four-year, professional-level program at an accredited naturopathic medical school that is recognized by the United States Department of Education.
- Take and pass the two-part Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX), which covers basic sciences, diagnostic and therapeutic subjects, and clinical sciences.
- Pass jurisprudence examinations and meet other state/provincial requirements for regulated professions including background checks and continuing education.
Licensed States and Provinces
In the United States: 27 jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands all have laws regulating naturopathic doctors. Check with your state association for specific regulations and requirements regarding scope of practice.
States currently offering licensure or registration to naturopathic physicians:
- District of Columbia
- Massachusetts (MA licensed ND doctors in 2017 and is currently working on the promulgation of rules and regulations. It is hoped that license applications will become available in early 2021).
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- US Territories: Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
For more information on licensure in the United States, please visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website.
In Canada: Six Canadian provinces and one territory regulate naturopathic doctors. Check with your provincial association for specific regulations and requirements regarding scope of practice.
Canadian provinces and territories currently offering regulation and registration to naturopathic doctors:
- British Columbia
- North West Territories
For more information on licensure in Canada, please visit the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors website.
Scope of practice regulations vary among licensed/regulated states and provinces, as do the parameters and restrictions for practitioners located in pre-licensed locations.