Wisconsin has just become the 26th U.S. state/territory to regulate naturopathic doctors. Governor Tony Evers has signed the licensure bill into law (Act 130), making Wisconsin the sixth state to regulate naturopathic doctors in as many years. The Wisconsin Naturopathic Doctors Association (WNDA)’s legislative team, made up of Allison Becker, ND, Aaron Henkel, ND, Dawn Ley, ND, Jill Crista, ND, and Jenn Havens, has worked tirelessly towards this goal.
Upon the news, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)’s Dr. Allison Becker had this to say:
“This marks a very exciting day in history for Wisconsin and for the naturopathic profession as a whole. The WNDA’s success today comes from over twenty years of many dedicated NDs who held on to the vision of Wisconsin licensing Naturopathic Doctors. Licensure ensures Wisconsin is a state where NDs can practice with confidence as primary care providers and their patients can be assured their ND is medically trained and safe. This vision is realized today!”
The AANMC joins in Dr. Becker’s enthusiasm and congratulates the state of Wisconsin on this huge milestone!
The Benefits of Being Licensed
Having naturopathic doctors licensed and regulated is beneficial to both the field of naturopathic medicine and the public for a number of reasons:
- Licensure offers protection to the public by guaranteeing that their provider has met specific educational standards and continuing education requirements
- Licensure provides a pathway for, and increases access to, established ND care
- Licensure provides oversight and recourse for patient claims and medical malpractice protection
- Licensure codifies the naturopathic doctor in the jurisdiction, and paves the road for broader inclusion in government-funded programs
- Licensure positively impacts the healthcare community and fosters interprofessional and collaborative practice
How to Become Licensed
In order to become a licensed naturopathic doctor in the US, you need to successfully complete a four-year program at an accredited naturopathic medical school that is recognized by the United States Department of Education. Students must then pass the two-part Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX), which covers basic sciences, diagnostic and therapeutic subjects, and clinical sciences. Once this has been accomplished, NDs then pass jurisprudence examinations and meet other state/provincial licensure requirements for regulated professions, which may include background checks and continuing education.