North Carolina

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability[edit | edit source]

The State of North Carolina does not offer any form of temporary licensure for physical therapist or physical therapy assistants.

Requirements for License[edit | edit source]

General Requirements as defined by North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

  • Be of good moral character- need two  character references
  • Graduate from an accredited physical therapy program
  • Examination scores that meet the North Carolina passing level
  • Complete the Jurispreduence Exercise

Licensure Exam

  • Applicant are required to pass a written computerized test at approved testing centers
  • Applicant must pass with 600 on a scale of 200-800

Submitted Forms

  • Official verification of graduation from accredited physical therapy
  • Two character references from people who have know the applicant for at least one year.  It cannot be from a relative. One of the references should come from a medical professional (physical therapist, medical doctor, etc.)
  • Jurisprudence Exercise


  • Application Fee: $150
  • Exam Fee: $370
  • Exam Retake: $60
  • License Care: $10
  • Verfication Fee: $30

Supervision[edit | edit source]

(a) A physical therapist assistant may assist in the practice of physical therapy only to the extent allowed by the
supervising physical therapist.
(b) A physical therapist assistant may make modifications of treatment programs that are consistent with the established
patient care plan.
(c) A physical therapist assistant may engage in off-site patient related activities that are appropriate for the physical
therapist assistant's qualifications and the status of the patient.
(d) A physical therapist assistant may document care provided without the co-signature of the supervising physical
(e) A physical therapist assistant who is supervising a physical therapy aide or student must be present in the same facility
when patient care is provided.
(f) The physical therapist assistant must document every intervention/treatment, which must include the following
(1) Authentication (signature and designation) by the physical therapist assistant who performed the
(2) Date of the intervention/treatment;
(3) Length of time of total treatment session;
(4) Patient status report;
(5) Changes in clinical status;
(6) Identification of specific elements of each intervention/modality provided. Frequency, intensity, or
other details may be included in the plan of care and if so, do not need to be repeated in the daily note;
(7) Equipment provided to the patient or client; and
(8) Response to treatment based on subjective and objective findings, including any adverse reactions to an

  • PT must be responisble for adequate supervision of PTA at all times
  • PT must be available to the PTA at all times and must be knowledgeable about the patient.
  • PT must follow-up on patient and program as appropriate
  • PT must be involved in discharge planning
  • Aides must be supervised at all times by PT or PTA

On-site = in same facility (or campus, if facility consists of more than 1 building).

(Information above [2])

Table 1a.png[2]

Table 1b.png[2]

Physical Therapy Students[edit | edit source]

  • Physical students are to work primary under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
  • A PTA may only supervise a PT student perfoming the procedures that PTA is licensed and competent to perform.
  • A PTA may only cosign a PT student's treatment note when the PTA is licensed and competent to perform the treatment procedures.

Continued Competence[edit | edit source]

  • Physical therapist are required to obtain 30 CEU every 2 years
  • One (1.0) CEU = 1 contact hours, 10 classroom hours or 10 Course hours = 10 points; Activity must be at least 50 minutes to earn one hour of credit.
  • Must provide certificate as proof of attendance
  • Up to 10 extra points earned during one reporting period may be carried over to the next reporting period.

Approved Organizations for CEU

  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • APTA state chapter
  • Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
  • Physical therapy programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Education

There are multiple ways to earn continueing competence. For example: advanced training, publishing journal articles/books, working as a CI for PT students, etc.  It's important to be fully informed of all the possible ways to learn CEUs.  For more information follow the link below

Does the Act appear restrictive? Why/Why not?[edit | edit source]

It does not appear North Carolina has any negative connotation to the practice of physical therapy.  The language is mostly described in words such as "shall" or "allowed".

Is there anything unusual about this act?[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

References will automatically be added here, see adding references tutorial.

  1. North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners - Position State -General Information regarding the Board, licensure, reporting violations, practice, and supervision - SECTION .0200 – PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS (accessed 23 April 2012)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners - Position State -General Information regarding the Board, licensure, reporting violations, practice, and supervision Updated annually – April 5, 2010 & September 23, 2010 (accessed 23 April 2012)

Disclaimer:   Informational Content is assimilated from the state practice act is a resource only and should not be considered a  substitute for the content within the state practice act.  All state practice acts can change and it is recommended that you refer to the original resource in the link above.