North Dakota

United States Physical Therapy Practice Acts

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Temporary License Requirements/Availability[edit | edit source]

There is currently no availability for temporary license for physical therapists in North Dakota. [1]

Requirements for License[edit | edit source]

In North Dakota one must meet all the following to apply for licensure:

  • Be of good moral character.
  • Complete the application process.
  • Be a graduate of a professional physical therapy education program accredited by a national accreditation agency approved by the board.
  • Pass the examination approved by the board.

"An applicant for licensure who does not pass the examination on the first attempt may retake the examination one additional time without reapplication for licensure within six months of the first failure. Before the board may approve an applicant for subsequent testing beyond two attempts, an applicant shall reapply for licensure and shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board of having successfully completed additional clinical training or coursework, or both, as the board determines."

"If the board determines that an applicant or examinee has engaged, or has attempted to engage, in conduct that subverts or undermines the integrity of theexamination process, the board may disqualify the applicant from taking the

"Licensure by endorsement. The board shall issue a license to a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who has a license in good standing from another jurisdiction that imposes requirements for obtaining and maintaining a license which are at least as stringent as the requirements imposed in this state." [1]

Supervision[edit | edit source]

Supervision of PTA in Home Health, Long Term Care and School Setting:

1) A qualified Physical Therapist must be accessible by communication to the PTA at all times while the PTA is treating the patient.
2) An initial visit must be made by a qualified Physical Therapist for evaluation of the patient and establishment of a plan of care.
3) A joint visit by the Physical Therapist and the PTA or a conference between the PT and PTA must be made prior to or on the first visit to the patient. THE PT must complete the initial evaluation.
4) At least once every sixth PTA visit or at least once every 30 calendar days, whichever comes first, the Physical Therapist must visit the patient.

Supervision of the PTA in hospitals or other clinical settings:

1) Require constant onsite supervision

2) A joint treatment with the PT and PTA or a direct treatment by the PT with a conference between the PT and PTA must occur at least once per week.

Supervision of PT Aides:

1) Carry out established procedures for the care of equipment and supplies
2) Prepare, maintain and clean up treatment areas and maintain a supportive area.
3) Transport patients, records, equipment and supplies in accordance with established policies and procedures.
4) Assemble and disassemble equipment and accessories.
5) Under direct supervision of a Physical Therapist, assist in preparation for and perform
routine tasks as assigned. ( this supervision may extend to offsite supervision of the aide only when the physical therapy aide is accompanying and working directly with a PTA with a specific patient or when performing non-patient related tasks)

At any one time, physical therapists can supervise a maximum of 3 employees if no more than 2 are PTA's.

Physical Therapy Students[edit | edit source]

Physical therapy students must be under direct supervision of a licensed PT at all times or else they are in violation of the state practice act. [1]

Continued Competence[edit | edit source]

"All physical therapists and physical therapist assistants must obtain twenty-five contact hours of continuing education every two years to be eligible for registration or re-registration. One contact hour equals sixty minutes of instruction. There may be no carryover of credit hours to the next reporting period.
Even-numbered licenses will report CEU hours during even-numbered renewal years. Odd-numbered licenses report CEU hours during odd-numbered renewal years. The licensee will be required to verify compliance with the CEU requirements by checking the checkbox on the online renewal form. A random sample of licensees will be chosen annually for audit by the Board. Licensees that are selected for audit will be required to submit the Continuing Education Reporting Form within 30 days of receiving notice of the audit.

New Graduates are exempt from reporting continuing education hours for the renewal period following graduation, but are required to complete the full number of hours for all subsequent years. Endorsed licenses must report continuing education hours in accordance with section 61.5-03-03-01 of the ND PT rules and regulations.

As stated in the Rules & Regulations, article 61.5-03, any course related to physical therapy sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association, state physical therapy associations, medical institutions or educational institutions, is automatically approved. In addition, any course planned or sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, American Heart Association or similar organizations, is approved. Credit shall not be given for entertainment or recreational activities, orientation sessions, holding an office, meetings to establish policies, keynote speakers, or meals.

Fifteen hours of the required coursework for any reporting period must beclinically (direct patient care skills) related, of which 5 hours may be CPR. (Please refer to article 61.5-03-02-02 for specifics).

All licensed persons are responsible for maintaining records to verify that they have completed the required CEUs. If the Committee questions any entry on the reporting form, additional documentation to verify the coursework may be requested. A person who claims extenuating circumstances in not being able to meet the continuing education requirements, may petition the Committee for consideration of those special conditions."

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

The North Dakota Physical Therapy Act seems to be more restrictive than liberal.  There are definitions of many terms used multiple times throughout the act, such as: physical therapist, physical therapy, examination, etc. By incorporating these detailed definitions, physical therapists are not open to interpret the definitions for themselves.  For example, manual therapy is defined as, "techniques such mobilizations or manipulation, manual lymphatic drainage, and manual traction applied to one or more areas of the body."[1]  Physical therapists are confined to stay within the limits of these definitions and cannot deviate or else they will be in violation of the act.

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

The only item I find somewhat unusual about this act is that they clarify that applicants for licensure must be "of good moral character."  The act does not elaborate though and determine how this criteria is met.  I also feel that with anyone pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, it would be assumed that they would already have good moral chracacter.

References[edit | edit source]

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

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 North Dakota Board of Physical Therapy. NDAC Title 61.5[page on the Internet]. Grafton, ND; [updated 2006 April 11; cited 2012 Apr 22]. Available from:

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.