Page last updated 15 Nov 2023
Senate Bill 5411—Increasing scope of practice of naturopathic physicians.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is conducting a sunrise review of the naturopathic act as requested by the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians (WANP). The WANP aims to increase the naturopathic scope of practice to include: i) prescription of controlled substances, schedules II through V; ii) allow naturopaths to sign and attest to any documents or certificates a primary care provider can sign; iii) update the defining language for “minor office procedures” and “physical modalities”; and iv) update the law to say naturopaths are regulated by a licensure board and not the Office of the Secretary of Health. SB 5411, introduced last legislative season, will be reviewed as part of the sunrise review.
Want to get involved?
Contact your Washington Senate and Assembly representatives and voice your opposition to legitimizing the practice of naturopathy.
Not sure what to say? Check out these tips for speaking with lawmakers from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Sign the petition Naturopaths are not doctors: stop legitimizing pseudoscience
Quack blood tests ok’d by Washington naturopathic board. Society for Science-Based Medicine. 2015. Jann Bellamy.
Washington bill would expand naturopathic prescription authority. Society for Science-Based Medicine. 2015. Jann Bellamy.
Scope of practice
Specifically prohibited from treating malignancies (cancer). HIV/AIDS training is required for licensure.
Title: May use the titles “doctor” and “physician.”
Prescription drugs: Permitted to prescribe any legend substance per RCW 69.41.010; prohibited from prescribing or administering botulinum toxin (botox).
Controlled substances: Permitted to prescribe codeine and testosterone products within schedules III, IV and V according to RCW 69.50 and 246-887 WAC with affirmation of completing four hours of training at a naturopathic school. (Training in pharmacology is not specific on the affirmation form.)
- Permitted to recommend medical marijuana.
IV administration: Permitted with affirmation of completing 16 hours of training in IV training.
Diagnostic tests: Permitted, but cannot interpret diagnostic imaging.
Minor office procedures: Permitted.
Spinal manipulations: Permitted, but prohibited from using the term “chiropractic.”
Childbirth/ midwifery: Not permitted.
Vaccine waiver: Permitted.
Naturopathic assistants: Not defined.
Continuing education requirements
Naturopaths are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education annually. As of 2017, a one-time six hour course on suicide prevention is required.
Naturopaths have been regulated in Washington since 1919. In 1988, the law was amended, reflecting current practices of the profession in the state.
How to file a complaint
Naturopaths are regulated by the Washington State Department of Health. Anyone may file a complaint.
Send completed forms to
Washington State Department of Health
Health Systems Quality Assurance
P.O. Box 47857
Olympia, WA 98504-7857