In a nutshell: Yes, nurse practitioners are allowed to write ESA letters under HUD guidelines.

Why are nurses allowed to write ESA letters?

Under HUD’s rules for emotional support animals, tenants who want to live with their ESA in a no-pets building must submit an ESA letter to their landlord. An ESA letter can only come from a licensed healthcare professional.

Many people mistakenly believe that only doctors or psychiatrists can write ESA letters. However, many types of licensed professionals assist with mental health, such as psychologists, social workers, counselors, and nurse practitioners. HUD specifically cites both nurses and nurse practitioners as examples.

Can you get an ESA letter online from a nurse practitioner?

Yes, HUD not only permits ESA letters to come from nurse practitioners, but they can also come from health professionals who offer their services remotely. The nurse writing your ESA letter must have “personal knowledge” regarding your mental health condition.

That means they must be familiar enough with your mental health to advise whether you have a condition that could be helped by an emotional support animal.

Who can qualify for an ESA letter?

To qualify for an ESA letter, a person must have a mental health condition that substantially limits a major life activity. Common conditions include severe depression, chronic anxiety, PTSD, and learning disorders. It is the healthcare professional’s job to assess whether you meet these criteria. 

Can a nurse practitioner write an ESA letter?

Start your ESA assessment here