For information only. Not meant as advice in any form. Please consult your medical professional or lawyer.
The medical industry has witnessed a boom in the med spa sector in recent years which has encouraged a number of medical practitioners and physicians to open up their own med spa centers. Entrepreneurial endeavors can be rewarding when it comes to cosmetic medicine but not every medical professional is permitted to open one of their own.
So can a nurse practitioner (NP) open a med spa of their own? The answer to that question largely depends on the state of the NP in discussion. Each state has its own laws and regulations that governs the process of providing licenses for aesthetic med spas.
Is an NP Eligible to Open a Med Spa?
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are well-suited for employment in med spas due to their broad scopes of practice, prescriptive authority, and flexible supervision needs. But opening a med spa and assuming ownership of one as an aesthetic nurse practitioner is a different question altogether that varies from state to state.
An aesthetic NP can certainly own a med spa in states where anyone is permitted to own medical offices. However, it’s important to note that some licensing bodies tend to scrutinize med spas with employed physicians who supervise the owner NP. NPs are often listed among the other professionals who can co-own or hold a minority interest (even in more stringent states that only permit physicians to own property).
In recent years, NPs have become more and more independent in their practice. NPs no longer need physician oversight in states where they have complete practice authority or autonomous practice. In these states, NPs have the ability to run their own nursing practices and offer services in their area of expertise. This may allow NPs to operate a med spa-like business, even in jurisdictions where medical practice ownership is restricted to physicians alone.
Educational Qualifications Required to Open a Med Spa
There are several educational qualifications and certifications that can boost the chances for an NP to get a permit to own a med spa in their state. In addition to the already acquired medical professional license, bachelor’s degree and registered nurse practitioner certification, the following courses can help you become a better owner and purveyor of cosmetic treatments at your med spa:
- 1000+ hours of consistent practice hours in core specialities of aesthetic medicine
- 2 to 4 years of nursing practice in aesthetic medicine in any 4 treatments in specific
- Graduate level course, degree or credentials to certify yourself as an authority in the practice of aesthetic medicine and cosmetic treatments
- Endorsement from a board-certified physician in aesthetic medicine
- Certification in the practice of a number of speciality treatments that are to be offered at your med spa
Legal Pitfalls When Opening a Med Spa as an NP
Depending on the med spa requirements prescribed by the state, nurse practitioners may launch their own entrepreneurial ventures without the need for medical doctor supervision, while other states may require a doctor to be involved in the practice on a supervisory, collaborative, or even ownership basis.
Before investing into an injectable aesthetic medical clinic, make sure to check with your state nursing board. The qualifications required for starting a practice alongside a physician, hiring a doctor, or even other aesthetic nurses differs by state. You must also find out if your staff members who perform cosmetic procedures need supervision.
State laws also dictate what services you can offer, how to categorize them (medical vs. non-medical), and how to administer them (prescriptive vs. non-prescriptive). You should only offer services that are within the purview of your education, experience, and those of the people you hire. It’s crucial to comprehend the rules governing corporations and limited liability companies in relation to your beauty business in the state where you will be offering services.
Treatments That an NP Can Administer
Pay close attention to state rules when structuring your menu of services. States particularly control the type of professionals who are permitted to provide services like laser therapy and aesthetic injections. States categorize interventions as “medical,” “non-medical,” or “administered with prescription devices” or “administered with non-prescription devices.”
The use of so-called “prescriptive devices” or interventions classified as medical must be carried out by a qualified healthcare provider. This group includes treatments that involve lasers and injectables. The procedures you undertake as a nurse practitioner must adhere to state laws regarding cosmetic procedures and be within your scope of practice. Typically speaking, the scope of practice of an NP is divided into 3 main categories:
- Full Practice: All NPs are allowed by state practice and licensing requirements to assess patients, make diagnoses, order, and interpret diagnostic tests. Under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing, NPs are also able to initiate procedures, manage treatments, and prescribe drugs including controlled substances.
- Reduced Practice: State licensing and practicing regulations limit how much of NP practice they can do in at least one area. To offer patient care, an NP must enter into a legally binding, career-long collaboration agreement with another healthcare professional.
- Restricted Practice: The ability of NPs to engage in at least one aspect of NP practice is constrained by state practice and licensure requirements. State law mandates that in order for an NP to provide patient care, another healthcare professional must provide career-long oversight, delegation, or team management.
Enroll in an Aesthetic Medicine Course at FACE Med Store to Solidify Your Credentials
Credibility is an important factor when trying to win the verdict from the court of public opinion in a highly-competitive market such as medical aesthetics. Attending advanced classes that hone your aesthetic medicine abilities and injection techniques is the greatest way for medical professionals like physician assistants, registered nurses, or nurse practitioners, to stay up to date on the latest treatment methods.
At FACE Med Store, we offer training courses in a number of specialities in aesthetic medicine. These include the likes of Botox injections, dermal fillers, chemical peels, skin rejuvenation treatments, IPL therapy, and laser treatments. We also offer hands-on training in these novel procedures through our courses and high-quality equipment for your med spa. Call us today to learn more about our products and courses.