By Carolyn Buppert, NP, JD
Can Nurse Practitioners offer Botox, Restylane, Juvederm and other cosmetic treatments on their own?
The answer to this question is going to be state-specific. Here are the steps to follow:
- Read your state's Nurse Practice Act section on scope of practice for nurse practitioners to answer these questions: What acts require physician collaboration or supervision? How is collaboration or supervision defined? (Boards of Nursing in the United States: State-by-State Web Links)
- Go to your state's Board of Medicine Websites and search for any policies on provision of botulinum toxin (Botox®). Note that botulinum toxin is a prescription medication, so a prescription or order for the medication must be written and someone must administer the drug. If your state has policies on botulinum toxin, note the requirements for prescription and administration. Some states consider administration of botulinum toxin a medical act, and some states consider it to be within the scope of a registered nurse. Prescribing is always a medical act.
If you live in a state that requires no physician collaboration when nurse practitioners prescribe, then as long as the Board of Medicine has no requirements with respect to botulinum toxin, you are free to proceed with your practice idea. If your state requires physician collaboration in order for nurse practitioners to prescribe, then you'll need to line up a collaborator. In most states, the collaborator does not need be on site, but in some states, the collaborator must practice at the site with specified frequency. Follow the rules as they relate to any prescribing.
About: Carolyn Buppert, NP, JD is an attorney practicing in Bethesda, Maryland.