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Can an RN open a medical spa?

QA.jpgHere's a question I received asking if RN's can open medical spas in California.:

"I would like to initially thank you for this informative website you have created; it has helped answer many of my questions.  However, there is one point that remains a little confusing to me, and I was hoping you might be able to clarify it.  I recently went to a famous med spa in Sherman Oaks, California and asked the receptionist who it was that was administering the botox, fillers, laser, etc.  She stated that "excellent RN's"  In addition, they stated that there is an MD within the spa.  

After reading your website, it is evident that an MD supervisor is necessary within a med spa.  

My question to you is can an RN open a med spa business under the supervision of an MD in the state of California?  If so, where would you recommend we begin with the process.  It seems like your site does not approve of consultants of franchises, so what would you recommend for beginners?  Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, C.S."

Here's the short answer: No. 

A medical spa is a medical practice and operates under the same rules. So, RN's are prohibited from practicing medicine by themselves. Your question seems to ask if you as an RN could 'own' the medspa and employ a physician to 'oversee' you. Again the answer is no. Read the medspa legal forums on this site and the medspa legal category.

RN's are often used by physicians as mid-level providers and my guess is that was what was going on at the clinic you went to. But the rules and scope of practice are exactly the same as any other clinic. 

You may certainly be involved and there are ways that 'corporate entities' can align, but you should contact both the state, and a lawyer to make sure you're not violating any state regulations or licensing.

If anyone has other input you're welcome to add it. 

Reader Comments (8)

Your advice is right-on as usual and totally correct. As an aside, the med-spa she is referring to actually was started/owned by a marketing business woman if I remember correctly. They must have had to do some fancy legal maneuvering but because they are still in operation. Just an interesting observation....

08.15 | Unregistered CommenterLA MD

Do you think it is legal for an RN to own a laser rental company (in California) that rents out lasers to dermatologists, medspas, plastic surgeons, family practice physicians etc. Also, do you think it is legal for the RN to offer her services to physician's to assist with patient load?

04.12 | Unregistered CommenterCali RN

I would like the same answer to CaliRN's question about the laser rental business and would like her to contact me if possible.

Please contact me :) Cali RN

05.28 | Unregistered CommenterCali RN

Can an Advanced Practice Nurse open a Medical Spa in New Mexico. Under New Mexico law CRNA's can practice without direct medical supervision. Advanced Practice Nurses are treated the same. If one has both of those credentials and has had certification in advanced injection techniques and dermal filler techniques can they perform these things within their own spa without direct supervision? Some CRNA's and APN's have perscriptive authority also. What if a physician wants to medically supervise and also be a financial partner within the spa? Does he have to be physically present for the spa to run? How close does he need to be? I know of Plastic Surgeon's who have Aesthetician's within their medical spas who are doing medical grade skin peels and treatments using laser etc. These individuals have 3 months of training. The surgeon may be doing surgery at another facility while the Aesthetician is giving these treatments. A CRNA or APN has had atleast 8 years of advanced training not to mention clinical experience in all facets of medicine. Botox and dermal fillers pale in comparison to administering an anesthetic or diagnosing a serious illness. Would one not agree that the administration of an intrathecal injection be more difficult than Botox? APN's oversee RN's who administer Botox within their clinics in New Mexico. If one is certified and has the proper training couldn't they open their own spa in this state? How do people get by having Botox parties within the home? How do RN's go to people's homes for home health care and hospice and administer morphine, TPN, etc. They follow a set of orders from a Dr. Why then, would an RN not be able to administer Botox if she has a set of standard orders from a Physician and she has the training and expertise to administer? If a CRNA or APN can write orders and practice solely what's the difference?

Each state has its own set of rules and regulations. While many states have rules similar to California, there are several states that allow non physicians to own and operate medical spas, as long as they comply with that states rules and regs.

I would suggest that you contact your state's medical board and also check to see if there are any laws on the book.

09.28 | Unregistered CommenterWPS

Can a LPN administer Botox injections in the state of New Mexico?

10.21 | Unregistered Commenterjan doe

can someone please tell me if i can own a medi spa as an individual or as an rn in new york with or without a medical director???? i would like to open my own business and all i find is info for California or Florida.

10.6 | Unregistered Commentermaria

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