Does a doctor have to be on-site at a medical spa at all times? This is one of the most common questions in the medical spa industry and the answer varies widely from state to state. For many non-invasive medical aesthetic practices the requirements regarding physician delegation and supervision can be difficult to meet, however in nearly half the country (likely to rise in the next year) advanced practice nurses have full practice authority which is defined as:
The collection of state practice and licensure laws that allow for nurse practitioners to evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate and manage treatments–including prescribing medication–under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing.
This means that in these states nurse practitioners can fill the role of medical director for a medical spa without a collaborative agreement with a physician. According to nurse.org the following are the 23 states in addition to the District of Columbia that have granted full practice authority to advanced practice nurses as of March 1, 2017. The site also states that Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina may also move in this direction in the next year, and as AmSpa reported earlier this year the state assembly in Illinois passed legislation granting full practice authority that is waiting on the governor's signature.