Are you considering a career in cosmetic nursing?

Private clinics and spas continue to actively recruit nurses to assist with cosmetic procedures. Positions offered to registered nurses can range from administering dermal filler injections or botulism toxin, commonly known as Botox, to providing surgical nursing services if surgical procedures are performed at the clinic. At times, nurse practitioners may be asked to serve as clinical directors.

Nurses should know that there is a much wider range of legal implications that should be considered before entering into a professional agreement to provide cosmetic services, particularly when the services are to be provided in a private facility.

Some of the legal considerations include:

  • An esthetic practice generally presents a higher risk of litigation than many other areas of nursing practice.

  • The requirements for informed consent are generally more onerous and more complex.

  • Facilities where cosmetic services are provided may not be owned or operated by a physician or even a health-care professional, in which case the nurse may have greater legal and professional obligations to ensure compliance with the appropriate regulatory framework.

  • It is important to determine whether the proposed legal relationship between the nurse and the facility or owner of the clinic is adequately defined in a written agreement.

  • If there is a written agreement, it is important to determine if the nurse’s contractual obligations contained in the agreement are consistent with the nurse’s professional obligations and regulatory framework.

  • It is necessary to determine if the arrangement that is proposed would make the nurse a custodian or trustee of personal health information, and, if so, what obligations would flow from this status.

  • Whether business insurance is recommended in light of the work arrangement.

It is important that CNPS beneficiaries contact the CNPS for legal and risk-management advice if they are thinking about entering into an agreement to provide cosmetic services or to assist with cosmetic procedures. Call 1-844-4MY-CNPS (1-844-469-2677) to speak with a CNPS legal counsel member, who is a lawyer.

For additional reading about cosmetic services, please see the CNPS’ infoLAW Considerations for Providing Cosmetic Services.


Published October 2017