RHODE ISLAND Bill Seeks to Let RNs Perform Medical Spa Treatments

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, April 11, 2022

Bill Name: Senate Bill 2869 (SB 2869)
Primary Sponsor: Senator Sandra Cano
Status: Introduced Apr 07, 2022
AmSpa’s Take: This bill would proactively authorize registered nurses (RNs) to perform many medical spa procedures when ordered by a prescriber. This would be a positive development for Rhode Island nurses, although this bill leaves the final setting of practice rules to the nursing board.
Outlook: This bill is in the first steps of the process and, based on the sponsor’s past records and party, it has a higher likelihood of passing. However, the bill has a single sponsor who does not hold any leadership positions, so that may indicate a lack of broad support.
Analysis: Currently, the Rhode Island nursing board has not adopted rules regarding cosmetic medical procedures and has previously advised that RNs are unable to perform any cosmetic treatment. The newly introduced SB 2869, if passed, would require the adoption of rules to allow RNs to perform many cosmetic medical procedures.
As introduced, SB 2869 requires the nursing board to adopt rules on the performance of “cosmetic/aesthetic dermatological procedures.” This term is not directly defined in the bill; instead, it lists some of the procedures that make up this category. The procedures are listed in a somewhat unusual way (one item covers both sclerotherapy and laser hair removal), but a large number of common “medical spa” procedures are covered. Of note, SB 2869 does not currently list “microneedling” but does include “platelet rich plasma.”
SB 2869 then goes on to specifically authorize registered nurses (RNs) to perform these procedures when ordered by a licensed prescriber and according to the rules of the nursing board. While SB 2869 leaves the details of these rules up to the board, it does require that it address certain areas. These include requirements on the content of a prescriber’s order, documentation needed to demonstrate skill in the procedures, facility level policies and procedures, required education to achieve competency in the procedures, laser safety training, and medical record documentation including patient histories, informed consent and after-care.
As mentioned above, RNs in Rhode Island have, on paper, a similar scope of practice to other states when it comes to “medical spa” treatments. But, in practice, this has not been the case. If adopted, SB 2869 would affirmatively authorize RNs to perform many medical spa procedures, which overcomes the primary obstacle they face in the industry. We will be monitoring this bill as it works its way through the legislature. If you would like additional information, to read the bill or to contact the sponsors, you can find this information using this link.