Will laws for cosmetic nurses change?

Cosmetic nurses may soon need an on-site doctor to prescribe initial consultations. We talk to Katherine Millar-Shannon, owner of Melbourne salon Duquessa about being one of only a few cosmetic nurse practitioners in the country who can prescribe her clients’ treatment without consulting a doctor. 


As Duquessa founder and Cosmetic Nurse, Katherine
As Duquessa founder and Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner, Katherine Millar-Shannon is able to prescribe her clients without a doctor.

The current legislation requires an initial patient consultation with a covering doctor, but at the moment, the doctor doesn’t need to be physically onsite; many cosmetic nurses tick their initial consultation off via Skype. But rumour has it that this could all change in the near future.

New legislation is rumoured to be in the pipeline at the AHPRA. If this happens, cosmetic nurses will no longer be able to make the initial treatment prescription for patients without a doctor being physically there in the building. This will mean an end to cosmetic nurses consulting a doctor via Skype and pose a problem for those important first-time consultations.

Professional Beauty contacted the ACCS about the rumoured legislations but they had no comment. “We do not have any idea of timing [regarding the] AHPRA announcement, nor details of any new legislative requirements so we are unable to comment,” an ACCS spokesperson told Professional Beauty.

They do agree that consultations via Skype is common practice. “Current legislation requires an initial patient consultation with a covering doctor, which can be offered via Skype,” the ACCS spokesperson told us. “[This] is the model used by many Nurse Injectors but not all.”

Still, people like Katherine Millar-Shannon, who will be able to prescribe treatment to her clients without a consulting doctor, even if the new laws pass, certainly seem ahead of the bell-curve. We talk to Miller-Shannon about her Melbourne salon, Duquessa and what it means being one of only a few Cosmetic Nurse Practitioners in the country.


Katherine at her Melbourne based Duquessa
Queen of her domain: Katherine Millar-Shannon at her Melbourne-based Duquessa salon.


What made you decide to open Duquessa? 

I saw a huge gap in the market for bespoke beauty accessibility. Opening the doors to Duquessa Skin Sanctuary in 2013, I wanted to provide a haven for clients who required – and deserved – a thorough, thought-out, reputable and results-driven holistic skin health program.

What is different about Duquessa?

I am one of a handful of Cosmetic Nurse Practitioners in Australia who can consult, prescribe and administer on site.

To those who don’t know, what does being a Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner mean exactly? 

I am a Registered Cosmetic Nurse with Masters in Nursing and 23 years experience, including 15 years as a midwife. Having these credentials means I am one of a handful of Cosmetic Nurse Practitioners in Australia who can consult, prescribe, refer and treat clients on-site. This is a rarity within the skin rejuvenation realm as most in-clinic nurses are only qualified to consult and treat, but not prescribe. This results in Duquessa being a one-stop shop each visit.


Duquessa Skin Sanctuary in Melbourne.
Spa opulence: Duquessa Skin Sanctuary tailors programs according to individual needs.


What are clients looking for in their salon experience these days? And which treatments are most popular right now?

Clients are all time poor and are looking for results-driven treatments as well as the entire experience. Our most popular treatments apart from anti wrinkle injections would be the 4 in 1 combination of a microhydrabrasion, Omnilux, Facial Peel then a Vitamin B12 booster injection, this way the client feels great from the inside out.


Duquessa is housed in a mansion building and comes complete with a Vichi room for ultimate relaxation.
Duquessa is housed in a mansion building in Melbourne’s Carlton and comes complete with a Vichi room for ultimate relaxation.


How do you choose your treatments? 

Research [first and foremost]. I also take note of client demands and needs from consultations. I look at what competitors are not offering and where there are needs in the community.

Can you tell us about the B12 Vitamin injections on your treatment menu? 

Deficiencies in such nutrients such as vitamin B6, all B-complex vitamins, and especially vitamin B12, can contribute to low energy. Treatment is easy and includes getting a B12 injection. Since B12 is difficult to absorb through the stomach, the injection helps proper absorption.



To get in touch with Katherine Millar-Shannon, phone (03) 9388 9500

Duquessa Skin Sanctuary
695 Nicholson Street
Carlton (Melbourne)





One thought on “Will laws for cosmetic nurses change?

  1. Oral B12 is absorbed fine unless you have a deficiency in intrinsic factor which leads to pernicious anaemia. All the evidence shows that using B12 injections for lethargy in otherwise well people is a placebo. Buyer beware. A nurse practitioner is still not a doctor.

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