How to Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse

How to Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse

Lauren Rivera, BSN, RNC-NIC Lauren Rivera, BSN, RNC-NIC
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Does a nursing career in which you help patients feel and look their best sound appealing to you? The field of aesthetic nursing, also known as cosmetic nursing, has been recently gaining popularity and may lead to a lucrative and rewarding career for nurses interested in skin and beauty who are ready to leave the bedside.

An aesthetic/cosmetic nurse is a registered nurse that typically works in outpatient nursing centers such as private dermatology offices, plastic surgery offices, or health spas with patients who are looking to enhance their appearance. They usually work office hours and have weekends and holidays off, unless they work in a health spa (aka medispa) that offers evenings and weekend hours. Aesthetic nurses may assist with plastic surgery, non-surgical, or cosmetic procedures that are designed to improve a patient’s health or appearance. Becoming an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse is the perfect opportunity to leave bedside nursing while still making a difference in people's lives. Continue reading to learn about the exciting career of an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse.

What Does an Aesthetic Nurse Do?

Aesthetic/cosmetic nurses perform non-surgical procedures and therapies designed to improve the patient’s appearance.

Aesthetic or cosmetic nurses are trained to perform various procedures such as:

  • Dermabrasion

  • Facials and photofacials

  • Micro-needling

  • Tattoo removal

  • Laser hair removal and skin care treatments

  • Nonsurgical body contouring (Cool Sculpting)

  • Botox injections or dermal fillers

  • Acne treatments

  • Sclerotherapy

Responsibilities of an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse

Additional responsibilities of the aesthetic nurse may include:

  • Examination and assessment of skin: aging, acne, or other health issues

  • Patient consultation and medical screening

  • Assisting with plastic surgery or non-surgical procedures

  • Preparing and sterilizing surgical instruments and procedure areas

  • Pre and post-op care

  • Assessing the patient’s response to treatment

  • Educate patients on aftercare

The Path to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse

Here are the most common steps you can take to become an aesthetic nurse:

  1. Earn your nursing degree.

Earn a two-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at an accredited nursing school. A BSN is typically preferred.

  1. Pass the NCLEX exam in your state.

  2. Gain work experience.

It is recommended to have at least 2 years of experience working as a registered nurse. Specializing in the field of dermatology or plastic/cosmetic surgery will help your career.

  1. Consider becoming a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist.

While not required, specialty certification can showcase your capabilities and competence.

PSNB eligibility requirements include:

  • Current RN licensure

  • 1000 practice hours within core specialties within the last 2 years

  • Minimum of 2 years experience within 4 core specialties in practice with a board- certified physician in that specialty.

  • Currently working in practice with a board-certified physician in either plastic/aesthetic surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology, or facial plastic surgery (ENT)

  • Have a supervising physician endorse your application

  • Recertification is required every 3 years

  1. Attend a Botox and filler certification course like one offered by Aesthetic Medical Educators Training where providers are offered comprehensive training and the opportunity to practice botox and filler injections on live models.

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Aesthetic Nurse Salary

According to the average salary of an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse is $62,580 a year and up depending upon degree and experience. The salary of an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse practitioner ranges between $91,000 and $107,000.

Why is Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nursing an Important Field?

Aesthetic nursing allows nurses to help patients gain confidence and feel better about themselves. If you want to empower patients to look and feel their best and are passionate about skin and beauty consider a rewarding career as an aesthetic nurse.

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About the Author:

Lauren Rivera is a nationally certified neonatal intensive care nurse with over 15 years of experience. She serves as a nurse expert offering support and educational classes for women from preconception through childhood. Lauren is also a freelance writer with works published on several nursing sites. She develops and curates content for various healthcare companies, and writes continuing education modules for other healthcare professionals.


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