Nurse Types / Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse
An aesthetic, or cosmetic, nurse is a healthcare provider who help clients enhance, improve or restore their features. This can include anything from assisting with face lifts to administering B12 shots. There are constantly new procedures and cutting-edge technologies for aesthetic nurses to offer their patients, making this an exciting field to work in.
A career in nursing can lead you down so many rewarding paths – aesthetic nursing is certainly one of them!
In this article, we will discuss:
- What is an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse?
- What do aesthetic nurses do?
- Where do aesthetic nurses work?
- What are specific types of aesthetic nurses?
- How do you become an aesthetic nurse in 3 steps?
- What are the additional requirements of aesthetic nurses?
- What are the salary and career outlooks for aesthetic nurses?
What is an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse?
An aesthetic nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who is highly trained and knowledgeable in state of the art technologies to help clients reach their aesthetic needs. Aesthetic nurses work in outpatient ambulatory settings, providing cosmetic dermatologic procedures.
Qualities of a successful aesthetic nurse
Aesthetic nurses are detail oriented, self starters who are passionate about cosmetic dermatology. They have to know about the dermatologic treatments offered at their facility and be able to educate their clients. They also need to be good at sharing information with potential clients who are in the market for a skin enhancement procedure.
Aesthetic nurses work in a collaborative team environment. This means they need great communication skills in order to work in this atmosphere.
What do aesthetic nurses do?
Most commonly, aesthetic nurses perform in-office procedures including:
- Laser hair removal
- Injections such as cosmetic dermal fillers
- IV fluid infusions
- Skin rejuvenation procedures
- Tattoo removal
They spend a lot of time listening to potential clients and explaining the services offered. There is a significant focus on sales and customer service, so client relations is a big part of what aesthetic nurses do.
A day in the life of an aesthetic nurse
The average day for an aesthetic nurse includes:
- Performing procedures
- Educating patients on different treatment options
- Calling interested clients
- Making follow-up phone calls
- Providing high quality customer service
The schedule of a medical spa or dermatology office may run on a typical 9-5 day, with potential for evening or weekend hours. Some aesthetic nurses also attend promotional events and support a company’s social media presence.
Common conditions treated by aesthetic nurses
The most common conditions treated by an aesthetic nurse include:
- Age wrinkles
- Varicose and spider veins
- Fat removal
- Vitamin B12 deficiencies
- Unwanted dark hair
Depending on the scope of services offered where you work, you may have a physician on your team who provides more plastic surgery procedures. The treatments may include face lifts, nose reshaping, breast augmentation, liposuction, and abdominoplasty.
Where do aesthetic nurses work?
Typically, aesthetic nurses work in a cosmetic dermatology practice, or a medical spa. You can also find aesthetic nurses at a dermatology office, skin surgery center, or an aesthetic medicine concierge practice.
Aesthetic nurses often work with a plastic surgeon, dermatologist or dermatology nurse practitioner.
Depending on where you work, you may work directly under the supervision of an aesthetic nurse practitioner.
What are specific types of aesthetic nurses?
There are aesthetic nurses who focus more on cosmetic fillers, those who perform IV infusions, and those offering an array of other services.
Although there are not specific differentiations between types of aesthetic nurses, it is easy to find jobs requiring a specific niche of skills. Medical spa versus medical office, and skin procedures offered are the main differentiating factors.
This difference may also determine which certification is right for you through the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board.
Expert advice from nurses like you
How do you become an aesthetic nurse in 3 steps?
Step 1 – Become a registered nurse
First, you’ll need to become a registered nurse. There are different ways to achieve this, so you’ll want to look into choosing the best degree program to fit your needs.
Earn a BSN degree
To set yourself up for success, it is best to have your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Many cosmetic dermatology practices and medical spas do hire nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) but having completed your BSN will set you apart.
There are many pathways to achieve this. Bridge programs are here to help. One example is the ADN to BSN degree program.
Another bridge program in the RN to BSN. This allows you to continue working as a nurse while earning your degree.
Pass the NCLEX exam
After completing a nursing program, you will be prepared to take the NCLEX-RN exam. The exam is 75-145 questions online by computerized adaptive testing (CAT). This means the test is individualized based on which questions you answer correctly or incorrectly.
Each candidate gets up to 5 hours to complete the exam. The majority of questions are multiple choice, but other question formats exist as well.
If you do not pass the NCLEX exam, you will receive an exam report card that shows how you performed in each exam area. If you desire to retest, you will need to re-register and wait 45 days between exam dates.
Once you pass this national exam, you’ll need to apply for your nursing license in the state where you plan to work. Check to see if your state is part of the nurse licensure compact (NLC). This is especially important if you plan to work in multiple states.
Step 2 – Accumulate experience
Helpful skills and experience
Plastic surgery experience is very helpful in pursuing a career change to be an aesthetic nurse. Most jobs are looking for a registered nurse who has experience in a related industry, especially if there is a focus on customer service. It is also strongly preferred to have sales experience.
Changing specialty to an aesthetic nurse
Let’s say you’ve worked on an inpatient cardiology floor for 5 years and are looking to become an aesthetic nurse. You can start by gaining experience as a nurse in general surgery, plastic surgery, or ENT.
A certification as an aesthetic nurse will strengthen your knowledge and set your resume apart from other applicants. It can also be helpful to shadow an experienced aesthetic nurse to see what their day-to-day work looks like. You can also network and ask nurses questions about their career paths in becoming an aesthetic nurse.
Step 3 – Obtain certifications
You can obtain certification through the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board. You must have completed at least 1,000 hours working in Plastic/Aesthetic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, or Facial Plastic Surgery to be eligible to take one of their certification exams:
What are additional requirements of aesthetic nurses?
There are several aesthetic nurse jobs that require you to have your basic life support certification up to date. Consider completing free CEUs to help you prepare for this job transition.
What are the salary and career outlooks for aesthetic nurses?
Nurses are vital to the healthcare workforce. The outlook for the nursing profession in 2022 is very positive. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the growth for RNs is expected to be 6% between 2021 and 2031.
Salaries vary by state for registered nurses. The mean national income for aesthetic nurses is $88,474 a year. This salary depends on location, education level, and experience. Aesthetic nurses should consider where they want to live, and the highest paying cities in the US for all registered nurses.
When looking at aesthetic nurse salaries, it is important to look beyond the hourly rate. Some positions may include bonuses, commission for sales, and other compensation on top of the hourly rate.
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Aesthetic nurse salary by state
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New York
A career as an aesthetic nurse can be very rewarding. Aesthetic nurse jobs can offer a lot of autonomy and allow the nurse to foster strong relationships with clients.
Some of the other benefits include:
- Work-life balance
- Great pay
- Part- and full-time work
- Responsibilities beyond direct patient care
Work-life balance is a big draw for nurses looking to make a switch to this field. Often the schedule of an aesthetic nurse follows more traditional work hours. Nurses might have the ability to design their own schedule and work when it fits into their life.
There can be opportunities for overtime but do not require a nurse to sign up for 12-hour shifts.
After you’ve worked as an aesthetic nurse, you may start looking into other ways to advance your career. One option is to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). There are also many continuing education courses available through Incredible Health.
The transition to an aesthetic nurse can be a wonderful career change. You will gain new knowledge and experience in a fast paced, growing healthcare industry. Let Incredible Health help you land your dream job!
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