Aesthetic Nurse Guide Requirements

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How to Become an Aesthetic Nurse

To become an aesthetic nurse, you first need to understand the educational requirements, necessary certifications, and where to look for employment opportunities upon receiving your license. IIAM will explain how you can achieve your dreams of being a nurse in aesthetic medicine in this in-depth guide.

What Is an Aesthetic Nurse?

An aesthetic nurse, sometimes called a cosmetic nurse, is a medical professional who can provide a variety of services offered in private offices or medical spas to enhance self-esteem and address aesthetic concerns for patients. The services aesthetic nurses can provide include:

  • Dermal filler or Botox injections.
  • Photofacials.
  • Microneedling.
  • Dermabrasion.
  • Tattoo removal.
  • Non-surgical body contouring.

What Does an Aesthetic Nurse Do?

Aesthetic nurses assist plastic surgeons and dermatologists during cosmetic procedures, commonly non-invasive treatments. While most aesthetic nurses work in private offices or medspa clinics, they may also assist in hospital operating rooms in some cases. Some duties of an aesthetic nurse can include the following:

  • Consulting with, scheduling for, and performing medical screenings on patients.
  • Establishing patient trust and comfort.
  • Examining the skin to assess aging or health problems.
  • Performing pre or post-operative care.
  • Assisting the physician with procedures.
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments used during the procedures.
  • Administer dermal filler and Botox injections, as well as perform chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, CoolSculpting, microneedling, tattoo removal, and more.

Requirements to Become An Aesthetic Nurse

You may think finishing your nursing degree is the end of your medical education, but the truth is that it’s just the beginning. After graduation, you’ll need to get your nursing license, gain experience, and continue your education with certified credentials and in-person training.

Earn Your Nursing Degree

By earning your registered nurse degree, either through a two-year associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), you can begin your journey to becoming an aesthetic nurse. 

Get Your Nursing License

No matter how long your education journey is, it will need to be followed by passing the exam to get your Registered Nursing License, which determines that you are legally allowed to practice in private clinics and hospitals. 

Gain Experience

Experience is an integral part of your aesthetic nurse training. You should spend at least two years working in core competencies with a board-certified physician specializing in dermatology, cosmetic surgery, facial plastic surgery, or ophthalmology. 

Continue Education & Earn Credentials

Earning an aesthetic nurse certification opens you up to more job opportunities and expertise while practicing. You can choose from several credentials, such as CANS (Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist),  CPSN (Certified Plastic Surgery Nurse), DNC (Dermatology Nurse Certified), or DCNP (Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner)

Become an Aesthetic Nurse in Canada

To become an aesthetic nurse in Canada, you are required to have:

  • At least a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • A nursing license dedicated to your province or territory. 
  • 2-3 years of work experience under a board-certified physician.
  • Certifications and continuing education.

Become an Aesthetic Nurse in the US

To become an aesthetic nurse in the US, you must follow all of the steps required to become an aesthetic nurse in Canada. However, to gain your nursing license, you will need to earn your RN degree from an accredited nursing program, which will then require you to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed by one or more states. 

In the US, you are required to:

  • Have 2-5 years to earn an ADN, BSN, or MSN degree.
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
  • Work for 2 years under a board-certified physician in plastic, aesthetic, and/or cosmetic surgery, dermatology, facial plastic surgery, or ophthalmology. 

Skills Needed to Become an Aesthetic Nurse

Not only do you require education, training, and expertise as an aesthetic nurse, but you also need great social skills and empathy to succeed. Your desire to make patients feel comfortable, secure, and confident will set you apart from other nurses in the field. 

Communication & Empathy

Having great communication skills will assist you as an aesthetic nurse when explaining the details of procedures to your patients. You must also keep family members and other physicians informed of patient progress while explaining medical concepts and ideas in simple terms. 

Of course, during this process, empathy is key. You need to be compassionate and understanding when answering questions from patients, especially those who are nervous before their cosmetic treatment.

Attention to Detail & Organization

Being detail-oriented means you will avoid medical mistakes at all costs and can take note of any concerns that occur during or after the procedure. Along with your attention to detail, organization is a huge asset. You will need to schedule patient appointments and create unique treatment plans. 

Teamwork & Time Management

You may be working in a small private office or a large clinic, but either way, teamwork skills are important to successfully collaborate during a procedure and provide the patient with a welcoming, effective experience. Celebrate your teammate’s successes as much as possible and ask questions when necessary - this will only further your education and expertise. 

Additionally, if you can keep you and your team on track with your time management skills, this quality will help you handle day-to-day tasks and treat multiple patients during busy clinic hours. Start tasks early, create a detailed schedule with deadlines, and use productivity software to keep you and your team focused. 

Aesthetic Nurse Employment Opportunities

After you complete your required education and training, the world is your oyster in terms of employment opportunities - but where should you begin to look? After gaining your experience, you can begin searching for employment opportunities in various settings of your choice, such as: 

  • MedSpas.
  • Aesthetic clinics.
  • Dermatology centres.
  • Plastic surgery offices.
  • Private practices.

Search job boards, recruiting websites, or your own personally established network to discover opportunities in your desired field. 

Salaries of An Aesthetic Nurse

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for an aesthetic nurse in the US is just over $89,970. According to Indeed, the average annual salary for a nurse in Canada is $89,179. This salary depends entirely on your experience, skill set, location of practice, and employer(s). You may also have additional benefits, such as prescription coverage or reimbursement for educational expenses. 

Continued Education for Aesthetic Nurses

At IIAM, we deeply encourage continued education for all of our nurses to provide the best care and understanding to our patients. We offer courses designed to provide training so you can fully master delicate procedures with confidence and ease. IIAM offers in-class courses for cosmetic filler injections, laser safety, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become an aesthetic nurse?

It generally takes around 4-7 years to become an aesthetic nurse, depending on the type of degree you obtain and how long you take to pass your nursing exam.

Are aesthetic nurses in high demand?

Yes! As the aesthetic medicine field continues to grow, aesthetic nursing continues to be a sought-after profession and field. The beauty industry has increased its spending by billions in mere years, meaning that cosmetic nurses are in high demand worldwide.

International Institute of Aesthetic Medicine

International Institute of Aesthetic Medicine