Beauty is only skin deep, or so the saying goes. But given that the global skincare industry is currently worth more than $500 billion, “skin deep” sure turns a huge profit.
Once reserved for the wealthy and Hollywood stars, cosmetic procedures like Botox, lip filling, nose jobs and face lifts are readily accessible to everyone. But behind every face that looks too good to be true? An aesthetic nurse.
If you’re interested in the world of aesthetic nursing, read on for everything you need to know. We’ll cover what these healthcare professionals do, where they work and how to join their ranks.
What is an aesthetic nurse?
Aesthetic nursing is all about helping others look and feel their best.
Also known as cosmetic nurses and nurse estheticians, these healthcare professionals are registered nurses who specialize in Botox injections and other dermatology procedures, as well as assisting plastic surgeons.
The goal? To help keep their patients’ skin looking young, fresh, healthy and beautiful.
Many consider it a glitzy career with plenty of prestige, and let’s face it, it’s a far cry from most nursing gigs. Instead of high-stress hospitals, aesthetic nurses usually work in medical spas, plastic surgery clinics or private practices for cosmetic procedures.
Regardless of where they practice, aesthetic nurses know that selling beauty means looking the part, right down to their stylish premium scrubs. (If you’re shopping for you and your colleagues, you can have your whole team looking its best by group ordering uniforms).
What do cosmetic nurses do?
Cosmetic nurses mostly assist with noninvasive aesthetic procedures that don’t require a scalpel, and depending on your facility, the list of job duties can vary. Some clinics specialize in Botox and dermal fillers, while medical spas perform chemical peels to rejuvenate the skin.
As an aesthetic nurse, when a patient enters your healthcare facility, they’re coming to you to feel pampered. So if you’re an RN or a nurse practitioner and you’ve honed your bedside manner, you’ll excel here.
Whatever your place of employment, you can expect to complete a few essential duties. Those include,
- Booking appointments
- Consulting patients on procedures
- Scheduling medical screening tests to approve upcoming procedures
- Examining the patient for existing health conditions
- Assisting dermatologists and plastic surgeons with more complex procedures
- Administering fillers or Botox treatments
- Assisting in pre-op and post-op procedures to ensure the patient’s comfort
Although medical spas don’t deal with life-and-death scenarios, you must be fully trained and equipped to handle any emergency that may arise. Sometimes you’ll assist patients with more serious conditions; instead of facial plastic surgery for aesthetic reasons, a patient may undergo reconstructive procedures to return their appearance to its original shape after an accident.
Overall, your main goal is to help your patients feel better about their appearance. Better yet—and more finely tuned to your own satisfaction—most aesthetic nurses work a nine-to-five shift. There are no notoriously long hours here, so consider it another way to give yourself a nursing gift.
How to become an aesthetic nurse?
Aesthetic nurses can enter the beauty business with different certification levels: licensed practical nurses, RNs and advanced practice nurses.
RNs nurses are the most common licensure you’ll find, so to narrow down that career path:
- You’ll need to complete your Bachelor’s of Sciences in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited program, followed by passing your NCLEX-RN exam.
- You’ll start off as a generalist but can move into different specialties through a combination of continued education for nurse practitioners and clinical experience. You’ll also need to pass another cosmetic nursing certification as a certified aesthetic nurse specialist.
How long does it take to become an aesthetic nurse practitioner? To start, it’ll take four years of undergraduate study plus two years of clinical experience, and then you need to earn your Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) to gain the proper licensure.
Altogether, you’re looking at four to seven years of schooling, depending on the certification you desire.
Why choose this career?
There are many reasons, but one of the biggest: If you’re the kind of person who loves looking good, feeling good and nursing, this is the job for you.
Also, aesthetic medicine takes a less emotional toll on the psyche than other healthcare areas. It gives you the chance to prove your nursing competency and dedication toward your patients while giving you time to complete your own skincare routines and devote energy to other areas of your life.
In the aesthetic surgery field, you’ll be up to date on the most current beauty trends and tools to help your patients stay happy. There’s prestige attached and the ability to express your artistic side in a way most nurses can’t, even after garnering years of experience.
So if you’re a stylish soul driven by a desire to find a holistic healthcare career, there’s no better option. Also, the aesthetic nursing salary for those at the RN level is lucrative, even when compared to the wages of aesthetic nurse practitioners. According to the most recent stats collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for RNs (not just aesthetic ones) sits at $75,330 per year. The career outlook is healthy, so if you can find your way into this field, you’re set.
Want to find other ways to prepare for your aesthetic nursing career? Read up on the best scrubs for everyone to feel fashionable or the best premium scrubs to look stylish. And don’t forget about Jaanuu’s student discounts while you’re hitting the books.