Are you a skincare buff? Do you have a 10-step evening skincare ritual full of scrubs, lotions, and serums? If so, why not turn your passion into a career and become a dermatological nurse?
Maybe you’re interested in improving the quality of your skin. Or you’re passionate about treating conditions that require more than a few skincare products. Either way, dermatological nursing may be the job for you.
Dermatology nurses work with patients whose skin benefits from medical intervention. The conditions affecting these patients can range from light acne to skin cancer.
That means that dermatology nurses are helping patients feel better about how they look and, in the case of more severe conditions, take control of their health. Helping people live better is what we’re all about, so we have a ton of respect for others who dedicate their careers to doing the same.
If you’re thinking about becoming a dermatology nurse, we also want you to know how much respect your patients will have for you. Why? Well, you’ll be helping them manage potentially life-threatening conditions or boosting their self-esteem with cosmetic changes.
Read on to see if this career is for you and learn about the educational journey.
What is a dermatology nurse?
A dermatology nurse works with patients undergoing skincare treatment. These patients may have chronic skin conditions; others may be getting elective cosmetic procedures.
What do dermatology nurses do?
- Skin cancer
On the cosmetic side, dermatology nurses help provide the following elective procedures:
- Laser hair removal
- Tattoo removal
- Chemical peels
- Scar removal
- Laser skin resurfacing and tightening
What are the roles and duties of a dermatology nurse?
Dermatological nurses help patients manage skin conditions. But, what does this look like on a daily basis? Here are some key duties of a skincare nurse:
- Perform wound care (cleaning and dressing)
- Help patients with preoperative and postoperative care
- Screen patients for cancer
- Take samples and perform biopsies
- Talk to patients about how to care for skin after surgery or a procedure
- Educate patients on skincare
- Perform peels and microdermabrasion (and in some cases, apply injections)
- Explain test results in a way that patients and their families can understand
- Monitor test results and medical history
As with most important tasks in life, it’s not just about what you do but how you do it. Here are some of the top traits successful dermatological nurses possess:
- Work well in a team
- Demonstrate compassion, empathy, and patience
- Communicate well with patients and be a liaison between the patient and doctor when needed
- Pay close attention to detail
How to become a dermatology nurse
When you’re ready to take your passion for skincare to the next level and make it your career, you’ll need a roadmap. You can start here:
- Get your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
- Sit for the NCLEX-RN exam (in comfortable scrubs, of course). This exam, which determines whether you can become a registered nurse, is a milestone for most nursing careers. Even if you’re still undecided on a specialization, we recommend taking the test.
- Log at least 2,000 clinical hours—while also working as a registered nurse—before taking the dermatology nursing certification exam.
- Get your dermatology nursing certification. To earn the DNC certification, you must meet the above criteria and sit for a multiple-choice exam.
What are the education requirements for dermatology nurses?
The minimum educational requirement for dermatology nurses is a college degree, as with most nursing careers. For some nursing roles, an associate’s degree will suffice. But the best way to set yourself up for a wide variety of jobs is to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), as this will afford you far more opportunities for specialization.
So, how long does it take to become a dermatology nurse? It should take roughly 4-6 years to complete all the education requirements and certification. If you wish to become a nurse practitioner, it may take five to seven years.
Where do dermatology nurses work?
If you’re the kind of person who likes a change of scenery, we have good news for you: As a dermatological nurse, you’ll have the opportunity to work in various settings. Here are a few common ones:
- Private practices
- Dermatology clinics
- Infusion centers
- Plastic surgeons’ practices
- Burn units
What is the career outlook for dermatology nurses?
Before you go into a nursing job in dermatology, it’s good to look at the career outlook and salary expectations. This way, you know what you’re getting into. Yes, it’s important to go into a role you love, but it’s also essential to be informed (because, after all, knowledge is power!) and make sure this specialization supports your financial and career goals.
The outlook for dermatology nursing is good. Since these conditions will continue to affect patients, these nurses will always be in demand. More and more people are deciding to undergo elective cosmetic procedures, and unfortunately, there has also been a jump in skin cancer cases in recent years. So the need for dermatological nurses is most certainly present.
The average salary for dermatological nurses is currently in the $50,000 range, though this will depend on your location and the specific kind of practice for which you work. Experience is also a factor.
As you take significant steps toward the career you want, we’re here to keep you looking and feeling great in luxe scrubs. We’re also here to cheer you on and provide essential information that helps you along your journey as a medical professional.