October 27, 2022
By: Nurse.org Staff
Medically reviewed by: Chaunie Brusie BSN, RN
Nurses make a difference in people’s lives in many different ways, and that’s just as true for an aesthetic or cosmetic nurse. In this career path, you’d be helping people through the use of non-invasive, in-office treatments such as injectables and skincare treatments.
Aesthetic nurses often help plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists, providing pre-and post-operative care related to plastic surgery as well as delivering care to patients under the supervision of a physician.
In this guide, we will explain how to become an aesthetic or cosmetic nurse, the average aesthetic nurse salary, education requirements and more.
- What is an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse?
- What do they do?
- Aesthetic/cosmetic nurse salary
- How to become an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse
- Top tips to become an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse
- CEU requirements
- Next steps
Aesthetic/cosmetic nurses are registered nurses who provide a variety of services. These can include,
- Injections of dermal fillers and Botox neurotoxin
- Tattoo removal
- Non-surgical body contouring
Note: some employers use the alternative spelling “esthetic nurse” or “esthetician’s nurse” in job descriptions and job listings. In this guide, we’re using the traditional spelling, “aesthetic nurse.”
Cosmetic nurses usually work in private offices or medical spas affiliated with plastic surgery practices or cosmetic dermatology practices. Cosmetic nurses provide services to a wide range of patients who are seeking a boost in their appearance and self-confidence.
Most patients who seek this kind of treatment are women, but men are increasingly seeking these treatments too, adding even more demand for medical aesthetics procedures.
Aesthetic/cosmetic nurses help plastic surgeons and dermatologists provide cosmetic procedures. These healthcare procedures -- whether invasive or non-invasive -- are usually designed to improve patients’ appearance.
In some cases, patients seek treatment for medical purposes; for others, the procedures can provide a boost of confidence and a more youthful look.
Whether working full-time or part-time, the job responsibilities that aesthetic/cosmetic nurses perform can include:
- Consulting with patients, including scheduling, interviewing and medical screening prior to services being provided.
- Examination of skin to assess both aging and other health problems.
- Performing pre-operative and post-operative care.
- Assisting the physician with procedures and surgeries.
- Preparation and sterilization of instruments and surgery suites.
- Administering injections of Botox and fillers, performing chemical peels, laser hair removal, dermabrasion, CoolSculpting, removing tattoos, and more.
Aesthetic/cosmetic nurses work in dermatology and plastic surgery offices and medspas, and they may also assist in hospital operating rooms. Occasional emergencies and adverse reactions to treatments can create some schedule unpredictability for surgery nurses, but in most cases, aesthetic nurses work regular hours with no night shifts.
In addition to being able to work in an environment dedicated to improving patient quality of life, aesthetic nurses can also build long-term relationships with patients who return for maintenance of existing treatments or to investigate additional treatments.
Nurses who work in medical aesthetics can see the improvements their treatments provide and observe the boost of confidence patients can get from achieving their individual aesthetic goals.
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The salary for aesthetic/cosmetic nurses can vary based upon education, certification, experience and geographic location within the country.
According to the BLS, the average annual salary for registered nurses in 2021 was $77,600 per year or $37.31 per hour. While the BLS doesn't report on salaries for aesthetic nurses specifically, ZipRecruiter reports that the average annual pay for a cosmetic nurse is $88,341, though some cosmetic nurses are earning as much as $132,500.
As is true in most other patient care professions, cosmetic nurses with higher levels of experience in their field receive the highest levels of compensation. Pay is often boosted by additional benefits including paid vacation and sick leave, health, dental, and vision insurance policies, prescription coverage, reimbursement for educational expenses and more.
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If you want to become an aesthetic nurse, you’ll need to complete the following steps.
Step 1. Earn Your Registered Nurse Degree
Becoming an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse begins with a registered nurse degree, which you can earn through either a two-year associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree.
Some nurses decide to go beyond the BSN and earn their master of science in nursing in keeping with the national push for advanced practice nurses.
Step 2. Pass the NCLEX-RN
Once you've earned your RN degree from an accredited nursing program, you'll then need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed by one or more states.
Step 3. Gain Experience
You’ll need to spend at least two years working in core competencies with a board-certified physician in plastic/aesthetic/cosmetic surgery, dermatology, facial plastic surgery, or ophthalmology.
Step 4. Earn a Certified Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse Specialist Credential
To position yourself for the best aesthetic/cosmetic nurse jobs, consider earning the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist credential through the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board.
To earn this certification, you’ll need to take an exam which the PSNCB typically offers in the spring and fall of each year. Unlike some certifications, no special training courses are required to earn the PSNCB certificate.
To be eligible for certification, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in the United States, its territories or Canada, holding a current full and unrestricted license
- Have spent at least 1,000 practice hours within the core specialties during the last two (2) years
- Have a minimum of two (2) years of nursing experience as a registered nurse within the four Core Specialties in collaboration or in a practice with a physician that is Board Certified within a core specialty. This can be in a general staff, administrative, teaching, or research capacity for at least three (3) years prior to application
- Be currently working in collaboration or in a practice with a physician that is Board Certified within one of the following specialties: Plastic/Aesthetic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, or Facial Plastic Surgery (ENT)
- Have your supervising core physician, who holds a current full and unrestricted license, endorse your application
>> Explore Aesthetic Nursing Certification Review Materials*
Timeline for Becoming an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse:
- 2-5 years to earn ADN, BSN or MSN degree
- Pass NCLEX-RN exam
- 2 years working in core competencies with a board-certified physician in plastic/aesthetic/cosmetic surgery, dermatology, facial plastic surgery, or ophthalmology
Hello, beautiful people! My name is Sabrina and I am an aesthetic nurse injector practicing out of Bellevue, WA. I have been getting TONS of aspiring aesthetic nurses inquiring about how to get into the industry and I want to help you out.
I am going to give you five tips on how to become an aesthetic nurse injector.
1: Watch YouTube Videos
Watch as many Youtube videos on the basics of neuromodulators (your Botox, Dysport and Xeomin) and different types of commonly used dermal fillers like Juvederm (Ultra/Ultra Plus, Voluma, Vollure, Volbella, etc.) Restylane (Lyft, Refyne, Defyne etc.), Galderma (Sculptra), and Revanesse (Versa). Look into what they are, how they work, what differentiates them, where on the face they are used, etc.
It seems overwhelming at first, but you’ll get it. It’s also important to know your facial anatomy and how facial muscles work. Youtube also has great videos on technique and depth, so immerse yourself in all of it. This is a great starting point.
2: Attend a Botox and Filler Certification Course
There, you’ll learn more about the basics of Botox and filler and get some hands-on experience. You’ll also get a certification, which will enhance your resume for future employers.
Most of you don’t have experience, which is a turn-off to most employers, so it’s important to show initiative! Show that you’re willing to do what it takes and pay the price.
Might I add; that the reason why most practices want an experienced injector is because the training is super expensive - we’re talking thousands upon thousands!
I’ve been told by several practices that nurses are notorious for getting their experience at one practice and then leaving to join another. No bueno for business. Anyways, Google, “Botox and filler certifications course near me” to find a course and make sure that it includes hands-on training. I strongly urge you to attend at least one.
3. Follow Injectors in Your Area on Social Media
Engage, Engage, engage! Like, comment; be their biggest fans. Reach out to them, ask them about their experience as an injector, if their practice is hiring, for shadowing opportunities, if they have any advice for you--establish a connection.
Half of them won’t respond but the other half will! In the case that a practice is hiring, you will have leverage based on your continued support and interactiveness on their social. If they agree to a shadow day, make sure you add that to your resume. Anything and everything helps!
4. Up Your Social Media Game
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for this industry because you can put a face to a resume. Follow as many practices in your area and all of their employees.
Send personalized messages, sharing your passion for the industry and when they have an opportunity for you to reachout.
Again, also ask for shadowing opportunities. They will remember you for being bold and messaging them (not many people do this surprisingly. I would also make sure your headshot is professionally done, so you look the part.
5. BE PATIENT AND STAY HUNGRY
It took me almost a year to get into the industry. I applied to numerous practices, had several interviews, and was rejected over and over. But I pressed on every opportunity knowing I would eventually get in, and I did.
It ultimately comes down to how badly you want it at the end of the day. Really ask yourself why you want to get into the industry and use your “why” to motivate you in every circumstance. Don’t give up babes, you got this!
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Aesthetic/cosmetic nurses who meet the requirements for Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist status need to be recertified every three years.
Requirements for recertification include accumulating 45 contact hours with at least two hours related specifically to patient safety.
At least 30 contact hours must take place within the core specialties: plastic/aesthetic/cosmetic surgery, dermatology, facial plastic surgery, or ophthalmology.
Nurses could also re-take the CANS exam every three years to maintain this certification. Once again, there’s no training course required for recertification.
What Is an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse?
- Aesthetic nurses, also known as cosmetic nurses, are registered nurses who provide aesthetic and cosmetic services and care to their patients. These nurses have specialized training in services ranging from fillers, laser skin treatments, liposuction, tattoo removal, aesthetic surgery, and more.
How Do I Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse?
- To become an aesthetic nurse, you must first complete the education required to become a registered nurse, noting that nurses with their four-year BSN degrees are likely to find it easier to find a job in their chosen profession. After getting your degree and licensure as a registered nurse, look for jobs in skincare clinics, cosmetic surgery practices, or similar areas of the medical field. Then you can seek certification from the Plastic Surgical Nursing Nursing Certification Board (PSNCB).
What Does an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse Do?
- Beyond providing inpatient and outpatient cosmetic services such as laser hair removal and skincare treatments, dermabrasion, Botox injections and fillers to provide a more youthful appearance, they also work by the side of physicians such as dermatologists and plastic surgeons as they perform clinical and surgical procedures for patients.
What Are the Educational Requirements to Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse?
- The path to becoming an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse starts with completing an ADN or BSN degree and passing the NCLEX-RN exam in order to be licensed in your state. Though certification with the PSNCB is not required, it is available and preferred by many employers in this healthcare field.
How Much Does an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Make?
- According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse in the United States is just over $88,341. Keep in mind this average reflects advanced practice nurses (APRNs) as well as entry-level nurse salaries.
How Long Does it Take to Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse?
- Once a registered nurse has her license she can apply for jobs as an aesthetic nurse immediately, but if you are interested in being certified as an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse by the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board you will need two years of experience, including one year in a related specialty area.
Several organizations support aesthetic/cosmetic nurses within the scope of their practice and as they advance their careers. These organizations provide resources to help nurses’ professional development, education and research. They also promote patient safety and best evidence-based practices.
These organizations include:
- Dermatology Nurses Association
- International Society of Plastic and Cosmetic Nurses
- The American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery
You can also learn more about aesthetic/cosmetic nursing through Nurse.org! Check out our other related articles:
- 5 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
- This is How I Became an Aesthetic Nurse Injector at a Cosmetic Clinic
And lastly, it might also be helpful for you to speak to a medical company that sells botox or fillers to doctors and med spas. Oftentimes, they offer free educational resources and training, as well as guidance for nurses who want to become injectors.
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Beyond reading job descriptions, one of the best ways to determine whether medical aesthetics is the career path for you is to speak directly to a cosmetic/aesthetic nurse currently practicing within a private practice or medical spa. You can also reach out to pharmaceutical companies who sell fillers or botox, as some offer free training and resources for nurses as an incentive to sell their product in medspas, etc. where those RNs will go on to work.
Nurses trained in cosmetic and aesthetic procedures can raise the level of care for patients who seek improvements in their appearance. These nurses can also earn competitive pay while enhancing the quality of life for their patients.
Whether helping a patient to look younger, removing a regretted tattoo, or smoothing away old acne scars, cosmetic nurses provide their patients with a sense of possibility and self-confidence unlike any other type of nursing specialty.
Helping patients and earning competitive pay: As a nurse -- whether an RN or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) -- you can’t ask for more from your profession.
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What qualifications do I need to be an aesthetic nurse? ›
- Step One: complete a nursing degree and get NMC registration. ...
- Step Two: get post-qualification nursing experience. ...
- Step Three: find an entry-level position in aesthetics, or undertake training.
There are several types of medical aesthetic training courses available while all require you to be either a Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician, or Doctor of Dentistry.How do you break into aesthetics? ›
- The first step to entering a career in aesthetics is to receive the proper training. ...
- Get the right certifications. ...
- Obtain a part-time position at an already established practice. ...
- Establish a loyal patient base. ...
- Branch out on your own.
Alaska is the state with the highest average salary for Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners. The average yearly salary is $106,194, though the salaries can range from $91,570 to $123,715.Can I do lip fillers without being a nurse? ›
The absence of industry regulation means anyone can legally carry out Botox and dermal fillers procedures on clients, whatever their level of training.How do I start a career as a aesthetic nurse? ›
In order to work as an Aesthetic Nurse, you must earn a Registered Nurse degree. There are two main educational avenues for that. The first option is a two-year ADN program. The second option is to earn your Bachelor's Degree in Nursing by pursuing a BSN program.What qualifications do I need to do aesthetics? ›
To be a qualified aesthetic practitioner, you likely want to get a bachelor's degree in aesthetics. Going to university for aesthetic practitioner training provides you with all the experience and credentials required to immediately start as an aesthetician.Are aesthetic nurses happy? ›
Aesthetic nurses often find they don't have these same stresses, so they can enjoy a regular schedule and be more energetic and functional when they are at work. Aesthetic nursing is a very rewarding career, and aesthetic nurses provide very important care for patients when receiving treatments such as injections.How long does it take to become a cosmetic nurse? ›
As the leading Association for Aesthetic Nurses in Ireland, DANAI would advocate that you attain at least 3 years of post graduate general adult nursing experience before embarking upon a career in the more specialised area of aesthetic nursing.How long does it take to learn aesthetics? ›
How long does it take? The minimum time commitment for the Level 7 diploma is 6 months, and you must complete it within 36 months.
How long does it take to study aesthetic? ›
The good news is becoming an esthetician can take only six to nine months! Depending on the school and program, that equates to a 600 to 780 clock-hour program. By enrolling and fulfilling the program requirements, you have a chance to earn a diploma and would be eligible to sit for an esthetician exam.What are the 3 principles of aesthetics? ›
The three principles of Greek aesthetics are proportion, movement and balance, according to the New World Encyclopedia. These principles were developed to show poise, musculature and anatomically correct proportions. The Greek philosopher Plato thought beauty rested in proportion, harmony and unity.Are aesthetic nurses in demand? ›
The Job Outlook for Cosmetic Nursing:
Demand for plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures continues to grow, and services are becoming more affordable and commonplace. As a result, the demand for medical professionals in Cosmetic Nursing is increasing as well.
Aesthetic nurses, also known as cosmetic nurses, are registered nurses who provide aesthetic and cosmetic services and care to their patients. These nurses have specialized training in services ranging from fillers, laser skin treatments, liposuction, tattoo removal, aesthetic surgery, and more.What setting do nurses make the most money? ›
The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.Who can do Level 7 aesthetics? ›
The level 7 aesthetics qualification is suitable for all medically registered professionals including: Doctors, Dentists, Independent Nurse or Midwife Prescribers, Nurse Practitioners (without independent prescribing rights) or Midwives (without independent prescribing rights).Can you do Botox if not a nurse? ›
BOTOX® can only be prescribed by a medical professional such as a Nurse Prescriber but there are no regulations around this treatment which means the actual treatment can be performed by anyone no matter what their level of training is, if any!Can you do Botox without a nursing degree? ›
In order to administer Botox injections, you must be a physician, physician assistant, dentist, registered nurse or another licensed healthcare practitioner. The minimum degree requirement for most of these professionals is a four-year bachelor's degree in pre-medicine, biology or related science.Can aesthetic nurse do Botox? ›
They're qualified to provide a wide variety of services to patients, including photofacials, Botox and dermal filler injections, tattoo removal, dermabrasion and non-surgical body contouring.What type of nurse is an aesthetic nurse? ›
An aesthetic nurse is a registered nurse (RN) specifically trained to administer aesthetic services. Aesthetic procedures typically involve in-office, noninvasive treatments rather than surgery. Among the duties aesthetic nurses perform are: Assessing patients' aesthetic health issues.
Can you do aesthetics without a degree? ›
The minimum requirement to work as a beauty therapist in a salon or on a self employed basis is a Level 2 qualification. This is usually considered to be “junior” level in a salon environment and enables the therapist to practice some of the most popular beauty treatments such as waxing, manicures and pedicures.What qualifications do I need to give fillers? ›
What Qualifications Do You Need to Give Botox Injections and Fillers? Many colleges and training providers offer specialist courses for administering Botox injections and dermal fillers. Ideally, you should aim for a Level 7 Diploma in Clinical Aesthetic Injectable Therapies.What qualifications do I need to inject Botox? ›
Level 6 Qualification
If you want to train to do botox, a Level 6 qualification is required as the minimum in order to perform basic upper face botox procedures. In short, then, the Level 6 qualification will allow you to perform botox procedures, but will not allow you to prescribe botox.
Cosmetic nursing is an excellent career for those who are passionate about aesthetic health and helping others. These professionals help a wide variety of patients and perform many non-surgical procedures, so it's also a promising career for those who enjoy new and challenging job tasks.How much does injector make off Botox? ›
How much does a Botox Injector make in California? As of Nov 13, 2022, the average annual pay for a Botox Injector in California is $99,928 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $48.04 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,921/week or $8,327/month.Why do you want to work in aesthetics? ›
Choose a specific reason
Some want to help clients look their best for special events, while others have an interest in the medical aspect of skin care. Other estheticians enjoy working with people daily, including clients and other health care professionals.
Who may inject Botox? Physicians may inject Botox, or they may direct registered nurses or physician assistants to perform the injection under their supervision. No unlicensed persons, such as medical assistants, may inject Botox.What is the highest qualification in aesthetics? ›
The Level 7 in Aesthetic Practice is a very comprehensive and unique qualification, awarded by Qualifi and regulated by Ofqual gives Aesthetic practitioners the same, advanced Level 7 Aesthetic Practitioner qualification that medics receive, and is internationally recognised.Can anyone inject fillers? ›
Having dermal fillers is usually safe if it's done by an experienced and suitably qualified practitioner. Check the person doing your dermal fillers is on a register to show they meet set standards in training, skill and insurance. Avoid practitioners who have only completed a short training course.Can you learn aesthetics online? ›
Programs in esthetics are primarily offered at the certificate level, and due to the hands-on nature of this skin care field, online training is uncommon. Learn about on-campus certificate options for estheticians and medical estheticians, and explore the coursework for each of these programs.
What is a degree in aesthetics called? ›
If you pursue a college degree, you might earn an Associate of Occupational Studies in Esthetics, an Associate of Science in Natural Health with a concentration in skin care or an Associate of Applied Science for aestheticians.Is aesthetic a good career? ›
The unique skill set required for aesthetics makes doctors the perfect candidates for training and stands them in good stead for a successful and lucrative career.What is the study of aesthetics called? ›
aesthetics, also spelled esthetics, the philosophical study of beauty and taste. It is closely related to the philosophy of art, which is concerned with the nature of art and the concepts in terms of which individual works of art are interpreted and evaluated.What are the top 5 aesthetics? ›
- Combination Treatments.
- “Maskne” Solutions.
- Inclusive Treatments.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing.
4 Theories for Judging Art
There are 4 main theories for judging whether a piece of art is successful: Imitationalism, Formalism, Instrumentalism, and Emotionalism. Chances are, you already believe in one of these theories, even if you've never heard of them.
Be A Mobile Practitioner – Some aesthetic nurses chose to provide treatments from their own property or at a client's home. The main benefits of this option is the greater flexibility, and low overhead costs.How much can I earn as an aesthetic nurse? ›
Salary: *£32,390 to £39,330 per annum (dependent on experience)*.How do I become a cosmetic injector? ›
To become a cosmetic nurse, registered nurses must complete a postgraduate qualification such as a graduate diploma in Cosmetic Nursing. This takes around 10 months of full-time study. Students undertaking their postgraduate diploma must also complete 76 hours of clinical placement to graduate.Is aesthetic nursing competitive? ›
Aesthetic nursing is quite a competitive industry and can be difficult to break into.What is a plastic surgery nurse called? ›
Also known as aesthetic nurses, plastic surgery nurses can work in a wide range of environments, including plastic surgeons' offices, dermatologists' offices and health spas.
What type of nurses are the happiest? ›
- School Nurse. ...
- Labor and Delivery Nurse. ...
- Case Management Nurse. ...
- Nurse Educator. ...
- Parish Nurse. ...
- Travel Nurse.
Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurse
Licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) are some of the lowest-paid nursing roles, but that is due to the fact that the educational requirements are less than most other types of nurses.
Registered nurse (RN)
BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.
To be a qualified aesthetic practitioner, you likely want to get a bachelor's degree in aesthetics. Going to university for aesthetic practitioner training provides you with all the experience and credentials required to immediately start as an aesthetician.What qualifications do you need to be an Aesthetician UK? ›
Requirements to become an aesthetic practitioner
In order to carry out procedures such as Botox and fillers in the UK, delegates must first complete a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification from an accredited training provider. Delegates must complete a Level 7 qualification for 'comprehensive use.
A CIDESCO diploma is the highest qualification in the beauty and spa industry and is the only fully international qualification that is recognised by employers.What is Level 4 beauty Therapy? ›
Introduction. This is a course for Beauty Therapists who wish to progress into Advanced Aesthetic treatments such as Laser & Light Treatments, Salon Management and Product Sciences. Level 4 Advanced Beauty Therapy is a part- time course running 2 days per week.Is being a cosmetic nurse worth it? ›
Aesthetic nursing is a very rewarding career, and aesthetic nurses provide very important care for patients when receiving treatments such as injections. If you are considering a career in aesthetic nursing, you can train to give BOTOX® and filler with Dr.Is cosmetic nursing in demand? ›
Demand for plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures continues to grow, and services are becoming more affordable and commonplace. As a result, the demand for medical professionals in Cosmetic Nursing is increasing as well.Do aesthetic nurses wear scrubs? ›
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).