Esthetic RN Schools

As an esthetic RN (registered nurse), you're concerned with medical esthetics, or the combining of medicine and beauty. Learn about prerequisites, how to find a school, what subjects are covered and whether you need to be licensed or certified after graduation. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

If you are interested in become an esthetic RN, you can prepare yourself in a few different ways. Find out about training programs, certificates, diplomas and degrees for esthetic RNs and about the institutions which offer them.

Do I Need to be an RN to Practice Medical Esthetics?

In most cases, you don't need to be an RN to pursue a career in medical esthetics. Schools don't limit their enrollment in medical esthetic programs to medical professionals or practicing estheticians. If you hold a high school diploma or its equivalent, you may qualify for admission to a medical esthetics training program. If you're a graduate of a beauty academy or cosmetology school working in a spa or beauty salon, you might be interested in expanding your career into the more advanced, specialized field of medical esthetics to practice in a medical facility.

How Do I Find a School?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is one source you might consider for appropriate schools. The NCES offers an online, searchable database of accredited schools that feature esthetic (or aesthetic) programs (

The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) is a nonprofit accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. As of 2011, the NACCAS accredited 1,300 schools throughout the country offering esthetics programs that meet the Commission's standards (

Some for-profit schools offering online courses can be somewhat questionable. Investigation into their credibility may be necessary. Investigation may also be advisable for commercial schools that claim their courses qualify for Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Education (CE) certification.

What Will I Learn?

Though non-medical estheticians must be licensed to practice, their training is usually quite broad and can include courses on skin care, facials, nail care, makeup, exfoliation and light therapy. Your training as a medical aesthetician is more specific. Program content and length can vary considerably, from several days to nearly a year, depending on the state in which your school is located and on schools' policies.

A 2-day program may consist of courses on medical terminology, trends in esthetic practice, patient assessment, skin anatomy, hair removal, equipment usage and the use of anesthetics. You also may receive instruction in the differences between pre- and post-operative treatment. Often, issues such as government regulations, liability and risk management are part of the program.

Though rare, some community colleges or technical schools offer diplomas, certificates and associate's degrees in esthetics. Programs can last from six months to two years. Typical courses can deal with permanent cosmetic pigmentation, microdermabrasion, cosmetic laser techniques, advanced coursework in chemical peels, skin diseases, nutrition, pathology, lymphatic drainage and chemistry. Schools may offer field trips and externships as parts of their programs.

Schools may divide their programs into online and in-person components. You're able to pursue theory and didactic courses, such as consultation and psychology, online. You must appear in person to complete labs and practicums.

Which Schools Offer Esthetic RN Training Courses?

Esthetic RN programs are often offered as courses or training programs for professional nurses. These are a few examples:

  • Aesthetic Science Institute offers a 40-hour paramedical aesthetics course
  • University of California Irvine offers aesthetic nursing courses
  • Universal Spa Training Academy has a medical aesthetics training program

Which Schools Offer Esthetic Certificate/Diploma Programs?

Esthetics programs leading to a certificate or diploma can be found at a number of schools, including the following:

  • Citrus College has an Esthetician Certificate of Achievement program
  • St. Paul College houses an Esthetician Diploma program
  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College has an Esthetics Technology Certificate program

Which Schools Offer Esthetic Associate Degree Programs?

Associate degrees in esthetics can also be found at some colleges and universities. Below are some sample programs:

  • Clover Park Technical College offers a Master Esthetician Associate of Applied Technology degree
  • Citrus College provides an Associate of Science in Cosmetology degree
  • St. Paul College has an Esthetician Medical Setting Associate of Applied Science degree

Am I Certified or Licensed Once I Graduate?

Graduation doesn't automatically confer licensure or certification. You'll need to pursue licensure, which is a legal designation, from your state before practicing professionally. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individual states determine requirements for licensure in esthetics. You can find the information you need through your state's department of cosmetology or department of licensing services.

Certification is different from licensure. Certification might be included in some states' licensure requirements, but it isn't a legal requirement by itself. Certification is a designation you earn from a professional organization, such as the National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors and Associations (NCEA). NCEA certification requires that you hold a valid esthetician's license, be certified in CPR and pass an exam covering industry standards and procedures.

Esthetic RNs are registered nurses who complete additional training in esthetics. Esthetics training can involve courses, certificate/diploma programs or an associate's degree program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Empire Beauty School

    Empire Beauty School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Empire Beauty School:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Owings Mills
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Westside Tech

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Garden
  • West Tennessee Business College

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Jackson
  • West Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Waco
  • W Academy of Salon and Spa

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Danville
  • Victoria's Academy of Cosmetology

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Kennewick
  • VICI Aveda Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Greenfield
  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Valdosta
  • University of Spa & Cosmetology Arts

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Springfield