How Can I Become a Cosmetic Nurse?

Research what it takes to become a cosmetic nurse. Learn about education and license requirements, as well as job growth and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Cosmetic Nurse?

Cosmetic nurses are registered nurses who perform and assist with aesthetic medical treatments and procedures. As a nurse you would have the responsibility of keeping records of patients' medical history and conditions. A large part of this responsibility would include monitoring patients' vitals and conducting diagnostic tests. You may also be responsible for administering medications and setting up care plans. It is common for nurses to teach patients and their families how to take care of medical conditions after their release. Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Education Required Vocational diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Nursing
Key Responsibilities Perform aesthetic treatment and therapeutic procedures, assess outcome of procedures, evaluate patients' conditions, provide advice on proper skin care
Licensure State licensure required
Job Growth (2014-2024) 16% (for all registered nurses)*
Median Salary (2015) $67,490 (for all registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training Do I Need to Become a Cosmetic Nurse?

Cosmetic nursing is an evolving field, and as such, an industry-standard training path hasn't been finalized as it has for most nursing specialties. However, you'll first need to become a registered nurse by earning a degree in nursing and passing a national licensing examination. You can then find hospitals, universities, state agencies and nonprofit nursing organizations that offer internship and training programs specific to nurses in a variety of specializations, including aesthetic or cosmetic nursing.

In a nursing diploma, associate or bachelor's degree program, you'll participate in academic, lab and clinical sessions that teach you about diseases, illnesses and injuries that afflict humans, as well as methods of treatment and the process of caring for patients. Courses cover topics in microbiology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, psychology and cultural diversity. Graduation from a state-approved nursing program qualifies you to take the National Council Licensure Examination that enables you to meet your state's requirements for a nursing license.

Aesthetic nursing training and internship programs focus on skin and skin care, particularly facial skin, and treatments that repair damage or alter a patient's appearance. You'll learn skin anatomy, common dermal afflictions, cosmetic pharmacology, Botox usage and multiple variations of laser therapy. You could also explore surgical and other cosmetic procedures, such as liposuction or augmentation.

Where Could I Work?

Your prospective employers include private physicians, medical spas, hospitals and clinics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 61% of all registered nurses worked in state, local or private hospitals as of 2014.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

Regardless of whether you specialize in surgical or non-surgical practice, you'll study the medical history of your patients and confer with attending physicians and colleagues about any unusual or complicating factors. As a patient's main contact, you'll consult with them about the results they hope to achieve from therapy, the range of treatments available to them, what each type is likely to achieve and any side effects or potential complications.

You'll create a personalized treatment plan and could be responsible for performing treatment and therapeutic procedures. Possible treatments include Botox or Restylane injections, chemical peels, laser vein or hair removal, skin ablation and cellulite reduction. After treatment you'll assess the outcome of a procedure, evaluate the condition of your patient and provide advice on proper skin care.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you want to consider other specializations in the nursing field, you might look rehabilitation nursing, critical care nursing and addiction nursing. All RNs require a vocational diploma or associate's degree, though many may have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). If you're interested in hands-on healthcare but you're not sure nursing is the right fit, consider becoming a dental hygienist. They perform basic dental procedures, such as cleaning teeth, and they teach patients how to maintain good dental health. They usually have an associate's or bachelor's degree in dental hygiene, along with professional licensure.

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:

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