How to Become a Nurse Esthetician: Training & Certification

Nurse estheticians use their clinical knowledge and ability to provide care to help patients improve their appearances. Learn about the training and certification requirements to see if this could be a career for you. Schools offering Esthetics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career at a Glance

Nurse estheticians are registered nurses who are certified to carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures to help improve a patient's appearance. They can help to treat conditions like acne, psoriasis and burns. The following table provides a brief overview of what you need to know to pursue a career as a nurse esthetician.

Registered Nurses
Degree Required Associate's degree or bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Nursing
Certification License required, certification voluntary
Key Responsibilities Assess, observe and record patients condition; counselling patients and families provide treatment; educate patients on treatment plans
Key Skills Compassion; critical thinking; eye for detail; interpersonal skills; active listening; judgment and decision skills
Salary (2017) $70,000 (registered nurse)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% (registered nurse)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Is a Nurse Esthetician?

Nurse estheticians, otherwise known as aesthetic nurses, are specialized in the area of skin. A nurse esthetician typically works in a medical office that focuses on cosmetic services or in hospitals. They help individuals who suffer from burns, long-term skin conditions and diseases, just to name a few. A nurse esthetician may also be self-employed, having an office or store that provides esthetic services.

What Do Nurse Esteticians Do?

A job as a nurse esthetician, like most clinical nursing positions, is a patient-facing role. Nurse estheticians perform procedures such as botox, laser treatments and dermal fillers. They may provide education for skin care routines. Additionally, nurse estheticians may assist doctors in more complex cosmetic procedures.

How Do I Become a Nurse Esthetician?

In order to become a nurse esthetician you would need to be a registered nurse. Earning an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in nursing is required. You can become a nurse esthetician as either a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN); however employers often prefer registered nurses. After completion of your nursing studies, you would have to carry out 1000 hours of training for a minimum of two years as a nurse esthetician, according to the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board (PSNCB), to become a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS), although certification is voluntary. A nurse practitioner needs to have a master's degree in nursing.

What are the Annual Earnings and the Job Outlook of a Nurse Esthetician?

The BLS provides data for most occupations, but does not report specific data for nurse estheticians. Registered nurses earned a median salary of $70,000 annually in 2017. In comparison, Payscale.com reports an annual salary of $65,000 for aesthetic nurses as of 2019. The job outlook is good, with an expected 15% increase in the number of employment opportunities for registered nurses between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS.

Do I need Certification and Licensure to Practise as a Nurse Esthetician?

You will need to be a registered nurse to become a nurse esthetician. The requirements for licensure differ between states. LPN or LVNs will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN exam), while the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN exam) is for RNs. There are some certifications offered for nurses who perform cosmetic procedures, but this is often voluntary.

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

    Online Programs Available

  • 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