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Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse Guide

Updated: May 22, 2022

Nurses make an impact in people's lives in a variety of ways, and an aesthetic or cosmetic nurse is no exception. You'd be assisting individuals with non-invasive, in-office procedures like injectables and skincare treatments in this professional path.

Plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists frequently enlist the assistance of aesthetic nurses, who provide pre- and post-operative treatment as well as patient care under the supervision of a physician.



Registered nurses who work as aesthetic/cosmetic nurses provide a wide range of treatments. Dermal filler and Botox neurotoxic injections, photofacials, dermabrasion, micro-needling, tattoo removal, and non-surgical body sculpting are some of the options.

In employment descriptions and job advertising, some businesses use the variant spelling "esthetic nurse" or "esthetician's nurse." The conventional spelling of "aesthetic nurse" is used in this handbook.

Cosmetic nurses operate in private clinics or medical spas that are associated with plastic surgery or cosmetic dermatology services. Cosmetic nurses work with a diverse group of patients who want to improve their looks and self-esteem.

The majority of patients seeking this type of therapy are women, but men are increasingly seeking it as well, boosting demand for medical aesthetics operations.


Tasks and Responsibilities

Plastic surgeons and dermatologists use aesthetic/cosmetic nurses to assist them with cosmetic operations. These medical operations, whether invasive or non-invasive, are frequently performed to improve the look of patients.

Patients seek therapy for medical reasons in some circumstances; in others, the operations might give them more confidence and a younger appearance.

Aesthetic/cosmetic nurses' job tasks might include the following, whether they work full-time or part-time:

  • Prior to providing services, patients are consulted, which includes scheduling, interviewing, and medical screening.

  • Skin examination to detect aging and other health issues.

  • Pre-operative and post-operative care are provided.

  • Helping the doctor with treatments and operations.

  • Instruments and surgery suites are prepared and sterilized.

  • Botox and filler injections, chemical peels, laser hair removal, dermabrasion, CoolSculpting, tattoo removal, and more procedures are all available.


Work Locations and Schedules

Aesthetic nurses work in dermatology and plastic surgery offices, as well as medspas and hospital operating rooms. Although unexpected emergencies and severe reactions to treatments sometimes disrupt surgical nurses' schedules, aesthetic nurses generally work normal hours and do not perform night shifts.

Aesthetic nurses can create long-term connections with patients who return for maintenance of existing treatments or to study further therapies, in addition to working in an atmosphere committed to enhancing patient quality of life.

Nurses who work in medical aesthetics can see the results of their treatments and witness patients' increased confidence as a result of accomplishing their cosmetic goals.



Aesthetic/cosmetic nurses' pay varies depending on their education, qualification, experience, and where they work in the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses will earn an average annual income of $75,330 in 2020. While the BLS does not expressly publish on salary for aesthetic nurses, ZipRecruiter estimates that the average annual compensation for a cosmetic nurse is $85,621, with some making as much as $124,000, and the middle 25th percentile of the country ranging from $69,000 to $99,500.

Cosmetic nurses with more experience in their specialty, along with most other patient care professions, are paid the most. Additional benefits like paid vacation and sick leave, health, dental, and vision insurance plans, and prescription drug coverage are frequently added to pay.


How to Become an Aesthetic Nurse

Step 1. Earn Your Registered Nurse Degree

Step 2. Pass the NCLEX-RN

Step 3. Gain Experience

Working in core competencies with a board-certified physician in plastic/aesthetic/cosmetic surgery, dermatology, face plastic surgery, or ophthalmology for at least two years is required.

Step 4. Earn a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist Credential

Consider acquiring the Certified Aesthetic Nursing Specialist certificate from the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board to position yourself for the greatest aesthetic/cosmetic nurse positions.

To obtain this certification, you must pass an exam offered by the PSNCB in the spring and autumn of each year. Unlike several certificates, the PSNCB certificate does not require any additional training.

Time You Need to Become an Aesthetic 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


Continuing Education

Every three years, aesthetic/cosmetic nurses who achieve the qualifications for Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist rank must recertify.

Recertification requirements include 45 contact hours, with at least two of those hours dedicated to patient safety.

Plastic/aesthetic/cosmetic surgery, dermatology, face plastic surgery, or ophthalmology must all have at least 30 contact hours.

Nurses can retake the CANS test every three years to keep their certification current. Recertification does not need any further training.



  • What Is an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse?

    • Registered nurses who provide aesthetic and cosmetic treatments and care to their patients are known as aesthetic nurses or cosmetic nurses. Fillers, laser skin treatments, liposuction, tattoo removal, cosmetic surgery, and more are among the services provided by these nurses.

  • How Do I Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse?

    • To become an aesthetic nurse, you must first finish the academic requirements to become a registered nurse. Nurses with four-year BSN degrees are more likely to find work in their chosen field. Look for work in skincare clinics, cosmetic surgery practices, and other medical fields after earning your registered nursing degree and license. Then you can apply to the Plastic Surgical Nursing Nursing Certification Board for certification (PSNCB).

  • What Does an Aesthetic Nurse Do?

    • They work alongside dermatologists and plastic surgeons to perform clinical and surgical procedures for patients, in addition to 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.

  • What Are the Educational Requirements to Become an Aesthetic Nurse?

    • To become an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse, you must first get an ADN or BSN degree and pass the NCLEX-RN test in your state. Despite the fact that accreditation with the PSNCB is not mandatory, many companies in the healthcare area prefer it.

  • How Much Does an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse Make?

    • The average yearly income for an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse in the United States is little over $85,000, according to ZipRecruiter. Remember that this figure includes both advanced practice nurses (APRNs) and entry-level nurse wages.

  • How Long Does it Take to Become an Aesthetic Nurse?

    • A registered nurse with her license can apply for work as an aesthetic nurse right away, but the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board requires two years of experience, including one year in a relevant specialist area, to be certified as an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse.


Other Resources

Several organizations provide assistance to aesthetic nurses as they practice and enhance their jobs. These organizations assist nurses with professional growth, education, and research. Patients' safety and best evidence-based practices are also promoted. These organizations include: also has a lot of information regarding aesthetic/cosmetic nursing. Other similar articles might be found here:

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