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Dermatology Nurse Career Guide

Dermatology Nurse Career Guide

Because the skin is the biggest organ in the body, dermatology is extremely vital to a patient's general health, in addition to the cosmetic benefits of beautiful skin.


Dermatology nurses specialize in the treatment and care of patients with illnesses, wounds, traumas, and other skin disorders. They can work in private practice offices, hospitals, infusion centers, clinics, plastic surgeons' offices, and burn centers, among other places.

Nurses who work in dermatology can also work at day spas or cosmetic dermatology offices, which are becoming more popular. Laser treatments, tattoo removal, chemical peels, and other treatments will be assisted by these nurses.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Dermatology nurses collaborate with the medical team to diagnose and treat various skin injuries and disorders.

  • Peeling and microdermabrasion of the skin

  • Skin wounds, including burns, are assessed, monitored, and treated.

  • Assisting with post-operative care for patients

  • assisting in the conduct of skin examinations

  • Outpatient and surgical dermatological procedures are assisted by the dermatologist.

  • Assisting with operations that need the use of specialist medical equipment, such as aesthetic dermatology.

  • Wounds and burns should be cleaned and dressed.

  • Biopsies need the collection of skin tissue.

  • Each patient is taught at home how to protect their skin and treat skin disorders and problems.

  • Patients are being educated on how to protect their skin and care for skin disorders and problems at home.

  • Patient education on appropriate skincare

  • Patient education on skincare and infection prevention after surgery

  • Educating patients and their families about test results

  • Patient education on post-operative procedures

  • Medical history and test results are monitored and recorded.

  • Keeping track of patients' medical histories

  • Conducting a physical examination on each patient

  • Peelings using chemicals

  • Pre-operative assistance

  • Keeping track of and reporting test findings

  • Patients are screened for skin cancer.

  • Acne treatment

  • Burns, ulcers, and skin rips are among the wounds that can be treated.

Dermatology nurses are in charge of teaching patients and their caretakers how to care for their skin and recover from treatments once they've gone home. They can help identify and treat the following skin conditions:

  • Burns

  • Skin Cancer

  • Warts

  • Acne

  • Impetigo

  • Rosacea

  • Psoriasis

  • Moles

Cosmetic Dermatology

Cosmetic dermatology is one of the fastest-growing medical disciplines in the previous decade, while not being fully new. 15.6 million cosmetic treatments, according to the Plastic Surgery Statistics Report 2020. In the year 2020, 2.3 million cosmetic surgery treatments and 13.2 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were performed.

Cosmetic dermatology's purpose is to achieve and maintain healthy, natural skin. Deep cleaning, renewing, regenerating, and restoring skin texture and tone, as well as eliminating skin flaws, are all possible treatments. These flaws can be brought on by: Acne, Age Spots, Birthmarks, Lines and wrinkles, Melasma, Moles, Skin discoloration (sun spots), Skin tags, and Stretch marks

Cosmetic dermatology nurses will also assist with the following procedures:

  • Laser Hair Removal

  • Tattoo removal

  • Chemical peels

  • Scar removal

  • IPL photofacials

  • Laser skin resurfacing

  • Dermal fillers and injectables

  • Hair loss restoration

  • Laser skin tightening

Because of the high demand and limitless financial opportunities, a growing number of basic dermatological offices are branching out into aesthetic dermatology. As a result, growth in this area of dermatology is far larger than in traditional dermatological offices. The bigger the amount of services an office may give to patients, the greater the opportunities for the nursing staff, according to a basic rule of thumb.


Salaries for dermatology nurses might vary substantially due to the variety of work environments. In order to grasp the wage for certain work prospects in nursing, it is necessary to explore geographic regions of interest and the prerequisites.

The median hourly compensation for registered nurses is $36.22 per hour, with an average annual salary of $75,330, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS, unfortunately, does not distinguish between different types of nurses. According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly income for a cosmetic nurse is $85,621, however some get as much as $124,000, with the middle 25% of the country earning between $69,000 and $99,500. Dermatology nurses may earn $23.96 per hour, according to This is much less than the national average for registered nurses; nonetheless, there are other factors that influence income.

Highest Paying States for Dermatology Nurses (Annual Average)

  • California - $120,560

  • Hawaii - $104,830

  • Massachusetts - $96,250

  • Oregon - $96,230

  • Alaska - $95,270

Most healthcare systems pay nurses on an hourly basis, whereas others, such as office nurses, are paid a fixed yearly income. Hourly employees can receive overtime compensation, however salaried staff would have to debate it with the hiring committee.

Full-time and part-time dermatological nurses receive equal benefits regardless of their employment environment. While specific perks may vary by institution, most include the following:

  • Health insurance

  • Retirement Options

  • Family Leave of Absence

  • Maternity Leave

  • Dental Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Discounts

  • Attendance at nursing conferences

How to Become a Dermatology Nurse

Step 1: Earn Your Degree

Step 2: Pass the NCLEX

Step 3: Gain Experience

Step 4: Obtain Certifications

For dermatology nurses, the Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA) provides the Dermatology Nursing Certification Examination (DNC). Increased career prospects and income potential may result from this credential. Candidates must satisfy the following qualifications, according to the DNA's website, in order to appear for the DNC exam:

  • Have a minimum of 2 years of dermatology nursing experience as an RN

  • Hold a current unrestricted license as an RN in the U.S. or Canada

  • Have a minimum of 2,000 hours of work experience in dermatology nursing within the past 2 years in a general staff, administrative, teaching or research capacity

All of the aforementioned will be confirmed when you apply for the exam. The credential is valid for three years and requires renewal through continuing nursing education hours.

The exam now costs $260 for DNA members and $335 for non-members. Because the exam is directly tied to work tasks, most employers will pay the cost of the exam. The test now has 175 questions and lasts around 4 hours. It covers dermatological subjects such as:

  • 15% - Infections

  • 15% - Tumors/Malignancies

  • 13% - Dermatitis

  • 13% - Papulosquamous Disorders

  • 9% - Photosensitivity/Photodamage

  • 7% - Hypersensitivities, Vasculitis, Infestations

  • 6% - Pigmentation/Vascular Disorders

  • 5% - Hair and Nails

  • 5% - Acne and Rosacea

  • 5% - Wounds and Ulcers

  • 4% - Bullous and Immune Disorders

  • 3% - Miscellaneous

The DNC is the most common qualification for dermatology nurses, however there are other options, particularly in aesthetic dermatology. These nurses will require specialized training in operations such as tattoo removal, chemical peels, and laser procedures. These abilities can be acquired through conferences or in-service courses.

Continuing Education

Beyond state-mandated continuing education, dermatology nurses may not have any special requirements. DNC recertification, however, does. Certified nurses must complete 45 contact hours, with at least 30 of those hours dedicated to dermatological nursing. These hours can be utilized to renew a state license and vice versa. An RN license is necessary for all dermatological nurses.

The license's continuing education requirements vary by state. All license and certification renewals are also subject to monetary fees and other state-specific conditions. The following are some examples of RN continuing education requirements:

  • Arkansas - 15 contact hours every 2 years

  • Illinois - 20 contact hours every 2 years

  • Florida - 24 contact hours every 2 years

  • Iowa - 36 hours every 2 years

  • Pennsylvania - 30 contact hours every 2 years

Some states may not require CEUs to keep your RN license current. Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, and Indiana are just a few examples. New York, Minnesota, and Kentucky are among the states that require HIV/AIDS education. Nurses should verify with their state's RN certifying organization for specific CEU requirements.


Registered nurses are expected to rise by 9% between 2020 and 2030, substantially faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS. Overall growth will occur for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is the increased emphasis on preventative treatment, such as frequent dermatologist check-ups, as well as the rise in skin cancer in the United States. Moreover, the baby-boom population's need for healthcare services will result in a significant shortage of nurses in specialized nursing specialties, such as dermatology. Furthermore, advances in aesthetic dermatology have resulted in a highly promising future for nurses who want to specialize in dermatology.

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