Aesthetic nursing focuses on helping patients improve their lives through aesthetic enhancements. These health care professionals typically hold a registered nursing (RN) license, though some are nurse practitioners (NPs).
Whether you are an RN already or want to become one, aesthetic nursing is a lucrative and fulfilling career to consider. That is why we are bringing you this guide on how to become an aesthetic nurse.
In this guide, you will learn more about aesthetic nursing careers and job outlooks. You will also learn the education and credentials required to get a job in the field of aesthetic medicine.
Are you ready to learn more about aesthetic nurse jobs in 2023? Then keep reading this complete guide for everything you need to know.
Aesthetic Nurse Job Description
Aesthetic medicine got its start in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, the field has evolved. Aesthetic treatments are far less expensive and more widely available than they were in the past.
This transformation is due, in part, to technology. But there has also been an increased number of healthcare providers skilled at administering aesthetic treatments. One such provider is the aesthetic nurse.
What is an Aesthetic Nurse?
Aesthetic nurses are trained and certified to administer aesthetic treatments and services. The majority of these services are non-invasive, meaning they do not require surgical intervention.
The most popular types of services aesthetic nurses administer are Botox injections, filler injections, laser skin resurfacing, and chemical peels. Laser hair removal and tattoo removal are also common aesthetic services.
Aesthetic nurses work in med spas, dermatology offices, and aesthetic medicine clinics. A typical day on the job might include the following duties:
- Talking to patients about their aesthetic goals and concerns
- Screening patients for treatment eligibility
- Prepping patients before treatments
- Administering non-invasive treatments
- Caring for patients after treatments
- Studying the latest research and guidelines in the aesthetic medicine field
If you hold an NP as an aesthetic nurse, you may have added responsibilities. For example, many NPs work independently, running med spas and clinics.
Aesthetic Nurse Salary Expectations
According to Zip Recruiter, the national average salary for an aesthetic nurse is $88,341 per year. That equates to about $42 per hour.
Of course, this is only an average, meaning some aesthetic nurses get paid more, and some get paid less. The bottom 3% of nurse anesthetists earn around $50,000 per year, while the top 10% earn $121,000 per year or more.
In terms of geography, some states tend to pay aesthetic nurses more than others. For example, Tennessee is the top-paying state in this field. Aesthetic nurses in Tennessee earn $46.11 per hour or $95,901 per year.
Aesthetic Nurse Job Outlook
The job outlook for aesthetic nurses is pretty rosy. From 2021 to 2031, the BLS estimates that demand for skincare specialists, including aesthetic nurses, will grow by 17%. That is much faster than the national average job growth for all industries.
In 2021, there were around 80,500 jobs available to skincare professionals like aesthetic nurses. That should increase by at least 13,400 jobs over the next ten years.
How to Become an Aesthetic Nurse
Working in the field of aesthetic medicine requires specialization. You will have to obtain a degree, licensure, clinical experience, and certification.
If you want to practice independently, you will have to receive additional education, get an NP certification, and apply for a state license.
Below, we will go into the details of the qualifications, education requirements, and experience you need to land aesthetic nurse jobs.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an Aesthetic Nurse?
As we mentioned earlier, aesthetic nurses must at least hold a registered nursing license. To practice independently or obtain a higher pay rate, you need to hold a nurse practitioner’s certification and license.
To get your RN license, you will have to take the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs (NCLEX-RN). You can then apply for your RN license once you pass this exam.
States grant RN licenses, and each state has its own specific requirements to apply. Check your state nursing board’s RN licensing requirements to find out how to apply for your RN license.
You need at least two years of experience as an RN before you can specialize in aesthetic nursing. You can receive this experience in general medicine or as an assistant to another aesthetic nurse or doctor.
In most states, aesthetic nurses do not need specific certifications. However, getting a certification can help you stand out when applying for jobs. Groups like the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board (PSNCB) are a great place to start.
We will discuss how to advance your career in aesthetic medicine with an NP certification and license below. But first, let’s talk about the education requirements to get started as a beginning aesthetic nurse.
To become an RN, you must first graduate from high school and complete an undergraduate degree. A Bachelor’s degree in nursing is ideal, though you will still be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN with an Associate’s degree in nursing.
A Bachelor’s degree in nursing will teach you all the prerequisite information needed to take the NCLEX-RN exam. This includes but is not limited to the following subjects:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Patient care
- Healthcare policy
What if you graduated with a degree, but it is not in nursing? Unfortunately, you will still have to go through a nursing degree program. However, depending on your degree, you may qualify for an accelerated nursing program.
If you choose to go the route of getting an Associate’s degree in nursing, keep in mind that your education could limit your career progression.
You must have a Bachelor’s degree to apply for a nursing Master’s program. And you must obtain a Master’s degree in nursing before you can pursue the Nurse Practitioner license.
The Top 3 Aesthetic Nursing Programs
Currently, there are no aesthetic nursing schools in the US. But you can earn aesthetic registered nurse certifications to improve your career prospects and stand out in nurse interviews.
The following three programs offer certification courses for nurses interested in the field of aesthetic medicine:
- The Dallas Center for Advanced Medical Aesthetics
- The Esthetic Skin Institute in Florida
- The Medical Aesthetic Training of California
The Dallas Center for Advanced Medical Aesthetic is located in Dallas, Texas. Nurses and doctors attend this program to learn more about procedures like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, lasering, and more.
The Esthetic Skin Institute is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You can learn many of the same skills as other aesthetic nursing programs, including how to administer botox, fillers, sclerotherapy, mesotherapy, and more.
The Medical Aesthetic Training of California is a workshop located in Newport Beach, California. It offers education on topics like tattoo removal, skin resurfacing, hair removal, and more.
Career Progression as an Aesthetic Nurse
The next step in your career as an aesthetic nurse is to get your NP license. Nurse Practitioners must receive a Master’s degree or higher in nursing. Then, you have to take and pass a certification exam.
NPs can then apply for a state license. The state license is known as the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license.
Many aesthetic NPs ultimately decide to open their own clinics and med spas. If your plan is to become your own boss, this career path is definitely something to consider.
Ideal Personality Traits
Aesthetic nurses need many of the same traits as regular nurses. You must be able to stand for hours at a time, use new technology, and have a positive bedside manner. You should be compassionate and patient toward others.
As an aesthetic nurse, you also need skills like attention to detail. You will be injecting treatments into the face, and one wrong move could leave someone with an unsightly scar.
Interpersonal speaking skills are also useful to aesthetic nurses. You will interact with patients all day, answering questions and offering encouragement. A background in public speaking is always helpful here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Aesthetic Nursing
Before we go, we want to answer some of the more common questions we receive about the aesthetic nursing field. Here are answers to our top five most frequently asked questions about aesthetic nursing.
Is Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Hard?
If you do not like school or taking tests, becoming an aesthetic nurse can be difficult. You must receive a Bachelor’s degree, at minimum, and complete a licensing exam to start practicing. But if these requirements sound okay to you, you may not find the process very difficult at all.
Still, you may wonder: is being an aesthetic nurse hard? Aesthetic nurses work long hours and must perform a lot of emotional labor when dealing with patients. But the pay is great, you will work with caring people like yourself, and you will get to see patients’ smiles when your work is through.
Are Aesthetic Nurses in Demand?
The aesthetic nursing field is growing faster than the national average, indicating that this nursing specialty is in high demand.
Additionally, the field of aesthetic medicine, in general, is growing. The market for aesthetic medicine was worth $105 billion in 2021. Experts project that the market will grow to over $245 billion by the year 2030.
In terms of workplaces, physician offices employ the highest number of nurses, followed by hospitals, outpatient care centers, and universities.
States like California, Florida, Texas, Washington, and Arizona see the highest demand for skincare professionals like aesthetic nurses. California is home to the highest number of these professionals in the country, with nearly 7,000 people employed.
Can You Give Botox Without Being a Nurse?
No. To administer Botox injections, you have to at least hold an RN license or some other nursing license. Otherwise, the only people approved to administer Botox are doctors, physician assistants, and dentists.
Where Do Aesthetic Nurses Get Paid the Most?
The highest-paying state for aesthetic nurses is Tennessee, but California is home to the highest-paying cities for aesthetic nursing. These cities include Sunnyvale ($110,747 per year), Santa Rosa ($107,140 per year), and Vacaville ($101,590).
Cities in Nebraska, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Washington also top the list of highly paid aesthetic nurses. Atkinson, Nebraska is home to the highest-paid aesthetic nurses in the country, with annual salaries of around $116,000.
In terms of states, Minnesota and Massachusetts come in second and third for annual salaries. The average aesthetic nurse earns $93,403 per year in Minnesota and $93,370 in Massachusetts.
Also topping the list are the states of Hawaii, Connecticut, Nevada, and Rhode Island. On average, aesthetic nurses in these states earn between $90,000 and $93,000 per year.
States to avoid when searching for high-paying aesthetic nursing jobs are Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, and New Mexico. These states pay an annual wage between $60,000 and $70,000.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Aesthetic Nurse?
It can take anywhere from four to seven years to become an aesthetic nurse. This includes the 2–4 years it will take to get a degree in nursing, plus the 2–3 years of experience you need.
If you have a Bachelor’s degree already, this timeline goes down to only three to four years. Accelerated nursing degrees typically take 12 to 18 months to complete.
The Resume Rx Can Help You Get a Nursing Job
If you are wondering how to become an aesthetic nurse, we hope this guide has answered your questions. Aesthetic nurses earn good money and help patients improve their quality of life. This is a great field for you if you enjoy making people happy.
Are you trying to land a job as an aesthetic nurse in 2023? The Resume Rx offers free interview training, resume resources, and more for aspiring nurses. Check out our resume and cover letter guide to get started!