The Résumé Rx

Nurse Esthetician: Definition, Job Outlook, and Salary

Amanda Guarniere

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Are you interested in skincare and beauty? Do you enjoy helping others in feeling and looking their best? If so, think about becoming a nurse esthetician. 

In this article, we’ll go over their responsibilities and duties and how to become one. So, if you’re interested in this exciting and rewarding profession, keep reading to learn more about what nurse estheticians do and whether this is a career for you.


  • Aspiring esthetic nurses can apply their skills in various healthcare settings.
  • One of your primary responsibilities as a nurse esthetician is offering your clients different cosmetic treatments.
  • Getting hands-on experience is critical for becoming a successful nurse esthetician.

Table of Contents

What is a Nurse Esthetician? 

A trained nurse esthetician works in medical or clinical settings to provide a variety of non-surgical cosmetic treatments. They are also known as esthetic, aesthetic, and cosmetic nurses. They can perform advanced cosmetic procedures such as dermabrasion, tattoo removal, and dermal filler injections as registered nurses. They work in dermatology clinics, medical spas, and plastic surgery practices. A nurse esthetician’s primary goal is to assist their patients in achieving their ideal appearance.

What Does a Nurse Esthetician Do?

Nurse estheticians are ready to help patients in feeling and look their best! They provide various services, such as assisting plastic surgeons and medical doctors with various procedures. Furthermore, they can provide patients or spa clients with personalized treatments. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Nurse estheticians may be required to perform a variety of tasks as part of their job, including:

  • Giving injections such as Botox, collagen, and other fillers
  • Skin treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, photo facials, and light therapy are available.
  • Providing laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation treatments
  • Examining and assessing patients’ skin-related health issues
  • Pre- and post-operative care for patients
  • Assisting surgeons or physicians with cosmetic procedures
  • Preparing treatment rooms and sterilizing medical equipment
  • Patient screening prior to medical procedures
  • Scheduling appointments and answering questions about upcoming cosmetic procedures

And the best part? Nurse estheticians constantly learn and research new cosmetic procedures and skin treatments to provide the most up-to-date care possible.


Do you want to work as an aesthetic nurse? It’s a rewarding career that requires a combination of technical and interpersonal abilities. Specific technical skills, for example, can be highly beneficial.

  • Thorough knowledge of clinical skincare
  • Cosmetic and non-invasive skin procedures expertise
  • knowledge of dermatological tools and equipment
  • Health and safety protocols training
  • Advanced physiology and biology knowledge

But wait, there’s more! You must also have excellent interpersonal skills. Patients who come in for cosmetic procedures may be nervous or vulnerable, so being able to put them at ease is essential. Some of the interpersonal skills include:

  • Excellent communication skills, whether with patients, colleagues, or medical staff.
  • The ability to think critically and come up with individualized skincare solutions for patients
  • The ability to listen to instructions and assist doctors and surgeons during procedures.
  • Active listening skills are required to ensure that patients feel heard and understood.
  • Empathy and compassion are essential when providing services or helping patients with post-surgical care.
  • Paying close attention to detail and commitment to safety when administering skin treatments.

By honing these abilities, you will be able to provide the best possible care for your patients and assist them in achieving their desired appearance.

Where Do Nurse Estheticians Work?

If you want to become an esthetic nurse, you’ll be glad to know that you can use your skills in various healthcare settings. These settings aren’t typically focused on urgent or emergencies but rather on non-surgical procedures aimed at improving a patient’s appearance. As a nurse esthetician, you may work in settings such as:  

  • Medical spa
  • hospital, burn center
  • dermatology clinic
  • rehabilitation facility
  • outpatient surgery center
  • outpatient medical clinic
  • Cosmetic surgery center
  • salon
  • Fitness center

Types of Skin Care Treatments Provided by Nurse Estheticians

One of your primary responsibilities as a nurse esthetician is to provide a wide range of cosmetic treatments to your clients. The following are some of the most common treatments offered by nurse aestheticians:

  • Photofacials
  • Botox and fillers
  • Microneedling
  • Non-surgical body contouring
  • Treatments for acne
  • Chemical peels
  • Dermabrasion
  • Tattoo removal
  • Skin laser treatments
  • Liposuction

How to Become a Certified Nurse Esthetician

Consider taking the following steps to become an esthetic nurse:

Get a Nursing Degree

To become a nurse esthetician, you must complete a nursing education and obtain an LPN, LVN or RN license, each with different time commitments and job prospects. LPN and LVN programs are one year long, while RN requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. These programs provide both theoretical and practical instruction. Employers prefer RN-licensed candidates, so obtaining one may improve your chances of landing a job.

Pass The Nurse Licensing Exam

After finishing your nursing education, the next exciting step is to take the national licensing exam in the state where you want to be licensed. To begin working as an LPN after completing an LPN or LVN program, you must take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. In addition, if you have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing, you must take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. These exams are designed to ensure that you have the qualifications to practice as a nurse, which is essential to becoming a nurse esthetician.

Apply For Licensure

After passing, the next step is to apply for your nursing license, and the good news is that you don’t need any other licenses to become a nurse esthetician. However, it is essential to note that each state may have different application requirements, so check with your state for specific guidelines. A criminal background check is a common requirement, but don’t worry. It’s just a standard procedure.

Seek Employment

It is now time to gain practical experience as a cosmetic nurse assistant. Working under the supervision of a licensed physician, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon will allow you to learn and practice the roles and responsibilities of a nurse esthetician.

Most aspiring aesthetic nurses require at least two years of work experience or 1000 hours of practical training in a core competency such as dermatology, facial plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, or ophthalmology. This experience will not only help you improve your skills, but it will also improve your chances of landing your dream job as a nurse esthetician.

Earn Certification

You may consider getting certified if you want to work as a nurse esthetician. Although it is not required, having specialized training in esthetics can give you a competitive advantage in the job market. For example, if you want to work with plastic surgeon patients, you could pursue the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) certification. By obtaining certification, you will gain valuable expertise that will help you stand out to potential employers and increase your chances of finding a fulfilling career in this field.

Nurse Esthetician Salary

While we do not have specific salary information for nurse estheticians, the national average for registered nurses is $81,655 per year. However, remember that the salary of a nurse esthetician can vary depending on several factors, including the services they provide, their level of education, experience, and the employer for whom they work. For example, an esthetic nurse working in a health spa may be paid differently than a nurse esthetician working in a plastic surgery center.

Consider obtaining a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) certification to increase your salary as a nurse esthetician. With this certification, you can provide a broader range of services and earn a higher starting salary.

Job Outlook for a Nurse Esthetician

Good news for anyone considering a career as a nurse esthetician: job opportunities in this field are increasing! According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for skincare specialists, including general estheticians, will increase by 29% by 2030. Furthermore, the employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 6% by 2030.

This is excellent news for those with experience in esthetics and nursing, as there is a current shortage of registered nurses and a stable projected outlook for the field. As the demand for cosmetic treatments grows, nurse estheticians can play an essential role in providing patients seeking these services with safe and effective care.

FAQs About Nurse Esthetician

How long does it take to become a nurse esthetician?

Depending on education and degree level, becoming a professional nurse esthetician typically takes 4 to 7 years. Passing the NCLEX exam is also important, with up to eight attempts per year and a three-year time limit after graduating from nursing school.

How is a nurse esthetician different from a regular esthetician?

An aesthetic nurse is a registered nurse with specialized training in esthetics, allowing them to provide advanced cosmetic treatments that require medical knowledge. In contrast, a regular esthetician typically provides more basic skincare services.


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