How to Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse

How to Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse

How to Become an Aesthetic Cosmetic Nurse: A Comprehensive Guide

Becoming an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse can open up a world of opportunities for you as a healthcare professional. It involves providing specialized care to patients who are seeking treatments to improve the appearance of their skin, hair, nails, and body. To become an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse, you need to have the right qualifications and knowledge to provide high-quality patient care.

This comprehensive guide will explain all the steps involved in becoming an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse so that you can make an informed decision and be well on your way to a rewarding and successful career.

The Role of an Aesthetic Cosmetic Nurse

Aesthetic cosmetic nurses play a vital role in helping people look and feel their best. As an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse, you will provide patients with personalized care that is tailored to their individual needs.

You may specialize in providing treatments such as dermal fillers, laser hair removal, and chemical peels. You’ll need to have a comprehensive understanding of the anatomy of the skin and its structures to effectively perform treatments and get the desired results.

It’s essential that you also have a good understanding of medical terminology and pharmaceuticals so that you can accurately diagnose any skin condition. In addition, aesthetic/cosmetic nurses provide advice on nutrition, lifestyle choices, and skin care products to ensure that each patient is receiving the best treatment possible.

Qualifications Needed To Become an Aesthetics Nurse

There are certain qualifications you need to become an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse. Firstly, you must be a registered nurse with a valid license and have at least two years of nursing experience.

It is also recommended that you possess a two-year associate’s degree in nursing before pursuing an aesthetic/cosmetic nursing career. You will also need to be competent in basic nursing principles and techniques, and have a good understanding of medical terminology.

In addition, most states require aesthetic/cosmetic nurses to pass the NCLEX-RN exam before they can be licensed.

Non-Surgical Procedures

Non-surgical procedures are at the heart of aesthetic cosmetic nursing. These treatments offer patients a less invasive alternative to traditional surgical procedures, often with minimal downtime and discomfort. Aesthetic nurses are highly skilled in administering a variety of non-surgical aesthetic and cosmetic services, including injectables like dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections, which are commonly provided in medical spas or dermatology clinics.

Laser treatments and chemical peels are popular non-surgical procedures performed by aesthetic nurses. These treatments use advanced laser technology and chemical solutions to address a range of cosmetic concerns, such as reducing wrinkles, removing acne scarring, and evening out skin discoloration.

By offering a diverse array of non-surgical solutions, aesthetic nurses provide patients with a wide range of options to enhance their appearance and boost their self-confidence.

Patient Consultation and Education

A key aspect of an aesthetic nurse’s role is providing personalized consultations and education to their patients. During these consultations, aesthetic nurses evaluate the patient’s skin, discuss their aesthetic goals, and recommend appropriate treatments to achieve the desired results.

By carefully considering each patient’s unique needs and preferences, aesthetic nurses can help tailor a treatment plan that best suits their requirements. Educating patients on the risks and benefits of various procedures is also a vital part of an aesthetic nurse’s job. By ensuring that patients are well-informed about the potential outcomes and side effects of each treatment, aesthetic nurses help their clients make educated decisions about their cosmetic journey. This commitment to patient education is one of the many reasons why the demand for aesthetic services continues to grow.

Path to Becoming an Aesthetic Cosmetic Nurse

So, how can you become an aesthetic cosmetic nurse? The journey begins with obtaining a nursing degree, either through an associate or bachelor’s program. Once you’ve completed your nursing education, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. With your nursing license in hand, you’ll then need to gain experience in the field, preferably working alongside a board-certified physician in a relevant specialty, such as plastic surgery or dermatology.

It’s important to note that specialized training is essential for aspiring aesthetic nurses. The field of aesthetic cosmetic nursing requires a unique skill set and expertise, as mistakes during aesthetic procedures can have lasting impacts on a patient’s appearance.

By pursuing specialized training and certifications, such as the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS), you’ll be well-positioned to excel in this exciting and rewarding field.

Obtain a Nursing Degree

To become an aesthetic nurse, you’ll first need to obtain a nursing degree. There are several options available, including an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Some aspiring aesthetic nurses may even choose to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. Regardless of the path you choose, your nursing program will provide a solid foundation in patient care, clinical study, psychology, anatomy, and physiology, among other topics.

Whichever nursing degree program you choose, it’s essential to select an accredited nursing program that meets your state’s licensure requirements. Upon completion of your nursing education, you’ll be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) – a crucial step in becoming a registered nurse and ultimately an aesthetic cosmetic nurse.

Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam

Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is a critical milestone on your journey to becoming an aesthetic cosmetic nurse. This standardized test, created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, measures your nursing knowledge and skills to determine if you’re prepared to become a licensed registered nurse in the United States and Canada.

To ensure success on the NCLEX-RN, it’s essential to study and prepare thoroughly.

Here are some tips to help you achieve a passing score:

  • Take practice tests to familiarize yourself with the exam structure and identify areas where you may need improvement.
  • Get plenty of rest and nutrition leading up to the exam day to ensure you are in the best physical condition.
  • Maintain a calm and focused mindset while taking the test, and manage your time effectively.
  • Review and understand the content areas that will be covered on the exam.
  • Seek additional resources or study materials if needed.
  • Consider joining a study group or seeking support from classmates or instructors.

Gain Experience In The Field

Once you’ve obtained your nursing license, you’ll be ready to gain experience in the field. Working under the direct supervision of a board-certified physician is essential for aspiring aesthetic nurses, as it provides valuable hands-on experience with cosmetic treatments and procedures.

Additionally, working with experienced physicians can also help you develop a greater understanding of patient safety protocols.

The specific type of experience you pursue will depend on your individual goals and long-term career objectives. For instance, if you plan to become a cosmetic nurse injector, you may choose to specialize in certain areas, such as Botox and dermal fillers.

Alternatively, if your goal is to become an aesthetic laser nurse specialist, you’ll need to gain experience with the equipment and products used in laser treatments.

Certification and Continuing Education

Certification and continuing education are essential components of a successful career in aesthetic cosmetic nursing. Obtaining specialized certifications, such as the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) credential, demonstrates your expertise in the field and can improve your job prospects.

Additionally, staying up-to-date with industry advancements and maintaining your licensure and certifications are crucial to ensuring that you can continue to provide safe and effective treatments to your patients.

As you progress in your career, you’ll likely find that pursuing further education and certifications can open up new opportunities for professional growth and advancement.

Whether you choose to specialize in a specific area of aesthetic cosmetic nursing, take on leadership roles, or engage in research and publication, continuing to learn and grow will help you stay at the top of your field.

A nursing degree from an accredited program is the first step in this process, followed by passing the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed registered nurse. After gaining experience in the field under the supervision of a board-certified physician, aspiring aesthetic nurses may then want to consider pursuing certifications or further education and training to enhance their career prospects.

Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS)

The Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) credential is a popular certification option for aesthetic nurses, offered by the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board (PSNCB). This certification focuses on aesthetics and demonstrates your expertise in the field, helping you stand out in the competitive job market.

To obtain the CANS certification, you’ll need to meet specific eligibility criteria, which may vary depending on your state. Generally, this includes a valid nursing license, at least two years of experience, and completion of an approved aesthetic nursing program.

Once you’ve achieved your CANS certification, be sure to renew it every three years and complete the required continuing education hours to keep your certification current.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Continuing education opportunities for aesthetic cosmetic nurses can include:

  • Training in BOTOX, skin treatments, and dermal filler injection
  • Laser hair reduction
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Other medical aesthetic procedures

These opportunities are essential for nurses looking to stay current with industry advancements and maintain their licensure and certifications.

Numerous organizations and providers are offering continuing education courses and certifications, such as:

  • National Laser Institute
  • Global Education Group
  • AMS
  • AAF
  • Aesthetic Medical Training

Additionally, online courses and membership programs can provide access to a wealth of aesthetic continuing education resources.

By investing in continuing education, you’ll ensure that you remain at the forefront of your field, providing the best possible care to your patients.

Specializations in Aesthetic Cosmetic Nursing

Within the field of aesthetic cosmetic nursing, there are several specializations that you may choose to pursue. By focusing on a specific area, such as injectable treatments, laser treatments, or body contouring and non-surgical skin tightening, you can develop a niche expertise that sets you apart from other aesthetic nurses in the industry.

Let’s explore these specializations in more detail.

Injectable Treatments

Injectable treatments are a popular specialty within aesthetic cosmetic nursing, often considered a less invasive alternative to facial plastic surgery. These treatments involve administering substances such as Botox and dermal fillers injections, and aesthetic nurse injectors,  to improve facial appearance by reducing wrinkles, plumping lips, and enhancing facial contours.

Aesthetic nurses who specialize in injectable treatments must have a thorough understanding of facial anatomy and injection techniques to ensure safe and effective treatment outcomes.

To develop expertise in injectable treatments, aesthetic nurses can pursue specialized training and certification programs, such as those offered by organizations like the American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE) or Aesthetic Medical Training.

Laser Treatments

Another popular specialty within aesthetic cosmetic nursing is laser treatments. These treatments use advanced laser technology to address a variety of cosmetic concerns, including:

  • wrinkle reduction
  • skin treatments
  • laser hair removal
  • tattoo removal

Laser treatments expand the range of services an aesthetic nurse can provide.

To excel in this specialization, aesthetic nurses must possess a deep understanding of the different types of laser systems, appropriate laser settings, and proper removal techniques. They must also be aware of the potential risks associated with laser treatments and ensure that patients are well informed of these risks.

Body Contouring and Non-Surgical Skin Tightening

Body contouring and non-surgical skin tightening are additional specializations within the field of aesthetic cosmetic nursing. These non-invasive procedures aim to enhance the body’s appearance by targeting stubborn fat deposits, tightening sagging skin, and improving skin texture. Popular body contouring and non-surgical skin tightening treatments include CoolSculpting, Ultherapy, and Kybella.

To succeed in this specialization, aesthetic nurses must:

  • Be well-versed in the various treatment options and techniques available
  • Be able to evaluate each patient’s unique needs
  • Recommend the most suitable treatment plan to deliver the desired results.

Apart from that, aesthetic nurses can perform a variety of non-surgical procedures, such as injectable treatments, laser treatments, and body contouring.

These procedures can help patients achieve their desired aesthetic goals, such as reducing wrinkles, improving skin tone, and contouring the body.

Aesthetic nurses must be knowledgeable in the latest techniques and technologies, as well as the latest techniques and technologies.

By offering body contouring and non-surgical skin tightening services, aesthetic nurses can help their patients achieve a more youthful and sculpted appearance.

Workplace Settings and Salary Expectations

Aesthetic cosmetic nurses can find employment in a variety of settings, from private offices and medical spas to cosmetic dermatology practices. The workplace setting can greatly influence the scope of services provided by aesthetic nurses, as well as their salary expectations.

On average, aesthetic cosmetic nurses can expect to earn around $90,000 per year, with the potential for bonuses and other incentives. Several factors can affect an aesthetic nurse’s salary, including:

  • Level of education
  • Experience
  • Location
  • Certifications

By pursuing specialized training and certifications, such as the CANS credential, aesthetic nurses can increase their earning potential and secure more advanced job opportunities in the field.

Employment Settings

Aesthetic cosmetic nurses can work in a variety of outpatient settings, including:

  • Private practices
  • Dermatology offices
  • Medical spas
  • Plastic surgery centers

Each setting offers a different range of treatments and services, as well as unique opportunities for professional growth and specialization.

When considering which employment setting is the best fit for you, it’s important to think about your personal interests and career goals. Do you prefer working in a more clinical environment, such as a dermatology office, or are you drawn to the luxurious atmosphere of a medical spa?


By carefully evaluating the different employment settings available, you can find the perfect workplace to match your passion for aesthetic cosmetic nursing.

Salary Expectations

Aesthetic nurse salaries are competitive, with the potential for bonuses and other incentives. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all registered nurses in 2019 was $73,300 per year.

For aesthetic nurses, this figure can vary depending on factors such as level of education, experience, certifications, and location. Aesthetic nurses with advanced credentials work in highly specialized roles and typically earn more than the average RN salary.

As mentioned earlier, the average salary for an aesthetic cosmetic nurse is around $73,000 per year. However, this figure can vary depending on factors such as:

  • Your level of education
  • Experience
  • Certifications
  • The specific employment setting in which you work

For instance, an aesthetic nurse with advanced certifications and extensive experience may command a higher salary than a newly-licensed nurse entering the field.

It’s important to recognize that pursuing additional certifications and continuing education opportunities can not only increase your earning potential but also enhance your overall job satisfaction. By staying current with industry advancements and refining your skills, you’ll be better equipped to provide top-quality care to your patients and enjoy a rewarding career in aesthetic cosmetic nursing.

Professional Growth and Opportunities

Aesthetic cosmetic nursing offers numerous opportunities for professional growth and advancement. As you gain experience and expertise in the field, you may choose to pursue further education and certifications, take on leadership roles, or even open your practice. The possibilities are vast, and the choice is yours.

Some aesthetic cosmetic nurses may choose to become nurse practitioners, which allows for greater autonomy in their practice and the ability to prescribe medications and perform more advanced procedures. Others may decide to open their aesthetic cosmetic practice, providing them with the opportunity to be their boss and create a personalized work environment.

By continually seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can ensure a fulfilling and dynamic career in aesthetic cosmetic nursing.

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

If you’re interested in expanding your scope of practice and autonomy within the field of aesthetic cosmetic nursing, becoming a nurse practitioner may be an ideal career path for you. To become an aesthetic nurse practitioner, you’ll typically need to complete a master’s degree in nursing and pass the national certification exam.

As a nurse practitioner, you’ll have the authority to prescribe medications and perform more advanced procedures, further enhancing your ability to provide top-quality care to your patients. Additionally, nurse practitioners often enjoy higher salaries and greater job security, making this an attractive option for those looking to advance their careers in aesthetic cosmetic nursing.

Opening Your Practice

Another exciting opportunity for aesthetic cosmetic nurses is opening their practice. This path allows you to create a personalized work environment, choose the treatments and services you offer, and be your boss. To open your aesthetic cosmetic practice, you’ll need to obtain the necessary licenses, complete specialized training, and secure the required business permits.

Opening your practice also involves careful planning and consideration of factors such as your target client base, pricing strategies, and competition within your market.

By conducting thorough research and developing a strong business plan, you can successfully launch your aesthetic cosmetic practice and enjoy the rewards of being an entrepreneur in this thriving industry.

An Ordinary Day In The Life Of An Aesthetic Nurse

An ordinary day in the life of an aesthetic nurse is both exciting and rewarding. As an aesthetic nurse, you’ll be responsible for providing expert care to patients while helping them look and feel their best.

In the morning, you’ll usually start your day by checking in with patients, reviewing medical histories, discussing treatment plans, and providing pre-treatment instructions. After that, you’ll move on to appointments, performing a variety of treatments such as dermal fillers, Botox injections, laser treatments, and facial rejuvenation.

As the day progresses, you’ll interact with patients to provide post-treatment care instructions and answer any questions they may have. At the end of the day, you’ll wrap up by checking in with your supervisor and preparing for the next day.


Becoming an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse is a fulfilling and rewarding career path. It requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to providing top-quality care to patients.

With the right qualifications, certifications, and experience, you can enjoy a dynamic and satisfying career in this exciting field. Whether you choose to become an aesthetic nurse practitioner or open your practice, the possibilities are endless. By continually seeking out new opportunities and challenges within the aesthetic/cosmetic nursing field, you can ensure a career that provides you with satisfaction and success.

Nursing Articles