How to Become an Aesthetic Nurse

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Written by Ayana Dunn, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
An aesthetic nurse prepares for a patient.

An aesthetic nurse, also known as a cosmetic nurse, specializes in procedures requested by patients who wish to change their physical appearance. They often assist plastic surgeons, cosmetic dermatologists, aesthetic nurse practitioners, and other specialists in aesthetic medicine.

Are you curious about this specialty? Let’s explore what these nurses do, where they work, important skills to hone, and other aspects of aesthetic nursing.

What Do Aesthetic Nurses Do?

How do these nurses spend their time? Below are some examples of routine tasks:

  • Actively listening to the patient’s concerns
  • Assessing skin and other parts of the patient’s body prior to any treatment
  • Administering injections, peels, and laser treatments
  • Educating patients on procedures and aftercare
  • Providing pre- and post-operative care
  • Sterilizing medical equipment
  • Scheduling and screening patients

Where Do Aesthetic Nurses Work?

These nurses have a variety of settings to choose from. To get a better idea of where you might work, check out the latest aesthetic nurse jobs to see who’s hiring. Here are some examples of aesthetic medicine work environments:

  • Medical spas
  • Plastic surgery centers
  • Dermatologist offices
  • Outpatient medical clinics

Aesthetic Nurse Specialties

The flexibility doesn’t end with workplace environments — there are plenty of specialties for you to choose from. Check out these niches:

Chemical Peel Nurse

These nurses apply chemical peels to their patients’ faces. The objective of these treatments is for the patients’ faces to appear more youthful upon peel removal.

Tattoo Removal Nurse

These nurses specialize in tattoo removal with the use of lasers. They may also aid the patient in reducing scars post-treatment.

Injectables Nurse

These nurses specialize in treatments involving injectables. For example, neuromodulators (like Botox or Dysport) and dermal fillers are used to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

Laser Facial Nurse

These nurses specialize in laser treatments. They reduce scarring, skin discoloration, and other growths the patient wants removed.

Laser Hair Removal Nurse

These nurses also use lasers. In this case, they specialize in hair removal by using the laser to vaporize unwanted hair over a short series of treatments. The number of necessary treatments is unique to the patient’s body.

Non-Surgical Body Treatment Nurse

These nurses use non-surgical methods to change the patients’ appearance. They help reduce cellulite, sagging skin, and extra fat.

Steps to Become an Aesthetic Nurse

How far you have to go before working in this field is unique to where you are in your career, and how you attain your nursing career goals. Below, we describe the steps to work in this specialty.

1. Attend Nursing School

Nursing school is where you learn the foundational knowledge you need to work as a nurse. You learn about a broad range of subjects, which enables you to choose a specialty down the line. It also prepares you for the NCLEX exam.

2. Pass the NCLEX

The NCLEX exam tests you on the knowledge you acquired in nursing school. Whether or not you pass the exam reflects your ability to work as an entry-level nurse.

3. Gain Hands-On Experience

Aesthetic medicine is unique, but like any nursing specialty, you must gain a firm grasp of foundational skills before delving into this work. Administering injections and active listening are a couple of examples of skills you must hone before working in this field.

4. Consider Certification

Obtaining a certification for aesthetic nursing enriches your practice and shows future employers you are serious about your career. Your deepened knowledge can boost your confidence in your capabilities, as well as your value in the eyes of prospective employers.

Aesthetic Nurse Certification

Would you be interested in advancing your aesthetic nursing career? Here are some certifications that can be helpful:

Aesthetic Nurse Skills

Every nursing specialty requires unique traits. Here are some skills that are useful for this specialty.


The desire to change one’s appearance is often rooted in a variety of complex emotions. Insecurity, low self-worth, and fear of aging are only a handful of the factors that drive patients to pursue cosmetic treatments. Patients must reveal a number of vulnerabilities to seek your services, so treating them with compassion is key in this field.

Active Listening

Active listening is a pivotal aspect of practicing compassion. On top of that, it’s your job to learn exactly what the patient wants to change about themselves, and why. Some procedures require patients to repeatedly seek your services, so you will develop a rapport with many of them. Active listening helps you stay on top of your game, and makes your patients feel comfortable with you.

Detail Orientation

Many cosmetic procedures focus on wrinkles, fine lines, and other minute changes in appearance. These details may seem small, but they’re a big deal to your patients. Plus, you must consider that many of your patients will be seeking facial changes. Mistakes made on their faces resulting from not paying attention to detail could be detrimental to their self-esteem.


Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and that can be especially nerve wracking during surgical procedures. You and your coworkers must think quickly when something unexpected happens — your patient’s well-being depends on it.

How Much Do Aesthetic Nurses Make?

The average aesthetic nurse salary salary is $64,762, and usually falls between $58,096 to $74,033 per year. Your salary may vary based on your location, years of experience, and the facility in which you work.

Is Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Right for You?

Now that you know the basics, you can make an informed decision on whether or not to pursue this specialty. Create the lifestyle you crave by finding nursing job opportunities on IntelyCare today!