An aesthetic nurse assists dermatologists and provides nursing care to patients with skin ailments or who have obtained elective surgery. Obtaining specialized training is required, in addition to meeting all additional requirements necessary to work as a registered nurse.
Registered Nurse Education
An associate’s or bachelor's degree in nursing is first necessary to attain the credential of a registered nurse (RN). These degrees take two or four years to complete, respectively. Both programs combine general education courses with courses in nursing theory and nursing practice. Finding a school that offers additional training in dermatology is useful but not necessary as part of the undergraduate program. A bachelor's degree is more beneficial in the long term because it will eliminate the need for later additional coursework.
Specialized Education and Training
Aesthetic nursing requires specialized training and education which usually comes in the form of a post-baccalaureate certificate program. The areas of focus these programs cover include studies in biology specifically geared toward understanding the physiological and biochemical aspects of the epidermis. Students also learn about different types of skin conditions and how they are treated. Students need to understand the impact of cosmetics on the skin, how various skin care products treat the skin's surface and how diet and nutrition affect skin complexion and wellness. Graduates from these certificate programs are typically ready to enter the field of dermatological nursing.
Aside from the education required to work as an aesthetic nurse, aspiring workers in this field also need a state license. This is a matter of submitting an application to the state board of nursing. These nursing boards then review the application and education credentials to ensure the applicant's eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN, the licensing examination used in all 50 states.
Aesthetic nurses also have the opportunity to obtain board certification as dermatological nurses. Although board certification is a voluntary process, it can provide nurses in this field with the opportunity for advancement or significant leverage when transitioning jobs. Certification is obtained through the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board. Applicants must be registered nurses with at least two years of plastic surgical nursing experience in their previous five years of work. They must also complete a certification exam to obtain board certification.
2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.