Are you thinking about becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner? Lucky for you, the job comes with a handful of benefits, including a lucrative aesthetic nurse salary, a less stressful work environment, and a consistent, foreseeable work schedule. Moreover, depending on the state that you’re licensed in, you could even start a medical aesthetics practice of your own!
Sure, all nurses want to improve their patients’ health and quality of life. However, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners do this in a very specific way: they make positive changes to their patients’ appearance.
In the process, they improve their patients’ general well-being by making them feel a lot better about themselves, and how they look in the eyes of others.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the salary an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner can expect, how to become one, and if this might be the right nursing speciality for you!
Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Salary in 2022
When you’re thinking about pursuing any kind of career and applying for any type of job, salary is always a critical factor.
No matter how much you love doing something, it’s still important to know you’ll be properly valued as you do it.
What Is The Average Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Salary?
The average Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner salary in the U.S. is around $131,543 per year. Salaries typically range between $57k and $89k. Keep in mind that salary depends on a variety of different factors, including:
- Additional skills
- Years of experience
Average Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Salary By State
When it comes to Aesthetic NPs specifically, the state and city you work in have a huge impact on your starting salary.
Also, it will be different depending on whether you’re working for a private practice or a larger organization.
The following map and table will give you an idea of how much Aesthetic NPs earn in each state.
Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track data for each NP speciality, we referred to the ZipRecruiter data obtained in September 2023.
|State||Average Annual Salary|
Where Do Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners Get Paid The Most?
For Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners in the U.S., compensation can vary greatly depending on the state of employment. Based on recent data, here are the states where these professionals tend to earn the highest salaries:
- Massachusetts: Standing at the top, Massachusetts offers Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners an annual salary of $89,662. Broken down, this equates to a monthly pay of $7,471, a weekly pay of $1,724, and an hourly wage of $43.11.
- Washington: Coming in second, Washington has an annual salary of $82,839 for this role. This translates to a monthly pay of $6,903, a weekly pay of $1,593, and an hourly wage of $39.83.
- New York: The Empire State secures the third position, compensating Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners with an annual salary of $80,311. On a finer scale, this amounts to $6,692 monthly, $1,544 weekly, and $38.61 hourly.
- Illinois: In fourth place, Illinois offers an annual salary of $78,624. This breaks down to a monthly income of $6,552, weekly earnings of $1,512, and an hourly rate of $37.80.
- California: Rounding out the top five, California provides Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners with an annual salary of $76,694. In terms of smaller pay intervals, this equals $6,391 monthly, $1,474 weekly, and $36.87 hourly.
It’s worth noting that while these figures represent averages, actual salaries within these states can fluctuate based on factors like individual experience, city or region of work, employer size, and additional certifications.
Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook
If you want to become an aesthetic NP, the good news is you can look forward to a pretty bright job outlook in the coming years and decades.
The medical technology for aesthetic procedures is making huge strides each year, and more and more people are ready to improve their looks and mental well-being through cosmetic treatments.
Minimally and non-invasive procedures and treatments are able to do more and more for patients, which is why they’re increasingly using these treatments to improve their personal lifestyles and fulfill their needs.
Plus, the U.S. population is becoming older as people live longer on average. This increases the number of people who want to use aesthetic treatments to maintain their youthful looks.
What Is An Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner?
Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners are APRNs (advanced practice registered nurses) whose specialty is cosmetic medical procedures designed to improve the appearance of their patients.
Depending on their location and specific place of employment, Aesthetic NPs either work independently or collaborate with physicians. Regardless, their job entails:
- Consulting with patients about any questions or concerns they might have
- Giving patients detailed information about the various options they have when it comes to elective procedures
- Performing or assisting on procedures
There are plenty of advantages to becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner.
You have a much better chance of establishing close relationships with your patients than many other NPs. Also, you won’t have to deal with emergency schedule changes or being on call.
What Do Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners Do?
Aesthetic NPs provide care to patients that are certain they want to make some cosmetic changes to the way they look.
Since Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners can work independently or collaborate with physicians, their location and job setting directly impact what their day-to-day work looks like.
However, in general, they are visited by patients with various cosmetic issues. Then, Aesthetic NPs do all that they can to treat the specific problem areas.
There are various ways in which the aesthetic NPs do this. This can include anything from medications and similar treatments to actual cosmetic procedures.
The usual duties of an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner include:
- Performing removal of tattoos through laser surgery
- Administering botox
- Giving patients chemical peels to deal with various skin problems
Furthermore, they may assist with more complex surgical procedures and provide care to patients immediately after.
Regardless of the setting and the specifics of the aesthetic NPs work, their job entails direct communication with patients on their wishes.
What Skills Do I Need To Be A Successful Aesthetic NP?
There are many different skills needed for success as an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner.
However, it’s important to know that medical expertise and knowledge aren’t the only important skills in this line of work.
When you’re working as an aesthetic nurse practitioner, you have an extremely direct relationship with your patients.
That’s why effective communication is key in making sure that the patients’ needs are met and that you’ve delivered the best possible healthcare.
Bear in mind that most of the services provided by Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners are elective. This means that communication is crucial to ensure that all patients get the services and treatments they actually want.
You need to have the “people skills” necessary to ensure that all patients have realistic expectations in terms of their results and the services they’re going to receive.
Teamwork is impossible without effective communication. However, that doesn’t make it any less important in this aspect of healthcare.
It includes effective collaboration and communication with:
- Other NPs
- Clinical staff
- Pretty much anyone else involved in patient care
Again, this matters in any kind of healthcare, but it’s particularly important when it comes to aesthetic medicine.
All the healthcare providers involved need to be on the same page so that the treatment provides patients with the most optimal results.
As an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, you’ll need a desire to constantly grow as a clinical professional.
If you want to be competitive and appreciated by your patients, you need to be on top of the latest:
- Treatment plans
- Practice trends
A constant desire to keep learning is important. That’s why it’s a good idea to attend conferences, various continuing education courses for aesthetic medicine, and other activities that help you learn.
Naturally, you will also need plenty of different clinical skills to be a successful Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner.
Many of them aren’t typically taught in Nurse Practitioner schools and educational programs. This is why you’ll need to complete separate certification courses for them.
Some of these skills are:
- Dermal Fillers
- Chemical Peels
- Cosmetic Laser Treatment
Where Do Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners Work?
Generally, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners tend to work in clinical settings. This includes places like a medical spa or a private practice.
They rarely provide inpatient care. Still, there are certain procedures that require an outpatient surgery department. This is when these NPs work in local hospitals.
After all, some more complex procedures require additional personnel and equipment.
Also, states that give NPs complete practice authority also allow aesthetic NPs to open up their own practices.
This brings an even wider range of opportunities to Aesthetic NPs aiming to establish themselves as individual healthcare providers.
If you want more info on this, we suggest contacting your state board of nursing.
Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Schedules
So, considering all of the above — what does an actual day in the life of an aesthetic nurse practitioner look like? What kind of schedules do they generally have?
Well, as we’ve said, these types of NPs tend to work in medical spas or private practice settings, though they’re sometimes employed by larger organizations.
However, considering their work is generally performed in an outpatient setting, they’ve usually got regular hours: Monday through Friday, with predominantly daytime work, like 8 AM to 5 PM.
While this may vary depending on the specific practice, they’re almost never on-call.
Aesthetic Nurse vs Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner: What’s The Difference?
Registered Aesthetic Nurses are capable of assisting with or performing various cosmetic and aesthetic procedures. Generally, these procedures are:
- Simple laser treatment
- Botox treatments
However, as with most things, this depends on where they specifically work.
These nurses also have to complete various certification courses and go to different conferences, all in a bid to demonstrate their skills and competencies.
Aesthetic RNs often assist Aesthetic NPs when it comes to more complex or advanced procedures, and they also assist physicians throughout surgeries.
On the other hand, an aesthetic NP works within a far wider scope of practice.
As all other nurse practitioners do in contrast to regular registered nurses, these NPs have deeper education and understanding of their specialty.
They also have to pass a specific board certification exam. This means that, while they’ve got a broader scope of work and better pay, they also bear more responsibility than an average aesthetic RN.
These nurse practitioners can diagnose, assess, and treat patients. This often includes prescribing medications and performing different procedures.
In turn, this gives them more opportunities to learn about various treatment plans and procedures first-hand compared to ordinary aesthetic RNs.
Pros Being An Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
There are plenty of awesome benefits to becoming an aesthetic NP!
Consistent Working Hours
First and foremost, you’ve got some of the best hours you can hope for in healthcare. You’re almost always working ordinary business hours.
You get your holidays and weekends off. Better yet, you’re usually not on-call.
Close Relationships With Patients
You develop much closer relations with patients because communication is essential to fulfilling their aesthetic and cosmetic needs.
Depending on what kind of person you are, this can be considered either a pro or a con. Typically, introverts find it harder to connect with so many patients on a personal level, day in and day out.
However, if you’ve got what it takes to speak with patients directly and discuss their intimate thoughts and feelings about their looks, and you’re able to combine that with excellent medical skills, you’ll probably leave them satisfied and happy.
Lots Of Opportunities To Learn
You’ve got a huge breadth of opportunities when it comes to:
- Expanding your knowledge set
- Earning new certifications
- Acquiring new, useful skills
All of this can lead to more opportunities in the ever-expanding field of aesthetic medicine.
Cons Of Being An Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
Now, of course, every coin has a flip side, and so do the benefits of becoming an Aesthetic NP.
When it comes to the job itself, there aren’t any real downsides. However, there are some considerations to make before you decide to embark on the journey of becoming an Aesthetic NP.
Primarily Work In Clinic Settings
First of all, know that you’ll primarily work in clinic settings.
This could be a pro or a con, depending on what kind of medical work you like doing.
Work Is Judged Subjectively
Also, you need to be prepared to be judged by patients far more than most other healthcare professionals.
Remember, most of the procedures and treatments your patients undergo are elective, and they change the patients’ physical appearance.
This means that the results of your work aren’t as easy to judge objectively. Most other healthcare professionals don’t debate the results of their work, because objective medical data speaks for itself.
However, patients are quick to judge the results of aesthetic treatments and procedures, and they’re often critical.
So, you’re going to need a lot of patience and effective communication if you’re going to do this for a living.
How Long Does It Take To Become An Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner?
Generally, you’ll need at least six years of nursing education to reach the level of APRN, assuming it takes you four years to earn your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and two years to earn your Master’s of Science in Nursing.
Additionally, you’ll need another two years of practical experience before you’re eligible to go for your aesthetic nurse practitioner certification. However, it’s worth noting that certification isn’t strictly required, though it will make you one of the more competitive candidates in the job market.
Some institutions will hire you without this specific certification, but they’ll still ask you to complete some other certified courses in the first couple of years of your employment.
How To Become An Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
Before you can become an Aesthetic NP, you have to get your BSN, which usually takes four years.
Once you’ve earned your BSN, you can apply to graduate school right away or work for a couple of years to gain some hands-on experience.
When you’re in graduate school, you’ll have two or three years of further studying, which varies depending on whether you’re attending a part-time or a full-time program. Once you graduate with the MSN, you’ll have a few more years if you want to keep studying for a Doctorate of Nursing Practice.
However, once you’re a licensed APRN, we recommend you get certification as an aesthetic nurse specialist. To get this certification, you’ll have to work two years within a core specialty and then pass the exam.
If all of this seems a bit confusing, don’t worry! We outline the step-by-step process of becoming an Aesthetic NP below.
1. Complete Your BSN
Before you can apply for any graduate program, you have to complete your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree first. There are a few ways to do this.
First, there’s the traditional BSN program. Alternatively, you can earn your Associate Degree in Nursing, and then enroll in an RN-to-BSN bridge program program. Many of the best online RN to BSN programs allow you to continue working while you study.
Finally, even Licensed Practical Nurses can earn their BSN by enrolling in an LPN to RN program.
Whichever pathway you choose, you’ll be a BSN nurse by the end.
2. Pass The NCLEX-RN Exam
Before you can actually work as a nurse, you have to take your NCLEX-RN examination after completing your BSN.
3. Apply For A License
When you’ve passed the NCLEX-RN, you can apply for an RN state license in your state.
After that, you’ll be ready to practice as an RN in any facility. If you live in a Compact Nursing State, you may also be able to upgrade to an eNLC license, which allows you to practice as an RN in other compact states.
4. Obtain RN Experience
While you may choose to continue with your education after this, we still recommend gaining some actual work experience as an RN first.
That way, you’ll gain the practical skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to succeed as a nurse in any environment.
Also, you’ll have a strong foundation to work toward becoming an NP.
This practical experience will help you make a more informed decision on which specialty to pursue in NP school. That may still be aesthetic medicine, but something else might also grab your attention in the meantime.
Knowing all of your options is extremely important.
If you can, we recommend getting both RN experience in aesthetic care and some inpatient RN experience.
Both of these will be important later on when you apply for aesthetic NP jobs, and the aesthetic RN experience will help set you apart even more.
5. Attend NP School
When you’ve got enough experience to decide which specialty you’re going to pursue, your next course of action is to find the best possible Nurse Practitioner school.
Make sure to examine all of their different requirements before applying. You should apply in places where you’ve got the best chances of actually getting in. It’s also worth noting that many schools offer flexible online MSN programs which allow you to work while you earn your NP credentials.
6. Take Board Certification Exam (Optional)
Once you’ve graduated from your NP school, you may opt to pursue specialty certification. Keep in mind that this certification is not a prerequisite to work in aesthetics, nor is it exclusive to Nurse Practitioners (Registered Nurse can also become certified if they meet eligibility requirements).
To be eligible to sit for the board certification exam, you’ll first need to work in a core speciality for a minimum of two years.
Once you pass the exam, you’ll officially be a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist, a certification designed by the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board.
7. Get Your APRN State License
The last step you need to take before you can start applying to Aesthetic NP jobs is to obtain your APRN state licensure. The specific requirements for APRN licensure vary from state to state, but you should be prepared for licensure at the completion of your MSN program.
Just bear in mind that you’ll need an active and renewed RN license before you can obtain your APRN license. Once you do, you’ll have to keep both of those licenses active if you want to practice as an NP.
8. Apply For Work As An Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
Technically, you can start looking for work and applying to jobs even before you graduate.
However, while you can start working as Aesthetic NP without any prior experience, we still recommend getting some hands-on Nurse Practitioner or Aesthetic RN experience first.
Generally, experts recommend that you clock in at least two years (or 1000 hours) assisting a physician in a core specialty before you finish your certification exam.
9. Get Additional Certifications
There are additional certifications that are specific for Aesthetic NPs, and you’ll want to dedicate some time to achieve them as well.
Generally, though, there’s no certification that will improve your chances of landing your dream job as an Aesthetic NP more than working as an Aesthetic RN beforehand.
10. Complete your DNP
Finally, if you want to achieve the highest level of nursing education possible, you can also earn your Doctorate of Nursing Practice.
This can be done through either an MSN-to-DNP program or a longer BSN-DNP program.
The DNP opens up quite a few new opportunities either way. You’ll get access to better-paid positions, as well as the option of teaching at a graduate level.
Best Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Programs
There aren’t any specific fellowship, residency, or nurse practitioner programs for nurses that want to become Aesthetic NPs.
However, there are countless other educational opportunities that provide you with the skills necessary for becoming one, such as webinars and certified courses.
The IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine) is one of the organizations that provides plenty of learning opportunities and courses for Aesthetic NPs who want to further improve their knowledge and skills.
These programs prepare NPs for specific aesthetic procedures through a combination of certification courses and hands-on training in:
- Tattoo removal
- Laser hair removal
- Dermal filler
- Chemical peel
You can find plenty of other certification programs created by professional associations similar to IAPAM.
Think long and hard and decide what kind of treatments and services you want to provide to your patients as an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner.
Once you make your choices, find the most appropriate courses that will prepare you for the rest of your career and help you master the necessary skills.
Continuing Education For Aesthetic NPs
Just like any other nurse practitioner, Aesthetic NPs have continuing education requirements.
Most of these depend on the state in which you’re renewing your license. They’re usually similar to those of other specialties.
In most states, you need to finish a minimal number of continuing education hours every few years to be eligible for renewing your license.
As an NP, you need to renew your APRN license as well. This requires a certain number of pharmacology CE hours. Some of those will be dedicated to the best practices for administering opioids, for example.
It’s extremely important to always maintain an active NP and RN license while practicing. If you need to learn more details about what that process looks like in your state, contact your state nursing board.
Also, as a certified aesthetic NP, you will probably need to keep that specific certification active through continuing education as well. This is separate from the RN and NP licenses.
The exact procedure depends on the certifications you hold, and they’ll all have their own requirements. You may need to:
- Retake some certification exams
- Attend conferences
- Participate in webinars
Remember, once you receive all of the necessary certifications to work as an Aesthetic NP, your job is only halfway done. Now you need to familiarize yourself with the relicensing and renewal requirements, and stay on top of them at all times.
Is Becoming An Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Right For You?
If you like working closely with patients and having a regular work schedule, becoming an Aesthetic NP may be a great fit for you.
The only downside to this kind of work is that it requires extensive, almost decade-long education, followed by a lifetime of learning and self-improvement.
However, if you’re ready to commit to that, you get a ton of awesome benefits. To get the process started, search for education programs now!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What factors influence the salary of an aesthetic nurse?
Numerous factors play a role in determining aesthetic nurse salaries, including geography, years of experience, work setting, and education.
How does the salary of an aesthetic nurse compare to other nursing professions?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average aesthetic nurse practitioner salary in the U.S. is approximately $131,543 per year. On the other hand, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the median income for all registered nurses stands at around $77,600 annually, which translates to about $37.31 per hour.
Do aesthetic nurses in urban areas earn more than those in rural areas?
Yes, aesthetic nurses in urban areas tend to generally earn more than those in rural areas. There are several reasons for this discrepancy in earning potential:
- Demand and Market
- Cost of Living
- Access to Training and Resources
- Scope of Services
- Technological Advancements
Do aesthetic nurses receive other benefits besides their basic salary?
Aesthetic nurses, like many other healthcare professionals, receive various benefits besides their basic salary. Those include:
- Earning a great living
- Working in various settings
- Getting a discount on your own procedures and treatments
- Not working on weekends or holidays or nights
- Flexible hours in private practice
- Not having to be on-call
Is it hard to be an aesthetic nurse?
Working as an aesthetic nurse requires putting in long hours and a significant amount of emotional effort when tending to patients. However, the compensation is quite satisfying, and you will have the opportunity to work alongside compassionate individuals like yourself. Moreover, it is gratifying to witness the smiles on patients’ faces once you have completed your work.
Krystle Maynard is the creator of Innovative RN Solutions and has been a nurse for over a decade. She has specialized in medical-surgical and critical care nursing and has a long-standing history of being an adjunct faculty member for a college of nursing. Innovative RN Solutions focuses on healthcare content writing (such as blogs, E-books, emails, academic coursework, and educational content for healthcare personnel and patients). Krystle also owns VitaOasis Infusion & Wellness, a mobile IV hydration and infusion business. This is one of the many services offered in medspas all over the country, except she travels to the client. She lives in Kentucky with her husband and children. If you would like to connect, you can reach her on Linked In or visit her website at Innovative RN Solutions.