Beauty standards as a social construct have been around for centuries. Many individuals undergo cosmetic surgeries to conform to such standards, enhance their physical appearance, and boost their self-confidence. Others choose to have cosmetic procedures to correct physical deformities they were born with or ones caused by accident or injury. Cosmetic interventions are personal decisions that require careful consideration and consultation with qualified medical professionals, including registered nurses.
Cosmetic nurses undergo specialized training and certification to help patients reach their aesthetic goals. Learn more about this profession, its requirements, the average cosmetic nurse’s salary, job prospects, and more.
Table of contents
- What Does a Cosmetic Nurse Do?
- How To Become a Cosmetic Nurse
- Cosmetic Nurse Average Salary
- Job Prospects for Cosmetic Nurses
What Does a Cosmetic Nurse Do?
Cosmetic nurses, often referred to as aesthetic nurses, are registered nurses who specialize in aesthetic and dermatologic procedures such as injectables, chemical peels, and laser treatments. They help patients achieve their desired appearance by directly providing non-surgical cosmetic treatments or assisting in surgical procedures. These nurses are the ones who ensure patients receive proper preoperative and postoperative care. Furthermore, cosmetic nurses help educate the patients on their cosmetic procedures, the best treatments, and alternative options, such as lifestyle modifications and diet changes.
Cosmetic nurses can be self-employed or work as part of the following work settings:
- Medical spas
- Dermatology clinics
- Cosmetic surgery centers
- Educational institutions (as instructors in cosmetic nursing)
How To Become a Cosmetic Nurse
The career path of cosmetic nursing is an excellent choice for those passionate about helping people enhance their beauty. However, like any other career, it requires preparation and dedication. To become a cosmetic nurse, you must fulfill some requirements, ranging from education to experience.
It is essential to become a registered nurse if you want to qualify for entry-level positions as a cosmetic nurse. Therefore, the first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited institution. Later, you can further your education by pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree to advance your knowledge and stay on top of the competition.
The second part of obtaining your registered nurse title is to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN exam). The program evaluates your competencies in the field of nursing through a series of questions. According to Quarterly Examination Statistics, in 2022, the rate of students that passed the examination and obtained their license was 63.39%.
Next, to become a cosmetic nurse, you must gain experience in the nursing department. Most cosmetic nursing positions require a minimum of two years working as an RN, as well as some time working in areas of the cosmetics department.
To become a cosmetic nurse, you must also undergo specialized training and certification. This way, you learn how to provide non-surgical and surgical cosmetic treatments. Various certification programs are available through different organizations, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses, and the Plastic Surgery Nursing Certification Board.
Cosmetic Nurse Average Salary
As of March 2023, the average salary of a cosmetic nurse in the United States is estimated to be $85,265 a year, which is $40.99 an hour or $7,105 per month. However, salaries can vary depending on several factors, including years of experience, location, and employer. Some cosmetic nurses in the U.S. can earn salaries as high as $210,500, whereas others make only $23,500. More specifically, most cosmetic nurse salaries currently range between $56,500 for the 25th percentile and $100,000 for the 75th percentile.
Salary by years of experience
When working in cosmetic nursing, like most other professions, you can expect an increase in salary as you gain more experience. According to gathered data, you can expect to earn:
- $73,433 per year for 1-3 years of experience
- $78,385 per year for 4-6 years of experience
- $84,179 per year for 7-9 years of experience
- $91,363 per year for 10-14 years of experience
- $96,760 per year for 15 or more years of experience
10 best-paying states for cosmetic nurses
The top ten best-paying states for cosmetic nurses have salaries way above the national average. Tennessee tops the list with an average annual salary of almost $100,000, whereas Washington closes the list with almost $10,000 less but still stays above the national average.
These states are the best choices if you ever consider moving to advance in your career. They all provide opportunities for economic growth and professional development. The complete list of the top ten best-paying states includes:
10 lowest-paying states for cosmetic nurses
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the top 10 lowest-paying states for cosmetic nurses in the United States. Georgia is the lowest-paying state, followed by Florida and North Carolina. The complete list with all 10 states is as follows:
Job Prospects for Cosmetic Nurses
Thanks to the growing demand for cosmetic procedures, the future of aesthetic nurses seems to be bright. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for registered nurses, which encompasses aesthetic nurses, is excellent. Their data shows that the job growth for RNs is projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, with an estimated 195,400 new job openings.
As the demand for cosmetic procedures increases, so does the labor market for aesthetic nurses. To become such a nurse, you must obtain a degree in nursing, pass the NCLEX-RN exam, gain clinical nursing experience, and obtain specialized training in cosmetic nursing and certification.
Cosmetic nursing is a lucrative career with high salaries that vary by years of experience and location. The profession provides room for professional development, job satisfaction, and the ability to help people feel beautiful in their own skin.
Start your journey in aesthetic nursing and assist people in improving their body image and self-esteem. You will have the power to eliminate people’s physical insecurities and build up the confidence of all your patients!
Nurse Luke is a CRNA who specializes in Nursing content and still enjoys a very busy career with Locum, Per Diem and Travel nursing in the greater midwest. He has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare field and received his CRNA masters degree from the Mayo Clinic School of Healthcare. He is passionate about helping nurses explore the options of becoming a travel nurse as well as spending time with his Family.