Become a Nurse Esthetician: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a nurse esthetician. Research the career requirements, licensure information, and experience required for starting a career in nurse esthetics. View article »

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  • 0:04 Should I Be a Nurse…
  • 0:50 Career Requirements
  • 1:45 Step 1: Complete Nurse…
  • 2:17 Step 2: Pass the…
  • 2:38 Step 3: Obtain Licensure
  • 3:01 Step 4:…

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Video Transcript

Should I Be a Nurse Esthetician?

Individuals who are employed as nurse estheticians, also called aesthetic nurses, are licensed nurses who perform advanced cosmetic skin care and appearance enhancement procedures, such as Botox treatments and cosmetic filler injections. They may also assist doctors in advising patients about procedures and taking steps to prevent complications.

Nurse estheticians typically work in medical offices that provide clinical appearance enhancement services. Sometimes they are employed in hospitals, working on the skin or appearance of patients who have suffered some sort of trauma or who have been through surgery. In those cases, nurse estheticians may often work with the terminally ill. In most respects, these professionals may spend many hours standing to perform their duties.

Career Requirements

In order to work as a nurse esthetician, an individual will have to earn an LPN or LVN certificate or RNs will need at least a diploma, but associate and bachelor's degrees are also common in this field of nursing. State nursing licensure is essential and lifesaving certification may be required. Certification is available for some specific procedures, but it is not always needed. The experience employers look for in this career varies and entry-level jobs exist, but some employers prefer three or more years of experience in a related role. Some key skills that will be beneficial to those working as an esthetic nurse are strong listening and interpersonal skills, empathy, and sound judgment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for registered nurses was $67,490 per year as of May 2015.

Step 1: Complete Nurse Training

The first step to working in this field is to acquire general training in nursing through an LPN/LVN or RN program. LPNs/LVNs usually need to complete a yearlong certificate program that includes both classroom study and hands-on practical training. Aspiring RNs may choose from diploma, associate's, or bachelor's degree programs. Diploma and associate's degree programs usually take two or three years, while Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree programs typically take four years to finish.

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Step 2: Pass the Licensure Exam

To become a licensed nurse, it's necessary to pass a national licensure exam after completing nursing school. LPNs/LVNs must take the NCLEX-PN, and RNs need to pass the NCLEX-RN. In order to register and take the test, state nursing board authorization is typically required.

Step 3: Obtain Licensure

State health or nursing boards are usually responsible for regulating the licensing of nurses. After completing accredited training programs and passing the national licensure exam, aspiring nurses may apply for state licensure. Additional requirements vary by state, and may include a background check. States do not offer licenses specifically for nurse estheticians.

Step 4: Esthetics-Specific Training

Generally, only medical professionals, such as nurses and doctors, may perform complex and invasive skin care and appearance enhancement procedures. Medical professionals who want to perform these treatments usually need to obtain continuing education in the form of procedure-specific training. This training is generally available from product manufacturers and medical esthetics institutes. Training programs may offer certification in certain procedures, but most states do not require treatment-specific certification or licensing. Increased opportunities in the esthetics field are available for nurses who obtain specialized training in esthetic treatments.

For those considering a career in esthetic nursing, it is critical to have a plan that allows one to earn a nursing degree, pass a national licensure exam, and then receive a nursing license. Once an individual has a nursing license, they can look for a position as a nurse esthetician and gain procedure-specific training from an institute or even from product manufacturers that will allow them to work in a medical setting that performs skin and appearance procedures.

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