Plastic Surgery Nurse Practitioner: Education Requirements & Career Info

Apr 04, 2021

Plastic surgery nurse practitioners work in a variety of healthcare settings assisting patients undergoing reconstructive surgery. They must have a master's degree and be licensed in their state. There are many certification programs, which can help with career advancement.

Essential Information

A plastic surgery nurse practitioner is a licensed registered nurse who has completed a master's degree program with advanced nursing training. He or she specializes in providing care to patients undergoing reconstructive procedures. Plastic surgery nurse practitioners provide a variety of nursing services within physicians' offices, clinics and hospitals. They also can earn professional certifications in the field, which usually require meeting education or experience standards.

Required Education Master of Science in Adult Acute Care or other relevant area of nursing
Licensing and Certification All states require nurses to be licensed; voluntary certification available
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 52% for all nurse practitioners
Median Salary (2020)* $111,680 for all nurse practitioners

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Education Requirements for Plastic Surgery Nurse Practitioners

A plastic surgery nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN). Becoming an RN requires completing an undergraduate nursing degree program and becoming licensed. State licensure varies, but all candidates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). During the nursing degree program, students complete hands-on clinical experiences, where they may have an opportunity to experience the surgical discipline.

Nurse practitioners go on to complete a graduate degree program. A common degree for nurse practitioners is a Master of Science in Adult Acute Care, although medical-surgical graduate programs exist within nursing schools as well. Just like aspiring RNs, graduate students must complete clinical rotations, which can include reconstructive and plastic surgery. Many graduate programs require at least one year of professional experience in the nursing field and proof of licensure for admission.

Certification Information

Several voluntary options for certification exist, including Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN), Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN) and Certified Nurse Practitioner (NP-C). Certification qualifications vary, but the CMSRN and CPSN exams require that individuals are registered nurses who have acquired a minimum number of years or hours of hands-on practice. The NP-C designation is geared towards professionals who have completed a graduate-level education.

Career Info for Plastic Surgery Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners are advanced RNs who've completed both a bachelor's and a master's degree program. Plastic surgery nurse practitioners provide peri- and post-operative care to reconstructive surgery patients. Although nurse practitioners work within a team of healthcare providers, they are able to work independently because of their advanced education and training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse practitioners are also able to prescribe medications ( Plastic surgery nurse practitioners work in hospitals, clinics and physicians' offices.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The BLS projected a 52% growth in employment from 2019-2029 for all types of nurse practitioners. As of May 2020, nurse practitioners earned a median annual salary of $111,680, according to the BLS.

Reconstructive surgery has consistently been on the rise, and plastic surgery nurse practitioners play an important role in caring for reconstructive surgery patients. Some plastic surgery nurse practitioners obtain a Master of Science in Adult Acute Care, and there are voluntary professional certifications as well. Projected job growth for all nurse practitioners is faster than the average for all occupations.

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