What does an aesthetic nurse do?
An aesthetic nurse is a registered nurse who specialises in performing aesthetic treatments. They can also assist plastic surgeons and dermatologists provide cosmetic procedures. These healthcare procedures can be invasive or non-invasive and are commonly designed to improve the appearance of the patient. It is also usual for aesthetic nurses to complete the V300 course, which will enable them to work with injectables. Aesthetic nurses with this specialisation usually work for private practices, such as private hospitals or clinics.
In addition to being able to work in an environment dedicated to improving patient quality of life, aesthetic nurses can also build long-term relationships with patients who are returning for maintenance procedures or for additional treatments. Aesthetic nurses can see the improvements their treatments provide and observe the boost of confidence patients can get from achieving their individual aesthetic goals.
Quote: “Aesthetic nursing is quite a unique position. I love that I get to work in an environment that inspires positivity and artistry. It is an ever-changing field that will continue to fuel my passion for learning. I absolutely love making my patients feel beautiful and doing whatever I can to help them boost their confidence and achieve their goals.” – Ashley Lankford(1)
Skills needed to become an aesthetic nurse
Like all nurses, aesthetic nurse practitioners assist patients in maintaining their overall health and well-being by helping patients feel their best. To become a successful aesthetic nurse, it is important to acquire the essential skills to succeed in this role. Examples of these skills include:
- Communication skills: You will need to be able to answer the patients questions and communicate every detail of the procedure and recovery to make the patients feel more comfortable.
- Attention to detail: You will need to have a good attention to detail to ensure the safety of the patient. Complications can be detrimental to the patient and to your reputation.
- Empathy: It is common for patients to be apprehensive about the procedure so you will need to have compassion towards the patient. A calm, caring and compassionate demeanour is paramount to help the patient feel at ease about their approaching procedure.
- Interpersonal skills: You will need great interpersonal skills to deal with the daily tasks of this role, such as active listening, effective communication and having a positive attitude.
Qualifications required to become an aesthetic nurse
To become an aesthetic nurse, you must acquire a nursing degree first. Employers in the public and private sector typically require that candidates for aesthetic nurses have an official nursing degree. This can be obtained at universities across the country. A nursing qualification will equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to care for patients in a healthcare setting.
Steps to become an aesthetic nurse
Complete a nursing degree
If you are interested in pursuing a career in aesthetic nursing, you must complete a degree in nursing first. Prospective nursing students can attend many universities across the UK to undertake the university degree. Nursing courses(2) are commonly completed across three years and involve both theoretical and practical learning, such as theoretical learning in lectures, practical training, and placements in hospitals where you will work directly with patients. Universities will offer students the option to specialise in adult nursing, childrens nursing, mental health nursing and learning disability nursing.
Prospective aesthetic nurses should choose to specialise in adult nursing as it is closely related to aesthetic nursing. It will give you the skills and knowledge to deal with adult patients.
Get NMC registration
All nurses in the UK must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)(3). On completion of your nursing degree, your university will confirm your qualification with the NMC, which you will then have to complete the registration process online by paying a registration fee of £120. This registration fee must be renewed on an annual basis.
Get nursing experience
On completion of your registration with the NMC, the next step is to get general experience in the profession. Obtaining general nursing experience before specialising in aesthetic nursing is essential as it will give you more confidence and experience in performing different procedures and working with patients. It also enables you to learn from other experienced nurses and improve your overall nursing skills.
Transition into aesthetic nursing
After 2-3 years of general nursing, you should consider transitioning into an aesthetic nurse. A great place to start is to research entry level aesthetic nursing positions. Employers looking for candidates for similar roles typically offer in-office training that prepares you to perform different procedures such as wrinkle treatments.
Alternatively, you can choose to work independently as a self-employed aesthetic nurse. To achieve this, you must get the required training that allows you to work independently, including training in toxin and filler procedures. You will also need to complete the V300 non-medical prescribing course. Toxins such as Botox are prescription-only medicines, and so to work on your own you will need to be a qualified prescriber.
Salary of an aesthetic nurse
The average salary for a qualified full-time aesthetic nurse practitioner(4) is between £25,000 and £35,000, depending on location and level of experience. If you are an aesthetic nurse with prescribing power you could potentially earn up to £50,000 per annum working for an established clinic.
What are the different types of aesthetic specialisations for a nurse?
Working in an aesthetic profession offers fantastic career growth opportunities. You can choose to specialise as a prescriber, a cosmetic surgery nurse, an electrologist or in a non-clinical role such as management, sales or business operations.
Where can I look for aesthetic nursing job opportunities?
Aesthetic nursing job vacancies will be advertised online via recruitment agencies, on LinkedIn or through individual clinics. Another great way to find job opportunities is through your professional network including your aesthetic training provider. Training providers typically offer support, guidance and ongoing mentoring regarding employment.