The past two years have been more chaotic than usual for nurses, with many considering leaving the profession. However, there are health care options for professionals seeking less stress, better hours and possibly better pay.
One of those options is an aesthetic nurse practitioner.
Aesthetic nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in cosmetic medical procedures.
Whether working with a doctor or in your own practice, you’ll still engage with patients to consult about their concerns, to provide information and options, to conduct procedures and to provide recovery care.
According to nurse.org, the clinical procedures aesthetic nurse practitioners can perform or oversee include:
- injections of dermal fillers or Botox to improve the appearance of crows’ feet and wrinkles, to make lips look fuller and to counter the effects of aging
- sclerotherapy procedures to eliminate varicose veins through the injection of a solution into the veins
- laser skin treatments such as microdermabrasion, photo facial and tattoo removal.
Because aesthetic procedures, including surgical procedures, are almost entirely scheduled during regular working hours on an outpatient basis, this career works well for someone who needs a stable schedule.
Another benefit of being an aesthetic NP is the salary. According to salary.com, the the average aesthetic nurse practitioner salary in Atlanta is $92,978 as of Nov. 29, but the salary range is usually between $86,276 and $101,005. Salaries can vary widely, depending on education, certifications, additional skills and the number of years you’ve spent in your profession.
So, how does one become an aesthetic NP? Nurse.org lays out the five steps to entering this career path.
- Earn your registered nurse degree: Becoming an aesthetic/cosmetic nurse begins with a registered nurse degree, which can be gained through either a two-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
- Pass the NCLEX-RN: Once a nurse has earned their RN degree from an accredited nursing program, they will need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed in their state.
- Advance your education: In order to become an aesthetic nurse practitioner, you’ll need to earn either a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice from an accredited program.
- Gain experience: After graduation, most nurse practitioners spend time training with dermatologists or plastic surgeons to perfect their skills.
- Get certified: Certifications are not required, but they do demonstrate a dedication to the field. These certifications are available through the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board. There are also courses available from the American Aesthetic Association, the American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery and the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth in this field is expected to be 29% from 2020 to 2030.
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