How to Get an Aesthetic Nurse Certification

Details of Aesthetic Nurse Certification

Aesthetic nurses, also called cosmetic nurses, perform non-surgical and therapeutic procedures to improve a patient’s outer appearance.

This helps to boost the patient’s confidence and lets them live a better life. Aesthetic nurses assist plastic surgeons during cosmetic procedures, such as acne treatments, anti-aging injectables and fillers, laser removal, and Dermabrasion.

They work in a similar position to a plastic surgery nurse. However, aesthetic nurses are usually involved in non-invasive, in-house cosmetic treatments instead of conventional cosmetic surgeries.

Acquiring Aesthetic Nurse Certification

Usually, patients who wish to undergo cosmetic surgeries suffer from depression, body image distortion and anxiety.

As a certified aesthetic nurse, you will be responsible for caring for them before, during and after a cosmetic procedure. This requires you to have a calm, composed and caring attitude.

Educational Requirements to be an Aesthetic Nurse

Aesthetic Nurse Certification

Aesthetic Nurse Certification – Requirements to be an Aesthetic Nurse

Suppose you want to become an aesthetic nurse. In that case, you should first acquire a Registered Nurse (RN) qualification through a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing) from an accredited university.

However, you should know that employers prefer candidates with a BSN degree, so choose accordingly.

Once you have acquired the BSN or ADN program, you need to take the NCLEX-RN exam to earn your state license.

Some candidates also choose to get additional qualifications, such as Nurse Practitioner (NP), which requires getting a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or higher qualification.

NPS usually have more authority and autonomy, which differs from state to state.

Certification for aesthetic nurses is offered by the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board (PSNCB), providing the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) credential. While not mandatory for all positions, this certification is highly regarded and may be preferred by employers.

Before you choose to acquire this credential, you should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Have an active, unrestricted RN license
  • Have acquired a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience in core competency specialty in the recent 2 years
  • Have at least 2 years of nursing experience in one of four designated core competencies under the guidance of a board-certified physician (in ophthalmology, dermatology, plastic/aesthetic surgery, or facial plastic surgery).
  • Must have an endorsement for application from a supervising core physician

Employment opportunities for Certified Aesthetic Nurses

Certified Aesthetic Nurses usually do not work in conventional healthcare settings. The procedures and treatments provided by them are not considered to be acute.

They usually work in outpatient medical clinics, private offices, medical spas and sometimes in outpatient surgery centers. Despite this, aesthetic nurses need to be prepared for occasional emergencies or resolve reactions to cosmetic treatments.

As a certified aesthetic nurse, you will be able to provide and assist in several types of cosmetic treatments and procedures, including:

Injections – Such as collagen, fillers, Botox, sclerotherapy, etc.

Skin treatments – Like tattoo removal, photo facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, light therapy, etc.

Laser treatments – Including skin rejuvenation treatment and hair removal

As a certified aesthetic nurse, your duties and responsibilities will include the following:

  • Checking vital signs of patients
  • Receiving and evaluating a patient’s medical history
  • Educating patients about cosmetic procedures and treatment, including results and after-care
  • Maintaining a sterile and safe environment
  • Monitoring patients during cosmetic treatments
  • Preparing equipment and procedure area for cosmetic treatment
  • Evaluating healing progress
  • Identifying any adverse reaction to the treatment
  • Managing emergencies where patients become clinically unstable

Salary and Employment Scope for Certified Aesthetic Nurse

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 9% growth rate from 2020 to 2030 for registered nurses in general, not specifically for cosmetic or aesthetic nurses. The demand for aesthetic services may influence the need for aesthetic nurses, but specific growth rates for this niche are not provided by the BLS. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salary information for registered nurses overall, with the median annual wage for registered nurses being $75,330 as of May 2020. Specific salary information for aesthetic nurses is not detailed by the BLS and may vary based on location, experience, and workplace.

The exact salary will depend on various factors, such as the state you choose to practice in, your position in the healthcare organization, previous experience in the field, etc.


The demand for certified aesthetic nurses is increasing in the US and around the world, thanks to the growing popularity of cosmetic outpatient treatments.

The industry has shown significant growth and has incredible potential for employment in the near future.

See Also

Oncology Nursing Certification

Arizona Board of Nursing

Can Nurses Have Tattoos

What is a DNP?

How to Get Transplant Nurse Certification

How to Deal With Rude Patients as a Nurse

Grants for Medical Professionals

Current Version
September 16, 2023
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.
March 21, 2024
Updated By
Tim Bevelacqua, MN, RN

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