How to Become a Dermatology Nurse? – Overview
A dermatology nurse specializes in treating and caring for various skin diseases and disorders. They work in a wide variety of settings, such as dermatology clinics, multispecialty hospitals and with plastic surgeons too.
Dermatology nurses are responsible for providing medical care to patients suffering from various skin conditions.
As a dermatology nurse, you may have to care for those with burn wounds, skin cancer, acne, psoriasis and other such skin problems.
These nurses are usually required to specialize in cosmetic dermatology. They often have to perform several basic skin treatments, such as chemical peels or laser Dermabrasion, etc.
How Do I Become a Dermatology Nurse?
You will need to complete an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, or you can acquire a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. After this, you will have to pass the mandatory NCLEX-RN licensing exam.
If you are an RN and want to become a dermatology nurse, then you should choose to work in a dermatology department for a minimum of 2 years.
Next, you will need to appear for the Dermatology Nursing Certification Examination (DNCE). The Dermatology Nurses’ Association organizes this.
Typically, these are the certifications and qualifications required to become a dermatology nurse in the US:
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) equivalent educational qualification with an active RN license along with a Dermatology Nurse Certification
- Previous nursing experience in dermatology/aesthetic/cosmetic specialty department or clinic
- Noticeable interpersonal communication skills to work with patients regularly
- Passion for attention to detail while performing skin examinations and keeping complete detailed records of patient’s test results and medical history
To become a dermatology nurse, you will require an active RN license after having acquired a BSN or ADN-level degree. In general, advanced degrees are not mandatory to become a dermatology nurse.
However, if you wish to become a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner (DNP), then you will need to acquire a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.
Additionally, with an active RN license, you can obtain the Dermatology Nursing Certification from the Dermatology Nurses’ Association.
What are the Credentials and Certifications required for a Dermatology Nurse?
Being a registered nurse (RN) is mandatory if you want to be a dermatology nurse.
Some employers prefer candidates who also have the Dermatology Nursing Certification from the Dermatology Nurses’ Association. This gives you an added edge when appearing for a job vacancy.
To be eligible for this certification, you will need to have an active RN license, with a minimum of 2 years of experience, along with at least 2,000 hours of practice in a dermatology setting.
What is the Career Scope for a Dermatology Nurse?
Becoming a certified dermatology nurse opens up several different fruitful avenues. Some of the top areas for you to choose your career in include:
- Plastic surgeon’s office
- Dermatology practices
- Private skin care clinics
- Burn wards in hospitals
What does a Dermatology Nurse do?
A dermatology nurse is required to assist in diagnosing and treating various skin disorders and injuries. These may include treating psoriasis, acne, burns, scars, impetigo, warts, rosacea and other such conditions.
Dermatology nurses also help skin specialists perform skin examinations and assess patients’ conditions. They are also responsible for keeping a record of the patient’s medical history and evaluating the patient’s lab results.
Many times, dermatology nurses also provide pre and post-operative care after a patient undergoes treatment or surgery.
Ideal dermatology nurses are those who are excellent patient educators. They should be able to explain the condition, its treatment options, risk of complications and other aspects to the patient and their caregiver with ease.
A certified dermatology nurse can also handle cosmetic treatments, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments.
More specifically, a dermatology nurse has to:
- Assist dermatologists in performing skin tests, record patient’s medical history and interpret lab results
- Explain pre and post-operative methods of care to patients and caregivers after treatment or surgery
- Perform numerous cosmetic treatments, such as using a laser or doing chemical peels, etc.
- Evaluate, monitor and treat skin wounds, such as burns
- Educate patients on ways to protect skin and care for skin conditions at home
What is the Average Salary for a Dermatology Nurse?
As a dermatology nurse, you can expect an average annual salary of up to US$ 91,000. The exact salary depends on various factors, such as location, length of career and level of experience.
Dermatology is a truly immense field. It has various ranges of patient populations and can treat various skin conditions. This makes it an incredibly fruitful career choice for most.