5 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner (2024)


March 1, 2023

5 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner (1)

5 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner (2)

By: Nurse.org Staff

5 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner (3)

5 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner (4)Medically reviewed by: Kathleen Gaines News and Education Editor, MSN, RN, BA, CBC

Considering a career as an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner? You’re not alone! The generous salary, regular hours and comparably less stress than many other nursing specialties make it a really popular choice. And, it has the added benefit of potentially allowing you to own your own medical aesthetics practice, depending on the state you work in.

While all nurses are dedicated to improving the quality of life and health of their patients, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners specifically focus on improving their patient’s appearance. In doing so, they provide a medical service that can make a significant difference in how patients feel about themselves and in the image that they project to the world.

A career as an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner has a lot to offer. This guide will help you figure out if it’s the right path for you!

Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who specialize in cosmetic medical procedures that improve their patients’ appearance.

Whether they are working collaboratively with physicians or independently in their own practice, they work directly with their patients:

  1. Consulting with them about their concerns and questions
  2. Providing information about the options available for elective procedures
  3. Performing those procedures

There are many quality-of-life advantages to a career as an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, including being able to work autonomously in your own practice, having the chance to establish one-on-one relationships with patients, and not having to face on-call or emergency schedules.

5 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner (5)

Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners examine and evaluate patients, counsel them on a variety of procedures, perform those procedures, and care for them as they recover.

Depending on where they work, they may also be responsible for many other day-to-day aspects, particularly if they are running their own practice.

If an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner works as a staff member for a dermatologist or plastic surgery practice, they will:

  1. Work collaboratively with physicians
  2. Assist in performing surgeries
  3. Oversee patient education and recovery
  4. Administer procedures

The clinical procedures that Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners can perform or oversee include:

  1. 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
  2. Sclerotherapy procedures to eliminate varicose veins through the injection of a solution into the veins
  3. Laser skin treatments such as microdermabrasion, photo facials, and tattoo removal

Where Do Aesthetic NPs Work?

Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners generally work in private settings rather than in hospitals. These may include medical spas or private practice clinics.

Some Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners even own and operate their own Cosmetic Clinics.Nurse.org has an awesome interview about Tatyana Melnik, MSN, APRN on what it's like to own a cosmetic clinic as a nurse practitioner.

How Many Hours Do Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners Work?

Aesthetic procedures, including surgical procedures, are almost entirely scheduled during regular working hours on an outpatient basis.

Show Me Nurse Practitioner Programs

In addition to being a great career, you also have the ability to earn a high salary as an Aesthetic NP. The BLS reports that Nurse Practitioners earn a median salary of $123,780 as of May 2021. While they don't have specific salaries for Aesthetic NPs, according to Payscale.com, the average national salary for an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner is $85,360 or $47.92 per hour.

Highest-Paying States for Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners

According to the BLS, these are the highest-paying states for all nurse practitioners, which includes aesthetic NPs.

  1. California - $151,830
  2. New Jersey - $137,010
  3. New York - $133,940
  4. Washington - $130,840
  5. Massachusetts - $129,540

Highest-Paying Cities for Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners

According to the BLS, these are the U.S. cities where NPs can earn the highest salaries.

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - $197,870
  • Napa, CA - $184,700
  • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA - $180,380
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - $177,160
  • Yuba City, CA - $159,260

Show Me Nurse Practitioner Programs

If you want to become an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, you’ll need to complete the following steps.

  1. 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 (ADN) or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

  2. 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.

  3. Advance Your Education

    In order to become an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, you’ll need to earn either an MSN or DNP from an accredited Nurse Practitioner program.

  4. Gain Experience

    Upon graduation, most Nurse Practitioners who are interested in becoming Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners spend time training with dermatologists or plastic surgeons in order to perfect their skills.

  5. Get Certified

    Certifications are not required butthey 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.

Careers in Medical Aesthetics are growing rapidly as the popularity of medical spas and procedures to enhance appearance enjoy continued popularity.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growing desire among both women and men to counter the effect of aging on their appearance is driving the aesthetics professions to new heights and expected employment growth of 29% from 2020 to 2030.

At this time there is no certification program available to confirm an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner’s credentials, so continuing education requirements will be restricted to those required by the individual state in which a Nurse Practitioner practices.

For a listing of each state’s Nurse Practitioner continuing education requirements, click here.

Show Me Nurse Practitioner Programs

The field of aesthetics allows Nurse Practitioners to provide direct patient care while exercising their creativity, and in some states, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners can open their own medical spas and be entirely autonomous.

For more information about how to enter this exciting career, support and resources are available through:

  1. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  2. The Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board
  3. The American Aesthetic Association
  4. The American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery
  5. The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine

You can also learn more about aesthetic/cosmetic nursing through Nurse.org! Check out our other related articles:

  1. How to Become an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse
  2. This is How I Became an Aesthetic Nurse Injector at a Cosmetic Clinic
  3. I'm an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner and This is What It's Like To Own a Cosmetic Clinic
  • How long does it take to become an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner?

    • Currently, there are no programs dedicated specifically to becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, so those interested in the position start by following the path to becoming a Nurse Practitioner and then take additional classes or pursue on-the-job training to learn the specific skills needed for the career.
  • How much do Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners make per hour?

    • The average hourly wage for an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner in the United States is $47.92 per hour. The average annual salary is $85,360 according to Payscale.com.
  • Can Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners own their own practice?

    • Many states permit Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners to own their own practices. These are considered Full Practice States, where Nurse Practitioners are able to evaluate patients and initiate and manage treatments without the supervision or oversight of a physician. Reduced Practice and Restricted Practice states restrict this ability.
  1. General Nurse Practitioner
  2. Family Nurse Practitioner
  3. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  4. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  5. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  6. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  7. Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  8. Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner
  9. Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  10. Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  11. Oncology Nurse Practitioner

*Indicates an affiliate link. At no additional cost to you, Nurse.org may earn a commission if you click through and use this service.

$100,000+ Aesthetic/Cosmetic Masters Doctorate Non-Bedside NP
5 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner (2024)


How do I start a career as a aesthetic nurse? ›

In order to work as an Aesthetic Nurse, you must earn a Registered Nurse degree. There are two main educational avenues for that. The first option is a two-year ADN program. The second option is to earn your Bachelor's Degree in Nursing by pursuing a BSN program.

What can an NP do in aesthetics? ›

Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners examine and evaluate patients, counsel them on a variety of procedures, perform those procedures, and care for them as they recover. Depending on where they work, they may also be responsible for many other day-to-day aspects, particularly if they are running their own practice.

Which NP makes the most money? ›

Neonatal NPs earn the most money and can expect continuing salary increases and a promising job outlook. Neonatal NPs who work in neonatal intensive care units or pursue relevant certifications can boost their earning potential. NPs who hold a doctorate in nursing can pursue lucrative leadership positions.

Where do aesthetic nurses get paid the most? ›

Alaska is the state with the highest average salary for Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners. The average yearly salary is $106,194, though the salaries can range from $91,570 to $123,715.

Can an aesthetic nurse open her own clinic? ›

So can a registered nurse (RN) open a med spa? The general answer is no — legal regulations tell us that a med spa owner must be a qualified aesthetic practitioner or medical doctor who specializes in aesthetic medicine.

How do you become a qualified aesthetic practitioner? ›

To be a qualified aesthetic practitioner, you likely want to get a bachelor's degree in aesthetics. Going to university for aesthetic practitioner training provides you with all the experience and credentials required to immediately start as an aesthetician.

What is the easiest nurse practitioner specialty? ›

  1. Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. ...
  2. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. ...
  3. Family Nurse Practitioner. ...
  4. Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners (OHNP) ...
  5. Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner.

Which NP specialty is best? ›

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Cardiology Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Pain Management Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

Which NP specialty is the hardest? ›

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Armed Forces NP. ...
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Correctional Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Substance Abuse Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Critical Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

What is the lowest paid nurse practitioner? ›

The average hourly wage for a Nurse Practitioner is $56.75. The bottom 10% of hourly NP wages is $38.21. The top 10% is $78.54 per hour. The median hourly wage for a Nurse Practitioner is $58.02 per hour.

What type of NP is most in demand? ›

  1. Family Practice. ...
  2. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care. ...
  3. Psychiatric Mental Health. ...
  4. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. ...
  5. Pediatric Primary Care. ...
  6. Pulmonology Nurse Practitioner. ...
  7. Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
  8. House Call Nurse Practitioner.

Is aesthetic nursing hard? ›

Mentally taxing, physically exhausting, and emotionally draining. Being an aesthetic nurse is not all glitz and glam like everyone thinks. There is a lot of mental stress, pressure to deliver results & meet expectations, and a whole lot of hand holding.

Is aesthetic nursing competitive? ›

Aesthetic nursing is quite a competitive industry and can be difficult to break into.

How do aesthetic nurses make money? ›

Working for a Clinic

The easiest way to typically work as an aesthetic nurse is to operate through an established clinic. In this case, you will most likely be paid a yearly salary and the prospects are good. An average salary for an aesthetic nurse can be quite high.

What is the highest paid aesthetic nurse? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $138,500 and as low as $50,500, the majority of Aesthetic Nurse salaries currently range between $72,500 (25th percentile) to $104,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $125,000 annually across the United States.

What type of RN makes the most money? ›

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.

What are the highest paid RN? ›

Highest Paid Nursing Jobs:
  • Research Nurse – $88,000.
  • Nurse Educator – $94,000.
  • Gerontology Nurse – $96,500.
  • Pain Management Nurse – $104,000.
  • Women's Health Nurse – $107,000.
  • Pediatric Nurse – $109,000.
  • Surgical Nurse – $109,000.
  • Psychiatric Nurse – $109,000.
Dec 11, 2022

What is level 5 in aesthetics? ›

The Aesthetic Practitioner Level 5 Training Course covers: legal and regulatory requirements; professional standards of practice; working in collaboration with healthcare professionals; anatomy, physiology and morphology of the ageing face and skin micro-needling.

What is level 7 aesthetics? ›

The new Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine qualification is one of the biggest changes to affect the aesthetics industry for many years. It is designed to provide a framework for qualification for BOTOX® and dermal fillers practitioners in the UK.

How do I start a career in aesthetics? ›

Making a Career Move into Aesthetics
  1. The first step to entering a career in aesthetics is to receive the proper training. ...
  2. Get the right certifications. ...
  3. Obtain a part-time position at an already established practice. ...
  4. Establish a loyal patient base. ...
  5. Branch out on your own.

What is the least stressful NP specialty? ›

  1. School Nurse Practitioner. ...
  2. Medical Writer. ...
  3. Nurse Educator.
  4. Clinic Nurse Practitioner.
  5. Public Health NP.
  6. Clinical Research NP.
  7. Weight Loss Clinic NP.
  8. Nurse Informatics.

What is the most stressful nursing specialty? ›

The most stressful nursing jobs include ICU nurse, ER nurse, and NICU nurse. In these roles, nurses work in an intense environment with high stakes. They manage emergency situations and care for critically ill patients. Other stressful nursing jobs include OR nursing, oncology nursing, and psychiatric nursing.

What nursing specialty has the least burnout? ›

The 10 Least Stressful Nursing Jobs This Year (2022)
  • Nurse Educators. ...
  • Institutional Nurses. ...
  • Research Nurses. ...
  • Public Health Nurses. ...
  • Occupational Health Nurses. ...
  • Case Management Nurses. ...
  • Home Health Nurses. ...
  • Clinic Nurses.
Jul 6, 2022

Why choose NP over MD? ›

As a nurse practitioner, you can easily switch specialties throughout your career entering different types of medical practice. Life as an NP involves less stress and offers more flexibility than that of an MD.

Can NP have two specialties? ›

NPs can obtain multiple degrees across multiple specialties, or they may choose to just focus on one area. Depending on your geographic region, knowledge about specialty NPs may be fairly uncommon, or a specialty certification may be the only way to get a job in a particular area.

Is the NP field oversaturated? ›

Many job markets across the U.S. are saturated for nurse practitioners. Many are not. Regardless of the situation in your area, if you're a new grad you may need to be determined and flexible as you look for that coveted first position.

Which nurse practitioner exam is the easiest? ›

The AANP is rumored to be the easier of the two exams, specifically for those seeking their FNP certification as it historically had a higher pass rate than that of the ANCC FNP exam.

Is NP harder than BSN? ›

Courses and content are more challenging. The level of knowledge you're required to have as a Nurse Practitioner is a huge step up from a RN. You'll take a lot of the same courses as you did with your BSN, but will go into each topic with a lot more depth because you'll be diagnosing and treating health problems soon.

Is NP easier than PA? ›

The average program length to become an NP is 15-24 months with 720 clinical hours as a nurse first. Physician's assistant training programs are highly competitive and require undergraduate coursework in science as well as several years of hands-on medical experience with direct patient contact and care.

Do nurse practitioners make 6 figures? ›

But even outside of those specialties, having an advanced nursing degree can almost guarantee that you'll be making an average salary that is at least six figures. The average nurse practitioner makes $117,670 per year — and depending on which specialty you choose, you can make well beyond that amount.

Which state pays the most for nurse practitioners? ›

Which states are best for nurse practitioners? BLS data lists the top-paying states and their annual mean wages as California ($151,830), New Jersey ($137,010), New York ($133,940), Washington ($130,840), and Massachusetts ($129,540).

What city pays nurse practitioners the most? ›

There is a wide range of salaries for nurse practitioners, from the lowest-paying city, Punta Gorda, Florida, where NPs make an average annual salary of $86,800 to the highest-paying city of San Jose, California, where the average annual salary is $197,870.

Can an NP be rich? ›

As you can see from the chart below, nurse practitioners are rich compared to non-advanced practice nurses such as RNs and nurse instructors. With an average annual salary of $114,510, a nurse practitioner makes substantially more than a registered nurse who makes $80,010 on average per year.

What is higher than an NP? ›

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a terminal nursing degree, meaning that it is the highest possible practice-based degree in nursing.

How can a nurse practitioner make extra money? ›

Nurse practitioners can often supplement their income by teaching in adjunct positions in either higher education institutions or local healthcare facilities. Additionally, NPs may be able to earn more than average if they work in a state that authorizes them to prescribe medications.

What is the hardest nursing degree? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

What nursing school is most difficult? ›

The main reason why nursing school is challenging is because it involves learning about complicated nursing concepts and practical skills, then applying that information into diverse patient care scenarios — going well beyond memorizing facts. While it is challenging, nursing school is not impossible.

What is the hardest thing as a nurse? ›

7 hardest parts of nursing
  • Losing patients. ...
  • Being judged for their career choice. ...
  • Working long hours. ...
  • Experiencing physical/verbal abuse. ...
  • Navigating hospital politics. ...
  • Using outdated or time-consuming technology. ...
  • Feeling pressure to know everything.
May 31, 2019

What is the most competitive nursing field? ›

Let's take a look at the top 10 most sought-after nursing specialties of 2022.
  1. Cardiovascular Nurses. ...
  2. Intensive Care Unit Nurses. ...
  3. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurses. ...
  4. Operating Room Nurses. ...
  5. Emergency Room Nurses. ...
  6. Pediatric Nurses. ...
  7. General Nurse Practitioners. ...
  8. Clinical Nurse Specialists.
Aug 27, 2021

Why do I want to work in aesthetics? ›

Choose a specific reason

Some want to help clients look their best for special events, while others have an interest in the medical aspect of skin care. Other estheticians enjoy working with people daily, including clients and other health care professionals.

Why do you love being an aesthetic nurse? ›

You like helping people feel confident and beautiful: One of the most rewarding aspects of being a nurse injector is helping your patients feel like their best selves. The simple adjustments and tweaks that you can make to a patient's face to make them feel and look better can be huge for your patients.

How do I start an aesthetic clinic? ›

6 Steps To Starting Your Own Aesthetics Business
  1. Get Qualified. ...
  2. Determine Your Target Client. ...
  3. Set Your Pricing. ...
  4. Build Your Business. ...
  5. Brand Awareness. ...
  6. Personal & Professional Development. ...
  7. Get Free Advice for those who book on our Course.
Jan 26, 2021

Is aesthetic nurse in high demand? ›

The aesthetic nursing field is growing faster than the national average, indicating that this nursing specialty is in high demand. Additionally, the field of aesthetic medicine, in general, is growing.

Are aesthetic nurses happy? ›

Aesthetic nurses often find they don't have these same stresses, so they can enjoy a regular schedule and be more energetic and functional when they are at work. Aesthetic nursing is a very rewarding career, and aesthetic nurses provide very important care for patients when receiving treatments such as injections.

How long does it take to become an aesthetic nurse? ›

Degree courses last for three years, and include both theoretical and practical learning. You can specialise in one of four areas: adult nursing, children's nursing, mental health nursing, or learning disability nursing.

How do I get into aesthetics? ›

If a beauty therapist wishes to specialise in a more technical area of beauty, they will most likely need to study a Level 4 course. Currently, the majority of aesthetic practitioners come from a medical background and therefore have a university degree in nursing, dentistry or medicine.

Is aesthetic nurse a good career? ›

Aesthetic nursing is a very rewarding career, and aesthetic nurses provide very important care for patients when receiving treatments such as injections. If you are considering a career in aesthetic nursing, you can train to give BOTOX® and filler with Dr.

How do I become a qualified aesthetic practitioner? ›

To be a qualified aesthetic practitioner, you likely want to get a bachelor's degree in aesthetics. Going to university for aesthetic practitioner training provides you with all the experience and credentials required to immediately start as an aesthetician.

What qualifications do I need to inject Botox? ›

Botox injections can only be prescribed following a face-to-face meeting with a qualified medical practitioner. Qualified medical practitioners include doctors, dentists, pharmacist prescribers and nurse prescribers.

What training do you need for aesthetics? ›

Besides a medical-related degree, there aren't any specific certifications required for most aesthetic practitioners. However, your employer may ask you to take continued medical education (CME) courses. CME credits can be obtained through short-term courses.

What career path is aesthetic? ›

What Are Careers in the Aesthetic Industry? Careers in the aesthetic industry focus on cosmetic health and beauty treatments. There are opportunities as a plastic surgeon, massage therapist, skin care specialist, aesthetician, and supporting staff.

Can you do aesthetics without a degree? ›

For those looking to become a recognised non-medical aesthetics practitioner, you must have relevant Level 2 and Level 3 and Advanced Level 4 Beauty qualifications. Level 2 covers the basics of facial and skincare, whilst Level 3 advances the learner's knowledge and fully qualifies them to become a facialist.

How long does it take to become aesthetic? ›

How long does it take to become an esthetician? The amount of time to become a certified esthetician varies by state, and requirements can range from 260 to 1,000 hours. Programs typically take five to six months to complete if you're a full-time student, for a total of 600 classroom hours.

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