April 24, 2024
how to become an aesthetic nurse practitioner

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!

Popular Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

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Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

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Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
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Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Part One What is an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner? 

Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners are Nurse Practitioners 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.

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Part Two What Do Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners Do? 

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 alongside aesthetic nurses.

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 Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Part Three Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Salary 

In addition to being a great career, you can also earn a high salary as an Aesthetic NP. The BLS reports that Nurse Practitioners earn a median salary of $129,480 per year in 2023. While they don't have specific salaries for Aesthetic NPs, according to ZipRecruiter, the average Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner salary is $130,295 per year.

Highest-Paying States for Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners

According to ZipRecruiter these are the highest-paying states for aesthetic NPs.

  1. New Jersey - $143,192 avg. annual salary
  2. Wisconsin - $139,925
  3. Alaska - $136,910
  4. Massachusetts - $136,805
  5. Washington - $136,569

>> Related: Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse Salary

Part Four How to Become an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner

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 nurses have earned their RN degrees from accredited nursing programs, they must 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 

    Aesthetic nurse certifications are not required, but they do demonstrate dedication to the field. They 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.

Popular Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University

Earn your nursing degree from one of the largest nursing education providers in the U.S. Walden University’s BSN, MSN, post-master’s APRN certificate, and DNP programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Get enhanced practicum support with our Practicum Pledge.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Part Five What is the Career Outlook for Aesthetic Nurse Practitioners? 

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

According to Surgery.com, 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. While the BLS doesn't have data on aesthetic NPs specifically, the expected employment growth of nurse practitioners is 38% from 2022 to 2032. 

Part Six What are the Continuing Education Requirements for an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner? 

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.

>> Show Me Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Part Seven Where Can I Learn More About Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner? 

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

Popular Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University

Earn your nursing degree from one of the largest nursing education providers in the U.S. Walden University’s BSN, MSN, post-master’s APRN certificate, and DNP programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Get enhanced practicum support with our Practicum Pledge.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Part Eight Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner FAQs

  • 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. 
  • 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.

Part Nine Other Nurse Practitioner Specialities

  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

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$100,000+ Aesthetic/Cosmetic Masters Doctorate Non-Bedside NP
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