What is a Nurse Esthetician?
A nurse esthetician is a licensed nurse who performs advanced cosmetic skin care and appearance enhancement procedures, including Botox treatments and cosmetic filler injections. He or she usually provides assistance to doctors specializing in such fields of medicine as dermatology and plastic surgery.
Alternatively, a nurse esthetician may opt to join the personal service and beauty industry workforce, alongside cosmetologists and massage therapists.
What Do They Do?
A nurse esthetician usually assists dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons during the conduct of a variety of skin care treatments on patients, including plastic surgery. He or she may also assist in educating the patients about the medical procedures and about what should be done before and after to prevent complications.
As a professional in his or her own rights, a nurse esthetician is a skin care specialist who typically provides such cosmetic treatments as microdermabrasion, exfoliating body wraps, makeup application, chemical peels, wax or laser hair removal, facials, among others.
Where They work
Nurse estheticians typically work in medical offices that provide clinical appearance enhancement services. Sometimes they are employed in hospitals, working on the skin or appearance of patients who suffered trauma, burns or from some disfiguring illness and who may have been through surgery.
Within the beauty and fashion industry, nurse estheticians are usually employed in salons, spas, and the cosmetics section of high-end retail outlets. Some nurse estheticians are self-employed and run their own skin care specialty shops or offices.
How Much They Make
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, skin care specialists made a median salary of $28,940 in 2013. The highest-paid 10-percent earned an average of $56,930, while the lowest-paid 10-percent earned an average of $17,480 that year.
The top-paying industries for this type of work are in general medical and surgical hospitals, with an annual average salary of $47,430, followed by outpatient care centers, with an annual average salary of $45,620. Physicians’ offices also compensate skin care specialists well, providing an annual average salary of $40,990.
The highest paid in the esthetician profession work in the metropolitan areas of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Portland, Oregon; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Jefferson City, Montana area also pays well, as does the city of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Estheticians are on the low end of the pay scale when compared with other health care professionals, earning less than opticians, dieticians, and nutritionists. Many estheticians sell skin care products on the side to augment their income from regular employment.
How to Become a Nurse Esthetician
To become a nurse esthetician, one must become a licensed nurse first, then a licensed esthetician. Hence, the first step is to acquire a general training in nursing through an LPN/LVN or RN program.
LPNs/LVNs usually need to complete a year-long certificate program that includes both classroom study and hands-on practical training. RNs may choose to get either a 2-3 year diploma or associate’s degree course or a 4-year BSN degree program.
After graduating from nursing school, he or she must pass a national licensure exam. For the LPNs/LVNs, it’s the NCLEX-PN, while for the RNs, it’s the NCLEX-RN exam. After completing accredited training programs and passing the national licensure exam, he or she needs to apply for state licensure. States have varying licensure requirements, some of which include background checking.
For a licensed nurse to become an esthetician, he or she must attend an accredited school that offers an esthetician diploma, usually technical or trade schools, beauty schools, or career colleges. After completing the required courses, he or she must take and pass his or her state’s mandatory esthetician licensure exam which usually consists of written, verbal, and practical segments.
What Else Can You Expect?
According to Wikiprofessional, jobs for estheticians will grow by 25-percent until 2020, and there will be 11, 700 new jobs created in the field between the years of 2010 and 2020. This rate is faster than the average occupation. This is due to several factors. First, there is an increasing demand for skin care services, since many people in the United States wish to slow down the effects of aging. In addition, there are more salons and spas opening that can potentially offer employment opportunities to estheticians.
What kind of Professional Nursing Organizations are associated with this profession?
The Association of Medical Esthetic Nurses, or A.M.E.N., a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to promoting high standards in medical esthetic nursing, and to the enhancement of professional growth through education and certification, scientific inquiry and research, and to facilitating the dissemination of current information, technical skills, and expertise. A.M.E.N. members have direct line access to regional directors and state chairmen, representation in national and state legislative process, access to educational and certification programs as well as scholarships, discounts to affiliate workshops, trade shows, seminars, and organizational meetings, and the subscription to the A.M.E.N. Newsletter.
Other related professional organizations where a nurse esthetician may opt to be associated with are the American Academy of Medical Esthetic Professionals (A.A.M.E.P), American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses (A.S.P.S.N).
Related Careers Within Nursing
Aside from being a nurse esthetician, other careers which a licensed nurse with an esthetician’s background may wish to pursue and to further specialize in will include: burn nursing, dental nursing, medical-surgical nursing, obstetrical nursing, oncology nursing, rehabilitation nursing, and wound, ostomy and continence nursing, among others.