Plastic Surgery Nurse

The number of people opting to go through plastic surgery is on the rise all over the world. While surgeons are responsible for conducting the actual operation, the need for plastic surgery nurse can’t be discounted.

What is a Plastic Surgery Nurse

A Plastic Surgery Nurse, also known as a Cosmetic Nurse or an Aesthetic Nurse, is a professional who is a licensed registered nurse (RN). These nurses must complete a master’s degree program in the field of advanced nursing training. A Plastic Surgery Nurse specializes in giving care to patients who are going through reconstructive medical procedures.

Plastic surgery nurse professionals provide many types of nursing work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and clinics. Furthermore, they have the ability to achieve professional certifications in the plastic surgery medical field, which will typically require meeting education or professional standards.

What Do They Do?

A Plastic Surgery Nurse’s primary job function is to care for cosmetic surgery patients. These cosmetic surgeries usually involve aesthetic procedures. The most popular plastic surgery procedures are breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tucks and facelifts to name a few. Plenty of Plastic Surgery Nurses also provide medical care to patients who are going through reconstructive surgery from accidents such as severe burns, and also patients who have birth defects or deformities brought on by cancer.

Common tasks completed by these nurses include giving injections for dermal fillers and neurotoxin injections, providing laser hair removal services and non-invasive body contouring work. Plastic Surgery Nurses may also see patients independently. The treatment of most patients, however, is usually conducted under the supervision of a medical doctor.

These nurses have several of the same tasks as other operating room and surgical nurses – tasks that include sterilizing equipment, providing care to patients before and after surgery and preparing operating rooms. Plastic Surgery Nurses are often found working in private clinics and serving patients with highly specific needs or requests.

Where They work

Similar to registered nurses who specialize in various fields, Plastic Surgery Nurses can obtain job opportunities in private clinics, hospitals, and outpatient care centers. As expected, these nurses can work in clinics that specialize fully in plastic surgery, as well as in medical spas.

How much they make

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a projected growth rate of 34% in the field of nursing. This is for the years falling between 2012 and 2022 and is applicable to all kinds of nursing professionals. Using data published by the BLS in May 2013, nurses – including Plastic Surgery Nurses – earn an average salary of $92,670 per year.

How to become a Plastic Surgery Nurse?

First, you must earn a nursing degree. Plastic Surgery Nurse positions usually need candidates who hold a registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner (NP) license. This is the same as having a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). In order to work as a nurse practitioner, you must hold a master’s degree. To become a Plastic Surgery Nurse, however, you do not need an advanced nursing degree.

The next step is to get a nursing license which includes completing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam and then graduate from an approved nursing educational program. Keep in mind that certain licensing requirements for RNs can vary depending on the state where you plan to work. Anyone wishing to achieve optional licensing in order to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) must own an RN license and there is a need to pass an additional exam.

When you’ve achieved your license, you can work as an assistant to a Plastic Surgery Nurse at a plastic surgery clinic or medical spa in order to get vital field experience. Most cosmetic nurse jobs usually require applicants to have a minimum of two years experience so the training is very vital to your career path. While you’re shadowing under an experienced nurse, you can learn about common tasks like assessing skin aging, providing Botox injections and giving post-operative care.

What else can you expect?

Cosmetic nurses usually find jobs at outpatient surgical centers and medical spas. There is the option of working part-time or full-time hours. The work can vary from small and elective procedures – good examples are dermabrasion and Botox injections – to more complex cosmetic procedures like breast replacement or facial reconstruction.

What kind of Professional Nursing Organizations are associated with Plastic Surgery Nurses?

Reputable professional nursing organizations for Plastic Surgery Nurses are the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses (ASPSN) and the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board (PSNCB).

Related Careers within nursing

You may also want to look into related nursing careers such as Dermatology Nurse, Burn Care Nurse, and Medical-Surgical Nurse.