How to Become an Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner

By Sampson Quain

Whether it's Botox treatments, surgical enhancements, facial reconstruction or a nip and tuck, cosmetic surgeons need a good nurse to help them during these medical procedures. Aesthetic nurse practitioners perform minor cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser hair removal, and assist surgeons in more complicated operations. Nursing students who wish to specialize as aesthetic nurse practitioners must obtain graduate degrees in nursing, then complete further study in cosmetic nursing.

Earn a high school diploma or the equivalent, such as a General Education Degree (GED).

Enroll in a four-year program to become a registered nurse (RN). Core classes include anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and patient care.

Graduate as an RN, then register for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). After obtaining your nursing degree, you must pass the NCLEX-RN to earn your certification.

Obtain a master's degree. Nurse practitioners are advanced-level nurses with more authority and responsibilities than an RN. Nurse practitioners can prescribe medication, order tests and provide patient counseling. The most common graduate degree for a nurse practitioner is the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Some institutions require you to possess a minimum of one year's experience as an RN before you can enroll in an MSN program.

Obtain training in medical aesthetics. A variety of programs exist that offer you the instruction necessary to become an aesthetic nurse. Some programs are as short as several weeks and some, which are more comprehensive, may span one or two semesters of study. For example, Medical Aesthetic Training of California offers an aesthetic nursing program that includes 330 hours of theory and clinical practice, and spans two 10-week semesters. Classes include biochemistry of the skin, aesthetic nursing therapies, chemical peels and treatment plans.


Though there are no standardized certification requirements for aesthetic nurse practitioners, several organizations, such as the American Academy of Medical Esthetic Professionals, offer membership benefits that include resources and information for professionals in the field.

About the Author

Sampson Quain is a screenwriter and filmmaker who began writing in 1996. He has sold feature and television scripts to a variety of studios and networks including Columbia, HBO, NBC, Paramount and Lionsgate. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting from the University of Southern California.