Is your love and passion for skin and beauty the same as your love of nursing? If skincare and cosmetics are something you’re passionate about, aesthetics nursing may be the career jump for you. Aesthetic nurses are registered nurses, with specialized training who provide aesthetic and cosmetic services and care to patients. Nurse.org caught up with Sabrina Caires BSN, RN, an aesthetics nurse based in California.
PW: Tell us about your nursing journey. Why did you decide to become a nurse?
SC: Like other nurses, I have always been passionate about helping others. Honestly reflecting though, my parents instilled the idea at an early age that if I became a nurse, I would:
Not a bad idea! So I went along with it —gotta make the parents proud, you know. As soon as I started working in the hospital, I didn’t get that sense of fulfillment the way I thought I would. Although I have crazy respect for every nurse out there, I immediately regretted my decision to become a nurse upon the first month of entering the hospital. Let’s just say it wasn’t for me. I went back to the drawing board and explored my options to utilize my hard-earned nursing degree.
I love skin, beauty, and working with women and discovered the aesthetic nursing industry. It was a perfect fit! I reached out to numerous injectors in my area to get a better idea of the industry and YouTubed a ton of videos on aesthetic procedures. I immediately became hooked! I applied to various positions as an aesthetic nurse injector and, after a year, got a position in which I had to relocate. Hey, gotta do what it takes!
Show Me BSN Programs
PW: What was your ah-ha moment? That moment you decided this was the right career path for you? At this point, how long had you been a nurse?
SC: My ah-ha moment occurred as soon as I picked up a syringe and injected my first patient. I had been waiting for over a year for this moment! The injecting portion was a blur, to be honest; I remember being intensely focused and fueled by adrenaline.
The liberating moment though, occurred as soon as the patient looked into the mirror after the treatment. She became emotional when seeing her new and improved appearance! I thought to myself, ”Woah, I did that!” My trainer complimented my natural aesthetic eye and said I would be a great asset to the industry —what a total confidence booster! I had been working as an aesthetic nurse for a little over two months.
PW: What does an Aesthetic Nurse do?
SC: An aesthetic nurse essentially provides cosmetic services to patients looking to enhance their appearance. Cosmetic services include:
Neurotoxins like Botox
Dermal fillers such as Juvederm
Laser treatments such as intense plus light (IPL)
Non Invasive body contouring treatments like Coolsculpt
Read this awesome career guide all about aesthetic and cosmetic nurses! It includes everything from salary to career outlook and programs.
PW: What is your day to day like?
SC: But first: coffee.
Once that’s handled, I take a look at my schedule and plan how I want to manage my day.
Most of my patients see me for Botox, so I review the patient notes and what was previously documented in terms of units given and recommendations needing revisitation. I develop great relationships with my patients, so I love using appointment times to catch up and talk all things girly!
When it’s time for business, I’ll go over the treatment plan to make sure we’re on the same page, perform the treatment, go over post-care instructions, and make recommendations for future appointments if needed.
I then record my treatment and move on to my next patient.
I typically see anywhere from 5-10 patients daily, depending on the length of the treatment.
Another thing I make a part of my day is my social media and Instagram page. There’s a ton of value in posting about the treatments. Talking about and showing the actual treatment provides a ton of insight to future patients to know what to expect! It also credentials you as an injector.
PW: Was it challenging to find a job?
SC: Oh, yes, difficult indeed! It took about a year of constant interviewing, shadowing, and networking to finally find a job that was willing to train motivated injectors. I had to relocate to a different state for the position, but it was all totally worth it. Persistence is key at the end of the day!
PW: Are there any specific or unique skills nurses should have to pursue aesthetics?
SC: Not necessarily, just your nursing degree. I highly recommend investing in workshops such as Palette Resources or Aesthetic Medical Educators Training to get some exposure before entering the field. Yes, they’re costly but so worth the investment. Hint: this is also really good to put on a resume for future employers as it shows initiative on your end!
PW: What advice do you have for other nurses who want to start their own career in aesthetics?
SC: Gosh, so much!
First of all, you are more than capable and qualified for this position! Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t getting any leads; remember it took me a year to get into the field.
It’s difficult to get into the industry because it’s extremely expensive to train a new injector; we’re talking thousands!
So what sets you apart from others?
You’ve invested in at least one beginner’s training course.
You’re actively seeking an opportunity for a foot-in-the-door (reaching out to injectors for shadowing opportunities).
You’ve created a LinkedIn profile and have added medical practices and their employees to further your network.
You’re willing to do what it takes—in my case, relocating to a different state.
You will get in, do not give up! If you’re interested in pursuing this as a career, your first step should be to read Nurse.org’s aesthetic and cosmetic nurse career guide!
Aesthetics Nursing seems like a glamorous industry, but it comes with ups and downs like other nursing specialties. There will be situations where you burn a patient with a laser, “Spock” a brow with Botox, or completely bruise lips with filler —it happens to all of us! Then you have your patients who will never be satisfied with their treatments, the ones we have to give extra love to. But you have patients who completely love their results and stand just a little taller after you’re through with them. I live for these moments!
Sabrina states, “Aesthetic Nursing is fulfilling to those who are not only passionate about skin and beauty but have a genuine desire to instill confidence and provide a sense of empowerment through a specialized art form.”
Catch up with Sabrina on Instagram:
Portia Wofford is an award-winning nurse, writer, and digital marketer. After dedicating her nursing career to creating content and solutions for employers that affected patient outcomes, these days Portia empowers health practices to grow their communities through engaging content that connects and converts. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for her latest.