Are you keen on becoming an aesthetic nurse? These are the steps you’ll need to take to get there.
Step One: complete a nursing degree and get NMC registration
If you want to work as a nurse in the UK, in the public or private sector, you will need to complete a nursing degree. Nursing diplomas were once offered as recognised training courses for nurses, but they have been phased out in recent years. Since Autumn of 2013, new applicants wanting to train as nurses have been required to complete a nursing degree.
Nursing degree courses are offered at universities across the UK, and the NHS careers website has an online search tool you can use to find a course near you. Each university will have its own requirements for entry, so do check the course information provided on your chosen university’s website.
Degree courses last for three years, and include both theoretical and practical learning. You can specialise in one of four areas: adult nursing, children’s nursing, mental health nursing, or learning disability nursing. The adult nursing pathway will provide you with the best grounding for a career in aesthetics and will be preferred by employers in this industry.
Nurses in the UK must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Once you have completed your nursing degree, your university will confirm your qualification with the NMC. It is then up to you to complete the registration process online at the NMC website. You will need to pay a registration fee, which is currently £120. Your registration must be renewed on an annual basis.
Step Two: get post-qualification nursing experience
The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses recommends that you gain at least three years of general adult nursing experience before you move into aesthetic nursing. Though you get practical experience on your nursing degree, actually doing the job for a few years will help you expand your skill set, and it will give you valuable experience dealing with patients.
Employers in the aesthetics industry will generally look at post-qualification experience favourably, as it shows that you already have the skills and experience to look after patients and perform general clinical tasks adeptly.
Step Three: find an entry-level position in aesthetics, or undertake training
There are different roles for nurses within the aesthetic medicine and cosmetic surgery industry. Do you want to work as an independent injector on a freelance basis or run your own clinic business? Would you like to work as an employee in an established clinic performing treatments or overseeing patient care? Or would you prefer to assist surgeons in theatres or provide patient care on surgical wards?
Aesthetic Nurse Injector/Independent Prescriber:
If your dream is to be a self-employed nurse providing a range of injectable treatments to private clients, then you will need to undertake training in toxin and filler procedures, and complete the V300 Non-Medical Prescribing course. Toxins such as Botox are prescription-only medicines, and so to work on your own you will need to be a qualified prescriber.
If you are undertaking training independently, you will be solely responsible for the costs of courses, and though these aren’t necessarily cheap, you are investing in your career.
Aesthetic Clinic Nurse:
An aesthetic nurse working as part of a clinic team can have a varying role. You may hold patient consultations, may perform aesthetic treatments, and may deal with general nursing duties for the clinic.
Many aesthetic nurses are not qualified prescribers, and some do not perform injectable procedures. Some clinic nurses do not perform treatments at all, instead using their nursing skills to perform general nursing duties, or work in operational management and compliance.
Some clinics will provide aesthetic treatment training during employment. This is a good way to get into aesthetics and learn from experienced aesthetic professionals. Just don’t expect to be working as an injector straight away, as medical aesthetic procedures take time to learn and perfect.
Cosmetic surgery nurse:
Many nursing roles are available in private hospitals, in theatres and pre- and post-operative care wards. Depending on the specialities of the clinic, you may be assisting surgeons who are performing cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, or weight-loss surgery. If you’ve already worked with surgical teams, you’ll probably have the essential skills needed for a role in cosmetic surgery.