Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse: A Fantastic Career Path


Are you looking for a new challenge in your nursing career? 

The cosmetic industry in the UK is booming, with cosmetic procedures increasing by 102% last year. So a career in aesthetic nursing is an increasingly attractive and dynamic path for many in the healthcare profession. 

In this article we’ll explain why this area of medicine is becoming so popular and how you can start your journey to become a nurse in aesthetic medicine. 

Who is an Aesthetic Nurse?

Aesthetic nursing encompasses a wide range of non-surgical cosmetic and aesthetic treatments. So this means treatments such as Botox, chemical peels, laser treatments, micro-needling or dermal fillers. Aesthetic nurses work in a supportive and complementary role to other healthcare professionals in the aesthetic and cosmetic industry, such as dermatologists or surgeons. 

Aesthetic nurses have a particularly pivotal role in liaising with and supporting patients to provide them with the highest level of care possible and help them attain the desired changes to their appearance. An aesthetic nurse works closely with patients, from initial consultation and assessment, to help develop and design treatment plans for individual patients. They listen to the needs and desires of patients and then coordinate with surgeons and other practitioners. 

Aesthetic nursing combines a range of healthcare disciplines. It requires consideration of patients’ mental and general physical health. Nurses can also develop expertise in a wide range of cosmetic treatments, such as dermatology, hair removal, or injectables such as Botox or fillers.

Educational Pathways

In order to carry out aesthetic nurse training, you need to be qualified as a professional nurse. This means that you will need to have obtained a nursing degree as well as registration with the NMC. Patients often prefer to work with registered and qualified nursing professionals because of the medical expertise and experience they bring to a cosmetic procedure. It’s important to note that if you are not a qualified nurse prescriber, you will either need to attain this qualification or work with other professionals or organisations who will be able to obtain the prescription-only medicines that are needed to be used in aesthetic treatments.

When training as an aesthetic nurse, it’s a good idea to gain a broad understanding of the many areas of aesthetic medicine before going on to specialise and train in particular procedures, such as laser treatment, skincare, Botox, or fillers. It’s vital to check that any course you take complies with guidelines and accreditation from Health Education England (HEE) and the General Medical Council (GMC).

Acquisition Aesthetics offers foundation courses in cities including London, Manchester, and Newcastle. These provide a basis for starting your aesthetic nursing career and gaining your aesthetic nursing qualifications. Subsequently, we offer specialist courses across the whole range of cosmetic and aesthetic medical treatments, allowing you to begin building a successful aesthetic nursing career.

Our courses are run and taught by experts in all the major fields of aesthetic medicine. Acquisition Aesthetics also offers mentoring sessions, which can be a critical part of developing a career. One on one advice and training from established professionals can help to set your career apart and give you an edge in a competitive industry.

Key Skills and Competencies

Precision and a strong aesthetic eye and judgement are two critical skills needed as an aesthetic nurse. But beyond technical skills and training there are also a number of other soft skills that are very important. 

Communication is one skill that is vital in order to help patients decide on the most suitable treatment and procedure plans for them. Interpersonal skills mean that nurses are able to answer questions about particular procedures, or to help patients understand what they will be going through in terms of recovery or risk. 

Compassion is also a great attribute for anyone working in the aesthetic medicine industry. Patients come to aesthetic consultations or seek cosmetic treatment for a number of reasons including improved self esteem and anti-ageing purposes. But ultimately all of these motivations are about improving patient lives, promoting change and healing both physically and mentally. Nurses need to understand these reasons and the change their work will bring. Compassion allows you as a practitioner to understand any mental health concerns and build trust with patients to provide a responsible and suitable treatment plan, which ensures successful results.

As with any medical procedure, you’ll need a good eye for detail. This is in order to avoid making mistakes and to be sensitive to any problems or concerns that may arise in a recovery or post procedural environment. This reduces the risk of patient harm or irresponsible work being carried out. 

The industry is rapidly growing with treatments evolving and becoming more commonplace all the time. So continuous education and understanding of changing regulations are important parts of developing a practice as an aesthetic nurse. This means that you’ll be able to offer the latest trends or use the latest technology, but in a setting that is responsible and in line with official guidelines and ethics. 

Career Opportunities and Growth

One of the features of working as an aesthetic nurse that is so appealing and beneficial is the scope of progression and growth in the industry. There is a huge range of places where you can work, including plastic surgery centres, dermatology clinics, medical spas or private practice.

If you establish yourself as a prescribing nurse, it is also straightforward to become self-employed, meaning you are able to run your own business and have autonomy over your working life. In terms of career progression it’s possible to train as an aesthetic nurse practitioner or progress to managing a clinic. 

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

A working day as an aesthetic nurse can be very varied. This is one of the things that makes it such an exciting position to work in. But broadly speaking there are a number of day to day duties that are likely to be carried out as part of an aesthetic nurse’s responsibilities. 

Patient consultation is one major responsibility. Nurses are the first step in the procedural process. They meet patients and carry out assessments to build treatment plans. They’ll take a medical history, discuss patient needs and desires and discuss any risks or possible side effects in potential procedures. Treatment planning is the next step. Nurses will work with patients to build an appropriate treatment plan, they will also discuss after care.

Aesthetic nurses are involved in administering non-surgical treatments. This includes Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels and other injectable treatments. Nurses are a significant point of contact for patients in terms of education and psychological well being. They need to ensure patients understand appropriate after care methods (such as wearing compression garments, avoiding sunlight etc). They also have a duty of care to provide ethical, psychologically appropriate treatment for patients, so assessing a patient’s psychology is an important aspect of the day to day job. 

The rise of social media, reality TV and online culture has been linked to the increased demand for cosmetic procedures in the UK. In turn this has resulted in an increase in conditions such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and anxiety related conditions around physical appearance. Aesthetic practitioners and nurses need to be aware that potential patients may be vulnerable to these factors and know when it is appropriate to refuse treatment or to suggest a longer period of time considering whether a treatment is the best answer to a patient’s needs. As with any medical work, ethics are important. But the rapidly growing nature of the industry (and the worrying growth of unregulated or under qualified practitioners within it) means that cosmetic practitioners need to be even more aware of the ethics and responsibilities of their work than ever. 

Challenges and Rewards

There are a number of challenges aesthetic nurses face in the cosmetic industry. Patients will have high expectations of results, both in terms of physical outcome and what this may mean emotionally. Nurses therefore need to be very emotionally in tune with patients and able to communicate clearly. They should be able to manage a patient’s expectations and be aware that some patients will be experiencing mental health challenges such as BDD or depression in regard to their physical appearance. Some may even need further advice or referral to assist with these issues. This can be a challenging but highly rewarding area of the practice. Similarly, it is a role with significant responsibility. Procedures need to be carried out with great precision and with knowledge of adverse effects in order to ensure patient safety. Whilst cosmetic procedures are becoming more and more common, they still present a risk, so nurses need to be prepared for emergencies or difficulties. 

But these challenges come with great rewards. Cosmetic medicine has the power to really transform patients’ lives and patient satisfaction can be an incredibly gratifying aspect of the job. As a growing area of medicine there is a huge demand for aesthetic nurses in the UK. This means that nurses can find high earning opportunities. It is also an area of medicine that allows real flexibility. Many aesthetic nurses work freelance or part time, rather than in the shift patterns of many other nursing jobs. It’s therefore possible to balance a personal and professional life and have more autonomy over your work schedule.

Getting Started: Steps to Enter the Field

  • The first step to entering aesthetic nursing is to qualify as a nurse and become NMC registered.

    • Once you’ve qualified it’s a good idea to build up your general experience as a nurse across a range of different specialisms. This will develop your practical medical experience and knowledge (which will form an attractive background for employers or clients). It will also help you develop the skills that are so important to aesthetic nursing, such as compassion and communication. 
    • Next you should look into finding a specialist aesthetic educational programme. After undertaking this you can start training in specific and specialist areas of cosmetic medicine. 
    • Start looking into gaining professional experience and development in aesthetics. Jobs are advertised online through sites such as LinkedIn or other jobs boards, as well as by individual clinics. Finding work through professional bodies and organisations is also a good idea. The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses offers a range of events and benefits from membership. There are a range of conferences that are also worth attending to build your professional network, learn skills and seek out aesthetic nursing opportunities. These include FACE and Aesthetic Medicine London.


      • Do you need insurance to practice as an aesthetic nurse?

      Although it is not a legal requirement it is highly advisable to have professional insurance. This will protect you financially should you encounter a malpractice report or if a product you use transpires to be unsafe. It also signifies that you are a professional and reliable practitioner. It is also worth noting that there is a push in the industry for insurance to become mandatory.

      • How much is an aesthetic nurse salary? 

      The average UK salary is £35,000 a year. This can of course increase with more experience. Additionally, if you choose to work as a freelancer you will be able to set your own rates, so there is high earning potential. 

      • How much experience do I need as a nurse broadly before moving into aesthetics?

      The BACN recommends that you should gain at least three years experience working as a nurse generally before specialising in aesthetic nursing.

      • Do I need a portfolio of my work?

      Given the visual nature of the industry building up a portfolio can be a great way to gain work opportunities whilst you are still establishing your aesthetic nurse career or in order to draw in clients when practicing on a freelance basis. 

      If you’re looking to begin a new career in aesthetic nursing, you’ve come to the right place. You can find out more about this exciting industry and the training opportunities with Acquisition Aesthetics here.


      Aesthetic nursing is a hugely rewarding career choice which really allows healthcare professionals to support patients and bring positive change into their lives. Appropriate and responsible cosmetic intervention can promote well being for patients in a pivotal way.

      As an industry it is booming currently. In fact it is estimated to be worth as much as £3.6 billion in the UK alone. Therefore it offers a huge opportunity in terms of professional growth, flexibility and earning potential. It seems likely that the industry will continue to expand. So, now is an incredibly timely moment to start your career in this medical field. 


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