The term plastic surgery nurse falls under an umbrella that's used to refer to aesthetic nurses and reconstructive surgery nurses. Although aesthetic nurses and reconstructive surgery nurses are both plastic surgery nurses, the two should be distinguished from one another. Reconstructive surgery nurses specialize is nursing care in the surgical specialty that involves the reconstruction or restoration of a patient's body. Reconstructive surgery is more than just a vanity procedure that has to do with aesthetics. Often this kind of surgery is absolutely necessary to improve or restore the proper function of a patient's body. Aesthetic or cosmetic nursing focuses not on the function of the body, but instead on the form. Aesthetic nurses are involved in caring for patients who are undergoing procedures like injections, fillers, liposuction, laser surgeries, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and others.
Plastic surgery nurses can find employment in a variety of medical facilities, to include:
Those thinking about entering a plastic surgery nursing specialty should know that it requires a nursing degree (BSN is preferred), specialty certifications, and experience in the field. Those with a general medical-surgical background may find it easy to cross over into plastic surgery nursing, as well as those with a dermatology background (especially for aesthetics nursing positions).
As mentioned above, those who are interested in the field of plastic surgery nursing must first obtain an ADN or BSN degree. Most healthcare organizations and medical offices prefer prospective employees to have earned a BSN. You will need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam after completing your degree to become licensed as an RN. To become licensed as a Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN) or as a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS), you will first need two years of experience as an RN, then you must complete 1,000 hours of nursing practice in a plastic/aesthetic surgery setting before a supervising physician endorses your certification application. The final requirement is to take and pass the certification examination.
To be either an aesthetic nurse or reconstructive surgery nurse, you first are required to become licensed as a registered nurse (RN). Once you have obtained your RN, you will then need to earn additional certifications in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
Certification for plastic surgery nurses is carried out by the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board (PSNCB), which is part of the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses. There are two certifications one can obtain to be considered a plastic surgery nurse: the Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN) and the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS).
To be eligible for certification as a Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN), you must:
To be eligible for certification as a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS), you must:
Depending on the organization that you're working for, you made need additional certifications like Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and/or a sedation certification.
The availability of jobs and salaries for plastic surgery nurses will vary widely depending on the region they're working in. Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) and Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN) will have an easier time finding employment in larger metropolitan areas.
ZipRecruiter lists the current average salary for plastic surgery nurses at around $64,796 nationwide, those this figure can vary due to location, employer, experience level, and more. Benefits packages will depend on the specific organization a plastic surgery nurse works for. Most plastic surgery nurses who are employed full time will receive insurance plans which include dental, medical, vision, and prescription coverage. Some paid time off each year is also the norm for this profession.