How to Become a Cosmetic Nurse: Step By Step Career Guide

How to Become A Plastic Surgery Nurse or Cosmetic Nurse


A career in cosmetic nursing is rewarding, dynamic and flexible and makes a great career pathway for those interested in nursing. The field of aesthetic nursing is growing with more and more patients being interested in trialling injectables, body sculpting and laser treatments. With higher demand for these services, cosmetic nurse career opportunities are becoming more plentiful. This is great news for you if you are looking to expand your scope of practice to include aesthetic and non-invasive beauty procedures. Here, we’ll look at the steps required to become a cosmetic nurse in Australia.

A cosmetic nurse sometimes called an aesthetics nurse practitioner or plastic surgeon’s nurse works under the guidance of a Plastic Surgeon to assist with non-surgical procedures. There are a few steps to undertake if you have hopes of becoming a cosmetic nurse. And, with the right training and qualifications, you could embark on a career path that is stable, satisfying and varied.

Cosmetic Nurse Job Requirements

Becoming an aesthetic nurse is not, however, for the faint of heart. As with any area of practice, consistency and dedication are essential. You must be willing to keep training and practising until you can consistently achieve great results. Becoming a cosmetic nurse requires:

  • Ongoing Education
  • Motivation
  • Comprehensive knowledge of skin anatomy and physiology
  • Ability to work alongside a doctor
  • Ability to manage complications should they occur
  • Hands-on practice
  • Basic business skills
  • Great communication skills
  • More practice

More so than this, you’ll need to be able to stand for long periods, have good bedside manner and have a strong tolerance to seeing blood. And certain personality traits are extremely valuable in this position too. This includes being patient, compassionate, having good attention to detail and also having strong interpersonal skills.

Day-to-Day Tasks of a Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner

Your job may involve caring for patients before and after their cosmetic surgery, administering injectable treatments or a combination of the two. It may also include:

  • Assessing skin aging or other skin-related health problems
  • Administering anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, chemical peels, collagen treatments and other non-invasive cosmetic procedures
  • Performing pre and post-operative care
  • Consulting with, screening, and scheduling patients
  • Assisting the Surgeon during various cosmetic surgeries and procedures
  • Preparing and sterilising instruments and operating rooms

Depending on your area of interest and your specific skill set, you may choose to work in a variety of settings. These include private practices, hospitals, medical spas or dermatology clinics, under the supervision of a Specialist Doctor.

Benefits of Becoming a Cosmetic Nurse

Once qualified, you can enjoy the following benefits as a plastic surgeons nurse:

  • Flexible hours
  • Growing industry
  • Plentiful job opportunities including contractual work
  • Competitive salary
  • Career advancement

Step By Step Cosmetic Nurse Career Guide

So, you’ve decided that this career is right for you? If so, you’ll need to know the necessary steps to become a cosmetic nurse in Queensland, Australia:

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelors Degree in Nursing 

Obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Nursing is the first step to becoming a Registered Nurse in Australia. This degree will take 3 to 3.5 years of full-time study to complete. Once you are qualified as an RN, you will then be required to register yourself and gain some general nursing experience.

Step 2: Register with AHPRA

The next step is to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which sets policies and standards and regulates Australia’s registered health practitioners.

Step 3: Gain Nursing Experience

Once you’ve gained the necessary qualifications, you’ll need to get some experience under your belt. Typically, cosmetic nurses need at least two years of experience to practice without direct supervision.

The best way to do this is with a job shadowing opportunity at a Plastic Surgery Clinic or a Medical Spa. In this role, you’ll shadow a cosmetic nurse during their daily work activities and be given the opportunity to learn about common cosmetic nurse job functions. This includes learning how to deliver pre and post-operative care, how to assess skin aging as well as learning how to administer injectable treatments.

Step 4: Undertake a Graduate Diploma in Cosmetic Nursing

Finally, in order to become a cosmetic nurse, you must undertake a postgraduate qualification such as a graduate diploma in Cosmetic Nursing. This takes around 10 months of full-time study. Alternatively, you can choose a part-time study load which will take about 20 months to complete.

This course will equip you with the necessary skills required to perform cosmetic procedures, dermal procedures and also injectables including dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections, skin boosters and other collagen treatments. You’ll also be able to perform chemical peels, laser and light-based therapies, non-invasive body contouring, micro-needling and other skin resurfacing procedures.

Students undertaking their postgraduate diploma must also complete 76 hours of clinical placement to graduate. You may undertake step 3 and 4 simultaneously to acheive these hours of work experience.

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing Course Australia are eligible to join the Australasian College of Aesthetic Medicine’s Cosmetic Nursing membership category. This certification isn’t necessary but may help to gain you greater respect in the industry.

Step 5: Be Open to Continual Learning

Once armed with your bachelor of nursing, clinical experience, and a diploma in cosmetic nursing, you’ll need to stay educated to uphold your license. This includes undertaking online training courses on techniques and methods for administering injectables. There are a variety of courses available and a cosmetic nurse will undertake many over the course of their career.

The courses which you undertake may be recommended by your Doctor or they may be necessary to maintain your voluntary certifications. Regardless, the education required to prosper in this role is continuous.

Step 6: Find a Job

There are many ways to find work in this field. Your university may offer recruitment opportunities or networking that may be valuable to you. You may have met valuable contacts throughout your placement and clinical experience that you can leverage. Otherwise, a variety of Job Search platforms such as Seek can be used to connect you with the right people.

Looking For Work? Contact Us

If you are a Registered Cosmetic Nurse and are ready to further your career path in Cosmetic Nursing, get in touch with us. We’d love to meet you.

About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plas) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon

Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.

Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing BreastBodyFace and Nose surgery. Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon with 30+ years of experience. He has completed all required training and only carries out approved surgical practices. There are absolutely NO undertrained doctors or cosmetic doctors acting as surgeons in our clinic.

As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is committed to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.


Do Your Research

What to Bring to Your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative for support and discussion regarding your choices
  • Take notes and read all provided information thoroughly
  • Read about what to expect in your Initial Surgery Consultation

Book Your Plastic Surgery Consultation

  • Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is required to book a consultation with Dr Doyle.
  • Email us or call on 07 5598 0988 to arrange your consultation appointment.
  • Pay your $300 Consultation Fee in advance to secure your consultation.

Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or phone 07 5598 0988 during Clinic Hours.

  • Dr. Mark Doyle AHPRA Registration: Dr Mark Doyle MED0001375519 Specialist Plastic Surgery – MBBS FRACS FRCS

*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.