Cosmetic Surgery Nurse: Salary and Career Information

Cosmetic surgery nurses are registered nurses who work specifically with patients undergoing cosmetic or plastic surgery. They typically must earn a bachelor's degree in nursing and pass the national licensing exam before beginning work as a cosmetic surgery nurse.

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Salary Information

Although there is no data specific to cosmetic surgery nurses, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2012, the median annual salary for registered nurses was $65,470 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS notes that many nurses become eligible for benefits and bonuses, and about 19% are covered by union contracts. Employment for registered nurses is also expected to increase at a much faster rate than most occupations, according to the BLS, rising 26% from 2010-2020.

Career Information

A cosmetic surgery nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who primarily cares for cosmetic surgery patients. Cosmetic surgery typically includes elective plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction, facelifts and tummy tucks; however, some cosmetic surgery nurses may also care for patients undergoing reconstructive surgery from severe burns, birth defects or deformities generated by cancer.

A cosmetic surgery nurse has many of the same responsibilities as other surgical and operating room nurses, including sterilizing equipment, preparing the operating room and caring for patients before and after surgery. Often, cosmetic surgery nurses work at private clinics and serve patients with very specific requests.

Certification

In addition to being a registered nurse, someone interested in pursuing a career as a cosmetic surgery nurse may wish to apply for voluntary certification from the Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board. Certification typically requires a current RN license, at least two years experience as a plastic surgery nurse experience and passing the certification exam.

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