Cosmetic nursing is a dynamic, flexible and rewarding career pathway for Nurses. The field of aesthetics is rapidly growing on a global scale with significant growth in non-invasive procedures such as laser, body sculpting and cosmetic injectables. This industry growth gives rise to new career opportunities in the safe and effective administration of non-invasive cosmetic procedures.
As more cosmetic clinics open across Australia, there is an increasing need for formal training in Cosmetic Medicine, Cosmetic Nursing and Dermal Therapies. This site is developed as an information hub for nurses who are looking to expand their scope of practice to include aesthetic procedures.
If you’re a nurse considering a career in cosmetic nursing, here’s a free short-course to help guide you.
The course is developed to provide nurses with the key information required to make an informed decision about career pathways in cosmetic nursing.
Effective skin assessment forms the foundation to most cosmetic injectables and dermal procedures. Skin assessment refers to a visual analysis of the skin and its underlying structures ie. epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous and even bony structures.
Assessment techniques may involve the use of skin analysis tools such as a dermatoscope for assessing pigmentated and vascular lesions, a woods lamp for assessing depth of pigment and specialised cameras to assess surface textural irregularities and contours.
Detailed skin assessments allows the Cosmetic Nurse to develop a holistic treatment plan, refer the patient to other health care providers when required and work effectively within their scope of practice.
Cosmetic Nurses perform a range of cosmetic injectables procedures such as botulinum toxin, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, platelet rich plasma and bio-stimulatory dermal fillers. The products used for these procedures are scheduled medications and must be prescribed by a Medical Doctor. The RN Cosmetic Nurse cannot purchase these scheduled medications or work independent of the prescribing doctor.
Dermal therapy procedures are highly complementary to cosmetic injectables and are essential to providing a holistic cosmetic service. Cosmetic Nurses perform a range of dermal therapies including microdermabrasion, laser and IPL (vascular and pigment), laser tattoo removal, laser hair reduction, fractionated laser, chemical peels, LED therapy, cryolipolysis, radiofrequency and skin/micro-needling. Some states of Australia, laser licensing is required for Cosmetic Nurses (see FAQ no. 6 for more information).
Cosmetic Nursing also involves assisting the Doctor in aspects of patient care. Depending on the cosmetic clinic, this may involve theatre assisting, pre/post-operative care, patient consultation advice and other clinical duties. A Cosmetic Nurse working with a Cosmetic or Plastic Surgeon is expected to have a sound understanding of the surgical procedures offered within the clinic. Having a broad knowledge of all cosmetic procedures ensures patients are provided with a range of treatment options, treated holistically and referred to the appropriate Doctor when necessary.
Patient documentation, organising pre/post photographs, ordering consumables and products, developing policies and procedures, marketing and social media are some examples of the day-to-day tasks of a Cosmetic Nurse in a cosmetic clinic.
Complete a university qualification in nursing to gain your registration with AHPRA as a Registered Nurse. AHPRA registration as an Enrolled/Division 2 Nurse is also sufficient, however, there are limitations on ENs administering cosmetic injectable procedures (see FAQs number 1 for details).
Gain experience as a Nurse – this can be achieved whilst studying a cosmetic nursing course.
Complete a formal graduate qualification in 52852WA Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Injectables. A formal postgraduate qualification must be recognised on the Australian Qualification Framework.
Most cosmetic nurses start their new career pathway by working in a cosmetic clinic on a part-time or casual basis and increase hours as their clientele becomes more established.
Maintain your nursing registration with AHPRA by completing the required CPD points relevant to your new scope of practice. An example of a relevant CPD program is Aesthetics CPD by AACDS. Click here to read more.
The 52852WA Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Injectables is a postgraduate cosmetic nurse course developed specifically for qualified Nurses wishing to enter the field of cosmetic medicine. This nationally accredited qualification will provide Nurses with the knowledge and hands-on practical skills required to work in a cosmetic medical practice performing a range of dermal therapies, injectable procedures and cosmetic nursing duties. The unit ‘CDNEIP02 Evaluate and perform cosmetic injectable procedures’ is the first nationally accredited unit covering the theory and practical skills associated with dermal fillers and wrinkle relaxants.
QLD and WA Laser Licensing Recognition
The 52852WA Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Injectables is recognised by the Radiological Council of WA as meeting the laser licence exemption criteria for hair removal, vascular and pigment treatment categories.
The 52852WA Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Injectables is recognised by QLD Radiation Health as meeting the fast-track laser licence criteria for hair removal, vascular and skin rejuvenation treatment categories.
Medical practice, whether it be General Medicine or any of the Medical Specialties, relies upon professional collaboration of trained, qualified and experienced health practitioners. Cosmetic Medicine is no exception. The profession of Nursing is an integral component of ethical delivery of quality and excellence in aesthetic procedures while working in harmony with medical practitioners. Whether you are a doctor or nurse, this cannot be achieved without appropriate training, competency standards, mentorship, experience and continuous professional development. The CPCA recommendation to nurses considering a career pathway in aesthetics is to complete a formal qualification in cosmetic nursing (recognised on the Australian Qualification Framework) that covers both theoretical and practical training in dermal therapies and cosmetic injectables.
Dr Michael K Molton MBBS FCPCA (Dip Cosm & Derm Laser)
President Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia
Provision of high quality, ethical, patient-centered healthcare services should be the goal of all healthcare providers. Practitioners performing cosmetic medical procedures come from many different areas of the healthcare sector. The Australasian College of Aesthetic Medicine (ACAM) recognises that every member of the cosmetic medical team plays a vital role in the provision of quality healthcare. In particular, Cosmetic nurses form an integral role in many medical practices.
ACAM acknowledges the positive benefits for including appropriately qualified and supervised Registered Nurses in the membership of the College as a way to establish and promote industry standards, a code of ethics, and to encourage adherence to Best Practice guidelines. Membership of a relevant medical college also provides ongoing peer support and training opportunities for all members, which can be very valuable as you commence your career in cosmetic nursing.
Dr Rachel Gronke
President of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Medicine
The Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science (AACDS) have been delivering nationally accredited qualifications in dermal therapies and cosmetic nursing since 2004.
Course Coordinator Jacquie Kelly RN advises, “In our experience of teaching hundreds of nurses in cosmetic medicine for over a decade, our strongest advice is to take the career move to cosmetic nursing seriously. Some nurses may regard cosmetic nursing as a potentially easy, risk-free area of nursing. Cosmetic nursing carries just as much risk as any other area of nursing. It’s also important to embrace all aspects of the cosmetic nursing rolerather than attempt to launch a cosmetic career as an injector only. This may restrict valuable career opportunities but may also put the nurse and their patients at risk of substandard treatment. We have come across nurses who take the cosmetic nursing pathway in the hope of quickly augmenting their earning capacity. This is not the case as it takes time to establish a patient base and prove abilities to employers”.
Academy Face and Body is a boutique cosmetic clinic and licensed day hospital. We have been established for 20 years and have two locations in Perth, WA. We currently employ five Cosmetic Nurses and two Nurse Practitioners across the following areas; theatre, pre-post-operative care, day hospital administration, cosmetic injectables and dermal therapies. Some of our Cosmetic Nurses specialise in a particular area, though most require a broad-skills set to fulfil multiple cosmetic nursing roles within the practice and our licensed day hospital.
When recruiting new Cosmetic Nurses, we specifically seek nurses holding a formal qualification in cosmetic nursing. This demonstrates the applicant has committed to a career in aesthetics rather than someone simply “trying it out”. Other attributes we consider when recruiting include professionalism, a willingness to learn, and the ability to work cohesively within a team environment
Zonia Wulff MBA, Practice Manager.
Since opening our first clinic in 2008, Laser Clinics has become the largest non-invasive aesthetic operator in the world. Our Cosmetic Injectables treatments include wrinkle prevention and reduction, dermal fillers, lip enhancements, fat dissolving and microfiller. We equip our Cosmetic Nurses with a range of market leading injectable products.
With 165 clinics across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, we have over 300 Cosmetic Injectable Nurses. We’re proud to offer long-term career pathways, not just in Australia but globally. Our Nurses can relocate internationally, move to a new state, experience life in a regional clinic or work on short-term assignments in remote destinations in Australia. It’s our mission to ensure we offer Nurses a meaningful career. Some of our best Nurse Injectors have been selected to join our internal Nurse Council and be Mentors and Trainers.
The industry is continuing to grow. Our Injectors have a genuine passion for aesthetics and skin health, helping others look and feel their best. On a day to day basis Nurses at LCA provide in-depth consultations, provide a safe service, listen to patients concerns, educate, build treatment plans and set realistic expectations. This is what makes our industry an incredibly rewarding industry to work in.
Medical professionals at Laser Clinics are dedicated to continuous education. We look to recruit Nurses who’ve completed formal qualifications in Cosmetic Nursing. It’s our collective responsibility as an industry leader to provide the highest quality treatments possible, in the safest way.
Doctor Jonathan Hopkirk, Medical Director, Laser Clinics
I started my cosmetic nursing journey 10 years ago by studying a Graduate Certificate in Cosmetic Nursing with AACDS. On completion of the course I commenced working in a cosmetic medical practice performing dermal therapies.
As I gained more skills in injectables, I progressed from basic neurotoxin to dermal fillers ...Read More
I started my cosmetic nursing journey 10 years ago by studying a Graduate Certificate in Cosmetic Nursing with AACDS. On completion of the course I commenced working in a cosmetic medical practice performing dermal therapies.
As I gained more skills in injectables, I progressed from basic neurotoxin to dermal fillers and now I perform a diverse range of advanced injectable procedures alongside some dermal therapies.
I’m a strong believer in treating cosmetic patients in a holistic manner, which is why having knowledge and skills in dermal, cosmeceuticals, cosmetic injectables, cosmetic surgical, anti-ageing medicine and other aspects of health is so incredibly valuable.
My advice to nurses thinking of career move to cosmetic medicine is to ensure your training also includes dermal therapies because this is often your starting point in a cosmetic practice....Read Less
My initial journey in aesthetics commenced by studying an undergraduate course, the Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science. I worked alongside a Plastic Surgeon performing dermal therapies but wanted to further my scope of practice to include cosmetic injectables. I realised the importance of having skills in both areas ...Read More
My initial journey in aesthetics commenced by studying an undergraduate course, the Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science. I worked alongside a Plastic Surgeon performing dermal therapies but wanted to further my scope of practice to include cosmetic injectables. I realised the importance of having skills in both areas to advantage my career and to further support my patients.
After completing my Nursing Degree, I focused on achieving optimal skin health for my patients by combining dermal and injectable procedures.
I’ve always had a passion for education and when the opportunity to work for Merz (pharmaceutical company that manufactures cosmetic injectable products) was presented, I knew this would allow me to follow this passion. I now have the opportunity to combine all my aesthetic skills as a Clinical Educator and Trainer for Merz. I enjoy working with Dermal Therapists, Cosmetic Nurses and Cosmetic Doctors to help them achieve their career goals and improve the standard of aesthetic procedures throughout Australia.
My advice to Nurses considering a career in aesthetics is to ensure you have diversity in your role as a Cosmetic Nurse. You may gravitate to the area of aesthetics you naturally perform best in eg. theatre, dermatology, injecting, dermal etc, but having a broad knowledge of all areas of aesthetics will ensure you achieve the best patient outcomes....Read Less
I commenced my career as a Cosmetic Nurse in January 2017 whilst completing a Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing. My current role as a Cosmetic Nurse involves formulating treatment plans, liaising with cosmetic doctors, administering cosmetic injectables, recommending adjunct treatments, administrative duties and patient ...Read More
I commenced my career as a Cosmetic Nurse in January 2017 whilst completing a Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing. My current role as a Cosmetic Nurse involves formulating treatment plans, liaising with cosmetic doctors, administering cosmetic injectables, recommending adjunct treatments, administrative duties and patient follow up care. Practicing in the area of aesthetics requires an impeccable attention to detail. Cosmetic injecting is an artform and Nurses must ensure they have an eye for proportion, symmetry and balance before considering a career as a Cosmetic Nurse/Injector. In addition to these skills, Cosmetic Nurses also have to be diligent in patient care. Cosmetic procedures should not be trivialised – they require the same duty of care as all other medical procedures....Read Less
One of the most exciting units of the Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Injectables is the four day cosmetic injectables practical training. The four day intensive training is held the Aspire Training Clinics located in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and at Grayclay Medical Aesthetics on the Gold Coast. During the four days, our cosmetic nurse students will have the opportunity to put their cosmetic injecting theory into practice and develop skills in facial assessment, injectable treatment planning, product selection and preparation, injection techniques and patient review.
Working on real paying patients also provides students with a realistic clinical environment and exposes them to a range of situations likely to be experienced in a cosmetic medical clinic, including dealing with patient requests and complications.
Throughout the practical training experience, students are fully supervised as there is a ratio of one trainer to two students. This ratio ensures each student can receive tailored interactions with the trainers and our trainers can provide focused and individualised help to each student. One of the trainers will be a prescribing doctor and the other, an experienced nurse injector to provide support and guidance. Students will run through the complete cosmetic injectable treatment process starting from greeting the patient in the waiting room, providing a thorough consultation and assessment, performing the treatment and finally closing the session by rebooking the patient according to their treatment plan.
Students do not need to bring in their own models, though can refer suitable candidates to the student clinic if they wish.
Day One of the Cosmetic Injectables Training
Before patients can be treated, students spend the day reviewing topics such as injectables theory, facial anatomy, the consultation process, facial assessment and mapping, clinical documentation, dilutions, needle handling, injection techniques and learning how to deal with complications. Important topics such as occupational health and safety, disposal of sharps and COVID safety is also covered.
An integral part of the treatment process is the consultation. Students will complete a thorough consultation with every patient they see under the supervision of a trainer. The consultation process involves:
Day Two of the Cosmetic Injectables Training
Day two is spent treating actual patients with a focus on administering cosmetic neurotoxin to the glabellar, forehead and crow’s feet area. A required number of case studies (patients) are consulted and treated. Students use the cosmetic neurotoxin Xeomin® and must carefully select dosage/units per area and accurately mark and treat the intended injection points.
Day Three of the Cosmetic Injectables Training
Day three is focused on dermal filler treatments for lips and cheek augmentation and marionette correction. Students use the Merz® range of injectable products and must select products according to anatomical area, desired treatment outcomes and the pharmacological properties of the product.
Day Four of the Cosmetic Injectables Training
Day four is all about full face assessment and combining neurotoxin and dermal fillers to achieve optimum treatment outcomes. By this stage, the student is expected to be able to formulate a full treatment plan encompassing neurotoxin, dermal filler, dermal therapies and in some cases, cosmetic surgery.
Best Practice Prescribing
Throughout all aspects of the cosmetic injectables training, there is an emphasis on how Nurses can achieve best practice. Best practice ensures the Nurse is practicing safety in line with their scope of practice and all procedures are prescribed in accordance with the Australian federal law and TGA scheduling. This entails the correct consultation process in which the covering doctor must be involved, standing orders signed in real time and how and when to involve the covering doctor when treatment plans are altered or complications arise.
Want to know more about our cosmetic nurse courses?
To learn more about our cosmetic nurse courses, please click here to arrange a time to talk with the Course Coordinator or to apply for the 52502WA Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Injectables, please click here.
The regulatory scheme is important to the safety of Australian consumers. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates all medicines, medical devices and biologicals under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act). The Act prohibits the import, export, manufacture, supply and advertising of unapproved therapeutic goods for human use, which have not been subject to approvals, exemptions, or permits. Unless a specific exemption applies, a therapeutic good must be entered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), or it cannot be supplied in Australia. Only legal sponsors are permitted to lawfully import therapeutic goods. A sponsor is a person or company who is legally responsible for supplying goods on the ARTG in Australia.
Cosmetic injectables are regulated as Schedule 4 substances (prescription only medicines). You cannot publish an advertisement to the public about therapeutic goods that contains a statement referring to goods, or substances or preparations containing goods, included in Schedules 3, 4 or 8 of the Poisons Standard. Health professionals and cosmetic or beauty clinics are not permitted to advertise references to the active ingredients in cosmetic injections. Abbreviations of either the trade or ingredient names are also unacceptable. Further information is available at advertising cosmetic injections.
Cosmetic injections require a prescription from an accredited professional, and can only be stored and administered by qualified, authorised practitioners. You need to be aware of your obligations under State and Territory legislation for storage of Schedule 4 substances. Cosmetic injectables are considered high risk products and clients must be assessed by a medical professional before their use.
The TGA investigates suspected illegal activity relating to therapeutic goods, including unlawfully supplied products. Appropriate regulatory action is taken where necessary, ranging from education and support through to seizure and destruction of unapproved therapeutic goods, fines and court proceedings. Targeting legislative non-compliance disrupts the illegal trading of unapproved and counterfeit therapeutic goods in the domestic market.
The TGA encourages the reporting of illegal cosmetic injectable procedures in Australia. These reports can prevent potentially serious consequences and safeguard the health of the Australian community.
If you suspect non-compliance regarding cosmetic injectable products, you can report illegal or questionable practices anonymously online to the TGA, or by calling 1800 020 653. You can also, report suspected supply of counterfeit medicines and medical devices. Information provided should include sufficient details for further enquires to be undertaken.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) can be notified if you have concerns about practitioners.
This CPD workshop will focus on the POTENZA device which is the world’s first RF microneedling machine that combines monopolar and bipolar radio-frequency at 1 & 2MHz capabilities in a single device. The versatility of the Potenza system allows you to customize treatments based on your patients’ specific needs – all skin types, anywhere on the body, any time of year.
The CPD workshop will also cover the VIVACE device which provides a minimally invasive treatment that gently heats the targeted area beneath the epidermis and stimulates the natural production of collagen and is effective in alleviating facial wrinkles, fine lines, and tightening and toning to the face, neck, hands and body.