Written by Kate Allen
Cosmetic nursing is exciting, evolving, challenging and rewarding career choice. To excel in this career you need to enjoy working with people, have a passion for anatomy & physiology and be able to work independently whilst under the guidance of your prescribing doctor. Having a good network of industry peers will also make your journey in appearance medicine a much more enjoyable one.
What to Expect From Cosmetic Nurses i.e., Registered Nurses (RN)
Cosmetic nurses are first and foremost Registered Nurses. In addition to having a degree in Health Science (Nursing), you will need to obtain and maintain an annual practising certificate from the New Zealand Nursing council. To maintain this you need to meet all of the criteria defined by the Nursing Council on an annual basis. Cosmetic Appearance Nursing Network (CANN) also recommend you maintain advanced resuscitation certification, indemnity insurance, ongoing professional development, peer group requirements, accreditation and auditing.
Generally speaking, industry advice would be that a Registered Nurse has at least 2 years of post-graduate experience prior to working in cosmetic medicine. This enables a good nursing foundation, to be able to accurately assess clients medical history and deal with difficult situations, including potential acute clinical adverse events and managing challenging clients. Additionally, you will need to have a prescribing doctor to issue you with a Standing Order document. He/she will also need to play a role in your training and ongoing assessment of your practice. CANN recommend prescribing doctors are members of NZSCM or Plastic Surgeons however they may be doctors from other specialties who hold suitable qualifications, training and experience in cosmetic medicine.
Cosmetic Medicine Industry Training Courses in New Zealand
Cosmetic medicine is currently a growing and evolving field in New Zealand. To date, there have been no formal recognised standards or qualifications outside of being a Registered Nurse. This is the issue, currently before the Nursing Council and is likely to change in the coming months and years. As a result, the main pharmaceutical product providers do offer industry training (usually free of charge to those who hold accounts with their products). These include but may not be limited to Allergan, Galderma, Merz & Toaxane. There are also privately funded courses available overseas, online and in New Zealand. A google search will lead you in the right direction. Additionally, there are some fantastic cosmetic medicine conferences available both in New Zealand and Australia (as well as further afield).
The training in this industry is ongoing. The learning never stops. Our understanding of anatomy & physiology continues to grow, along with the evolution and understanding of products and their application. Improved understanding of adverse events enables the industry to grow and evolve. Aesthetic concepts and proportions and the psychology of patients is also another realm of ongoing exploration. With the passion, understanding and commitment to this fascinating industry, you could make an amazing Cosmetic Nurse. You may like to reach out to a local CANN society member to discuss this career in more detail.