How do I Become a Plastic Surgery Nurse?

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  • Written By: T. Webster
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Plastic surgery nurses care for patients undergoing a wide range of cosmetic or reconstructive surgeries. These surgeries can be minor or major in scope. If you become a plastic surgery nurse, you will assist patients before, during and after procedures. This includes assessing patients, instructing patients about how to prepare for surgery, monitoring them during the procedure and giving instructions about follow-up care. If you want to become a plastic surgery nurse, you will need a nursing degree and several years of experience in general nursing, and you likely will need to be certified.

The term plastic surgery is not a literal reference to the synthetic substance we know as plastic. Rather, the word plastic is used in reference to the Greek word plastikos, which means to shape or mold. In fact, plastic surgery often involves reshaping or resurfacing a part of the body or face.

To become a plastic surgery nurse, you first need a nursing degree. If you already are a registered nurse or have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, you are ahead of the game. If you have a degree and some experience, you likely will need to pass an exam and become certified before moving into a specialty area.


Those new to the field of nursing will need to complete many more steps to become a plastic surgery nurse. Depending on the country where you live, you likely will need to get some on-the-job experience and then pass a certification exam.

First, expect to spend up to several years in educational training. An associate’s degree in nursing can take two to three years, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing will require a total of four years. Although some registered nurses become plastic surgery nurses, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) generally will give you an edge.

Excelling in a nursing degree program generally requires a strong understanding of biology and a supervised internship to gain real-world experience. In addition to completing a degree, licensing exams likely will be required. Typically, you must pass a general nursing exam as well as a plastic surgery nursing exam. Both exams require a great deal of preparation to pass them.

Following your degree program, you might be expected to get a couple of years of general experience in the nursing field before being eligible to become a plastic surgery nurse. Carefully choose where you want to work to obtain this experience. In this case, it is highly desirable to get experience in a medical setting that offers some form of plastic surgery.

Some plastic surgery nurses choose to work in highly specialized practices in either the medical or cosmetic arenas. Generally, courses and training are available for whatever the area in which you want to specialize. For specific requirements, check with your college, plastic surgery associations or medical offices in the area where you plan to work.



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Post 1

Breaking into the field of aesthetic medicine is difficult without proper training and education. Even once you are working in the aesthetic field, it is extremely important to stay up to date on current trends and continue your aesthetic education.

I suggest anyone interested in becoming a plastic surgery nurse should take a course prior to administering treatments. I found an upcoming course in Chicago, Expanded Aesthetics, that incorporates history and hands on instruction.

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