How to Become a Cosmetic Nurse in Canada: Step by Step Guide

Do you find yourself fascinated with different medical procedures designed to enhance people’s appearances?

If you want to spend your workdays giving clients botox injections or performing laser hair removal, you should consider becoming a cosmetic nurse/aesthetic nurse specialist.

Your job title may also fall under aesthetic nurse or plastic surgical nurse, but either way, you’ll play an important role in assisting physicians during clinical procedures.

Cosmetic Nursing at a Glance

In Canada, people working as cosmetic nurses/aesthetic nurses typically start as registered nurses or nurse practitioners before entering a more specialized role.

Once you become a cosmetic nurse or aesthetic nurse, you’ll have the best luck finding work at an outpatient surgical center or medical spa. The role of cosmetic nurse/aesthetic nurse works well if you’re seeking a flexible working schedule. Both full and part-time positions are commonly available.

To make the dream of becoming a cosmetic nurse/aesthetic nurse a reality, you’ll need the necessary education, training course, and certifications.

Prerequisites of a Cosmetic Nursing Career

Here’s a quick overview of the credentials you’ll need to land a job as a cosmetic nurse:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a nursing specialization
  • A nursing license for your province or territory
  • 2-3 years of work experience under a board-certified physician
  • Optional certifications and mandatory continuing education

Let’s explore all the required steps in further detail:

Step 1: Get the Proper Education

If you take a look at cosmetic nurse job postings, you’ll notice almost all of them require a nursing degree.

Depending on the prerequisites for the position, you may need to obtain a registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner (NP) license.

If you’re going to become one of those registered nurses, you’ll need to spend around two to four years to receive your bachelor’s degree in nursing.

According to the Canadian Nurses Association, all provinces and territories, excluding Quebec, require at least a bachelor’s degree for an RN to start practicing.

To become a nurse practitioner, you’ll need to achieve a Master’s Degree. Completing an advanced degree program will require more time and a larger financial investment on your part.

Keep in mind that how to become a cosmetic nurse in Canada differs from other countries because the registration of aesthetic nurses does not occur at the national level. You will receive a license for the province or territory you work in.

Before making any considerable financial investment into higher education, it’s worth taking the time to understand the educational requirements of your regulatory body.

Step 2: Attain Your Nursing License

You’ll need to have a license for your province or territory before you can start practicing as a nurse.

In Canada, nursing falls under the purview of self-regulation. As a result, the requirements for licensure vary based on where you work.

You’ll need to reach out to the regulatory body in your area to learn how to qualify for licensure in your region. In most cases, you’ll need to pass one or more licensing exams demonstrating proficiency in the nursing field.

Once you’ve passed the necessary provincial exams, it’s time to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). Contact the regulatory body in your region, and they will provide you with the requisite material to get your application started.

Once you’ve finished your application, you can register for the exam online.

If you prefer to register by phone, Call Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services at 866.496.2539 and pay the exam fee.

Step 3: Gain Experience in the Field

Once you’ve got your license in hand, you can start sending out applications to medical spas and surgical centers.

You’ll want to focus on entry-level positions that let you shadow an experienced cosmetic nurse.

Make sure you get significant exposure to standard cosmetic procedures such as fat grafting, liposuction, administering botox injections, and providing postoperative care.

Once you have two to four years of experience, you should be ready to advance into a more senior role within your organization.

Step 4: Pursue a Certification to Stand Out

While this last step isn’t required, it can help you differentiate yourself from the masses when trying to advance your career and become an aesthetic nurse.

If there’s a specific job function you want to become an expert on, such as cosmetic injections, getting a certification proves your competency to prospective employers.

Qualifying for certifications consists of getting the necessary education and field experience in your subject area. You’ll also need to pass your certification exam.

Each specialty has a national association. Joining one could help with your networking and professional growth.

Step 5: Complete Continuing Education

It takes a commitment to continuous learning to become a world-class cosmetic nurse.

Beyond certifications, there are continuing education requirements to receive your license renewal.

In a competitive job market, obtaining more formal education than the competition helps you bring more value to the table.

If you’re concerned about fitting courses into your busy schedule, consider online education. You can take classes on useful topics like injecting dermal fillers from the comfort of your home.

Nursing careers in Canada

We will also show you the different types of nursing careers that you can pursue in Canada and what makes them different from each other:

A Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)

RPNs are required to possess foundational knowledge that combines nursing skills with sound judgment within the context of traditional nursing and bedside care like blood pressure readings, inserting catheters, or answering basic patient questions. Registered Practical Nurses require the least education and training but must complete a two-year practical nursing program from an accredited institution nonetheless.

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

A Licensed Practical Nurse provides the patients with a variety of basic health services like checking their vital signs and assisting with bathing, dressing, and eating. LPNs’ responsibilities are crucial in order to ensure that patients’ overall comfort and well-being are maintained while they receive medical care.

Registered Nurse (RN)

RNs are generally thought of as generalists. They hold a much deeper knowledge base than an RPN or an LPN. While Registered Nurses make more money, LPNs are able to get through school much faster, thus spending less money on school. It’s not uncommon for someone to get their LPN certification, get a job, and then continue their education as an RN while working in an LPN role.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

NPs generally will start their career as RNs before moving into a specific discipline. Nurse Practitioners offer much more comprehensive treatment to patients, diagnose illnesses, offer medications, and discuss treatment plans. They also help to administer aesthetic medicine prescribed by a physician, which is the biggest difference between an NP and an RN.


One of the great things about nursing in Canada is that it offers a lot of different potential paths. RPNs, LPNs, RNs, and NPs can all specialize in one or more areas. Travel Nurse, Oncology Nurse, Nurse Midwife, Cosmetic Nurse are just a few possible other options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s your quick guide to job functions, salary expectations, and working conditions associated with becoming a cosmetic nurse.

What Are the Essential Job Duties of a Cosmetic Nurse?

Your scope of work will include the following responsibilities:

  • Handling patient consultations and scheduling
  • Performing skin-aging assessments
  • Providing preoperative and postoperative care
  • Facilitating injection procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers
  • Administering non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels
  • Assisting physicians during cosmetic surgery/aesthetic surgery and surgical procedures

How Much Money Can I Make as a Cosmetic Nurse?

The average cosmetic nurse/aesthetic nurse salary is $86,483 per year in Canada.

Where Do Cosmetic Nurses Work?

Typically cosmetic nurses/aesthetic nurses work out of plastic surgery clinics, medical spas, and hospitals.
It’s uncommon for cosmetic nurses to run private practices. You’ll work in tandem with cosmetic surgeons and physicians.

How Long Do I Have to Study to Become a Cosmetic Nurse?

It will take two to five years to achieve a relevant RN degree and pass the National Council Licensure Exam.

After that, you’ll spend two years working under a board-certified physician, learning core competencies, including facial plastic surgery and dermatology.

Do you need a degree to be a cosmetic nurse?

Licensed practical nurses who want to specialize in aesthetic nursing must have postgraduate certification in cosmetic nursing, such as a graduate diploma.

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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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