How Can Nurse Practitioners Learn Cosmetic Procedures?

Trying to get experience as a nurse practitioner is like the proverbial chicken or the egg question. Job postings, for example, may require that applicants know how to suture or do trigger point injections. With employers unwilling to hire without experience, how are you supposed to become proficient with such procedures? Dermatology is one specialty where it can be particularly difficult to land a position without prior procedural training.

I’m not certified in Botox, fillers, or other cosmetic procedures myself, so I turned to an expert for help in answering the question “Just how can nurse practitioners get experience with cosmetic procedures?”. A former NP program classmate of mine turned derm NP filled me in.

There are two main ways to go about learning how to perform cosmetic procedures such as Botox and Juvederm. First, you can attend a workshop specifically designed to teach these skills. These workshops are in-person seminars offering hands-on training similar to continuing medical education conferences you may have attended in the past. They can be expensive often costing well above the $1,000 mark. An employer may help foot the bill for training as offering cosmetic procedures can be a significant revenue generator for a medical practice. It never hurts to ask, right?

If you can’t find a seminar that fits your needs or simply don’t want to fork over your hard earned cash for a cosmetic education, you can set up training directly through pharmaceutical companies. This option is offered free of charge and the drug company supplies sample products at no cost to nurse practitioners in training. For example, an Allergan pharmaceutical representative can train nurse practitioners on proper use of the products Botox and Juvederm. Galderma representatives can train nurse practitioners to use the products Restylane and Dysport.

Given the highly visible nature of cosmetic procedures and the risk of complications, it is essential that nurse practitioners go through the proper channels to become proficient in this area before offering these services in their practice. Don’t forget to check your state’s scope of practice laws as well. In some states, NPs may be required to have physician supervision in order to offer these procedures. States often have strict regulations when it comes to operating med-spas, so carefully read these guidelines to keep your clinic in compliance.

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Dermatology NPs – how did you learn to perform cosmetic procedures?


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4 thoughts on “How Can Nurse Practitioners Learn Cosmetic Procedures?”

  1. Thank you for having so many articles on dermatology and ways to get into the specialty recently. I have a year and a half left of NP school and really need to have a leg up on others to get into this competitive area of practice. Your articles are always so informative and easy to read. I appreciate it and thank you for this site!

  2. Barbara Southard

    I’m already a certified nurse injector with my own practice. I’m currently in NP school to solidify my space. It is unfortunate that filler injections aren’t more regulated. I’ve sat in CE courses where aestheticians in certain states are injecting. I hope to bring more professionalism to the practice of botox and fillers. Yes, it’s an art, but having science classes and the nursing background I believe makes me a better injector. I hope my long term clients would agree. If you ever want me to write about my experience I can. It’s not as easy as going to a weekend class. In fact, that is the last place you want to start with injectables because you won’t learn the art of daily injections.

  3. Thanks for the article. I recently took a continuing education like course (EXPENSIVE!) to train on botox, fillers, and mesotherapy. Unfortunately after all that time and money, I still didn’t feel ready to inject patients on my own. After I took the class I got in touch with a rep from Allergan who has been amazing at getting me into trainings, sending me product to practice with. I would encourage anyone who is interested in getting into this field to talk to a rep first- they have the best training for beginners either through their company, or through other local NP’s in the area who do training for Allergan.

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