How I Became an Aesthetic Nurse

I get questions every single day wondering how to be an aesthetic nurse. From how I personally got into the field, to wondering about certifications, education, etc. I’m excited to dive into it today so I can answer all these FAQs!

Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse - My Journey

Let’s start with my personal journey, the route I took to become a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Aesthetics. I can remember being in the 2nd grade and being asked to draw a picture of my future career. I drew myself as a doctor. I always knew I would be in the medical field.

Growing up, I was always more of a girly girl and had a love for everything beauty and fashion. I can remember always wanting to try little face masks and soaps from Walgreens when I was in middle school, lol! When I was in high school, during my elective anatomy class I made the decision that I would go to college to become a nurse and, I did! Pretty early into my bachelor’s degree, I decided I wanted to work in the aesthetic world. It felt like the perfect balance of medical & beauty, two things that excited me! I envisioned myself working for a plastic surgeon (dreams do come true!!). I had professors try and steer me away from this side of the career, one who thought that aesthetics nursing wasn’t “real” nursing but it didn’t change my mind. I was really in love with the concept that when we feel our best we project the best version of ourselves. My mission is to help people feel amazing in their own skin.

I graduated with a BSN and went on to take my first RN job in a hospital, working in the NICU. I always loved babies and after doing our practicum during school I knew that when it came to the hospital setting this is the kind of nursing I wanted to be doing. I ultimately still had my heart set on aesthetics in a private practice setting but I wanted to gain some core, critical thinking nursing skills by working in a hospital first. Even as an aesthetic nurse, those core nursing skills are invaluable.  I highly recommend that all new RNs work in the hospital for at least 2 years before they move into a specialty like Aesthetics. It will just make you a much more well-rounded nurse and caregiver, I’ve also found it helps build trust with patients.

While working in the hospital, I started looking for some part-time injecting experience. My first step was going out on my own and taking several different injection courses. I want to point out that there is no such thing as a “Botox Certification.” Meaning, if you are an RN, you are legally certified to administer Botox. It is a drug, it would be just like administering penicillin – it’s in your scope of practice! However, the point of the certification course is to gain knowledge as well as show potential employers you are taking steps to educate yourself to be a great nurse injector. I felt that by having the Botox/Filler Certification on my resume, this would hopefully set me apart from other inexperienced nurses applying for the same position. So, on top of working full time in the hospital, I decided to go out on my own and put in extra time, work, and financial commitment to learn about the field.

After this, I was, at first, only able to land a very part-time position at a medical spa. I did this on some evenings and weekends and even though it was tiring to work both jobs it allowed me to get my foot in the door and start learning the ropes of the field. I was able to get some good on-the-job training and experience.  

After 2 years of working in the hospital and working part-time as an injector at the medical spa, I had one particularly rough night at the hospital. I was exhausted physically and emotionally, and on my way home from my night shift, I decided it was time to move into the aesthetic world full time. I’m a very compassionate and maternal person and the hospital setting was taking a toll on my mental health.

I made it my mission to land my dream job with Dr. Mike Nayak, a world-renowned Facial Plastic Surgeon here in Saint Louis. I interviewed with him and explained that even though my injection experience was less than 5 years, this was my dream job and I was willing to do whatever it took to be successful in his practice. I was eager, willing, and ready to learn. He took a chance on me, and I made sure he would not regret it!  

After working with Dr. Nayak for about a year, I decided I wanted to go back to school to get my Masters in Nurse Practitioner. I wanted to be able to open every door of opportunity for myself in the field. The big thing for me was to be able to prescribe medications if necessary and perform specific treatments which required the advanced designation to do so. Again, not 100% necessary to work in this field, just a personal preference! Let’s get into some more specific questions.

Do I Have to Be A Nurse Practitioner to do Injections?

You do not have to be an NP however you must be a Registered Nurse to offer botox or fillers. You must be an RN with a registered medical license to perform injections but I don’t  believe you need to be an NP to be successful at aesthetic nursing! I decided to invest in the additional education for my own personal growth. My job description didn’t change a ton when I upgraded from NP to RN, but I did immediately have more authority/autonomy and opportunity, and hey a pay raise is always nice 😉

How Long Does It Take To Become An NP?

I graduated with my NP in about 2.5 years, I worked the entire time I went through school. It was tough at times; I had a very full schedule between work, school and preceptor hours but, I made it through! Like all hard work, it was worth it! For the years to follow I’ve committed myself to continue to grow, learn, adapt and to stay at the top of the latest & greatest in an ever-evolving field.


As I mentioned before I started by getting a certification in botox and fillers while I was working in the hospital. The first course I took was a weekend-long course called Introduction to Botox and Fillers, and cost around $2000. I recommend that any healthcare professional looking to branch into aesthetics starts with an educational course to learn more about the industry and gain insight to injectables and other treatments. This looks great on a resume and also sets you apart from others with no experience.  Even as an experienced provider I continue to take different courses and learning opportunities. I feel you never stop learning and I pick up a “pearl” at every course I attend. Here I am now, 10 years into the profession. One of my dreams was always to be in the position to one day be able to give back and help RNs who were like me 10 years ago – looking to break into aesthetics. For the last two years I have begun mentoring and teaching courses with Dr. Nayak and my team at Nayak Plastic Surgery. 2020 will be our 3rd year offering our Med Spa Mastery course – and we would love to have YOU!


Dr. Nayak & I created an incredible virtual training course. The course includes training and panel style interviews from the best of the best, surgeons, mid level providers, nurses, and injectors. 

These two day flash, #nofilter courses are completely online using LIVE Zoom calls which allows it to be interactive, meaning you can ask questions! The sessions are recorded and available for viewing later (if you can’t make every session). The purpose of this course will be educational on all things social branding, running or being a part of a medspa, and then of course loads of info on various treatments, injectables, and surgery. 

When you join us in MedSpa Mastery you will be learning from leading experts in our field! When choosing who to invite into our faculty, we always consider who is at the top of their craft and who inspires us in the industry. During each panel of the course, you will hear candid conversations from between 4-6 key industry thought leaders including medical estheticians, nurse injectors, mid-level providers and surgeons.

Our courses are amazing for both current providers and those aspiring to enter into the medical spa industry. This includes estheticians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, surgeons, and students from any of those categories. This would be a great course to add to a resume for those aspiring aesthetic providers. Each type of professional enters the industry with a different background, but all share common interests and goals. Many of these providers are also small business owners, responsible for the promotion and management of their business, a topic we frequently touch on as well.

One of our favorite things about this course is the #NoFilter approach. During the virtual course, you will witness all of the presenters in their own homes, in their most real, raw, and authentic selves. Plus, you get to join in from the comfort of your own home and know you’re doing something to better yourself and your career!

The unique format of this meeting avoids lengthy presentations by solo presenters. Instead, panels are intentionally constructed to cover specific topics in the medical spa industry from multiple, sometimes opposing points of view, to yield maximum education and attendee interaction.

To save $ on your registration, please enter the code “ROCKY250” for the injectables course and “ROCKY100” for the Esthetics course at checkout! 

Check our course out on IG @medspamastery


One of the best ways to see what a typical day in my shoes at the office is like, is to follow me around!  Learn my special techniques and tips, and see what it is like to consult and treat 20 or more patients receiving treatments ranging from injectables to Ultherapy in our busy medical spa. We will work to find the most suitable day to fit your interests. For MDs, RN’s, NP’s, PAs, or nursing school students only.  

Half Day: $750 (9am to 1pm) Full Day: $1000 (9am to 5pm)

Please contact to schedule your observation. Please specify that you are interested in shadowing and a date range that works for you!

Advice & Inspiration for Those Considering Aesthetics & Interviewing Tips

My advice for any medical professionals looking to break into the field is to never give up on your dreams. If you can dream it you can achieve it! It may not come at the exact moment you want it to, but if you stay to the course and do everything you can to land your dream job, the day will come.  Educate yourself on aesthetic nursing and what it entails; watch youtube videos, read, go to as many training and networking events as possible, and do not hesitate to reach out to any local injectors for advice or job openings! I’d say that the best first step is to start attending courses & networking.

My advice during an interview is BE YOU! If this is your dream job and your PASSION, tell your potential employer. Make sure they understand that you will do whatever it takes to be successful.  Being a nurse injector is not always glitz and glam like everyone thinks – it is hard work. This field can entail a lot of pressure to deliver, a lot of hand-holding, and a lot of emotional support from you to your patients –  BUT if this is your passion – it will be worth it! You definitely have to want to connect with your patients on a very personable level to enjoy this line of work.

So there you have it, my road to becoming an aesthetic nurse and hopefully a lot of good tips to help you on your way! My wish for you is that you too will have your unique journey to tell one day!

Never give up on your dreams! We only get one life so make it everything you want it to be!


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9 thoughts on “How I Became an Aesthetic Nurse”

  1. Hi Racquel, thank you for the information provided. Really inspirational and i like how detailed you were. Your handwork, dedication and passion took you very far and you are an example to follow.

    My name is Angelo and I am a male Registered Nurse working in a Hospital but with interest in aesthetics and Cosmetic Nursing; however, i am not sure of my employability since i am a Male. What is your view in regards to male cosmetic nurses and job opportunities for them? I live in Australia and i have only seen 1 male cosmetic nurse out of 6 different centres i visited. I will highly appreciate your input and honest opinion.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! It means a lot. I do have male friends in the field and I think there is definitely opportunity for success. It may even make you that much more valuable as there are not as many male injectors. Best Wishes!!

  2. Thank you so much for such a detailed breakdown. I am also a NICU nurse and plan on working towards the exact same route! nice to hear someone else who loves it. I am curious about having to work with an MD afterwards, is this necessary? I’ve heard both sides and am curious once I am done how much flexibility will I have schedule wise.

    thanks so much for your post!

    1. As a Nurse or Nurse Practitioner you would need a colloborative practice agreement with an MD. I also loved my time as a NICU nurse. Best wishes to you!!

  3. Hi! I loved your article so much and it inspired me even more! I’m going into my junior year of college as a biology major and know I want to get my BSN after I graduate and then go into aesthetics as an RN! I would love any advice or tips you have. Thank you ❤️

    1. Keep learning and self teaching as much as possible. Buy and read injectable and facial anatomy books, master facial musculature and vasculature, shadow, network, intern, and consider learning opportunities like virtual and hands on courses! If you can dream it, you can achieve it!!

  4. Hi Racquel,
    Thank you for your valuable information. My dream since I was little was to be a doctor of dermatology. I never knew that you could work in aesthetics as a nurse until now. I hope to one day be just like you. You’re truly my inspiration. would like to become a nurse practitioner and work in aesthetics. Currently, I have a non-nursing bachelors. Do you think it would be a good idea for me to do a direct entry MSN program that will take 2.5 years? Or is it wiser to do an accelerated BSN program, work as an RN, and then apply for a MSN or DNP down the road.

    Thank you so much.

  5. Hi!

    Can you give advice to students currently in nursing school, looking to pursue a career in injectables? Do you think it is best to get a part-time job as a receptionist at a medical spa, or do you think that shadowing a cosmetic injector is best in gaining knowledge about aesthetics? Which looks best on a resume, and which is most helpful in becoming a successful injector?

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Racquel Frisella

Board Certified Nurse Practitioner & Aesthetic Specialist based in Saint Louis, Missouri

I work as a cosmetic injector and skincare specialist with 12 years of experience in the Aesthetic Industry. I see patients both in-office at Nayak Plastic Surgery & Avani Derm Spa for treatments as well as online for customized, complimentary skincare plans. I focus heavily on preventative and corrective injections, treatments, and skincare.  My career is my passion and I love to help people feel like the very best version of themselves. I am a wife and a mother of 3 beautiful children under the age of 3. I love all things beauty, fashion, and fitness. I am creating this site as a place to share my expertise on beauty, anti-aging, and skin while also giving a glimpse into my lifestyle as a mom, wife and lover of fitness!  


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