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How To Transition From Bedside Nurse To Aesthetic Nurse

By Brigid McKee, RN


Transitioning from being a bedside nurse to an aesthetic nurse is a significant change in nursing practice. Moving from the fast-paced, high-stress environment of the hospital to the more relaxed and personalized setting of a clinic requires some adjustment. However, the change also presents an opportunity for growth, career development, and a better work-life balance. Previously, I was a pediatric ICU nurse for 4 years (travel nurse for 2 of those years) and then made the transition into aesthetics. I am forever grateful that the AAFE hired me without any injecting experience.

If you’re a bedside nurse looking to transition to an aesthetic nurse, this blog post is for you. We’ll discuss the steps you can take to make the transition as smooth as possible, including adjusting to a new schedule, learning new skills, and finding the right training and certification programs.

First, let’s talk about the differences between working in a hospital and a clinic setting. As a bedside nurse, you’re likely used to working long shifts, often 12 hours, with multiple patients and high acuity cases. You’re on your feet for most of the day, and your responsibilities include administering medications, monitoring vital signs, and providing direct patient care, and even end of life care at times.

In contrast, working as an aesthetic nurse in a clinic setting is usually less physically demanding. Aesthetic nurses work with clients who are seeking non-invasive cosmetic treatments such as Botox injections, dermal fillers, PDO threads, and chemical peels. The pace is generally slower, and appointments are usually scheduled in advance, so there’s less of a sense of urgency compared to a hospital setting. You’ll also have more time to spend with each client, getting to know them, and developing a personalized treatment plan.

The schedule for an aesthetic nurse is also different from that of a bedside nurse. Instead of working three 12-hour shifts a week, most aesthetic nurses work five 8-hour shifts. This schedule allows for more time off and can be more conducive to a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, many clinics are closed on weekends and holidays, which can be a significant change for bedside nurses who are used to working these shifts.

So, how do you make the transition from bedside nursing to aesthetic nursing? Here are some steps to consider:

Research the field

Before making the switch, it’s important to do your research and learn as much as you can about the field of aesthetic nursing. This includes learning about the various treatments and procedures that are commonly performed, understanding the different types of products and equipment used, and getting a sense of what it’s like to work in a clinic setting. You may also want to reach out to aesthetic nurses in your area and ask if they would be willing to speak with you about their experiences.


Get the right training and certification

To work as an aesthetic nurse, you’ll need specialized training and certification. The American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE) offers a comprehensive training program that covers a range of non-invasive cosmetic treatments. The program includes hands-on training, lectures, and online courses, and covers topics such as facial anatomy, patient assessment, and injection techniques. Once you complete the program, you’ll be eligible to take the AAFE certification exam.


Build your network

Networking is essential in any field, and aesthetic nursing is no exception. Join professional organizations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses and attend conferences and seminars to connect with other professionals in the field. You can also reach out to local clinics and med spas and ask if they are hiring or if they would be willing to let you shadow one of their nurses for a day.


Adjust to the new schedule

Transitioning from a hospital schedule to a clinic schedule can be challenging, especially if you’re used to working long shifts with irregular hours. However, the 8-hour shift schedule can be more predictable, and having weekends and holidays off can be a significant benefit. It may take some time to adjust to the new schedule, but with some planning and organization, you can truly change your life and happiness.

As a nurse, you may not have considered search engine optimization (SEO) as a necessary component of your professional development. However, SEO can play a critical role in helping you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, attract new patients or clients, and connect with other healthcare professionals. Here are some tips for implementing SEO for nurses:


Create a professional website

The first step in optimizing your online presence is to create a professional website. This website should be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and visually appealing. It should also include information about your education, experience, and any specialties you may have. Additionally, your website should be optimized for search engines, with relevant keywords used throughout your content.


Use relevant keywords

Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for information online. By incorporating relevant keywords into your website content, you can help potential patients or clients find you more easily. Use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to identify relevant keywords and phrases that you can incorporate into your website.


Publish high-quality content

High-quality content is essential for establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field. Publish regular blog posts, articles, or videos that are informative and engaging for your target audience. Make sure to use relevant keywords in your content, but do not sacrifice the quality of your writing for the sake of SEO.


Optimize your website for local search

If you are a nurse in private practice or working at a clinic, it is crucial to optimize your website for local search. This means including your location and surrounding areas in your website content, as well as adding your practice to local business directories like Yelp, Google My Business, and Bing Places for Business.


Utilize social media

Social media is an excellent tool for connecting with other healthcare professionals, as well as potential patients or clients. Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share your content, network with other professionals, and engage with your audience.


Encourage patient or client reviews

Positive reviews from patients or clients can go a long way in establishing your credibility as a healthcare provider. Encourage patients or clients to leave reviews on your website or social media profiles, and make sure to respond to any feedback, whether positive or negative.
In conclusion, SEO can be a powerful tool for nurses looking to establish themselves as thought leaders in their field and attract new patients or clients. By creating a professional website, using relevant keywords, publishing high-quality content, optimizing for local search, utilizing social media, and encouraging patient or client reviews, you can optimize your online presence and increase your visibility in the healthcare community.


Start your facial esthetics journey by registering for the Botulinum Toxins & Dermal Fillers Level I Course! Register here today:

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