Entering Aesthetics

A career in cosmetic medicine

Cosmetic medicine for nurses can be extremely satisfying and rewarding.  As a new venture you will be learning many new skills which will take time and practice to become proficient. You will also utilise to the full many of the nursing skills you have already developed. However there are a number of things to consider before embarking on this different career path:

New to nursing?

As the leading Association for Aesthetic Nurses in the UK, the BACN would advocate that you attain at least 3 years of post graduate general adult nursing experience before embarking upon a career in the more specialised area of aesthetic nursing.  This would be in order to further develop your skills in general nursing after qualifying and bring firm foundations of nursing practice into the aesthetic arena.

Over 80% of our members have had over 10 years’ experience in The NHS. 

You may wish to look into general surgical nursing as an excellent pathway to develop your general nursing skills and gear towards aesthetic nursing qualifications in the future.


Currently training usually consists of a 1 day course for each treatment offered. Prices vary but on average you can expect to pay £700 per day. None of these courses benefit from accreditation and we recommend thoroughly researching all available courses. These courses usually (and should) only offer certificates of attendance, rather than proficiency, since it is not possible to become proficient within a day. Some nurses find that these courses are a good introduction, from which they can develop with further support. Others find 1 day insufficient for their needs.

In the near future the universities will be offering courses at a post basic degree level, in line with Department of Health and professional association recommendations. These accredited courses will be better placed to ensure the proficiency of trainees, and should be considered.



Many of the treatments we perform require the use of prescription only medicines (e.g. Botox®) or their use in managing complications. If you are a non-prescriber we recommend as best practice (and to ensure you remain within NMC guidelines) that you work under the guidance of a prescriber and that prescriber has experience in the treatments you wish to offer.

  • The NMC require that all patients receiving a POM, including Botox®, receive a face to face consultation with the prescriber

 If you wish to undertake the prescribing course (V300) then we would recommend it. Many universities provide this course and it is worth contacting your local university. Many universities will accept placements from privately funded (non NHS) nurses. Please note however that there will be an expectation of the following: 

  • That you have been practicing for a minimum of 1 year in the area you wish to prescribe. 
  • You will have arranged a Designated Medical Practitioner (typically a doctor) prior to the course.

If you are already a nurse independent prescriber, the NMC allow you justify your decision to prescribe. We cannot therefore advise on this, although a 1 day training course would not be considered suitable justification.

If you decide to proceed with training you will have many more questions. Also, like many cosmetic practitioners, you will be aware of a sense of isolation and lack of the support you may be used to. The BACN not only aims to maintain high standards, it provides the peer support necessary to all nurses in cosmetic medicine. Amongst much else, this is achieved through: 

  • Regional, CPD accredited meetings
  • An annual national conference
  • On-line resources including the invaluable closed BACN Facebook Group
  • Best practice guidelines

The BACN wish you every luck and the reassurance of knowing that we are here to support you.

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