Men and women who choose this nursing field will care for patients who undergo cosmetic procedures to correct physical abnormalities or perceived abnormalities. These surgeries range from small, elective procedures such as dermabrasion to complicated events such as facial reconstruction or a breast replacement.

Duties of a Plastic Surgery Nurse

Plastic surgery nursing, also known as reconstructive surgery nursing,involves hands-on patient care along with treatment and teaching skills. As the demand for plastic surgery grows, nurses in this field can find jobs in hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient care centers and centers that focus on plastic surgery. In these setting, plastic surgery nurses will care for patients who undergo cosmetic and maxillofacial surgery, laser and microsurgery, and nonsurgical treatments to correct aesthetic problems. Nurses in this field deal with diagnoses that concern skin lesions and tumors, congenital deformities, facial fractures, burns, ulcers, varicose veins, reconstruction after cancer surgery and many more procedures. Effective communication skills, sensitivity to clients’ needs and a positive attitude are required to deal with difficult patients or with patients who arbor unrealistic expectations about the results of procedures.

Related Types of Nurses

The plastic surgery nurse can branch out into areas that include staff nurse, scrub nurse, nurse manager, supervisor, coordinator, director, nurse educator and research nurse. The latter options might prove more lucrative, especially in a field where much more research is needed and where new procedures are being developed constantly. Plastic surgery nurses also work with plastic surgeons, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dietitians and clinical psychologists; therefore, options in these areas also are open to those individuals who seek to move into another field.

Many plastic surgery nurses also have surgical technology experience (also called scrubs or operating room experience), where they work alongside physicians and anesthesiologists in the operating room preparing the operating room, sterilizing tools, and preparing patients for surgery are a few of the responsibilities of the surgical technician. Individuals who are interested in skin care might be interested in the Esthetician Career Diploma programs, which are designed for students who want to specialize in the study of skin care. Esthetics is a growing part of the health and beauty industry, and qualified estheticians are needed to perform facial treatments, body wraps, waxing and cosmetic make-up services.

Plastic Surgery Nursing Degrees

Plastic surgery nurses are required to earn an RN license with ADN, diploma, or BSN from an accredited institution. You may find that many cosmetic or plastic surgeons desire a “Surgery Nurse Counselor,” a person who will meet first with the patient and who monitors the patient from the beginning through to the recovery process. In this case, a few psychology courses probably will help you gain a leg up on this career option. In any case, most job requirements for the plastic surgery nursing field require at least one year of nursing experience in any field.

Online Programs in Plastic Surgery Nursing

  • Chamberlain College of Nursing: RN to BSN
  • Colorado Technical University: RN to BSN
  • Drexel University: RN to BSN
  • Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences: RN to BSN
  • Indiana State University: LPN to BSN
  • Kaplan University: RN to BSN
  • Liberty University: RN to BSN
  • South University: RN to BSN
  • University of Phoenix: RN to BSN
  • Walden University: BSN

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Top 10 Online Nursing Schools

University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix — BSN, MSN, and Certificate. The University of Phoenix is the nation's largest online university and currently offers several nursing programs at three different degree levels, based on previous nursing education and experience.

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Kaplan University
Kaplan University — Bachelor's, and Master's Nursing Degrees. Kaplan's School of Nursing offers specializations for nurse administrators and nurse educators.

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Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University — BS in Nursing (BSN) and MBA/MS in Nursing. Grand Canyon University offers a unique MBA/MS in nursing degree program that teaches students about the business aspect of healthcare, specifically nursing healthcare. Current nurses who want more business experience will find this may be an ideal fit.

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Liberty University
Liberty University — RN to BSN Degree and MSN Degree. The Department of Nursing at Liberty prepares students for baccalaureate level nursing, putting strong emphasis on Christian ethical standards and viewing nursing as a ministry of caring.

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Walden University
Walden University — M.S. in Nursing (RN Track), M.S in Nursing (BSN Track). Walden offers a wide variety of nursing degrees and certificates that are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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