During my last blog, I addressed the need to credential your aesthetic skill set. Certification allows you to properly title yourself; it allows the public as well as your colleagues to know that you have achieved a certain level of expertise in aesthetics. A title reflects going the extra mile to be an expert. Those verifying bodies are difficult to find, especially in nursing, because there are no formal education paths in plastic surgery or dermatology currently.
Below are a list of organizations which provide certifications in aesthetics. Please note, it is highly recommended that you investigate each provider thoroughly. I do not endorse any of the programs listed within this blog. The list is meant to assist in finding organizations that offer aesthetic certifications. Here are three of the seven certifying organizations of which I am aware:
Facial Aesthetic Cosmetic Education, www.medicalaesthetics.com
Plastic Surgical Nursing Certification Board, www.psncb.org
Each certifying body will have requirements to meet in order to sit for the exam. For example, PSNCB requires you to have worked as a RN in collaboration with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Ophthalmologist, Dermatologist or Facial Plastic Surgeon for at least two years before applying for the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) exam. In addition, there are a few other requirements such as the number of hours worked within the core speciality. The MEP-C exam can be taken by multiple health care disciplines including MDs, DOs, PAs, NPs, RNs and LPNs. Their requirements are bit different from the CANS exam.
Professionally, I am a board certified women’s health nurse practitioner, a certified plastic surgical nurse (CPSN) and a certified aesthetic nurse specialist (CANS). Since I work within the plastic surgery setting, I was able to sit for the CPSN and CANS exam offered through the Plastic Surgical Nursing Board. CANS is a fairly new certification, which is offered a few times a year, locally and at national meetings like the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses National Meeting and the Aesthetic Extender Symposium. The exam will be updated in 2016.
If you have one professional goal this next year and you aren’t certified in aesthetics, make certification your goal!