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Dermatology Nurse

Dermatology nurses work in both inpatient and outpatient medical facilities and have a specialized skill set allowing them to work specifically with patients who have skin disorders or diseases. Some of those disorders might include skin cancer, acne, hives, psoriasis, eczema, burns or rashes. Dermatology nurses use their expertise to assess a patient’s skin condition; work with dermatologists and other medical professionals to diagnose symptoms; educate patients about skin conditions, self-care and treatment plans; evaluate the success of a skin treatment plan and address any emotional concerns stemming from having a highly-visible skin condition. A dermatology nurse helps meet a patient’s medical and cosmetic skin needs.

You can enter a career as a dermatology nurse with an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing school, provided you have an RN or LPN license. A cursory search of job listings for dermatology nurses reveals that a bachelor’s degree is preferred. Many dermatology nurses working in hospitals are also asked to have Basic Life Support (BLS) certification so they are qualified to work with emergency patients. Some employers will require their dermatology nurses to have experience in a surgical environment. If the job has a more cosmetic emphasis, you may need to obtain additional state licensing as a medical aesthetician to perform treatments such as Botox and microdermabrasion.

Dermatology nurses have options when it comes to employment. Some work at hospitals and clinics, some work in burn centers, others work in the offices of plastic surgeons or dermatologists, while others work in med-spas, where they perform aesthetic skin treatments. These options allow a dermatology nurse to even further specialize in the area in which they are most interested. Many move on to become dermatology nurse practitioners, which requires educational preparation at the master’s level, but allows the nurse to work with more advanced skin diseases, perform biopsies and have more autonomy. Job prospects and pay will be best for dermatology nurse practitioners, who command a higher salary than lower-level RNs or LPNs.