A Career in Cosmetic Medicine

A career in cosmetic medicine for nurses can be extremely satisfying and rewarding. While you will be able to utilise many of your nursing skills, there are many aspects of starting your new business that may be daunting.

Having a membership to the CNA is an invaluable investment as it gives you access to a network of like-minded individuals who have been or who are going through the same process as you are.

Through your membership, you will have access to best practice guidelines, templates, forms, tips, and advice on how to handle patients throughout their treatment journey with you.

The Role of Nurses in Aesthetics

The field of non-surgical cosmetic treatments has a long history, dating back centuries. These procedures have become increasingly popular over recent decades, ranging from micro-dermabrasion, chemical peels, laser procedures, injectable cosmetic treatments, and body contouring.

There is a diverse range of practitioners who perform these procedures from beauty and dermal therapists, nurses, dermatologists, doctors, general practitioners, and Specialist Surgeons. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the body responsible for recognising and overseeing the regulation of health practitioners, they do not provide strict guidelines or even-handed enforcement with regards to who can perform what procedure and where the procedure can be performed. While there has been some improvement in response to patient safety concerns over the past few years, there is still a long way to go.

The term ‘cosmetic treatment’ somewhat trivialises these non-surgical medical procedures and can diminish the risk involved. It does not help that non-surgical cosmetic treatments are not registered as a branch of specialist procedures that require specific training or qualifications for them be performed. Resulting in a grey area when it comes to who is performing what and how they are delivering treatments to patients.

The Cosmetic Nurses Association has come to fruition to give nurses who perform cosmetic treatments a legitimate voice and claim in this arena. After all, it is nurses who are performing more than 70 per cent of cosmetic treatments in a range of clinical settings and arrangements.

CNA Code of Conduct

The CNA has the mandate of representing nurses, advocating on their behalf to government for Standards in Practice. This will include benchmarking the educational and training requirements and providing a clear professional pathway for nurses who are looking to specialise in the field of non-surgical cosmetic treatments.

Currently, all nurses need to adhere to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Code of Conduct for Nurses.

The CNA is in the process of developing a specific Code of Conduct for Cosmetic Nurses that will be nationally endorsed with cross-sector adoption by all the major parties within cosmetic medicine. As a benefit to members of the CNA, this Code of Conduct will be a signpost for patients that their treating Cosmetic Nurse upholds the highest standards of ethical and safe practices. 

New to Cosmetic Nursing?

As the peak Association for Cosmetic Nurses in Australia, the CNA would advocate that you partake in regular training and seek out a mentor who you can reach out to, to ensure you are setting yourself up for success.


We recommend you thoroughly research all available training and education options before settling on which courses you choose to complete.

Any course you complete in cosmetic medicine, usually (and should only) offer certificates of attendance, rather than proficiency since it is not possible to become proficient within a day. And none have been formally accredited by the AHPRA, the Australian Medical Board or the Nursing and Midwifery Board.

Some nurses find that these courses are a good introduction, from which they can develop with further support. Others find one day is insufficient for their needs.

By joining the CNA, you will be provided with:

  • Discounts on educational workshops
  • Discounts on conferences and symposiums
  • Personal advice in your career pathway in relation to training and education.