A cosmetic nurse performs all the responsibilities of nursing care for patients before, during and after cosmetic procedures. The journey to become licensed as a cosmetic nurse--formally called a plastic surgery nurse--can take from four to six years. You must be a registered nurse and have gained experience working as a nurse in a cosmetic surgical office for a period of time before you are eligible to pursue certification as a licensed plastic surgery nurse.
Obtain an Associate of Science in Nursing degree from a two-year nursing college or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a four-year college to train to become a registered nurse. Although you can become a registered nurse with an associates or bachelor's degree, bear in mind that your higher level of education will serve you in the competitive nursing field when it comes time to begin applying to work as a nurse in a cosmetic surgery office to gain the experience you will need to become eligible for speciality certification as a cosmetic nurse.
Pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing after obtaining your nursing degree to become licensed as a registered nurse (see References).
Apply to nursing positions in cosmetic surgery medical offices. Your RN license should qualify you to be considered for a basic nurse position in the field. You will need at least two years of experience working as a nurse in a cosmetic surgery practice before you are eligible to take the Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse Exam.
Pass the Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse exam administered by the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses to become licensed as a plastic surgery nurse (see References).