Dermatology Nurse: Nursing Specialties Breakdown

  • Learn the steps to become a dermatology nurse 
  • Acknowledge special skills and traits to become a dermatology nurse 
  • Understand the working options, responsibilities, and benefits of a dermatology nurse 

Mariya Rizwan

Pharm D

March 13, 2024
Simmons University

Skin is the largest organ and the first life defense of the body that protects you against viruses and bacteria. Therefore, it needs special attention and care. Dermatology nurses care for the skin and manage skin conditions such as wounds, rashes, hair loss, skin cancer, eczema, and psoriasis.  

Dermatology nurses support the dermatologist during a procedure, educate their patients on skin conditions, and provide care to patients undergoing cosmetic surgeries.  

Steps to Become A Dermatology Nurse 

To become a dermatology nurse, follow these steps: 

  • Earn Your Degree – you have to become a nurse first by either obtaining a bachelor’s degree for four years or a two-year associate degree in nursing. 
  • Get the License – once you complete your degree, you need a license to practice. To practice in the US, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Once you pass this exam, you become a registered nurse or RN.  
  • Earn Experience – after becoming a registered nurse, gain experience in dermatology or aesthetic clinics to become a dermatology nurse. Some physician offices require nurses with prior knowledge. You can work some time on the general medical-surgical inpatient floor.  
  • Earn Certification – after gaining experience for two to three years, get certification from the dermatology nursing certification examination (DNCE) offered by the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA) or aesthetic nurse certification in dermatology. Certification can help increase your salary and open the door for increased job opportunities. 

Skills and Traits Required of a Dermatology Nurse 

To become a dermatology nurse, the following skills and traits are required: 

Communication Skills

Dermatology nurses have to deal face-to-face with their patients. For this reason, you should have excellent communication skills to get your point across to the patients. Only when your patients understand you well can they feel satisfied.


Attention to Detail

You have little room to be distracted because to get your point across, it is essential to pay close attention to detail, particularly during medical procedures. Even the slightest mistake can result in severe consequences such as skin scarring, fluid build-up, and anesthesia complications. Therefore, it is crucial to remain focused and vigilant throughout the process, especially during the procedures. Little things make a significant difference, and you must pay attention to detail and be vigilant, especially during medical procedures.

Problem-Solving Skills

To formulate effective treatment plans for your patients, you must have efficient problem-solving skills and critical thinking in order to create the best and most cost-effective care plans for them. Problem-solving skills are also required to solve issues between the team members.



All nurses need to be empathetic. In dermatology nursing, you often deal with patients with low self-esteem. Therefore, you have to be polite with them and communicate using a soft and respectful tone. Never be judgemental or pass mean comments, especially on how they look.


Hard Work and Dedication

In dermatology nursing, standing all day is a must, which requires hard work and dedication from nurses. Similarly, in the burns center, nurses’ duties may extend beyond 12 hours, and their patients often require long-term treatments in multiple episodes. As a result, dermatology and burn center nurses must display a high level of commitment to their work, and nurses’ duties may exceed 12 hours.



As a dermatology nurse, you must work on a team. It is essential to have efficient collaborative efforts in order for you to serve your patients the best.

Work Options for Dermatology Nurses 

Dermatology nurses have various working options. They can work at the following: 

  • Private practice offices 
  • Cosmetic Dermatology Centers 
  • Dermatological Surgery Centers 
  • Hospitals 
  • Infusion centers 
  • Clinics 
  • Academic Medical Centers 
  • Research and Clinical Trials 
  • Telehealth 
  • Dermatology Outreach Programs 
  • Plastic surgeons’ offices 
  • Burn centers 
  • Spas and cosmetic dermatology offices provide support to dermatologists for procedures such as chemical peels, laser treatments, and tattoo removal. 


Work hours for dermatology nurses vary according to where you work. For example, nurses in a burn center must work in shifts as they are open 24/7. Meanwhile, for spas and dermatology clinics, you have to work only four weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm, and you have weekends off.

You should select your job according to your likes and dislikes, where you enjoy working, and which kind of procedures you like as a dermatology nurse.  

Job Responsibilities of A Dermatology Nurse 

As a dermatology nurse, you have the following responsibilities: 


Conduct Skin Assessment  

Dermatology nurses inspect the patient’s skin thoroughly. They check it physically for lesions, cuts, abrasions, abnormalities, and any signs of infections and document the findings.  


Educate Patients  

Inform patients about their health condition, explain preventive measures, and discuss treatment options. They are also responsible for efficient skin care practices such as sun protection, skincare routine, and managing specific skin conditions.  


Treatment Planning  

Collaborate with other dermatologists and devise an appropriate treatment plan for the patient, which may involve prescribing skincare routines and topical treatments or recommending lifestyle changes to manage the skin condition.  


Participate in Procedures  

Nurses must take part in procedures such as skin peeling, laser therapy, cryotherapy, or injectables. Moreover, they also take care of wounds, perform biopsies, and suture the skin.  


Dermatological Testing 

Dermatology nurses play a role in skin testing, such as patch tests, allergy tests, or skin cultures that help diagnose and manage a condition.  


Offer Supportive Care  

Dermatology nurses must listen to the patient’s concerns and address their anxiety, especially if they have a chronic condition. Also, the nurse may make referrals to a specialized group, or an expert can also help.  


Follow-Up And Monitoring  

As a dermatology nurse, you must monitor the patient’s condition postoperatively and explain how to care for the wound. Also, make sure that the patient has appointments post-surgically and attends them. You also have to update the medical records as you observe changes in the patient’s skin condition.  


Coordinate and Collaborate  

As a dermatology nurse, you have to refer patients to other healthcare providers for various health conditions they have. Moreover, you have to communicate with other healthcare providers to finalize the patient’s diagnosis. 

Benefits Of Becoming A Dermatology Nurse 

Regular Work Hours

Working as a dermatology nurse offers the benefit of having fixed working hours with no emergency calls. This provides stability in your life and makes it a good fit for those who find emergency situations and being on-call overwhelming.

Rewarding Feeling

As a dermatology nurse, you will help boost a patient’s self-esteem by assisting them in having the cosmetic procedure done.

Low Chances of Burnout

Dermatology nurses have low chances of burnout as they don’t have to deal with critical patients and deaths. Moreover, your duty time is fixed, which gives you even more stability. You can plan your schedule wisely and are not left drained after doing rotational duties.

Low-Stress Environment

If you get overwhelmed by emergencies, dermatology nursing may be a good fit for you. In plastic surgery and burns, you have to deal with emergencies. Otherwise, in other dermatology clinics, you don’t have any emergencies. That makes your job less stressful and easy to cope with.


Dermatology nurses earn a handsome paycheck. According to the salary.com, registered dermatology nurses earn between  $47,936 and $61,088 per annum. However, the salary may differ depending on the location, qualifications, experience, and certifications.

The Bottom Line

Becoming a dermatology nurse is a high-paying and rewarding career. You can choose that if you are interested in treating skin diseases. Your job can make a difference by making someone feel good about themselves.  

Another big perk of dermatology nursing is that you have stability in your life. If you don’t like being on-call and attending emergencies, dermatology nursing can be a good fit for you.  

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