What is a Dermatology Nurse?
A dermatology nurse is a registered nurse specialising in treating and caring for patients with wounds, injuries, skin diseases, and conditions affecting their quality of life. Most dermatology nurses typically work as part of a dermatology team, providing care for patients with acne, eczema, psoriasis, burn wounds, and skin cancer, among many other life-threatening conditions. They may also perform skin care, cosmetic procedures, cryotherapy, mole removals, and skin allergy testing.
The skin is the largest, most important organ, and it is a dermatology nurses’ job to make sure it stays in optimum condition.
Most dermatology nurses treat patients of all ages. However, some choose to specialise further, focusing on treating children or the elderly. There’s a broad possibility for niching down as a dermatologic nurse.
Where do Dermatology Nurses Work?
Most dermatology nurses work in private practice, individually or in groups. They can also work in a wide variety of settings, including;
- Hospital dermatology or burn units
- Plastic surgeon’s offices
- General dermatology office
- Research labs
- Nursing or Medical schools
Day spas and cosmetic dermatology offices are rapidly increasing as a place to work among dermatology nurses. These nurses assist with performing procedures such as tattoo removal, laser treatments, and other cosmetic treatments here.
How to Become a Dermatology Nurse?
There’s no shortcut to becoming a dermatology nurse. Dermatology nurses must first become Registered Nurse (RN) before gaining experience in a dermatology setting.
How long does it take to become a dermatology nurse? Roughly five to eight years full-time. It can take years longer for part-timers and those who spend more time working as a nurse.
Here are the steps involved in becoming a dermatology nurse;
Step 1: Earn a Nursing Degree
The first step in becoming a dermatology nurse is becoming a registered nurse. You will need either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Many employers prefer candidates with a BSN rather than an ADN. Earning a nursing degree may take between 2-4 years to complete depending on the length of the program. However, Registered nurses (RNs) can speed up this process with an RN to BSN program.
Step 2: Pass the NCLEX-RN
After earning a nursing degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed as a nurse. The NCLEX-RN is a computerised adaptive exam developed to test the competency of nursing school graduates. Nurses who already hold an RN licence can skip this process.
Step 3: Gain Dermatology Experience
Once licensed as a registered nurse, you’ll need to gain experience, preferably in the field of dermatology. You can work at hospitals, infusion centres, clinics, plastic surgeons’ offices, and burn centres.
Step 4: Get Your Dermatology Nursing Certification
The Dermatology Nursing Certification (DNC) exam is a test to show an RNs expert level of competence and skill in dermatology. To qualify for the DNC exam, you must have;
- A current Registered Nurse Licence
- A minimum of 2000 hours of dermatology practice within the past two years.
The DNC is valid for three years.
You can also take dermatology courses for nurses to attain credits, and increase your chances of being certified as a dermatology nurse.
What are the duties of a dermatology nurse?
The official scope of practice for Dermatology Nurse Practitioners, according to the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA), outlines the duties of a Dermatology NP as;
- Assess, diagnose, treat, and manage acute, episodic, and chronic dermatology illnesses.
- Order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests, prescribe pharmacological agents and non-pharmacologic therapies related to dermatological concerns of patients, and teach and counsel patients about their dermatological conditions.
- Refer patients to specialists as needed to ensure patients receive comprehensive dermatological care.
- Serve in various roles: patient care provider, mentor, educator, and researcher.
- Work collaboratively with physicians and other members of the health care team in providing comprehensive dermatology care to patients.
However, the responsibilities of a dermatology nurse may vary based on the facility, specialisation, and patient population.
- Hospitals: conduct dermatology consultations or work at burn units.
- Private offices: Perform minor procedures with a dermatologist, provide care, and educate patients and families after procedures.
- MedSpas: Perform cosmetic procedures.
- Schools: Educate at nursing or medical schools.
- Research labs: Aid work at pharmaceutical laboratories for skincare.
Why Become a Dermatology Nurse?
Dermatology is a rewarding field, and most dermatology nurses have a passion for helping patients look and feel their best. Also, compared to other nursing careers, most work settings offer a more predictable work schedule.
Here are some other reasons you should consider a career as a dermatology nurse:
- Dermatology ranks first in terms of happiness compared to other specialties.
- Dermatology nurses earn six-figure salaries.
- Consistent daytime hours lead to an ideal work-life balance.
- Fewer chances of losing a patient, except in severe cases
- Dermatology nurses develop long-lasting relationships with patients, helping make a difference in their lives.
- Growing demand for dermatology nurses.
- Getting a job has never been easier with free platforms like Velju, helping dermatology nurses get hired without even having to apply for a job.
The Highest Paying States in EU for Dermatology Nurses
Based on the average salaries for dermatology nurses, we have ranked the top six highest paying states in the European Union:
- Brasschaat, Belgium: The highest-paid dermatology nurses work in Brasschaat. The average dermatology nurse salary in Brasschaat is €41.97 (EUR) an hour or €87,305 annually. An entry-level dermatology nurse (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of 60,838 € — on the other end — a senior level dermatology nurse with 8+ years of experience earns an average salary of 108,374€.
- Ireland: Ireland’s average base salary for dermatology nurse practitioners comes to €36 an hour or 74,535€ every year. Skin disease is prevalent in Ireland, with 54% of the population affected annually and up to 33% having a condition that would benefit from medical care. Rosacea, commonly known as the “curse of the Celts,” is Ireland’s most common skin condition, with a higher incidence than other European countries. The condition causes facial redness and flushing and is characterised by dry, sensitive skin.
- Tuusula, Finland: The shortage of suitably qualified nurses in Finland has drastically improved the chances of getting a job. The country is welcoming more nursing staff from abroad and is expected to need 30,000 more nurses by 2030. The average base salary for a dermatology nurse practitioner in Tuusula, Finland, is €36 every hour or €73,926 annually.
- Netherlands: The outgoing dutch government allocated €675m to boost mid-level healthcare workers’ wages in the Netherlands. Coupled with the growing need for nurses, the Netherlands has become a hotspot for dermatology nurse practitioners — earning an average base salary of €33.49 every hour or €69.656 per year.
- Paris, France: The most frequent skin disorders French citizens report are acne, eczema, cold sores, athlete’s foot, and warts. It is no surprise then that the demand for dermatology services is high in the city of light and love. The average base salary for dermatology nurses in the french capital is €31 an hour, which multiplies at €65,222 a year.
- Tübingen, Germany: Skin diseases are among the most frequent reasons for seeking medical care in Germany. According to a nationwide survey, about 25% of the German working population requires skin-related treatment at least once a year. There are 115 university and non-university dermatological clinics responsible for treating the most common skin conditions; epithelial skin cancer, followed by melanoma, psoriasis, erysipelas, dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and herpes zoster.
Dermatology nurse practitioners in Tübingen earn €31/hr an hour on average, which calculates to €64,011 a year. The highest level of education achieved by dermatology nurses in Germany is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).