Dermatology Nurse – Healthy Skin Nursing Specialist
A dermatology nurse performs an indispensable role in the office of a dermatologist, the dermatology clinic or in hospital settings. The certified dermatology nurse has expertise in recognizing signs of skin diseases, nutrition and the role it plays in skin health as well as training in autoimmune skin diseases such as psoriasis.
Dermatology Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
A Dermatology nurse will perform many of the clinical functions and roles of a general nursing RN, including taking detailed patient health histories, routine examinations and screening for serious problems such as skin cancer. The health history will usually include information such as, including diet, allergies, how much exercise the patient usually gets, sun exposure including past exposure such as tanning salons or summer tanning and even recreational activities, routine examinations.
The dermatology nurse may perform routine skin treatments under the attending physician’s orders including biopsies, microdermabrasion, mesotherapy and chemical peels. Part of their duties may include assisting the Dermatologist in more complex patient treatments. The dermatology nurse will help counsel patients in diet, skin care routines and other methods of controlling skin disorders.
How to Become a Dermatology Nurse
A Dermatology Nurse is required to hold an RN license. Obtaining an RN license requires completion of a 2 or 4 year Nursing program as well as an application to the state board to take the NCLEX-RN Examination. Many dermatology nurses choose to become certified to allow for a greater advancement potential in their jobs as well as exhibit a commitment to nursing excellence in their chosen field.
Often Dermatology nurses will gain experience in their dermatology nursing by participating in internships at a dermatology clinic or dermatologist’s office. The only strict requirement for a dermatology nurse is that of an RN license, internships and certification may give the graduate nurse an edge in the job market with this well paid nursing specialty.
Dermatology Nurse Education Requirements, Certification, and Schooling Programs
- A dermatology nurse is required to hold an RN licence. A dermatology nurse may hold a 2 year Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor Degree in Nursing.
- Many nurses who specialize in dermatology also have had experience in dermatology through internship programs
- Certification is a further step for the dermatology nurse to prove expertise in their chosen field as well as demonstrate their dedication to providing superior care to patients. Certification proves your proficiency beyond standard licensure and proves that a Registered Nurse (RN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) meets certain practice standards in the field and confirms the level of specialized knowledge the nurse has in dermatology nursing. Certification includes Dermatology nurse Certified (DNC) and Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP), which are both provided by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board (DNCB).The DNC credential is gained upon successful completion of a written or computer-based exam. In order to sit for the exam, applicants must have two years experience working as a dermatology nurse and have 2,000 hours experience working as staff, administrator, teacher or researcher in a dermatology capacity. The test consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics relevant to the field. It takes approximately four hours to complete the test. Certification is not required for dermatology nurses. However, certification can help further the careers of those practicing in the field.
The DCNP certification also requires sitting and passing an examination, also a multiple choice one. The certification will last for 3 years which after you will need to be re-certified through continuing education credit or exams. To be eligible to sit the DCNP exam, you will have to be a state licensed nurse practitioner (NP), have a Master’s degree in Nursing, have national certification as an NP and have at least 3,000 hours of working in a dermatology practice (also counted are hours spent in a dermatology NP educational program).
- All nurses are required to have continuing education hours in order to keep their nursing licenses and certifications current.
Dermatology Nurse Salary and Career Outlook
The dermatology nurse specialty is predicted to show a marked increase in jobs until at least 2018. Qualified dermatology nurses are sometimes difficult to find for clinics and dermatology offices. A four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree may qualify the nurse for advancement into administrative or supervisory roles in larger offices and clinics.
The dermatology nurse salary averages around $68,000 across the nation. The salary of a dermatology nurse depends upon the employing agency, the educational level of nurse and their geographical location.