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How Much Do Plastic Surgery Nurses Make?

NurseJournal Staff
Updated February 10, 2023
    Interested in working as a plastic surgery nurse? Explore information about plastic or cosmetic nurse salaries with this guide.
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    Average Salary for Plastic Surgery Nurses | What Kind of Salary Growth Can Plastic Surgery Nurses Expect? | Highest-Paying and Lowest-Paying States for Plastic Surgery Nurses | Plastic Surgery Nursing Salary by Workplace Setting | Ways to Increase Pay as a Plastic Surgery Nurse | Frequently Asked Questions | Learn More

    Plastic surgery nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who work alongside surgeons performing invasive and cosmetic procedures on individuals who need reconstructive surgery or want to change their appearance. This career path can offer many advantages. For instance, plastic surgery nurses earn a strong average annual salary of $77,600.

    This guide covers everything you need to know about plastic surgery nurse salaries. It uses 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a government organization with comprehensive statistics on employment and salaries.

    For more on plastic surgery nurses, check out our plastic surgery nurse career guide.

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    Average Salary for Plastic Surgery Nurses

    Although the BLS does not report salary information for nurses in the plastic surgery specialty, these nurses fall under the broader category of RNs. The BLS reports the median annual pay for RNs as $77,600 with salaries typically ranging from $59,450 to $120,250.

    In addition, this profession comes with many job opportunities. The BLS projects a 9% employment growth for RNs from 2020 to 2030.


    Median Annual Salary for all RNs

    Source: BLS, 2021


    Average Hourly Wage for all RNs

    Source: BLS, 2021

    What Kind of Salary Growth Can Plastic Surgery Nurses Expect?

    The table below shows how plastic and aesthetic nurse salaries increase as they gain experience. The data, which displays the average RN income over time, comes from the 2020 Medscape RN/LPN Compensation Report.

    Average Annual Salary of Plastic Surgery Nurses by Experience

    Highest-Paying and Lowest-Paying States for Plastic Surgery Nurses

    Although the BLS does not provide salary data specifically for plastic surgery nurses, these nurses share a similar scope of practice as RNs. This information, comes from BLS data on RNs as a whole.

    The highest-paying states for RNs include California, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Oregon, and Alaska. The annual mean wage for nurses in California reached $124,000 in 2021.

    In contrast, Alabama, South Dakota, Mississippi, Iowa, and Arkansas ranked among the lowest-paying states for RNs. These states pay RNs an average annual wage below $70,000 as of 2021. The continued demand for plastic surgery also drives higher salaries. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2020 statistics, Western states demonstrated the greatest demand for plastic surgery.

    Plastic Surgery Nursing Salary by Workplace Setting

    Workplace setting affects wages for plastic surgery nurses as well. The table below displays data from the BLS on the average salary for RNs in different workplaces. Outpatient care centers and general medical and surgical hospitals listed average earnings above the mean RN salary. Nurses working in physicians’ offices saw a mean salary below $72,000, less than average RN pay overall.

    Workplace SettingAverage Salary
    Outpatient Care Centers$93,070
    General Medical and Surgical Hospitals$85,020
    Physicians’ Offices$73,860
    Source: BLS, 2021

    4 Ways to Increase Pay as a Plastic Surgery Nurse

    As with any industry, plastic surgery nurse salaries vary based on several factors. A nurse with 20 years of experience in Los Angeles may earn more than a recent graduate in Little Rock, Arkansas. Certifications, education level, and professional membership organizations can also make a difference.

    The following list provides four ways for plastic surgery nurses to increase their pay.

    Frequently Asked Questions: Plastic Surgery Nurses

    How much do plastic surgery nurses make?

    Along with other RNs, plastic surgery nurses make a median annual salary of $77,600, according to 2021 BLS data. Specific plastic and cosmetic nurse salaries vary, though, based on factors like experience and location. BLS figures show that plastic surgery nurse salaries can range from $59,450 – $120,250.

    What does a plastic surgery nurse do?

    Plastic surgery nurses take on important roles during invasive and surgical procedures. They screen patients, educate them on procedures, and provide perioperative and postoperative care. Some plastic surgery nurses perform noninvasive procedures, such as Botox or chemical peels, without the supervision of doctors.

    How do I become a plastic surgery nurse?

    First, nurses need either an associate or a bachelor’s degree to earn RN licensure. Many plastic surgeons’ offices and departments offer orientation or training to nurses who wish to specialize in plastic surgery nursing. Nurses interested in this field need two years of experience working within plastic or cosmetic surgery before applying for board certification. They also need to pass a PSNCB exam.

    What factors influence plastic surgery nurse salaries?

    Several elements factor into plastic surgery nurse salaries. Areas with greater demand for plastic surgeries and a higher cost of living typically come with higher salaries. Years of experience can affect pay, since nurses receive raises as they gain knowledge and expertise. Certification and education level can also play a role as nurses with advanced degrees often earn greater salaries.

    Learn More About Plastic Surgery Nurses

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