This was a great article written about AAMEP in 2004, in the years since AAMEP has done some amazing things.
Esthetic Nursing Gets a Face Lift
By Christina Orlovsky, senior staff writer
Sasha Parker, RN, was burnt out of nursing. After more than 15 years working with plastic surgeons in the specialty of plastic peri-operative nursing, she decided to leave the profession. It was only when she learned of sclerotherapy, a cosmetic procedure to remove spider veins, that Parker decided to combine her nursing skills with her interest in esthetics and become an aesthetic nurse.
“Esthetic nursing is a relatively new specialty,” Parker said. “Nurses really weren’t performing these procedures unless they were working in a dermatologist’s office.”
Today, with society’s ever-growing interest in maintaining a youthful appearance, estheticians are in hot demand. To Parker, it only seems natural for nurses to step into the role.
“Nurses are natural at these procedures because of our clinical skills,” she said. “Most nurses just need training in specialized areas.”
These areas include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermal fillers (such as Botox), mesotherapy and sclerotherapy.
Recognizing nurses’ need for training, Parker established the Esthetic Skin Institute, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where she trains nursing professionals in these procedures.
However, it is once they are trained that Parker believes aesthetic nurses face the most difficult challenges: legislative dysfunction, professional liability issues, insurance coverage, rapidly advancing technology and undefined standards of specialty esthetic nursing practice.
To help combat these issues, in April 2004 Parker formed the Association of Medical Esthetic Nurses, or A.M.E.N., a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to promoting high standards in medical esthetic nursing, and educating and certifying future aesthetic nurses in a rapidly emerging field.
“We want to come together as a united force to create some standardization,” Parker said.
“State to state, there is so much discrepancy about regulations for esthetic practices,” she added. “In Nevada, for example, estheticians are allowed to perform numerous procedures with just three to six months of training, while nurses, who have degrees in nursing, are not. A.M.E.N. aims to mend that dysfunction.”
In the six months since its inception, A.M.E.N. has recorded a victory in at least one state. The Arizona Board of Nursing’s scope of practice committee composed a draft to establish requirements and practice parameters for nurses performing esthetic skin procedures, Parker explained.
“Arizona has adopted my policies and I am helping them write standards,” she said.
Among the future plans of A.M.E.N. is the creation of a national certification test for RNs, physicians and physician’s assistants that have been working in the field of esthetics without certification. Parker anticipates that the program will be underway by the end of November. (completed in 2009)
In 2005, A.M.E.N. held its first meeting, in Ft. Lauderdale. Already several hundred members strong, Parker hoped the meeting would draw more interest in the association from professionals in the field.
“There are thousands of nurses practicing this specialty,” she said. “They just need to know that they now have a voice.”
For more information about the organization or the annual meeting, visit the AAMEP Website at www.AAMEP.org