The short answer – not really. One common misconception among providers looking to get into the field of aesthetic injectables is that a “certification” is needed or required in order to begin performing these procedures in practice. In truth, traditional “certification” for neurotoxins and dermal fillers injections actually does not exist. This means, there is no national exam, credits to keep up with, or extra credentials that go after your name. Sometimes when someone takes a training and receives a certificate of completion, they assume that means they are “certified” but, in reality, it just means they have obtained training.
There are some traditional certifications available in the field of aesthetics, such as a Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN) or a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS), but these types of certifications are only offered to experienced aesthetic nurses in certain specialties, often requiring multiple years of prior experience in the field of plastic surgery or a similar field. A CPSN certification is only available to nurses specifically in the field of plastic surgery. While the CANS certification is offered to more specialties than the CPSN, it cannot be obtained by anyone outside the fields of Plastic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Dermatology or Facial Plastic Surgery. Also, the CANS certification includes examination for laser/light-based therapy and clinical skin care in addition to aesthetic injectables.
So if these types of certifications are only offered to those currently working in certain medical specialties, does that mean that those are the only clinicians who can perform aesthetic injections? Absolutely NOT! There are a lot of different types of practices who offer neurotoxins and dermal fillers injections in their offices outside of traditional aesthetic specialties. Here at AAI, we have trained thousands of medical and nursing providers in family practice settings, gynecology, internal medicine, and even dentistry, just to name a few. Requirements vary by state and credential as to who can inject neurotoxins and fillers, so we always recommend checking with your state licensing board to find out what is specifically required under your license.
It is also a good idea to check with your malpractice carrier to see if they have any requirements. Many times, proof of training is required to obtain malpractice coverage for these procedures, and sometimes it may be required by a state licensing board as well. Therefore, even though certification does not exist, it’s always a good idea when searching for a training to make sure you receive a certificate of completion. Certificates that also include CME/CE credits from an accredited provider are also sometimes required, so be sure to find out before obtaining any kind of training that you are selecting the right one for your current situation. Our courses here at AAI offer a certificate of course completion and also 8.5 CME/CE credits.
While you can’t become a “certified” aesthetic injector, you can receive a certificate and CME/CE credits for your training. But don’t stop there. As with everything else in the healthcare industry, consistently keeping up with the latest trends, procedures, and injection techniques will not only make you the best injector you can be, but will also keep your patients safe, happy, and coming back for more!