As more and more nurse practitioners enter the field of dermatology you may be considering it too and wondering what it would be like to work in this field. 

A Dermatology Nurse Practitioner first has a masters or doctoral degree in nursing. They must hold a state license and be certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or American Nurse’s Credentialing Center (ANCC), or NPs in dermatology can also become certified by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board (DNCB). 

They treat a wide-ranging variety of conditions both medically and surgically and provide patient care in a multitude of issues related to skin, hair, and nails. They work closely with their patient to ensure clear education and instruction, and optimal outcomes. 

Patient Population 

Typically, DNPs work in dermatology clinics. They don’t normally work in ERs or acute-care settings and this is why many pursue a career in the field. Enjoying the flexibility and less demanding clinic hours while still helping patients in need and earning a comfortable living, they often are quoted as saying they have the best of both worlds. Indeed, the average salary for a dermatology nurse practitioner is currently $111,255 and will grow to $128,976 by 2025 according to the Economic Research Institute. 

Depending on the type of clinic where they are employed the types of patients they see can vary greatly. The most common sub-specializations in dermatology are pediatric, cosmetic, and surgical. While a pediatric DNP specializes in patients under 18, and cosmetic DNPs typically work with adults, a surgical DNP will work with patients of all ages

Clinical Environment

Derm Nurse Practitioners have numerous responsibilities and depending on the setting the work in, it can vary greatly. They serve in a variety of roles including patient care provider, researcher, and educator. They consult with patients, assessing, diagnosing, and treating skin issues. They manage episodic dermatology problems, as well as acute and chronic skin diseases. Working in a dermatology clinic or practice they may perform procedures in the way of chemical peels or acne treatments and would provide patient education and compliance. Some perform in-office procedures such as shave or punch biopsies, excision of skin lesions such as spots or moles or perform cryotherapy, laser therapy, or phototherapy. They order and interpret diagnostic lab tests in order to reach a diagnosis and provide comprehensive patient counseling. DNPs often are involved with wound care and management, and are highly skilled in the healing process, treating traumatic and draining wounds and surgical incisions, developing different wound care therapies and educating the patient, and/or the patient’s family, providing instruction on proper wound care and dressing. Derm Nurse Practitioners can prescribe medications, however which medications and their autonomy is dictated by their state laws. Regardless of setting, DNPs work together with dermatologists and other members of the dermatology care team to providing comprehensive dermatology care to patients.

Day-to-day Requirements 

Unlike nurse practitioners who work in hospitals and emergency care setting, the physical demands required of a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner are relatively minor. Day-to-day, DNPs deal with typically healthy people and are able to offer helpful, therapeutic treatments on a regular basis. Regardless of setting, DNPs work together with dermatologists and other members of the dermatology care team to providing comprehensive dermatology care to patients.