Renewed Focus on High Standards in Medical Aesthetics

After 12 years, I am stepping down from the executive board of the CSASN.  Stepping down but not stepping away.  The CSASN in great hands now. And that’s good. Because I’ve still got some work to do!

Good times! A CSASN selfie with Christine, Jacklyn and Aundrea.

It was with mixed emotions that I made my plans to vacate the board of the CSASN, the national voice for nurses in medical aesthetics that I helped form in 2009.

I’m proud of what we have accomplished at the Canadian Society of Aesthetics Specialty Nurses. But the time is right for new people and fresh energy. With CSASN in great hands now, the future is bright for our industry.

Stepping down but not stepping away

The time is also right for me to focus on a project near and dear to my heart: the development of a certification exam for Canadian nurses in medical aesthetics. I helped with launching and writing a core curriculum for a similar certification test in the United States. Now we need our own in Canada, one that addresses regulatory differences and elevates the status of nurses who train for careers in medical aesthetics.

My experience will help with this, and so will a committee we formed to get the ball rolling. It’s a process. A long process. It will require the development and creation of an exam, and then a series of evaluations, amendments and approval.

The aim is to introduce the national certification exam for nurses in medical aesthetics within five years.

Medical procedures done by medical professionals.

The overall purpose of this is a continuation of the work we began with the CSASN’s inception in 2009. The goal then as it still is now: to raise the bar on high standards in medical aesthetics.

We must firmly establish that medical aesthetics is medical procedures done by medical professionals. That’s both to fulfill regulatory requirements and promote public-facing professionalism, ethics, and patient safety. We need to continue to elevate the profession because it is not always seen in the best light.

The unqualified and untrained back-alley injectors need to be removed or at least exposed from the public eye. We do that by putting forth the highest standards of training and practices that are in the best interest of our patients.

More Strength and a Bigger Voice

In 2015, the CSASN set practice standards and guidelines for Canada. They were accepted by the Canadian Nursing Association and sent to all nursing colleges for review, feedback and addendums. This resource was instrumental in securing college approval in 2021 for Nurse Practitioners in New Brunswick to do medical aesthetics.

Trisha Cann NP and Amy Reid NP in Fredericton

Membership in the CSASN now has doubled in last two years to over 200 qualified nurses now (and from 40 in the beginning).

Our focus has shifted from plastic surgery nurses to medical aesthetics injectors.  The group still includes plastic surgery professionals, but nurses in independent practice most need the support and educational opportunities.

I highly recommend that qualified nurses in medical aesthetics join the CSASN.

The CSASN is the only national association in Canada that is specific to medical aesthetics. Increased membership (only $150 annually) has allowed for more opportunities to hold association meetings. The sold-out event recently in Vancouver included educational presentations and valued learning through cadaver labs.

CSASN 0ngoing education at a cadaver lab in Vancouver.

My time on the CSASN executive has been incredibly fulfilling. I’ve worked with dedicated nursing leaders and met so many wonderful professionals along the way. With fresh energy coming to the board, I see the CSASN gaining even more strength and a bigger voice for all nurses in medical aesthetics. I look forward to doing my part in this behind the scenes as we continue as an industry to move forward in a positive direction.

The 2022 CSASN Board of Directors: Angela Haff RN (Vancouver), Marissa Dennis NP (Kelowna), Crystal Jacob NP (Edmonton), Erin Talbot RN (Calgary), Catherine Fitz RN (Montreal), Denise Schaefer RN (Kitchener), Aundrea Ritchie RN (Truro).