By Kylie King
Delaware Technical Community College nursing student, Sydney West, wants to take her schooling to a career of cosmetic injecting with her own practice.
West, a nursing major at Delaware Tech, chose to pursue a nursing degree because of her intent to do botox and filler, but to do that, being a registered nurse is required and so is multiple years of schooling.
“Two years at Del Tech for my associates degree, and then another two years are required to get my cosmetic license,” West said.
West did not originally plan on going into cosmetic nursing, she had another idea.
“Well, I got a degree in human services and I did not like it as much as I thought. So, I looked into doing injections. Some states don’t require you to be a nurse but I figured that since our state does, I would become a nurse and have that title on my name so I could do what I want,” West said.
Difficulties come with every major and studying is never missed out on.
“I would say I study everyday for two hours, whether that is reading or watching a recorded lecture,” West said. “Researching would be about the same, having some background knowledge helps a lot before going into class. I think STEM majors, in general, spend a lot of time studying.”
West said that cosmetic injection is like an art, which means things can go wrong medically; a vein or artery could bust. Clients may also not be happy with their results, “It’s up to you to remedy that.”
West did not realize all of the tasks that nurses have. “I thought it was just passing out meds, but it’s more than that.” There are also a required amount of clinicals that Delaware Tech nursing students are required to do.
“I do two every semester. I have two 7 week classes a semester and in each seven day class we do about 9 days of clinical,” West said.
Because West does not want to do bedside nursing, she considers the most difficult part of her major to be all of the things she is learning, but doesn’t need, in her chosen pathway.
“I don’t think I’ve ever thought about the cosmetic side of nursing, but the road to get there is very hard, obviously. Because you have to pass many tests just to be a nurse," West said. "You don’t learn anything about cosmetics through the program, so it’s kind of like you spend two years doing something you don't want to do.”
Delaware Tech’s nursing program currently does not include cosmetics and West thinks that the program should stick to what it has.
“What we’re learning now benefits all of the nursing and medical aspects, except for cosmetics,” West said. “I don’t believe adding cosmetics to the nursing degree would add much because not enough people are interested in taking part in that aspect.”
Plastic surgery and cosmetics are not popular in Sussex County. According to West, greater call for it in the cities. Which means that jobs in her field aren’t easy to find, but other nursing careers are.
“Bedside nursing, even some clinics, I think that there are a lot of opportunities there. Just not for what I want to do.” West said.
Graduation is set for May 2023, and a goal that West has before then is to land a job.
“Usually, you start applying to jobs prior to graduation and then you get hired after you pass your intakes,” West said.
Because of West wanting to pursue cosmetic injection, she has not made many connections pertaining to that career at Delaware Tech.
“I’ve made connections with friends, outside of college, who also do it. Down here, it’s not very popular. So no, not within the college, but I have had a lot of other good resources,” West said.
Ultimately, West wants to make others feel as good as she does when she gets injected, as she really enjoys getting work done, “I just think that it's something that can make you feel good.”
Because of her own cosmetic work, West feels more connected with her choice in career and understands the nursing side more than what patients understand.
“There are short-term and long-term injections. Filler is something that you can try and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to get it again,” West said.
“Some people find out that they love it and are amazed, and you can show them all sorts of cool things. If they don’t like it as much, it’s no big deal, you can just dissolve it and they’ll be just as happy. “
Nursing is a hands-on and difficult major. West wants students coming into her major to enjoy their free time while they can because the road to the diploma is rewarding, but very time consuming. West also suggests that cosmetic nurses get work done on themselves.
“For cosmetics, I really suggest for people to get something done. Whether it's preventative botox or something you’ve been wanting to try. I think that it would be hard to speak on something you don’t really have the experience of. I think people trust a professional who has work done over someone who does not,” West said.
Sydney West, Delaware Technical Community College nursing student, after her first lip injection. Photo submitted by Sydney West.
Delaware Technical Community College nursing student performs a checkup for a clinical. Photo: Delaware Technical Community College.