After working as a pediatric and neonatal nurse for 13 years, Laura Banbury says a recent transition into the cosmetic injectables industry means her anxiety is now “completely gone”.
- Cosmetics industry says registered nurses are leaving hospitals ‘in droves’
- Australia’s injectables industry is worth over $2.6 billion and employs around 4,000 people
- Nurses say they are leaving hospitals in search of better pay and conditions
“After I went on maternity leave and felt exhausted…I was offered a job at a nice clinic five minutes’ drive from my house,” she said.
“I can choose the hours I want to work and book clients around my children’s daycare, school pick-up and extracurricular activities.
Based in Woonona in the Illawarra region of NSW, Ms Banbury said public hospitals were a “high pressure environment” which had become “increasingly busy over the last 10 years”.
She said several of her registered nurse colleagues were also looking to switch to cosmetics due to burnout.
Cosmetic injectables, such as botox and lip fillers, should be prescribed by a doctor and administered by a nurse or someone more qualified.
“Hundreds of people called the clinic asking if there were any positions available due to hours and community,” Ms Banbury said.
It’s something that cosmetic nurse Shivawn Jeans can relate to. After quitting hospital work six years ago, she now runs her own business in Wagga Wagga, in southern New South Wales.
“Working shifts in the ER for 12 hours straight with two young children just wasn’t feasible for my family,” she said.
Ms Jeans entered the industry at a time when it was starting to explode and said her customer base had since “more than quadrupled”.
A market report from global analyst Grandview Research showed that the Australian facial injectables market alone was worth $2.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow 26% by 2028.
Cosmetic nurses are not yet counted in official Australian workforce data, but the industry has estimated that it employs over 4,000 people nationwide.
“I would say 70% of those … are RNs or RNs, with about 95% of those RNs,” said Nicole Schmid-Sanele, board member of the Cosmetic Nurse Association.
Ms Schmid-Sanele said the industry had “exploded” since she entered it 13 years ago as a registered nurse with 10 years of critical care experience at a Sydney hospital.
“For the first five years, the growth was very slow … then we saw the Kim Kardashians of the world come along and it kind of exploded,” she said.
“I would say at the time there were only a handful of nurses doing this, maybe a hundred. »
Shivawn Jeans said a better work-life balance and the ability to own his own business were key factors in giving up hospital work, but money also helped.
She said that while the prospect of foregoing a secure salary for commission work was daunting, her earning potential was “astronomically different” from working in a hospital.
In New South Wales, nurses with eight or more years of experience earn a full-time base salary of $92,000.
The union rejected a 3 percent pay rise offered by the government, demanding 7 percent.
“We say it’s not just money that drives people, but when you have nurses who have been working for eight years on about $40 an hour, you could be making $200 an hour as a nurse. ‘cosmetic nurse,’ Ms. Jeans said.
States such as NSW are pledging to employ thousands more health workers to fill a gaping shortage, but there are questions about who will fill those positions.
Ms Schmid-Sanele said other things also needed to change.
“It all comes down to the culture of hospitals…simple things like a nurse having to pay $20 a day to park her car to go to work,” she said.
NSW Nurses and Midwives has also noticed a change in the type of work carried out by its members.
“Part of the trend is because the cosmetics industry itself is growing due to consumer demand,” said Deputy General Secretary Shaye Candish.
“But they are also looking for opportunities to get out of hospitals due to increasing demands, especially due to the pandemic over the past three years. »
Ms Candish said nurses had worked in hospitals for decades, but contemporary workloads were not sustainable in the long term.
Laura Banbury still hoped to return to the neonatal unit in some capacity.
“If I can have a few years off to recuperate and take a little break from the night shift, after seven years of having kids, if I could do both, that would be a really good balance,” he said. she declared. .
NSW Health and the NSW Minister of Health have been contacted for comment.