Aesthetic vs. PACU: Picking between two nursing specialties- Which will have better career opportunities/salary growth?



I'm looking into working as a new nurse in two different specialties: As a PACU RN in an outpatient center or as an Aesthetic nurse. Anyone know which may be better to have a career in down the line? I'm not sure if PACU RN in an ambulatory setting will be considered for other PACU positions in the future (since it's technically not acute, right?) Will having any PACU experience at all be helpful in eventually getting per diem/part-time jobs? 

I've heard aesthetic nursing can be competitive, and have been doing research on this, but it does seem like the workload will be easier than other settings. This job offer starts off with less hours, but I'm hoping in the future I could be working more (unfortunately I've only seen 8hr days in aesthetic nursing, generally speaking). 

My ideal position would be to work 2 twelve hour shifts a week. I know my first job won't be that way, but I'm trying to figure out which path might lead me toward this goal?

Please be kind in your responses and I appreciate the advice you may have to offer!

Specializes in ICU. Has 7 years experience.

I would think about where you see yourself. I think PACU seems the better option - here you can continue your nursing skills and are exposed to a wider variety of career paths.

As an Aesthetic Nurse - this is a very specific career path. I think the best case scenario would be, to work in an acute care PACU and maybe do Aesthetics once a week (so you can get a taste of both).

Aesthetics is really hot right now and I don't want to steer you away from that - but it will be competitive and that very much depends on your connections in that area.

The future is Aesthetics is also unclear, so I would say make sure you have some hospital experience so you have something to fall back on just in case.

Hope that helps 🙂