Art, acumen and endurance: A nurse practitioner’s journey to aesthetics entrepreneurship

Jenna Goldsmith.

Jenna Goldsmith, MS '08 and BS '06, owns and operates a medical skincare spa in Williamsville, NY. 

By Shannon O'Sullivan

Published February 13, 2024

When Jenna Goldsmith was a nursing student at UB, she never envisioned that her career in advanced nursing practice would entail owning and operating a medical spa.

Jenna Goldsmith earned her BS in Nursing in 2006 and her MS in Maternal and Women’s Health Nursing in 2008, both from UB. Since 2015, Jenna L. Goldsmith NP Medical Spa in Williamsville, New York, provides patients with medical aesthetic services, including Botox, fillers, laser treatments and a variety of other elective procedures.

“When we treat the face, it’s a game of millimeters,” Goldsmith said. “It's quality over quantity all day long in the world of aesthetics.”

She emphasizes that continuing education and enhancing quality care for patients are her primary goals for the practice. Additionally, she aims to publish more research related to aesthetics–demonstrating how nurse practitioners can forge a career that combines clinical practice, entrepreneurship and research.

Although Goldsmith, 39, downplays her business acumen, she was recently named to Buffalo Business First’s annual “40 Under 40” list.

“I always say I’m not a great business person–I’m just really good at assessing perceived issues or problems,” Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith attributes that ability to her training and experience as a nurse. After shadowing a hospital rotation in Batavia in high school, she knew she wanted a nursing career. She also realized that attending UB was a pivotal step toward achieving her goals.

“Going to UB for nursing was synonymous with the best,” she said. “I’m definitely someone who strives for excellence.”

She looks back fondly on her time at UB, including her participation in the Nursing Student Organization. She also began a lifelong friendship with fellow 2006 UB nursing alumna, Emily Jerge, who is now her sister-in-law and a member of the same 2023 “40 Under 40” cohort.

Goldsmith’s focus on medical aesthetics began by chance. She was working at a gynecologist’s private practice in 2010 when she picked up a paper on the way home from work to explore job opportunities. She noticed an ad seeking a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner to manage a medical spa.

“That was 2010, so this kind of stuff didn’t really exist,” she explained. “I sent my resume thinking there was no way I would ever get that job…they called me for an interview, and I got the job that day.”

Goldsmith cites New York State’s 2015 Nurse Practitioner Modernization Act, which expanded experienced nurse practitioners’ scope of practice, as instrumental in her decision to found her own medical spa. Although she was nervous to enter the business world, her harrowing experience of surviving a stroke motivated her to become an entrepreneur.

“Life is short, and I know that that is an overused phrase, but I had a stroke when I was 31 years old,” she said. “After 22 days in the hospital and unsure if I would ever walk again or get out of a wheelchair, I can definitively tell you that life is short, and you should go for it.”

Her advice for aspiring and current nurses is to maintain an open mind about career directions. She encourages nurses to view entrepreneurship as another avenue for providing exceptional patient care.

“Just because you’re a nurse or nurse practitioner doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own business…and be just as successful at caring for patients,” she said. “I really think that nurses do that best.”