Operating Room Nursing

Your Operating Room Nursing Career

Interested in operating room nursing? Choose a career where you can be a part of a powerful team, enjoy unique flexibility, and find endless learning opportunities. Get connected to operating room nursing jobs that support your financial, career, and lifestyle goals with CareerStaff.

What is an OR Nurse?

OR nurse posing for photo in an operating room

OR nurses ensure patient safety and success throughout every stage of the operation. There are two types of OR room nurses: Circulating nurses and scrub nurses. Circulating OR nurses are responsible for preparing the patient and environment pre and post-surgery. Scrub OR nurses sterilize, monitor, and assist before, during, and after surgery in the operating room.

What Do OR Nurses Do?

An operating room nursing career can give you the chance to build fulfilling relationships with your team and learn satisfying skills each day as you:

  • Assist the surgical team pre-surgery, during surgery, and/or post-surgery.
  • Assess the patient’s vitals and ease their concerns.
  • Sterilize the operating room environment for patient safety.
  • Monitor patient vital signs for success.

Operating Room Nursing F.A.Q.

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How much do operating room nurses make?

According to Salary.com, the average OR nurse earns $84,100 in 2023. This can vary from $75,500 to $93,000, depending on your experience, location, and certifications. 

How to become an operating room nurse:

You’ll need to obtain an ADN or BSN and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a Registered Nurse.
While some RNs may find opportunities directly in the OR post-graduation, you can increase your opportunities by taking the Certified Perioperative Nurse Credential (CNOR) exam after two years of working as a full-time RN.

What kind of hours do operating room nurses work?

In the operating room nursing, the OR must always be staffed. Some hospitals may staff 24/7, offering a variety of shifts to choose from, including night and weekend shifts. In some cases, operating room nursing can provide more flexible shifts at 8, 10, or 12 hours each. This can vary depending on whether you work in a hospital or outpatient center.

What certifications are required to become an OR nurse?

To become an OR nurse, you’ll likely need the following certifications:
●      Basic Life Support (BLS)
●      Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
●      Certified Perioperative Nurse Credential (CNOR)
All may not be required to become an OR nurse, but obtaining them can increase your career opportunities, confidence, and pay. 

What skills make a good operating room nurse?

OR nurses work daily with their team to foster trust, communication, and critical thinking skills. They’re compassionate, knowledgeable, and prepared to ease their patients. If you’re efficient, attentive to detail, and organized, you’ll succeed in this field. 

How to gain experience in operating room nursing:

Critical care and emergency room care are two of the best ways you can gain the skills needed to succeed in operating room nursing. You can also work in a surgical center to get hands-on experience with the operating room and its procedures.
Ready to be a part of a team that saves lives, ensures patient safety, and learns each day? Start building your operating room nursing career with CareerStaff.

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Take Your Career to New Places with a Travel Nursing Assignment

Nurses who are open to travel jobs can choose from assignments across the United States! At CareerStaff, we offer our travelers opportunities from coast to coast, along with great benefits including stipends for housing and travel. Learn more about traveling with CareerStaff here.