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Perioperative (Surgical) Nurse


Sometimes called a Surgical or an Operating Room Nurse, Perioperative Nurses care for patients before, during and after surgery. They work alongside surgical teams to make sure that patients are receiving the best possible care, and serve as liaisons between the surgical team and the patients’ families. As a Perioperative Nurse, you’ll help patients with recovery immediately following surgery and teach them, and their families, about at-home postoperative care.

Things You'll Do:

  • Interview and assess patients on the day of surgery
  • Monitor patients and coordinate care during surgery
  • Maintain a sterile operating room during surgery
  • Give patients recovery tips for home

Your job characteristics:

  • Multifaceted
  • Structured
  • Patient-facing

How You'll Get There
  • Get Your
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Pass Your
    National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
  • You can start working as a Registered Nurse.
    More about becoming an RN ›
  • Get experience working in critical care and in the emergency room, and take continuing education courses in areas like patient assessment, intraoperative activites, discharge planning, emergency situations and sterilization.
  • Pass Your
    Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) certification exam through the Competency and Credentialing Institute
  • Become a
    Certified Perioperative Nurse
  • With advanced degrees, nurses with a perioperative background can work as operating room directors, RN First Assistants, clinical educators and Nurse Anesthetists.
    Learn about becoming a Nurse Anesthetist ›

More About this Specialty
  • Where You
    Can Work

    • Hospitals
    • Ambulatory surgical units
    • Physicians’ offices

    find jobs
  • How Much You
    Can Make

      an average salary of

      $42K - $56K

    find salary by state
  • What Else You
    Can Expect

    • As a Perioperative Nurse, you can work as a scrub nurse, a circulating nurse, an operating room charge nurse and an outpatient surgery nurse.

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