OR Nurse Career Guide

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Operating Room (OR) nurses, also known as perioperative nurses, are essential members of the surgical team. They play a critical role in providing safe and effective patient care during surgical procedures. OR nurses are responsible for preparing the operating room, assisting the surgical team, monitoring patients' vital signs and ensuring a sterile environment. Their expertise contributes to the success of


To become an Operating Room RN, individuals must meet specific education requirements. The educational background needed is typically a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. BSN programs generally span four years and offer comprehensive coursework in nursing fundamentals, anatomy, pharmacology and perioperative nursing. Accredited nursing schools and universities offer BSN programs.

A stethoscope held in one hand

Related certifications

To work as an Operating Room RN, several qualifications and experience requirements must be met:

Licensure: Graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to obtain their nursing license. This examination ensures that nurses have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice safely and effectively.

Certifications: While not mandatory, obtaining certifications can enhance professional credibility and job prospects.

State licenses process and requirements

All 50 states require state licensure to become a professional nurse. Review the step-by-step process to obtain or renew your RN license in each one.
A stethoscope held in one hand


To succeed as a staff or travel OR nurse, a combination of knowledge, hard skills, soft skills and competencies are necessary:

  • Surgical Knowledge: A solid understanding of surgical procedures, sterile techniques, instrumentation and perioperative nursing principles is essential.

  • Critical Thinking and Decision-Making: Operating Room RNs must possess strong critical thinking skills to anticipate and respond to intraoperative challenges, ensure patient

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Operating Room RNs have various responsibilities in their role:

Preoperative Preparation: Assisting with patient preparation, including positioning, prepping and draping the surgical site. Verifying patient identification, surgical consent and ensuring the availability of necessary equipment and supplies.

Intraoperative Support: Providing direct patient care during surgeries, monitoring vital signs, administering medications, managing surgical instruments and assisting with procedures as required.

Patient Safety and Advocacy:

Salary Insights

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OR Nurse

The average salary for a OR Nurse is $2,554.02 per week.

Last updated on October 2, 2023. Based on active jobs on Vivian.com.

Pros & Cons

Working as an Operating Room RN offers numerous benefits and drawbacks:


  • High Level of Specialization: Operating Room RNs gain in-depth knowledge and expertise in surgical procedures, instrumentation and perioperative nursing, making them highly specialized professionals.

  • Impactful Patient Care: Operating Room RNs contribute to the successful outcomes of surgical procedures, directly impacting patients' lives and well-being.

  • Professional Growth Opportunities: Continuing education, advanced certifications and

OR Nurse Jobs

View job details for New Brunswick, NJTravel ContractNew Brunswick, NJTravel Nurse RN - First AssistHost Healthcare$5,658/wk
Referral Bonus
Posted 13 days ago
View job details for New Brunswick, NJTravel ContractNew Brunswick, NJTravel Nurse RN - First AssistHost Healthcare$5,658/wk
Referral Bonus
Posted 13 days ago
View job details for Bakersfield, CATravel ContractBakersfield, CATravel Nurse RN - OR - Operating RoomMedical Solutions$4,560/wkEstimated pay package
Referral Bonus
Posted 5 days ago
View job details for Redwood City, CATravel ContractRedwood City, CATravel Nurse RN - OR - Operating RoomMedical Solutions$4,558/wkEstimated pay package
Referral Bonus
Posted 11 days ago

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