Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse Career Guide

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A Thoracic Surgery Registered Nurse (RN) plays a critical role in assisting with surgical procedures related to the chest, including the heart, lungs and esophagus. These specialized nurses provide comprehensive care to patients undergoing thoracic surgeries, ensuring their safety and well-being before, during and after the procedures.

Essential Job Functions:

Thoracic Surgery RNs work alongside surgeons and other healthcare professionals


To become a Thoracic Surgery RN, aspiring nurses must first complete a nursing education program and obtain an RN license. This typically involves earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited institution.


A stethoscope held in one hand

Related certifications

Thoracic Surgery RNs often benefit from additional certifications in perioperative nursing, critical care or surgical nursing. Relevant clinical experience in surgery or critical care settings is highly valuable in preparing for this specialized role.

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


Staff and Travel Thoracic Surgery RNs need a strong foundation in perioperative nursing practices, critical care and advanced cardiac life support. They must be skilled in patient assessment, hemodynamic monitoring, sterile technique, wound care and collaboration within a surgical team.

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The responsibilities of a Thoracic Surgery RN encompass a wide range of tasks, including pre-operative patient assessment, intraoperative assistance, administration of medications, patient education, wound care and monitoring post-operative recovery.

Salary Insights

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Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse

The average salary for a Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse is $2,291.65 per week.

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

Pros & Cons

Becoming a Thoracic Surgery RN offers the opportunity to work closely with surgical teams and make a direct impact on patients undergoing complex thoracic procedures. These nurses are vital in ensuring patient safety, optimal outcomes and effective communication within the surgical environment.

On the positive side, this role provides exposure to advanced surgical techniques, the chance to develop specialized skills and

Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse Jobs

View job details for Rochester, NYTravel ContractRochester, NYTravel Nurse RN - Thoracic SurgeryPlanet Healthcare$2,614/wk
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Posted Today
View job details for Rochester, NYTravel ContractRochester, NYTravel Nurse RN - Thoracic SurgerySupplemental Health Care$2,072/wk
Posted 11 days ago
View job details for Hartford, CTTravel ContractHartford, CTTravel Nurse RN - Thoracic SurgerySupplemental Health Care$1,924/wk
Posted 13 days ago
View job details for Scranton, PATravel ContractScranton, PATravel Nurse RN - Thoracic SurgeryAnders Group$2,557/wk
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