Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse Salary Guide

Cardiovascular operating room RNs are specialty nurses who assist with heart surgeries. They're involved before, during and after the operation to provide care to the patient. CVOR nurses monitor the patient throughout the process and participate in developing the care plan. They may help prepare the operating room and equipment before the surgery, then assist the rest of the surgical team during the procedure, which might include administering medications. They also handle patient care after the surgery. Working as a cardiovascular operating room RN is often fast-paced and demanding because the stakes are high, and the surgeries can be urgent situations.

How do you become a cardiovascular operating room RN?

The path to becoming a CVOR nurse starts like all other specialties. You must complete an accredited nursing program to earn your degree and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam. Then, apply to your state board of nursing for RN licensure.

Cardiovascular operating room nurses require advanced skills. Working as an RN in related areas, such as critical care, cardiovascular health, general operating rooms and surgery recovery units, can help you gain skills that transfer to the position. You typically need some nursing experience in related areas before you can get a job as a CVOR nurse.

What credentials/licensing does a cardiovascular operating room RN require?

The most basic credential you need is your nursing license. The Basic Life Support (BLS) certification focuses on what to do during cardiovascular emergencies and is required of all RNs. Because this specialty involves critical care for cardiovascular patients, many facilities prefer, or may even require, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification.

While other professional credentials may or may not be required universally, earning certifications related to the field can help prepare you for the position and find an initial job or advancement. Some hospitals might require additional credentials for CVOR nurses. If you want to specialize in working with pediatric patients, you might work toward the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) credential, which focuses on life-saving care for children. Another helpful option is the Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) credential, which focuses on perioperative care.

Average Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse Salary


The average salary for a Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse is $2,612 per week. This is 19% higher than the nursing US average of $2,119.

Last updated on April 14, 2024. Based on 1,106 active jobs on in the last 7 days.

Salaries for Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse compared to Registered Nurse National Averages


19% higher than the nursing US average.


United States

Where do Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurses get paid the most?
StateAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
New Jersey$3,291$3,600
New York$2,969$3,593
North Dakota$2,801$3,242
District of Columbia$2,712$3,463
South Dakota$2,635$2,801
What cities pay the most for Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurses?
CityAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
Wilmington, Delaware$4,482$4,815
Manhattan, New York$3,593$3,593
Canton, Ohio$3,481$4,316
Las Vegas, Nevada$3,330$3,760
Camden, New Jersey$3,307$3,600
Fargo, North Dakota$3,230$3,242
Falls Church, Virginia$3,206$3,868
Fairfax, Virginia$3,197$3,548
Cleveland, Ohio$3,173$3,806
Los Angeles, California$3,173$3,173
What are the highest paying Employers and Agencies for Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse jobs?
Average Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
RKA Recruiting$3,760$3,760
FocusPoint Healthcare$3,752$4,601
Formation, Inc.$3,700$3,700
Hired by Matrix$3,600$3,600
Consolidated Medical Travel$3,557$3,557
Reliant Staffing Solutions/RSS Medical$3,401$3,523
American Medical Staffing$3,386$3,511
The Judge Group$3,360$3,360
Becker Health/MedHQ$3,312$3,312

Last updated on April 14, 2024. Information based on active jobs on

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Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse Career Guide

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How can you increase your pay as a travel cardiovascular operating room RN

How much does a travel cardiovascular operating room (CVOR) registered nurse make?

Travel positions for cardiovascular operating room nurses averaged $2,875 per week on May 10, 2023, per salary data from Vivian Health. This rate ranked 22% higher than the overall average travel nursing weekly rate of $2,234. It's common to see wide variations in pay rates based on where you work and your qualifications for a specific position.

Do travel cardiovascular operating room RNs earn more than staff CVOR RNs?

The salary data from Vivian Health on May 10, 2023, shows that travel CVOR nurses made significantly more than those in staff positions, which is typical. During a 40-hour work week, a staff CVOR nurse earning the average rate of $49.46 per hour would make $1,978.40 weekly. Travel positions averaged $2,875 per week on the same day.

What states employ the most cardiovascular operating room RNs?

Looking at employment levels for different states can help you choose a location with the most job opportunities. States with large cities and high populations typically need the most nurses to meet healthcare demands. Although the BLS doesn’t breakdown RN demand by specialty, per its May 2022 data, the following states hire the most RNs overall:

  • California

  • Texas

  • Florida

  • New York

  • Pennsylvania

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Travel Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse FAQs

What is a CVOR RN?

Cardiovascular operating room nurses are a vital part of the cardiovascular surgical services team as they provide direct patient care in the CVOR surgical suite. CVOR nursing is a highly specialized field, making CVOR nurses in high demand across the nation. Most CVOR RNs work in hospital operating rooms, but they may also work in dedicated cardiovascular surgery centers. Due to their advanced clinical knowledge of cardiac operative procedures, CVOR nursing is among the highest-paid nursing specialties, but salaries vary based on several factors.

CVOR nurses are registered nurses who specialize in caring for cardiovascular patients before, during, and after surgical procedures. They assist throughout operations and continuously monitor patients and alert the surgical team of any concerns. CVOR RNs coordinate the entire OR with respect to sterility, availability of functioning equipment and supplies, and providing critical quality control to ensure patients’ safety.

Prospective nurses can enter the field by completing an Associate Degree in Nursing from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). However, due to the specialized surgical assisting skills required for CVOR nurses, many employers prefer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or higher. All nursing school graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Following licensure, some facilities require completion of a CVOR nursing course and departmental training program.

How a CVOR RN salary is based

Experience is a primary factor in how a CVOR RN salary is based since most hospitals prefer CVOR nurses to have prior operating room experience. It takes hands-on experience to excel as a CVOR RN, so the number of years a nurse has worked in a CVOR setting can make a difference in their salary base. Entry-level CVOR nurses generally make significantly less than those at mid-career and even less than those with more than 10 years of experience.

Because many facilities prefer BSN-educated nurses in the CVOR field, education level also plays a role in how salaries are based. Whether a CVOR nurse has obtained additional knowledge and skills, such as advanced cardiac operative procedure knowledge and enhanced lifesaving skills, can also be factors. Relevant certifications also may impact base salaries.

Basic Life Support certification is required. Many facilities also prefer, and sometimes require, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Career progression and salary also can be influenced by whether CVOR nurses hold professional certifications in the field. Studies have shown that certified nurses usually earn more annually compared to nurses who don’t hold certifications.

Experienced cardiovascular operating room nurses are in demand across the country, but some locations pay better salaries than others. Like other nursing roles, California is usually the highest paying location for CVOR RNs with several California cities among the highest paying locales. States in the northeastern and western parts of the country also tend to pay well. However, many higher-paying locations also have higher costs of living that may offset the difference.

How to increase your CVOR RN salary

CVOR nurses already earn competitive wages due to the complex nature and advanced training required in these positions. However, additional education and professional certifications can increase this salary even further.

Earning the Certified Perioperative Nurse (CNOR) credential from the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI) is a mark of distinction and indicates an RN has extensive knowledge in the field. Applicants must currently be working as perioperative nurses and have a minimum of two years and 2,400 hours of experience in perioperative nursing, including at least 1,200 hours in an intraoperative setting. The CNOR credential must be renewed every five years.

Completing an accredited master’s or doctoral program in nursing can prepare RNs to become clinical nurse specialists in the perioperative field. As a CNS, you can pursue the Clinical Nurse Specialist Perioperative Certification credential (CNS-CP) from CCI. This certification validates an RNs perioperative competency at an advanced practice level and can greatly enhance salary potential. RNs must have completed a minimum of two years and 2,400 hours of experience in perioperative nursing with at least 50% of these hours in an intraoperative setting. The CNS-CP is also a five-year credential that must be renewed.

Where can I learn more about working as a Travel CVOR Nurse?

Take a look at Vivian's Travel CVOR Nurse Career Guide for more information, including required education, responsibilities, pros and cons and more.