Average Travel Operating Room Circulating Nurse Salary


The average salary for a Travel Operating Room Circulating Nurse is $2,922 per week. This is 28% higher than the nursing US average of $2,109.

Last updated on May 20, 2024. Based on 696 active jobs on Vivian.com in the last 7 days.

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


28% higher than the nursing US average.


United States

Where do Travel Operating Room Circulating Nurses get paid the most?
StateAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
What are the highest paying Employers and Agencies for Travel Operating Room Circulating Nurse jobs?
Average Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
Soliant Health$5,362$5,362
Refined Medical Staffing$4,620$4,620
FocusPoint Healthcare$4,601$4,601
Aptiva Healthcare$4,600$4,600
Excite Health Partners$4,563$4,563
Consolidated Medical Travel$4,476$4,891
Fastaff Travel Nursing$4,276$4,276
NuWest Travel Nursing$4,131$4,211
RCM HealthCare Travel$4,105$4,569
Rang Healthcare: a Division of Rang Technologies$4,100$4,100

Last updated on May 20, 2024. Information based on active jobs on Vivian.com.

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Travel Operating Room Circulating Nurse Career Guide

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Travel Operating Room Circulating Nurse FAQs

What is an OR Circulate RN?

Operating room circulate nurses, also called circulating nurses, are an integral part of the surgical team and work in an intense, stressful environment. OR circulate nurses may assume multiple roles depending on the hospital and the needs of the medical staff, making them in-demand nursing specialists. They usually work in hospitals in a general surgical department but may specialize in a specific surgical field. OR circulate nurses might also work in outpatient surgery centers, private surgical practices, trauma and emergency care centers, or any facility that offers surgical services. Work setting along with other criteria can impact an OR circulate RN’s salary.

OR circulate RNs are registered nurses who specialize in assisting surgeons and other nursing and healthcare professionals during surgical procedures. One of their primary jobs is acting as an advocate for surgical patients when they can’t speak for themselves because of anesthesia and/or sedation. OR circulate nurses are also responsible for planning and implementing surgical patients’ nursing care before, during, and after their surgical procedures while helping to maintain safe, sterile operating rooms.

The educational requirements of an OR circulate nurse are the same as other nurses, which includes earning a degree. At a minimum, OR circulate nurses must complete a nursing program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) that results in an associate degree in nursing. However, many employers prefer OR nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Either degree allows graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.

How an OR Circulate RN salary is based

Because more healthcare facilities are preferring BSN-educated OR nurses over those with an ADN, an OR circulate RN’s salary may be partially based on education level. Their years of experience in the perioperative field can also play a role. Entry-level OR circulate RNs will have lower base salaries than those with several years of experience.

Gaining experience is also required to pursue certain certifications, which can also affect your salary base. While Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certifications are required, other professional certifications are voluntary. Many facilities prefer certified perioperative nurses, so earning relevant certifications is usually reflected in your base salary. Many facilities will even reimburse you for the cost of getting certified.

Like other operating room nurses, work setting and geographical location can make a big difference in an OR circulate nurse’s base salary. According to a 2020 salary survey conducted by the Association of perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN), perioperative nurses working in surgery centers had a base salary that was $5,600 less than those working in acute care hospitals or hospital outpatient departments. However, perioperative nurses working in general or community hospitals earned $3,800 less than nurses working in academic or specialty hospitals. Geographically, the average base salaries of perioperative nurses working on either the West Coast or the East Coast was higher than any other location. Also, perioperative nurses working in urban hospitals earned about $7,000 more yearly than those working in rural hospitals. 

How to increase your OR Circulate RN salary

Advanced education is usually a guaranteed way to increase your OR circulate RN salary while presenting new career opportunities that should boost your paycheck even further. One option is to obtain your Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in surgical science, then become a surgical nurse practitioner. The credentials to become a surgical NP depend on your professional goals and state of practice.

The Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA) credential is required most often. To obtain your RFNA credential, you must complete an RNFA program that reflects the AORN standards for RN First Assistant education. The National Assistant at Surgery Certification administers CRNFA certification, which requires at least 2,000 practice hours in the RNFA role and completing a CRNFA Professional Portfolio.

OR circulate RNs who aren’t ready to pursue their MSN can still bump up their salary through professional certification. The Competency & Credentialing Institute offers the only accredited certification for perioperative RNs through its Certified Nurse, Operating Room (CNOR) exam. You must currently work in a perioperative role and have completed at least 2,400 perioperative nursing practice hours, including 1,200 hours in an intraoperative setting, to take the exam.

Where can I learn more about working as a Travel Operating Room Circulating Nurse?

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