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Perioperative Nursing

What is Perioperative Nursing?

Perioperative nurses are sometimes referred to as surgical or operating room nurses. According to Johnson & Johnson , these nurses work with surgical teams and help patients recover following surgeries. These nurses may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient care centers, ambulatory care units, and physicians' offices. Perioperative nurses can serve as scrub nurses or circulating nurses in the operating room. The former selects instruments and supplies necessary for surgery and passes them to the individual performing the surgery. The latter manages overall nursing care for a comfortable and safe environment.

What are the Responsibilities of a Perioperative Nurse?

The typical responsibilities of a perioperative nurse, according to Johnson & Johnson, include assessing the patient on the day of the surgery, monitoring patients and managing nursing care during surgery, maintaining a sterile environment, and giving recovery tips to patients and their families to prepare them for discharge.

Education and Certification Requirements

The first step in becoming a perioperative nurse is to complete an accredited registered nursing education program. After graduating from the program with a diploma, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree, one must pass the NCLEX-RN and apply for a license.

After gaining at least 2,400 hours of nursing experience in a perioperative field, at least half of which must be in an intraoperative environment, one is eligible to take the Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) examination. In addition to this requirement, the individual must have an unencumbered RN license and be currently employed full-time or part-time in a perioperative setting. After passing, one earns the CNOR credential.

What is the Average Salary for a Perioperative Nurse?

In a 2012 report by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), it was estimated that the median salary for registered nurses was $65,470. Pay for these individuals ranged from about $45,000 to approximately $95,000. It is unclear exactly where in this range most perioperative nurses fall, but salary is likely to vary depending on location, position, and the individual's education and experience level.

What is the Job Outlook?

The BLS predicts the employment outlook for registered nurses to be positive, with 19% job growth between 2012 and 2022. The report also states that outpatient care centers, such as those which administer outpatient therapies, are likely to have even higher job growth. Due to this fact, perioperative nurses are likely to be in high demand.

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