Advice on Transitioning from a Psych nurse to an OR nurse

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    Hello All,

    This is my first post on this site and I wanted to ask you guys for some advice. I searched as best I could and I didn't find anything specific to my situation. I'm a new grad with an Associates Degree in Nursing and I currently accepted a RN position in the Psych department, however, I really want to work as an OR nurse. I accepted the position to get my foot in the door as it is very difficult to find a job nowadays; I didn't want to be picky.


    My questions are:

    What steps should I take to prepare myself later when I'm able to switch departments? What skills, education, or experience would I need to transition into this OR position?

    I've asked various people, however, I received many different answers. Most of the people I asked also didn't go through the same situation, therefore, I'm not sure what advice to take. I heard that I should transition to a Medsurg/ER/ICU position first to obtain experience there, then try applying to an OR position. I also heard of going back to school to get a Surgical Tech degree and work as a Surgical Tech to get the skills I need, then transition into the role as an OR nurse.

    I'm not sure what to path to take as it all sounds very different. I'm not sure which advice to take without wasting time and money for something I probably didn't need to do in the first place. If anyone has any advice to help point me in the right direction it would be most appreciated!

    Thanks for the help!

    -Jackie
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  3. 1 Comments so far...

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    Hi Jackie. I am not an OR nurse or a psych nurse, but if you have an interest in a particular area of nursing, call the nurse manager and ask her/him about it. They are ultimately the person who staffs the unit and they want quality people with an interest in that type of nursing.
    I am a retired ICU nurse. Occasionally the surgeons would have to do emergency surgery on the unit and the OR nurses would come over (as we didn't have a clue about scrubbing or circulating) and they would completely take over. I'm not sure having a background in critical care nursing would be ideal for the OR as the skill set seems vastly different to me, but I haven't worked in the OR since I was in nursing school and that was back in the dark ages.
    The best thing you can do is to make personal connections in any area that you wish to work in....nursing or otherwise.

    Congratulations on finding a position, welcome to the site, and best wishes to you in your career in nursing,
    Mrs H.


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