Any Ontario OR nurses in here?

  1. Hello everyone, it's my first post in here and am very glad to connect with you all!

    Moderators, I don't know if this is more appropriate to post in the Canadian forum or in here?

    First off, I want to say that OR nursing is my passion and it started when I observed a cardiac bypass surgery in nursing school and have been thinking about it ever since. I'm a new RN registered in Ontario and would love to get in to OR right away. I would like to know if taking any of the postgrad pre-op courses from George Brown or Centennial would be helpful in landing a job without experience? I am currently volunteering and have bought the necessary textbooks already to read up on.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated
  2. Visit leilo0 profile page

    About leilo0, BSN

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 30; Likes: 58
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience


  3. by   dishes
    OR nursing positions are typically under ONA and are filled by the most senior qualified applicant within the hospital. As a new grad without experience you don't really meet the admission requirements for George Brown or Centennial. George Brown prefers RNs with experience in clinical practice in an operating room or recently hired into an operating room and Centennial strongly recommends one year recent post graduate nursing experience. It is better for new grads to wait until they have at least a year of experience in acute care before taking an OR course, because ignoring admission requirements and union agreements, can be pereceived as naive and/or self entitled behaviour.
  4. by   joanna73
    I had a 4th year placement in the OR, and I have received a few offers to work in the OR, provided I'm willing to enroll in the course. Dishes is right. Unless you've at least had a placement, or a year's experience in nursing, it's unlikely you will find an OR position right now. First get some experience, then enroll in the course.
  5. by   leilo0
    Thank you for the replies
    dishes, Are you in OR? If so, what path did you take to get there?

    I don't want to come off as naive or self-entitled, just considering my nursing options. I graduated in June 2011 and have had no luck with my job search and no longer qualify for the HFO funding. I have seen new grads take cardiac courses that require at least one year of med-surg experience. Since OR is where my passion is, I was hoping to take the OR course because hoping that it will increase my marketability in an area where I want to work.
  6. by   leilo0
    joanna73, did you accept any of the job offers? if so, how do you find OR nursing so far?
  7. by   dishes
    I am not in OR, I understand your reasons for wanting to take the OR course, I still recommend you hold off taking the course.
    It is a difficult job market, have you taken steps to network? are you a member of RNAO? volunteered with a research project or helped organize a nursing conference?
  8. by   leilo0
    Hi dishes, thank you for your suggestions!

    I am currently volunteering at my local hospital in the pre-op and ambulatory area - no nursing duties, just welcoming patients, giving directions, helping out with maintenance etc.
    Volunteering with a research project sounds interesting and would love to do it! I'm currently not an RNAO member due to financial reasons but any information on landing these interesting volunteer experiences would be great.
    I've always wanted to contribute my time to the community but was not able to during nursing school. I would love the opportunity to do so at this moment.
  9. by   Dela RN
    I'm not an OR nurse in Ontario but I am an OR nurse in Canada. I just recently finished the periop program. I have heard some staff in the OR recommend that new nurses try acute care first before going in to the OR. An OR nurse even highly encouraged her niece who was interested in the OR to try something out first so that she wasn't limiting herself. That being said there are a number of staff members who have only worked in the OR. They started out their in the final focus, took a periop course and have continued working there.

    My manager has said that they do prefer to hire new nurses for the periop course just because it is easier for them to transition. It's hard going from an expert in one field to a novice in another. Since the periop course can be expensive if taken on your initiative... I think like $5000 at the college near me, you can see if there are any hospitals hiring perioperative students that way you can get paid to work as well as they pay the course fees. Judging by the lack of jobs in Ontario this might be hard to find though...
  10. by   4_Sq
    Hi lello0,

    I am an OR nurse and have been for a while+++ though I am not in Ontario, I can say that I work with some excellent OR nurses who have never worked any where other than OR
    I think that the OR post grad courses are a wonderful addition to your nursing knowledge and do think that if you do not limit your job applications, and are determined, you will find a job in the OR... OR is, in my opinion, such a specialized place to
    work and is a totally new skill set, that the floor nursing is not an absolute before you work in this area.
    I have found that some of the sterile technique etc. is actually better in those nurses that have been strictly OR nurses.. just my opinion for what it is worth!
    Good Luck

    The OR is a fine place to work!
  11. by   dishes
    I encourage you to join RNAO, it's an employers market and managers are screening applicants for RNAO membership, if job applicants are equivalent in qualifications except one is a member of RNAO and the other is not, the one who is the RNAO member will be called for an interview over the non-member. Call RNAO and explain that you are a new unemployed grad, they may give you a reduced rate.

    Once you are a member of RNAO, ask if you can volunteer to help with any upcoming RNAO conferences. Also, check major Toronto hospitals conference planning departments to see if they have any conferences planned for 2012, ask the organizer if they need a volunteer to help with stuffing bags, registration, odd jobs etc.
    Ask ORNAO if they need help with their upcoming conference ORNAO - Biennial Conference Information
  12. by   joanna73
    I work in LTC. I wanted to move from where I was. Shortly after I was hired, I had an offer for the OR in Nfld, but I wanted to move west. Then a few weeks ago, a recruiter contacted me for OR positions in Northern ON, but I don't want to move back to ON yet. I think in another year or so, I'll enroll in the periop course because ultimately that's where I want to be.
  13. by   leilo0
    Thank you all for the replies. I am grateful for the encouragement and support from you all. Dishes, I contacted the ORNAO and hope I hear from them. I always wanted to know what happens in nursing conferences.
    Dela RN and BOXRLUVR, My question is for you. The peri-op program that you both taken, Did that guarantee you a job in the OR afterwards? And what are the positive aspects of working in the OR? Why do you love it?

    I have always been fascinated by human anatomy. Working with cadavers and body organs in my anatomy lab gave me this giddy feeling i can't explain and my interest strengthened when I observed a four-hour surgery in the OR. it was love after that.

    Oh and I start plugging away at that much needed med-surg experience next week.
  14. by   Successfulalways
    Hi there,

    I am a recent RPN new grad and when looking for work, I noticed the positions hiring for an OR nurse required a special certificate to practice in this area. So it looks like you will need to enroll at a school. I have just started the OR program at Mohawk college. Humber College, and Centennial have OR programs as well.