How many ways are there to get into the OR?

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    My dream job is to be an OR nurse for patients undergoing GYN surgeries. I understand the differences between the roles of circulating nurse, scrub nurse, first assistant, etc., and I think I would enjoy any of those positions. I'm graduating from nursing school with my BSN in 4 months and I'll be a new RN, meaning I have no official experience. My mom is a surgical technologist & first assistant (CSTFA), and I've shadowed her for about 4 years in a VERY small, rural surgi-center in a different state, so I have some unofficial experience. In fact, my mom's boss (a general surgeon who was also my boss since I also worked there as a secretary) offered me a job with him in the OR after I graduate. However, I don't want to live or work in that state (since I'll probably have to move back in with my parents), and so I'll be applying for work in a densely populated, more urban state (NJ).
    I've been told that the process for getting into the OR in NJ is basically: get hired as an RN on a med-surg floor, after 2 years transfer to ICU, after 2 years transfer to OR. But I've also seen people hired based on meeting the right person and networking, or shadowing/interning and making a good impression, or asking to be trained on the job. My back-up plan is to get into the OR the 'traditional way', but first I'm going to try shadowing surgeons at local surgi-centers, try to impress them with knowledge that I'm 'not supposed' to have, and then asking them to train me on the job. Unfortunately, my nursing school doesn't offer an OR clinical rotation. I've thought about going through a surgical tech program, but I've run out of money for school.
    I'm studying from textbooks for RNFAs and surgi techs, hoping to gain a little extra knowledge, but what else should I say or do to convince an OR team that I'd make a great intern/trainee/new hire?
    I want to be in the OR because I love the team coordination, the structure of a surgical case, the organization of all the steps and instruments. Microbiology was one of my favorite courses because asepsis is fascinating to me. I know I can stand on my feet for long hours.
    How else can I get myself into an OR?
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    Look for hospitals that offer new grad residencies. These tend to be primarily teaching hospitals, and may only offer the residency once or twice a year. It's not unheard of (although not very common) for new grads to be hired into the OR- it depends a lot on interviewing skills and the impression you make on the staff you shadow. Otherwise, getting a med-surg position will give you the opportunity to apply for internal job postings that aren't available to the general public. Not quite sure why you're being told that you need both med-surg and ICU experience, neither has been a prerequisite for any job I've seen posted in my area.


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