Can I be an OR nurse as a new grad?

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by Jessica1077 Jessica1077 (New) New Student

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I am going to be graduating nursing school in May next year and was wondering if I am able to specialize in the OR right after I graduate? I’ve come to the conclusion bedside isn’t for me as I haven’t been enjoying any clinicals on the floor. Also my nurse tech job on a medical telemetry floor isn’t appealing to me (I’m doing it for experience). I know most people recommend that you do 2 years of bedside care to have a good foundation but honestly I feel like I would be miserable even if it’s just for 2 years.  

RNperdiem

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience. 4,542 Posts

Absolutely. Several of the large hospitals in my area have OR programs that give months of preceptorship. I once considered applying for one of those programs, but there was a two year commitment contract required, so I did something else instead. 

Many other places like surgical centers and smaller hospitals only hire experienced OR nurses. 

Consider also shadowing an OR nurse and talking to some nurses in areas you are interested in. Every specialty has it's positives and negatives, and you want to know what you are getting into before you invest the time. 

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 4,014 Posts

That is a specialty that is so different than floor nursing, it's practically a different profession. If that's what you are interested in, go for it right away. You have to be a team player to be an or nurse, that is paramount!

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 10 years experience. 3,100 Posts

I was told that many RNs leave bedside to to go the OR, but you will rarely, if never, see an "ex-OR" RN on the floor LOL 

We have a very extensive "new to the OR" program. It is like starting over, from what my friends have told me that have move from the floor to the OR.

 

kubelkabondy

kubelkabondy, ADN, RN

Specializes in OR. 45 Posts

Yes, I did and so can you. The OR is so different from floor nursing, so having a year of med-surg as a "foundation" is not really going to help much, if at all. Just be aware that the opposite is also true - if you work in the OR a few years and then decide to change specialties, the OR experience you have is not going count for much. That doesn't mean that you can't change specialties though; you can, but it will basically be like starting over as a new grad again.

Definitely arrange for a shadow day to observe and get a better sense of the RN's role in the OR. If you are still interested, ask your clinical site coordinator if it's possible to do your senior practicum in the OR! 

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 50 years experience. 4,140 Posts

On 9/22/2022 at 6:44 PM, kubelkabondy said:

Yes, I did and so can you. The OR is so different from floor nursing, so having a year of med-surg as a "foundation" is not really going to help much, if at all. Just be aware that the opposite is also true - if you work in the OR a few years and then decide to change specialties, the OR experience you have is not going count for much. That doesn't mean that you can't change specialties though; you can, but it will basically be like starting over as a new grad again.

Definitely arrange for a shadow day to observe and get a better sense of the RN's role in the OR. If you are still interested, ask your clinical site coordinator if it's possible to do your senior practicum in the OR! 

There's nothing as good as a experienced ICU or PACU nurse in the room when things go south.