Floor Nursing vs. OR Nursing


I'm currently a new grad working on a Med-Surg unit. It will be a year in May and I'm certainly interested in trying other areas of nursing to find my niche. I love my hospital but just not satisfied with Med Surg and also night shift. I have been considering applying for an OR Fellowship when I've completed my residency commitment but don't have many contacts in OR to get an idea of what it's like.

I was wondering if anyone has made that transition and how it went. Do you enjoy working closely/in the same room as different team members? Any other advice/suggestions?

I think I just want to do something totally different and OR is definitely intriguing to learn a whole new field!


126 Posts

Specializes in Surgery. Has 30+ years experience.

I worked nights on the floor for about 9 years, I gained very valuable assessment skills and how to deal with nearly anything that could come at me. Prior to that I had worked as a surgical assistant for a surgeon so I had an good idea that I should be in the OR. It is a completely different world. After proper training and experience, you will find that you have more autonomy than you would ever have on the floors. You become a team mate with the surgeons and the sometimes adversarial relationship on the floors is non existent. Keep in mind though, this comes with time. Like anything else, you have to "Pay your dues". It is tough but well worth it to make the move.


76 Posts

My transition from the floor to OR was the best thing I ever did! I had been a nurse 8 years, 3 of those years in management, and needed a change. I was fortunate enough to have a friend in the OR that helped get me in the program. I transitioned easily, while others in my class struggled. Keep in mind, OR nurses and techs and definitely the surgeons are VERY territorial and some of them will try to make your life difficult and run you out, which I truly believe is why many don't last. I fought past the difficult days with my head up and have developed an awesome relationship with my team. I will never forget everyone telling me this one particular doctor was very difficult to work with. As terrified as I was the first time I worked with me, I showed confidence in what I was doing and today, if he's doing a trauma in the middle of the night, he makes sure I'm his nurse.