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How to get into Periop Nursing

rnkv rnkv (New) New

I've been a nurse for 3 years with experience in med-surg & psych! I'd love to hear how you got into the OR with no previous Periop experience. Tips. Thanks

I accepted a position as a Circulating Nurse for a Children's Hospital, and I start on the 14th. My story is that I'm a new grad and recently passed the NCLEX. Even though you aren't a new nurse, have you looked into any Intern/Residency programs to get into periop nursing?

Good luck.


I found a Peri-Op program. Most larger hospitals seem to have them, which I had no idea about for a long time.


Specializes in Operating room..

They really won't help unless you can be in the OR at the same time to back up the education. I got into the OR with no prior experience....6 months of orientation (maybe more), peri-op 101 from AORN. Love the OR....been there 6.5 years.

MereSanity BSN, RN, CNOR

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I applied to a Periop 101 program at a hospital. It it was so competitive I didn't get in. Would my other options be to find an outside program and pay out of pocket? If so, is their a website I can find accredited, legit programs?


Specializes in Operating room..

No! Without direct interaction in the OR the program will be useless to you...trust me...I've taken the course! It's a pricey program...you need to study it AND do it daily.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 15 years experience.

Would my other options be to find an outside program and pay out of pocket? If so, is their a website I can find accredited, legit programs?

I think the better option would be to wait until you can get into a hospital's program. The reason being that yes, a class can teach you the theory of the basics, but it is the hands on experience that helps with retention and connecting theory to practice. Also, many hospitals will tailor the program specifically to their needs. Even if you do an outside program, you will still need the orientation program for that facility- and whatever program you pay for is not going to count as OR experience. Why spend the money? Especially if you may not get a job in the specialty for a while.


Specializes in med surg, nicu. Has 9 years experience.

I am relocating to get into OR fellowship program because the few in my area are super competive. I am a BSN trained RN of 9 years. There is a community college that has a periop program in my area. Hospitals are so deseprate for OR nurses a few will accept graduates of the program. Talk to the places your applying to see if they willing to accept you after the program.

How do you even become a CVOR nurse?

Edited by dianah

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 15 years experience.

How do you even become a CVOR nurse?

Apply for a job advertised as working in the cardiac ORs. Some facilities will have a specialized team; others will have everyone do everything. Some specialized teams may require OR experience before being permitted to apply for CVOR positions.

I graduated in 2011, found a job working in a GI office in 2012 and stayed there for 9 months. Left the GI office to pursue a hands on position. It took me over a year to find a job at a SNF. I finally found a job in 2014. Sadly, I left there after 6 months. The company was sold to another company which increased patent load with no support. Now I'm in the process of taking prereq's full time so that I can get into an RN to BSN program at UIC. During this time of unemployment, I reevaluated my goals and what I really wanted to do with my nursing career. I've decided that I want to work towards a career in surgical nursing. However, I'm unsure as to how I will accomplish this. I feel that every job posting in the surgical areas ask for 1-2 years of experience. Can someone tell me how to get experience with no experience so that I can apply for a position that will help me pursue my goals?


Specializes in Operating room..

I just kept applying and trying at different hospitals....I took a part time job just to get in but always got to work full time due to the need. After awhile I got officially hired as full time. Oh, sometimes the hospitals no one want to work at hire faster than the good ones...sad but true...good way to get experience though! Good luck!

Most large hospital systems offer peri-op training programs, basically paid on the job training. Mine was 6 months, during which time we did the AORN peri-op 101 program and learned the ins and outs of surgery before spending the last 4-ish months in the ORs putting what we learned to work. Getting into surgery is a HUGE change and there is definitely a lot to learn.

Research larger hospital systems in your area and keep an eye out on their job websites. Most only offer the program once or twice a year because it's a lot of work. You may also consider contact the HR rep listed for experienced OR positions and ask if their facility offers a training program and if so, how often.

Anyone here from Philly area and knows any oth. Periop class than those offered by Holy Family University or Delaware CCC..?

Dean of nursing school at Holy F. says everyone who took it got position in OR. Hard to believe, maybe just a marketing.

What are chances for finding OR position w/ either of those courses..? Btw. am RN, Bsn w/ almost 1 yr. of exp., mostly as sub in schools and recently in home care. Did not have anyone as connection to get to a single interview to a hospital, so no med- surg. exp. whatsoever.

I'm askin this b/c do not wanna waste my money on another course that won't increase my chances or land me a job at OR...

So does anyone knows smn. who entered Or by that Periop class per se? Told my OR educator at Presby that it's better to take DCCC class because more clin. hs- 90, but then I have some serious questions on credentialing of that program (they have certificate program , w/ 2 more classes for 1st assistant so for experienced Or nurses) and why would I go w/ Comm. Clg. vs. Holy Family, a University w/ nursing program.