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How helpful would be to go surgical tech before nursing school to get a job as an OR Nurse

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I have the opportunity to do a surgical technology program before nursing school. How beneficial would be it for me to do the surg tech program so that I can get a job as a OR nurse. What can I do in my gap year that would help me get an OR job. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

Miss Infermiera2b, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Oncology. Has 2 years experience.

This information isn't from my own experience, but from a friend of mine who was a surgical tech, then a nurse. She said that if she could do it again, she'd just go to nursing school to get it done faster. It really depends on how long you want to spend in school.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Agree with PP. Yes, you will learn how to set up a sterile field, handle instruments, and all that jazz, but if you, as a nurse, will both circulate and scrub, that education should be included as part of your orientation. If you want to spend the extra time and money on school, that's up to you. However, nursing school can get you into the same place without the added years in school and money spent. The only advice I have is to be aware that whether you go to an ST program or not, for you to transition from ST to OR RN, there would have to be an open position. For some STs who graduated nursing school, they were able to move into RN roles in the OR. For others, there weren't open positions and they had to find jobs in other units. Don't count on being an ST to be an automatic "in".

I was a surgical tech for 12 years before I went to nursing school. In my case, I was offered a job as a RN in my OR after graduation. The hospital I work for also gave me half credit for my number of years worked as a ST, and I started out as a nurse with 6 years of experience on the pay scale.

That being said, I wish I would have went directly into nursing school. I had plans of getting my surgical tech certification, and then applying to a nursing program immediately. But, life happened, and I didn't. Twelve years and two children passed before I enrolled in classes again.

My advice is to just go for the RN right off the bat. Don't take the chance that life can get in the way. I know of several hospitals in my area that offer OR intern positions for experienced nurses and new grads alike. I think getting your surgical tech certificate to become an OR nurse is taking the long way around the mountain so to speak. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.

SandraCVRN

Specializes in OR Hearts 10. Has 13 years experience.

If you are waiting at least a year to go for your RN (that's how I read it) then I would say go for it. I'd love to be able to do more then just hold retractors. If you are a good scrub tech student you should be able to get a job at one of the places you do your clinicals. We tend to hire the best from each class. Then if you're a good scrub you have a greater chance of getting that RN spot in the OR. We also give half credit for scrub experience. Good luck.

Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.

I was a surgical tech for 12 years before I went to nursing school. In my case, I was offered a job as a RN in my OR after graduation. The hospital I work for also gave me half credit for my number of years worked as a ST, and I started out as a nurse with 6 years of experience on the pay scale.

This was me as well. I had 6 years of scrub experience and scrubbed full time while in nursing school. I had also worked in sterile processing for years before that so when they figured my pay, I started out as a nurse with 7 years experience.

OP, I still scrub everyday, even as an RN. I LOVE scrubbing so I don't mind doing that at all. Just know that if you go that direction, you may end up scrubbing a lot more. It may also be easier for you to get a job in the OR when you graduate.

Most Nurses hired into the OR these days have no scrub experience at all. I think that that would be a wonderful idea, f you can juggle the scrub tech school and some courses for your RN that would be great. If you apply to a large hospital where they are willing to teach you how to scrub you have it made

I just graduated from the surgical tech program and am starting nursing school this fall. I have learned so much this past year that I would have never learned any other way. RN's are great but they never get the opportunity for hands on experience like scrubs do. I have seen many new OR nurses really struggle during my rotations because they just don't know what's going on. If the nurse has previously been an ST then they are on top of things and can really help things run smoother.