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Interested in changing from Psych to OR... possible?


Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatric. Has 3 years experience.

Hello all,

I have over 3 years of experience as a psychiatric nurse, with an additional 6 months as a psych tech before graduating nursing school. I'll have my BSN in a little over a semester. I worked at a stand-alone, acute psychiatric hospital (as a float on adult/geriatric/adolescent units, charge experience) for 2 years, then the state hospital on their geriatric unit for 6 months, and now work in an acute care hospital on a geropsych floor. I love my field, but the administrative nonsense has me feeling burned out. I'd like to take a breather from psych to something like OR and see how much I miss it (or not) to try and decide on a focus for my DNP (or if I'll switch fields entirely).

Anyone have any pointers at landing an OR job with no med/surge experience?

Also -- we're planning on relocating to Chicago in the next 6 months. Not sure if that helps or hinders.

Thank you. :)

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

OR us a super-specialty. Based on your background, you'd be coming in as a complete newbie. It takes a long time & significant investment to train OR nurses. It usually takes at least 6 months before newbies are allowed to even function on simple cases without immediate supervision..... and additional training investments to qualify for each additional type of surgery. Due to the significant amount of training required, this is usually the rarest type of residency/externship hosted by US hospitals.

You'll have better luck with large organizations - just don't tell them that you want to "try it out".... I doubt whether they'd be keen on investing in you if they know it's temporary.


Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatric. Has 3 years experience.

Now that I've thought on it, OR is not a good environment for me, though I think I would really enjoy it. I have narcolepsy, and while circulating wouldn't be a problem, if I had to stand still for long periods I can have bouts of cataplexy. :/ Normally not an issue, but I'm sure OR is one of the few environments it would have an impact on. Thanks for responding though.