New grad looking for OR job


Hello everyone. I recently graduated from a BSN RN program and am having trouble looking for a job in the OR. Searching for one seems like half the battle. I have found that when i do find an OR job they require at least 1 year experience which i have not received yet. My only experince has been shadowing thus far. Similarly with Residencies my cumulative GPA just misses the mark Since i graduated with a 3.09. There are so many different ways to search for one but none seem specific to filtering out new grad or residency programs. How should i go about searching for a job in OR and when doing so what should i look for? Any other tips would be really helpful too thank you!

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,328 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

I'm not trying to be a downer here, but finding a new grad position in an OR may be near impossible (at least it's completely impossible in my area) for a couple of reasons: most nurses who go into OR nursing love it so much they never leave, which means no open positions. Many hospitals are doing away with official training programs, such as AORN's Periop101. Others, due to the economy/decreased surgical procedures, and many patients delaying surgery because they can't afford the time off work/don't have enough insurance coverage/etc., simply aren't replacing nurses who leave.

So what can you do to get your foot in the door? Join AORN and network at meetings. Even if it's not an OR position, accept a job at a hospital near you- typically job openings are posted internally before being made available to the general public. This way you've already got employment history at that hospital and can show that you are dedicated/dependable. Look at places outside of hospitals- ambulatory surgery centers and doctors' offices that perform procedures. Are you willing to relocate? Some areas of the country are still seeing a need for more nurses. You can talk with hospital's nurse recruiters. Some may know that a position is only waiting for approval to be posted and can pass that along. Get your resume/cover letter reviewed by your school if they provide such a service or by someone you trust to give you constructive criticism. Brush up on your interview skills. And above all, if OR nursing is truly your passion, don't give up!


16 Posts

i have posted similar at anther or link. i had 2 or observation opportunities during nursing school and just loved or nursing. i graduated in june 2010 (yes a year ago) unable to find a job. still i applied to any or residency program i can find, even with no experience. it was very discouraging when the nursing recruiter, at level-1 trauma and teaching hospital, told me that they have over 3 hundred applicants for 4 or residency positions (and discretely hinted how slim my chances are with no experience). but, i kept on applying. and i am starting my or residency at that same level-1 trauma hospital as a new grad. what the or nursing managers told me was that my passion and enthusiasm for or on my cover letter that got me the interview and that passion and enthusiasm landed me the job.

or is so specialize that med-surg or other rn experiences don't necessary give you the advantage. the training is usually 6 month to 1 years. and the or text book i received is the same size as my med-surg text book from nursing school, not including other texts books for equipments and tools used in or. there are classroom and hands-on training. if you want to be an or nurse, it is your passion for the field not the experience that will help you.


2 Posts

Thank you both so much for your advice! Although its definitely daunting to here how hard it was I feel better knowing more about how to spend my time in finding a job in the OR.