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New grad in OR

Cicu616 Cicu616 (New) New

I am a soon to be new grad and I have been offered 2 positions in the OR at 2 different hospitals. One is in the CVOR at a large level 1 trauma center where I am doing my capstone now. There is ALOT of call with this position. They are anticipating my orientation to be around 6 months, since I've already had some exposure there (though I have a feeling they might try to rush me through it bc they're pretty understaffed right now).

The other position is at a medium sized Magnet hospital where they do mostly general, ortho, bariatric, some vascular, etc. and they train everyone to do all the cases that they do there. The orientation would be a full year. The call situation doesn't seem to be as bad as the other one but I'm not completely sure.

Which would give me a better start? Specialized in a bigger hospital, or more general in a smaller one?


Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Which one calls to you more? I'll be honest and tell you to forget Magnet status vs. not Magnet status. It's a marketing gimmick and doesn't actually mean anything for the nursing staff. They both have their own pros and cons; try sitting down and making a list of what is a pro and con to you.

Hi Lexi. I'm only in my first year of nursing school. Would you mind sharing what you felt helped you land the two jobs?


Disclaimer- I am speaking entirely within the scope of my hospital. I work in a level 1 trauma center with over 50 ORs. We have a pediatric OR, cancer OR, ambulatory, and trauma OR. I work in the main OR (we take everything and are the only one to operate 24/7). Our hallways also contain the CVOR. I have worked in a few cases in the CVOR, but I tend to be in thoracic cases.

Go with your gut. However, if this was me, knowing what I know as an OR nurse, I would take the second option. Learn as much as you can. You will be more marketable in the future and you can always move on to learn the CVOR. Once you rotate through all of the specialities, you can figure out what you like and see if you want to be in the CVOR. CVOR nurses that I work with often complain because they get thrown into other services when we are short staffed. Their biggest complaint - "everyone expects a cardiac nurse to do everything." This isn't the case for a lot of CVOR nurses who don't get experience in general, ortho, etc. A lot of nurses come into the OR thinking they want to end up in one service but end up hating it, or loving something else entirely I entered with the passion for the CVOR, but I find my days are significantly more enjoyable in general and plastics cases. To each their own. HOWEVER, if you're passionate about cardiac - take that job. If you aren't sure what you're passionate about, take the second job and take the time to explore. It's hard, but it's a lot of fun!