New Grad in the OR?

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by Smokey1129 Smokey1129 (New) New Student

I am currently enrolled in a nursing program and have about one year left. I have researched nursing specialties extensively. From what I can gather, the Operating Room, seems to be an excellent fit based on my interests and personality. I am also interested in traveling after a few years of experience.

I am interested to hear if anyone has any insight correlated to new nursing grads training in the Operating Room. The hospital located closet to me, offers a residency program with a Peri-op 101 program. I am not sure how competitive this residency is. Are there any other OR nurses that are located in the northeast, who know of any other hospitals with good new grad residencies, that would be worth checking into? Any further insight would be appreciated.

Thank you!

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Many hospitals are willing to take on new grads in the OR, especially as right now there is a massive shortage in several areas. My facility currently has over 100 vacant positions just in periop alone- we basically are at the stage of “you have a pulse? When can you start?” 

What’s important is the orientation. You mentioned nurse residencies- expand your search beyond that, because not all places use that term. In my facility, nurse residency refers to the year-long program that every single new to practice RN is required to attend. Orientation to the OR is simply orientation. It lasts 5-6 months learning to circulate. We are very heavy on ST staffing, so it is not common practice at the moment for RNs to be taking the table. If we were to add that to orientation, we would likely be looking more at a 9-12 month orientation. 

However, before you jump in with both feet, please spent time in an OR shadowing. It is not like that one day you’re sent to observe in nursing school where you watch the surgery and then your assignment has to do with the surgery and anesthesia- shadow to see what the OR nurse really does. That is one thing I really struggle with our new to the OR nurses with- what they think the job is and what the job really is.