Considering the OR? 5 Steps to Get There

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    RNs looking for an exciting environment that includes high-tech, leadership opportunities, and some of the top-paying roles within nursing should explore the OR arena.

    Considering the OR? 5 Steps to Get There

    Perioperative RNs are in high demand in hospital surgical departments, day-surgery, clinics, and physicians' offices. They help plan, implement, and evaluate treatment of the surgical patient and may work closely with the patient, family members, and other health care professionals.

    Sound intriguing? Here are five important steps you can take to pave your professional path to the OR.

    Step 1: Find a perioperative internship program

    Most hospitals host a perioperative nursing internship program that involves didactic and clinical education and training. Many hospitals across the country use AORN's Periop 101 curriculum, which is structured based on AORN's Guidelines for Perioperative Practice. Any perioperative nursing position you apply for will require you to demonstrate knowledge with AORN guidelines.

    Step 2: Attend an AORN local chapter meeting

    Finding a group of perioperative nurses in your community can be a great way to network, learn about job opportunities, and understand important practice issues you will need to address in a perioperative nursing role.

    Step 3: Seek out perioperative nursing experts

    Connecting with perioperative nursing professors can be a great way to understand the education base you will need. This option can be great for nurses already in school to advance their education, say for a BSN, because they may be able to take a perioperative nursing course or get involved with a partnering hospital where perioperative nursing observations are held.

    Step 4: Research the evidence for safe perioperative nursing practice

    AORN offers a series of regional workshops throughout the year that nurses interested in the perioperative specialty can attend. Participants take a hands-on approach to understanding and implementing perioperative practice issues addressed in AORN's guidelines. The workshops can give prospective perioperative nurses a chance to network, learn, and earn perioperative nursing continuing education credits.

    Step 5: Attend AORN's Global Surgical Conference and Expo

    Interested nurses attending the annual conference in New Orleans, March 24-28, can learn about the latest trends and evidence-based practices in perioperative nursing, while also having ample opportunities for networking and fun. The meeting also offers a free student day for hands-on nursing education, and first-hand experience and education with OR technology on the exhibit floor.


    AORN is giving away a five-night hotel stay in New Orleans to use during Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2018. Register by December 15, 2017 with promo code "AllNurses" to be entered into the drawing.*

    *See full contest rules.
    Last edit by Joe V on Aug 15, '18

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