Getting into OR nursing

  1. I'm wondering if anyone can speak to the process of getting a position as an OR nurse. I'm still a student and am wondering a couple of things, such as:

    Is it difficult/impossible to attain an OR position as a new grad? If it's possible, are there certain things that are advantageous? If it's not really doable, how much and what kind of nursing experience will work?

    Are nursing school grades an important factor?

    Finally, can anyone speak about getting in neurosurgical nursing or cardiothoracic surgery nursing? I'm sure you can't do those as a new grad, but otherwie I'm interested in the same answers as above.

    Thanks.
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    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 70; Likes: 12

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  3. by   GadgetRN71
    Quote from bridgfor428
    I'm wondering if anyone can speak to the process of getting a position as an OR nurse. I'm still a student and am wondering a couple of things, such as:

    Is it difficult/impossible to attain an OR position as a new grad? If it's possible, are there certain things that are advantageous? If it's not really doable, how much and what kind of nursing experience will work?

    Are nursing school grades an important factor?

    Finally, can anyone speak about getting in neurosurgical nursing or cardiothoracic surgery nursing? I'm sure you can't do those as a new grad, but otherwie I'm interested in the same answers as above.

    Thanks.
    It is not impossible to get an OR position as a new grad, it helps if you have some prior experience, either as a tech or a student nurse extern. You CAN get a position in neuro or cardiothoracic, BTW. Just depends on how your hospital handles their specialties. If they are "closed" teams, meaning that all you do will be cases in your specialty, then they will most likely take you. If you are working in a hospital that expects everyone to be able to handle all specialties, then they'll probably start you in General surgery.

    It was my experience that they didn't give a flip about what your grades were, as long as you passed your boards. They also didn't care if you were an ADN, BSN or diploma nurse.

    Good luck!:spin:
  4. by   regglynn
    I graduated in May and was offered a job in the OR at the end of March. I am going into general surgery for 9 months to 1 year then transfer into an open heat team.

    So you can go straight into the OR after school. Depends on you hospital if they want other experience. Mine has an awsome education and training for new grads coming to the OR. I'll have classroom time and hands on training.

    If that's where you wnat ot go, I say go for it!!!!
  5. by   newstar9
    I just graduated in May from Nursing school and am very interested in a position as an OR nurse. I just moved to Eden Prairie, MN and was wondering if anyone out there knows what hospital will hire new grads into the OR?!?!? It can be any hospital near Minneapolis, St. Paul or anywhere close to Eden Prairie. I would love anyones help/info!! Thanks : )
  6. by   CAsunshineRN
    I have never seen an OR actually look into grades....just so you passed.
    We tend to look for people with a strong personality who appear to be self motivated. This is a very hard department to choose if you are timid.
    Enjoy!
  7. by   heather2084
    I graduated in December 06, started in the or in Jan. When I applied for the job, they did mention the only reason they considered giving me an interview is because I had done some pt care tech work on the floor in the same hospital. They said generally they like nurses new to the OR to have some floor experience. Having told you that, it means nothing really.

    I went into my interview prepared and determined and I blew them away. They told me I knew more about the OR than the floor nurses that had been interviewing. They were so impressed with me that I got a second interview which was basically me being offered the job. They wanted me to pass my boards before starting, and I'm glad I did.

    Now that I've started taking call, I did my first crani on my own. So going into Neuro is definitely a possibility as a new grad/nurse. Dont let people tell you its not likely or isnt possible. It all depends on you, your desire for OR nursing, and your determination. Plus there are internships if you look around. Whatever you do, go for it if it's what you want. It's never impossible.

    Good Luck!
  8. by   JHRN2BE
    I just graduated in May and accepted an internship in the OR and the only experience I had was a month of training to be an evening OB scrub tech in a slow unit in another city six years ago. I couldn't tell you anything about instruments, so it is true that you can get a job in the OR w/o experience. They didn't care about my grades....just that I passed exit HESI and passed my boards (which I took yesterday and am awaiting my results as we speak!). The hospital I work for is one of four in the surrounding areas and this hospital was the only one which offered an OR internship. They accept 2 new grads a year...1 in spring...1 in summer. I suggest researching online the hospitals of interest for the types of internships they offer OR call the Nurse recruiter at the hospital you want to work. Just a few suggestions. I spent the last 2 semesters at the hospital I was offered a job with...we were told that it is helpful to do clinicals where you want to work and it has paid off for everyone that I know in my class. Also, we had several students working as CNA's/PCT's and each of them were offered positions with the hospital AND most of them were offered more money b/c of their experience within their department. It certainly doesn't hurt to work as a CNA, but it won't hurt you either.

    Best of luck to you!!

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