OR as a new grad


Hi guys,

I recently just got offered two positions at a hospital. The first is the OR and the second is an acute care rotation where I would rotate between medical, surgical, tele etc. units.

At first the OR sounded more appealing than being on the floor since I have always been interested in surgery, but I am worried about starting in a specific specialty as a novice nurse. I have done many rotations on medical-surgical units and I really want something more fast paced.

However, I am not 100% about OR and am worried that if I do not like it that it will be hard to switch to something else. I do not want to be limited or miss out on the foundation I may need as a new nurse. Any opinions or advice would be very helpful!

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,328 Posts

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

Have you had the opportunity to observe in the OR? I don't mean watching surgery but seeing what all goes into the day to day work of the nurse. It is possible to start in the OR as a new grad and be successful- I am. I've also seen other OR nurses with no other experience move into other specialties. That's more to do with how adaptive the nurse is and how supportive the new environment is.


2 Posts

Yes I have. I had the opportunity to job shadow and my preceptor for the day was a circulating nurse. I also observed the scrub nurse as well. I had a great experience and I could easily see myself doing it I am just worried because I feel like I can't know if it is my passion until I do it. But I like hearing that you can switch to other areas if I wanted. I have just heard rumors of being pigeonholed in OR.


44 Posts

I started off in the OR as a new nurse. I love the aspect of the Operating Room. After a year of working in the OR I had decided to try something new. I went to a PICU where I only stayed for a few months. The ICU just was not for me, all I did was miss the surgeries. But any who I went back to a different OR. I have friends that went to Med-Surg floors, ER, and ICU after being new grads in the OR. It definitely is possible. I knew for sure when graduating that I did not want to do anything slow paced. If the OR is your first choice I say go for it. That's one of the best things about nursing if you don't like what your doing you can always change. Good Luck with your decision.


54 Posts

Specializes in OR.

There are a lot of nursing skills that you will lose when you go to the OR and are no longer at the bedside, as with any specialty. That doesn't mean that you can't re-learn them though. If you want to try the OR, go for it. I work with plenty of new grad RNs in the OR and they're doing just fine. Keep your unused skills fresh by reviewing them periodically and look for opportunities to use them whenever you get a chance. There are a lot of nasty people that work in the OR, so hopefully you will a good environment to work in; Your co-workers can definitely make or break your time in the OR!

springchick1, ADN, RN

1 Article; 1,769 Posts

There are a lot of nasty people that work in the OR, so hopefully you will a good environment to work in; Your co-workers can definitely make or break your time in the OR!

There are nasty people in every profession, not just the OR and nursing. I'm sorry you had such a hard time working in the OR but my coworkers are awesome!


412 Posts

Specializes in Operating room..

You gain so much more than you will ever "lose". It's the longest orientation of any specialty for a reason! I could reorient to the floor in a week...however no floor nurse could float to the OR without a ton of orientation! I love the OR!