OR nurse versus ICU nurse

Nurses Career Support


Which is better, ICU nurse or OR nurse, if my long long term career goal is to become CRNA.

I think that by working as a OR nurse, I will get a better idea on whether I really want to pursue CRNA in the future. However, as part of the program pre-requisite for CRNA, one to need to have at least 3 years of ICU experience.

Additionally, I am also torn with the following factors:

1. I loved my ICU rotation when I was in nursing school. I felt i was learning so much and it was mentally challenging as you care for these critically ill patients. But I ended up in med surg unit based on the recommendations of my professors when I graduated. I am very comfortable & confident in my current position & I sometimes I get bored with my patient acuity level. Thus, I am seeking for a change. As for OR experience, I was able to watch only a couple of surgeries & i was also fascinated by it.

2. I have been offered to interview for a OR training program at different hospital than i currently work at & I believe it's an rare opportunity to get into such specialized field. After accepting the interview, I found out that my hospital is offering an ICU training program, but there is only 1 slot & there is someone else who is more senior than me & has applied for the position.

3. My personal factor: My husband and I are thinking about starting a family next year. So, my dilemma with the OR nursing position is that training takes 6 months & from what I have gathered, it will take 1 -2 year before anyone get comfortable with the profession.

Help? Advice?


57 Posts

The two are apples and oranges. Both excellent areas to work. If you want to apply to CRNA school I suggest the ICU areas. Intensive Care is required, OR experience is not.

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