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Perioperative nurse wants to advance

Nurse Beth   (140 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I want to be an educator or clinical nurse specialist in the perioperative department. What degree should I seek to become an eventual OR Director or Executive.

Dear perioperative nurse,

The educational path for an educator, a clinical nurse specialist and a Director all involve higher education, but different paths.

An educator needs at least a  BSN. Some large hospitals may require an MSN, or MSN preferred, but if you apply for and land an educator role with a BSN, you can continue your education while working.

A clinical nurse specialist needs a master's degree but it can be hard to find a job as a clinical nurse specialist in the perioperative setting. Many nurses who trained as clinical nurse specialists work in other roles as CNS jobs are less common than, say, educator jobs.

A Director would typically start as a manager or assistant manager and go on to earn a master's in nursing administration.

So if you don't yet have your BSN, that is the first step. Talk to nurses who have the job you are interested in and ask them how they landed the job, and what credentials they have.

You do not get any of these jobs by earning a degree alone. It's a matter of seeking opportunity while gaining the education. For example, if you want to be a Director, then let your manager know you are interested in precepting, then serving as charge nurse. Become more visible and gain experience.

Best wishes in your decision.

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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