Hi there! I've received quite a few PMs recently regarding how I became a surgical NP. Which specialty is the best route and in general what my typical day looks like so I thought I'd post something. I started as an Med/surg nurse and then a travel nurse in cardiac step-downs but OR nursing always intrigued me. So I became an OR nurse and was there for about 10 years. My hospital had an excellent reimbursement program and a friend of mine had started NP school and I decided I didn't want to be a lifer lol so I decided to start chipping away at an NP program too. I always envisioned myself doing something procedural based with it. I didn't really see myself as a primary care NP so that was always my goal-although none of my training in NP school was in inpatient surgery. I decided to go with an FNP program figuring that that would be the broadest education. At that time the Acute NP programs were just becoming more popular-still I feel like FNP works well. It took me quite a bit of work to get my first surgical NP job. I hounded my first boss with emails when I saw position posted and when I finally got an interview I really played up my OR nursing experience. My training was all hands-on. They were generous enough to pay for my RNFA program-RN first assist program which is required in my state for all NPs to practice in the operating room. It Required about 200 hours of precepting from a surgeon and it took me roughly 5 months together these hours. By no means did I feel skilled at the end of those hours but I felt competent enough for small cases/closures. I've been at it for about two years now and have since changed hospitals. I do not take call, work weekends or holidays. I typically round by myself and chat with the doctors either on the phone or via text. I assist in the OR almost every day and I love it. I feel like I'm getting a lot better. I occasionally see patients in the ER, consult and consent for procedures. I dictate on consults after speaking with the surgeon and discharge plans. I oversee patients in the day surgery unit and write prescriptions and orders for them as well. I'm thrilled with my move. I feel like I've been able to spend a lot more quality time with my family and I even still moonlight at my old hospital for 'play money'! I definitely recommend the specialty although it is difficult to get your first job and your foot in the door as we all know we are not typically trained this way so it helps to know people or to have the luxury of waiting for the perfect job.
  • 3 Likes