Jump to content

What qualities do you look for in a new grad who wants to join the OR team?

Operating Room   (666 Views | 1 Replies)
by Adrenaline_RN Adrenaline_RN (New) New Student

Adrenaline_RN specializes in Aspiring Surgical Nurse.

58 Profile Views; 1 Post

What qualities or life experiences jump out at a OR nurse manager when reading a new grad resume.  Am I that kind of applicant, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

I am in my mid-30's and a few months from graduating with my ADN.  I explored the BSN option, but was advised by the BSN faculty that because I had all of my ADN prerequisites done, I should get my ADN first and the BSN right after.  I mention this because it seems that every job listing indicates that BSN is preferred.  Does it matter that I am already enrolled in a BSN program and have a tentative graduation date as long as it does not interfere with my orientation?  

My personal qualities are another story. As a teenager I volunteered to care for a woman with advanced dementia twice a week so her daughter who cared for her full-time could get out of the house.  I loved this so much and after two years of doing it, I knew that my highest and best use was to work in the healthcare field in some capacity. I started prerequisites for the nursing program, but left my very small town for the military a year later when I started to feel claustrophobic.  I have a non-medical military background followed by many years of working in the private yacht industry, both as crew and as a service provider later. I was also an executive assistant and business manager for an artist, which required me to interact with international clients and travel frequently.  I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the challenges, but these were just jobs to me. I have always wanted to be a nurse and now, I will soon meet that goal.  My experience has given me the opportunity to work in team atmospheres where there the mission was always first.  I am good at that and find joy in accomplishing things with my team.  I work well with structure and protocols, but can improvise and adapt when needed.  I think that I would provide the best care to my future patients as an OR nurse because of these qualities.  I do not think I would be as effective in the ED or on a busy Med/Surg floor because, to me, those environments are very unstructured. I also think that my desire for complexity and novelty, as well as my need to challenge myself, all draw me to the surgical specialty. I have worked per-diem in the ED as a tech on my Summer off and job-shadowed during clinical and in my own time in the OR. I LOVE the OR!

So, do you think I have what it takes?  If so, how would you suggest I get there?  Any thoughts are welcome and I can handle direct, constructive criticism. Thank you!



Edited by Adrenaline_RN

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

36 Posts; 1,205 Profile Views


I think hospitals have different policies, so I cannot really tell you the right answer.

It might be different in other states, but I am living in Texas and some hospitals would hire ADN and some hospitals are only required for BSN.  But what I know is many states are having a transition for BSN. I worked as a patient care tech in one of the texas hospitals before and they hired ADN. However, they require ADN people to get BSN while they are working. 

I am not sure if this helps but I will tell you about my story how I got my job in OR as a newly graduated nurse.

I was a CNA and worked in the nursing home for 6 months in the hospital for about 4 years as a tech and a secretary while I was taking prerequisites and while I was a nursing school for getting BSN.

I love doing patient care as well, but I started burning out being a tech. I physically exhausted and I was very fatigued. I do not know when it really started, but I was very overwhelmed and thinking about I am already struggling with being tech and "WHAT IF" nursing is not for me? Can I even be a nurse? like those negative thoughts slowly eat me and I cried a lot those days. 

It was very hard for me because I was pursuing a BSN only because it was the only passion I had in my life. I really wanted to be a nurse and I really work hard for it. But those burnouts and started doubting self was totally ruining my mentality until I had OR clinical in nursing school.  I fell in OR immediately so I understand what you mean. Ever since the clinical rotation, my days were bright again and got my passion back about nursing. I really wanted to be an OR nurse and nothing else. but I heard it was really hard to get a job in OR and is very competitive.

So I was proactively looking for a job in the hospital where I can get a job nearby OR. I applied a job nurse tech in OR which was a job that was only for Summer that my school only offered through the hospital and the spot was very competitive and limited. Also, I am horrible at having an interview through the computer ( as you need to record a video yourself and send it to them).  So I knew I bombed the interview, and they never called me back :'(

The fact that OR does not have any patient care tech, therefore they don't hire patient care tech. So what I did was looking for a patient care tech job in PACU. The only thing I was worried about applying for a tech job in PACU was in my last semester of nursing school.  So I was worried if they would not want to hire me since I would only stay for six months as last. But I had to try.


During the interview, I told the manager the truth that I want to work as an OR nurse after graduate nursing school and that is my passion. Because OR does not hire a tech, I want to work here to learn more about the surgical unit. And the recruiter called me I was hired a couple of hours later after the interview.  

PACU team was amazing so I thought about applying for a RN position after graduation but I followed my heart for OR.

While I was a tech, I talked to many CRNA people and get to know around people there too. I asked them what they do, how to be an OR nurse, etc. 

And I applied for an OR position during my last semester and I was hired. I cried when I got the job offer email ( I still get watery eyes when I think about that time).


So.. I would recommend if there is any open position, such as PACU patient care tech or anything Pre-admission surgery tech position.....ABSOLUTELY GET THEM!! If a recruiter asks what unit you want... or just ask the recruiter if there is any surgical unit open for a tech job ( if that is allowed to).

The key is actively looking at the career webpage if there is an open position for that surgical unit. 


Hopefully, my story answers your questions in some way.... 🙂 




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.