Certified Operating Room Nurse job description

An Operating Room Nurse, which is also referred to as a surgical nurse, is a nursing professional that specializes in maintaining and monitoring patients that are going through a surgical procedure. They are responsible for assisting surgeons with various tasks during a surgery and will also be required to maintain the surgical center during the surgery. Due to the complexities and intensity of surgeries, this type of nursing can be more stressful than other kinds.

Certified Operating Room Nurse job description

Certified Operating Room Nurse job description. Image: WiseGeek

Educational Requirements for Certified Operating Room Nurses

Certificate and degree programs in operating room nursing are often referred to as perioperative nursing. Programs are designed for registered nurses (RNs) interested in working in perioperative care, and they usually take about a year to complete and require an undergraduate degree in nursing. Additional preparation, such as critical care unit or emergency room experience, is encouraged for program admittance.


Perioperative nursing students receive lecture and clinical instruction in pre-, intra- and postoperative care. They learn about various aspects of operating room procedures, including disinfectant and sterilization, operating room safety, surgical tools, patient communication, anesthesia assessment and skin preparation. Clinical experience provides students with firsthand knowledge of general and specialty surgeries. Courses and clinics prepare operating room nurses to work with multiple surgical team members, such as surgeons and anesthesiologists.


After two years and 2,400 hours of perioperative nursing experience, professionals are eligible to take the voluntary certification exam to become certified operating room nurses (CNORs). A bachelor’s degree is not required. The certification is good for five years and re-certification is available through a professional portfolio, contact hours or an exam. A CNOR has increased job potential since many employers prefer to hire certified professionals.

Free CNOR practice test at CareerPracticeTests.com:

Certified Operating Room Nurse Career Infomations:

Places to Work

Similar to other nursing jobs, there will continuously be a demand for operating room nurses in hospitals across the country. Any hospital which performs surgeries will need to have nurses to manage and monitor patients and keep the operating room organized. To obtain the best overall experience, you should look for a hospital or private practice that performs a wide variety of procedures.

Certified Operating Room Nurse Salary

Operating room nurses tend to earn more money on average than a typical nurse. The typical operating room nurse will earn about $70,000 per year, with most earning between $60,000 and $80,000 per year. Compensation varies based on your level of experience and where you work. If you eventually work in a major hospital and earn a leadership or managerial position, you could easily earn over $100,000 per year.

Certified Operating Room Nurse Job Outlook

The job outlook for operating room nurses, and all other forms of nurses is positive. Healthcare regulations are frequently adjusted and they generally end up requiring higher levels of nurses in hospitals. This, coupled with the aging and growing population, will lead to an increased demand for surgeries, which in turn will lead to an increased demand for operating room nurses.

Similar Types of Nurses

Since operating room nurses are in higher stress environments than other types of nurses, there are not many types of nurses that are exactly the same. The closest would be an emergency room nurse, who is responsible for monitoring patients who enter the emergency room of a hospital

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