Surgical Nurse School and Program Information
Surgical nurses are experts at assisting physicians in the operating room. In inpatient and outpatient hospitals, veteran's hospitals, physician's offices, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, universities, and more. They assist with procedures as simple as injections for MRI scanning, or as complex as experimental neuro-surgery. Surgical nurses do a lot to asses patients, to educate them and their families before and after surgical procedures, and to advocate for patients as the staff that have the most first-hand interactions with them and have the greatest knowledge of their individual condition.
Surgical Nursing Qualifications, Education & Training
All surgical nurses are registered nurses. There are several paths to becoming an RN. Some nurses will get a bachelor of science in Nursing (BSN) degree at an accredited four-year college or university. Others will pursue an associates degree in nursing at a junior or community college. Still others will get a registered nursing diploma through a vocational or technical school, but diploma programs are less common. After completing the level of education you choose at an approved nursing program, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed.
After becoming an RN, many surgical nurses will either simply pursue positions in surgical nursing and receive further training on the job, while others will go on to pursue certification such as the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) offered through the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board.
Surgical Nurse Job Outlook and Career Opportunity
As with most nursing fields, demand continues to outpace the number of available nurses in surgical nursing. Elective surgeries such as cosmetic procedures are also still growing in popularity and scope, also increasing demand for surgical nurses. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a registered nurse was $62,450. Those with more education or certification will stand to make more. The top 10% were making over $92,000 annually (according to BLS.gov).
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