Surgical Nursing

Are you looking to become a surgical nurse? Here is what a surgical nursing career path looks like.

A surgical nurse (also called a medical-surgical nurse) is a nurse who specializes in perioperative care, meaning care provided to surgical patients before, during, and after surgery. In pre-operative care, a surgical nurse helps to prepare a patient for surgery, both physically and emotionally. During surgery, a surgical nurse assists the surgeon, passing instruments, keeping an eye on the patient’s vital signs and performing other tasks associated with the surgery. Post-operative care is also a critical part of the work of a surgical nurse. Nurses can work in acute recovery, keeping an eye on patients who are at serious risk of complications, and on more standard recovery floors in the hospital. They are usually responsible for changing dressings, monitoring vital signs, looking for signs of complications and administering medications.

Preparation Path

  • EARN YOUR NURSING DIPLOMA, ASN, OR BSN
  • PASS YOUR NCLEX AND BECOME AN RN
  • GET YOUR CMSRN OR RN-BC CERTIFICATION

$37,000 - $61,000

Annual Salary Range

Typical Tasks

  • Preparing patients for surgery
  • Passing instruments during surgery
  • Monitoring patients’ vital signs during surgery
  • Changing patients’ dressings
  • Administering medications

 

 

Education Requirements

Nursing Diploma, ASN, or BSN

Employment Settings

  • Inpatient care units
  • Clinics
  • HMOs
  • Ambulatory care units
  • Skilled nursing homes
  • Urgent care centers
  • Surgical centers

Certification

RN, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse, or Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC)