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Recovery Room Nursing

Learn How to Become a Recovery Room Nurse

Recovery room nurses, or perianesthesia nurses, care for patients as they regain consciousness from anesthesia after surgery. While most patients wake up calmly, these nurses are prepared to handle patients who react aversely, waking up confused, in pain or experiencing breathing problems. Depending on the type of operation performed and the amount of anesthesia received, a patient may be in a recovery room anywhere from 30 minutes to five hours or longer. Recovery room nurses consult with patients before their surgery and give them recovery tips for when they go home.

Preparation Path

Earn your BSN (courses in anesthesia care or a perianesthesia track are recommended).

Pass the NCLEX and become an RN

Get at least 1,800 hours of experience in perianesthesia before applying to take your certification exam through the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing

Become a certified perianesthesia nurse

Typical Tasks

  • Caring for patients in the recovery room
  • Prepare patients for surgery
  • Give patients recovery tips for home

Employment Settings

  • Hospitals
  • Ambulatory units
  • Physicians’ offices

Annual Salary Range

$60,500 – $87,500


RN, Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN) or Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA)

Education Requirements


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Interested in taking the first step toward a career in recovery room nursing?