Learn More about Surgical Nursing
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 a surgical nurse’s work. 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.
- Earn your BSN
- Pass the NCLEX and become an RN
- Get your CMSRN or RN-BC certification
Annual Salary Range
$40,500 – 106,500
- Preparing patients for surgery
- Passing instruments during surgery
- Monitoring patients’ vital signs during surgery
- Changing patients’ dressings
- Administering medications
- Inpatient care units
- Ambulatory care units
- Skilled nursing homes
- Urgent care centers
- Surgical centers
RN, Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse, or Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC)
Ready to become a surgical nurse?Find nursing schools near you.