According to the numbers above, which come from the 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses as a whole are expected to have good job prospects now and in the near future. There are currently no employment figures available for surgical nurses.
Surgical nurses, also called medical-surgical nurses, are licensed registered nurses who have the important job of assisting surgeons and caring for patients before, during, and after procedures. Surgical nursing is an old and highly skilled specialty that requires a solid understanding of anatomy and physiology as well as strong critical-thinking, organization, and communications skills. Most surgical nurses work in hospitals, ambulatory surgical units, and physicians' offices. The specific duties of surgical nurses vary greatly based on your employer, training, and level of expertise. General duties typically include:
- Explain procedures to patients and answer their questions
- Sterilize operating room and prepare instruments and medical supplies
- Assist surgeon, pass instruments, and monitor patient during surgery
- Manage post-operative care
Surgical nurses play an essential role inside and outside of the operating room. Their specialized knowledge, diverse clinical skills, and attentive care services make them valued members of the medical community. According to the BLS, employment of registered nurses, including surgical nurses, is expected to grow faster than average because of the aging baby boomer population and a demand for more health care services. Surgical nurse careers will likely increase as people live longer and require more advanced treatments for their health problems.Read More
Job Growth for
Becoming a Surgical Nurse
To become a surgical nurse, all candidates must complete an approved nursing program. The most traditional education routes include the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), the associate degree in nursing (ADN), and the nursing diploma. During nursing school, students will take a variety of science and nursing courses that provide the technical knowledge and procedural skills needed to be a successful registered nurse.
In addition to taking career preparation courses, nursing students will also complete several supervised clinical practicums. Pediatrics, gerontology, psychiatric and mental health, and surgery are just a few health care specialties represented in clinical course work. Not only do clinical rotations provide real-world nursing experience, but they also give students a chance to find their niche. Below is a list of common nursing school courses:
- Concepts and Clinical Competencies
- Promoting Wellness in the Aging Family
All surgical nurses start off as licensed registered nurses. To obtain licensure, graduates must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Those who want surgical nurse jobs need at least two years of practice as an RN, particularly within critical or intensive care and involving surgical patients. Once you've completed the certification eligibility criteria, you can sit for the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) exam. Obtaining this highly respected credential can significantly increase your job opportunities and marketability in the medical-surgical field.