Are you an OR nurse?

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Are you an OR Nurse?  First of all congratulations!  You have a skill set that is in high demand and offers you a great opportunity to travel to new and interesting destinations.  With the current demand for OR nurses, your prospects are ripe with potential. Now is a great time to enter the travel market as an OR nurse.

However, there is always opportunity to enhance your chances of capturing your perfect OR travel assignment. Let’s discuss some recent trends, requirements and some ideas in general to land any travel assignment you desire!

  1. Two years of Solid OR Experience—The more experience the better, but two (2) years is a good starting off point for a travel nurse Previous scrub tech experience is a plus.
  2. Large Hospital/Teaching Hospital Experience–Hospitals will love to see that you have worked in a facility with a lot of OR suites and Level I Trauma. Teaching hospital experience? Even better! Magnet Hospital Experience? Highlight it!! All of these experiences will help you as a traveler and help you to get interviewed quickly!
  3. Certifications—BLS….always. ACLS-almost always. Better to have it and beat out another candidate out who doesn’t have it!,  CNOR-not always needed/required but looks really good on your resume so will help you to land that perfect job,  PALS-usually needed for surgery centers and some hospitals. It’s another way to set yourself apart from other travelers.
  4. Scrub and Circulate Experience-Most hospitals use RN’s to circulate the OR cases but some job postings will specifically look for RN’s who can also scrub. So, if you can get some scrub experience, this may help you  land a job down the road. If you are or can become a certified RNFA,  you will be in high demand.
  5. Types of Surgical Case Experience–The most frequent job postings are looking for general, ortho, neuro, GYN, urology, and vascular experience. A strong background with total joints, spine cases, athroscopic surgeries are very popular cases to have a good background in.
  6. CVOR Experience–CVOR RN’s continue to be in high demand. Having open heart experience and being flexible to float to the Main OR if the CVOR is slow is a definite plus. RN’s that can circulate or scrub/circulate the Main OR and CVOR are the most marketable and receive top dollar in many locations.
  7. daVinci Robotics Experience–this type of surgery is becoming more and more common in hospitals across the nation. This is great experience to add to your resume.
  8. EMR Experience–All hospitals are using some electronic charting system.-Be sure to let your recruiter know which ones you have mastered:  EPIC, Meditech, Cerner, Surginet, McKesson are the ones we see used most often.
  9. Licensure–you will need  a license to practice in the state where you want an assignment. It is important that you talk with your recruiter to find out the details on the licensure process for where you want to travel. Some states are super-fast to issue a temporary license and other states take 3-4 months, so planning ahead is imperative!

So this is a pretty hefty list and all of these are not possible for every nurse to obtain. But if you are considering OR travel nursing, keep these in mind as you are working and gaining your OR experience.  These will make you a very well rounded OR nurse and an excellent OR Travel Nurse candidate. Good Luck!!!

Mandy Maloney – Senior Recruiter