Perioperative Nurse Education and Career Pathway

By | January 14, 2024
Perioperative nurse education
To become a perioperative nurse, you need to fulfill certain requirements.

This post provides detailed information on the perioperative nurse education and career pathway, to help you learn what you need to do to become a perioperative nurse and be successful in your career.

Who is a Perioperative Nurse?

A perioperative nurse is a registered nurse who has completed an accredited program of education that includes specialized training in the care of surgical patients.

Why Choose Perioperative Nurse Career?

Here are some of the reasons you should pursue a profession in perioperative nursing:

  1. The perioperative nurse can help to provide quality patient care by providing for the needs of the surgical patient.

2. They help to reduce complications associated with surgery.

3. Perioperative nurses work closely with physicians and other health professionals to ensure safe and effective treatment of surgical patients.

4. They are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the surgical procedure are performed safely and effectively.

5. The perioperative nursing careers are growing rapidly due to increasing demand for high-quality healthcare services.

6. It offers excellent opportunities for professional growth and advancement.

Perioperative Nurse Education Requirements

The following is a list of educational requirements for becoming a perioperative nurse:

  1. Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited program
  2. Registered Nurse License in the State where employed.

Perioperative Nurse Continuing Education

Continuing education is important for any profession. It keeps your skills up to date and allows you to stay current on new developments in your field.

This is especially true for those professions which require constant interaction with other,s such as doctors or lawyers.

Perioperative Nurse Certification/License

There are three types of licenses available for perioperative nurses. They are:

  1. Certified Perioperative Registered Nurse (CRRN)
  2. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  3. Certified Surgical Technologist (CSAT)

Perioperative Nurse Career Opportunities

There are several career opportunities available to a perioperative nurse. These include:

  1. Hospital Staffing

The hospital staffing pathway is one of the most common career paths for perioperative nurses because it provides many benefits, including good pay, job security, and flexible hours.

A hospital staff position usually involves working with a specific department within the hospital.

Perioperative RNs work directly with surgeons and their teams to assist them during surgeries.

2. Clinical Practice

This is another popular choice among perioperative nurses because they get to interact directly with patients.

However, there are also certain restrictions when choosing this path. For example, you may have to be able to travel frequently.

Also, if you want to specialize in particular areas of practice, then you need to find a facility that offers these specialties.

3. Research & Development

This is a great option for people who enjoy research and development. You will be involved in projects related to medical devices and pharmaceutical products.

You will also get exposure to different technologies used in hospitals.

4. Administration

Administrative positions are generally entry level jobs. However, some administrative roles can lead to management positions.

If you choose this route, make sure you have the right personality traits for administration.

Some of the responsibilities include planning, organizing, directing, and controlling activities of individuals and groups.

5. Teaching

Teaching is another great way to advance your career. There are two main teaching options available.

One is classroom teaching and the other is clinical teaching. In both cases, you will teach students about various topics related to health care.

6. Management

Management positions involve overseeing the operations of a company or organization. As a manager, you will be responsible for making decisions regarding personnel, finances, production, marketing, etc.

How to Advance your Perioperative Nurse Career

Here are a few suggestions on how to advance your perioperative nursing career:

  1. Get certified

Certification is an excellent way to show employers that you are committed to your career.

To become certified, you must pass exams administered by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

NCCA administers certification examinations for more than 30 occupations, including perioperative nursing.

2. Join professional associations

Joining a national association will help you stay up-to-date on new developments in your profession.

It will also provide you with networking opportunities. Examples of associations include:

  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN)
  • American College of Surgeons (ACS)
  • American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA)
  • Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM)
  • Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN)
  • National Certification Corporation (NCC).

3. Take continuing education courses

Continuing education classes allow you to keep abreast of the latest trends in your field.

These classes are offered at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes, universities, and online.

4. Volunteer

Volunteering gives you the opportunity to give back to your community while helping others.

Your volunteer work could include anything from tutoring children to working as a counselor at a homeless shelter.

5. Network

Networking allows you to meet people who can offer advice and guidance on your career.

Try joining local business organizations such as chambers of commerce, Rotary clubs, and trade unions.

How to find a Good Perioperative Nurse School

Here are some smart ideas to find a good school for a perioperative nurse career:

  1. Ask friends and family members who attended their preferred programs

The best way to learn about a program is to ask someone who has already been there. They can tell you what it was like, what they liked/disliked, and if they recommend the school.

2. Check out websites

You should check out the website for every school you’re considering attending. This includes all the information you need to know about the school, including admissions requirements, tuition costs, financial aid, scholarships, and job placement rates.

3. Look into accreditation

Accrediting agencies oversee postsecondary educational institutions. Accreditation ensures that these institutions are providing quality instruction.

The most popular accrediting agency is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which oversees approximately 300 accredited institutions.

4. Research the location

Is this school located near where you want to live? Is it close to hospitals or other healthcare facilities? If so, then this may be a plus when choosing a program.

5. Consider distance learning

If you don’t have the time to commute to campus, consider taking some online courses.

Online degrees are becoming increasingly common, and many students enjoy the flexibility.

You won’t have to worry about finding housing, having to get to class on time, or missing days due to weather issues.

What Does a Perioperative Nurse Do?

A perioperative nurse is a registered nurse who has completed an accredited program of education that includes specialized training in the care of surgical patients.

The perioperative nursing role encompasses all aspects of patient care from pre-admission to discharge, including:

  • Preoperative assessment and preparation for surgery
  • Intraoperative care during surgery
  • Postoperative care following surgery
  • Care for patients when recovering from anesthesia
  • Assisting with discharge planning

Perioperative nurses work under the direction of surgeons or other physicians, as well as nurses and technicians.

They are often responsible for assisting with procedures such as intravenous administration, wound care, blood transfusions, and the use of mechanical ventilation equipment.

In addition to their clinical duties, perioperative nurses also perform administrative tasks related to the operation room, such as scheduling appointments and preparing operating rooms.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) defines perioperative nurses as those who provide direct patient care in the operating room, recovery area, postanesthesia care unit, intensive care unit, emergency department, and other areas where patients receive health services.

Perioperative nurses may be certified by the AANA or licensed by state boards of Nursing. 

Qualities of a Good Perioperative Nurse

These are qualities that make a good perioperative nurse:

  1. Knowledgeable

Being knowledgeable means having the ability to answer questions regarding your field of study. It can mean knowing what the latest research says about your specialty.

It can also mean knowing how to apply your knowledge to real life situations.

2. Professional

To be professional in your work means that you show respect to other people even if they disagreed with you.

It means treating everyone with dignity and courtesy and being honest and trustworthy.

3. Compassionate

Showing compassion means being understanding and sympathetic toward people in pain or distress.

It means being willing to help someone else and not judging them based on their appearance or behavior.

4. Dedicated

Dedication means putting forth your best effort every day. It means doing more than you think you should and giving yourself 100% when it comes to your job.

5. Self-motivated

Being self-motivated means working hard without being told to do so. It means doing things because you want to rather than because you have to. It entails setting goals and acting them.

6. Patient focused

Being patient focused means prioritizing the needs of the patient over your own. It means listening carefully to what the patient wants and making sure he/she gets it.

It means taking time to explain things clearly and patiently.

Perioperative Nurse Salary

According to X, the national average income for a perioperative RN in the United States is $71,464 per year.

Perioperative Nurse Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for registered nurses, especially operating room nurses, are predicted to expand faster than average, by 9 percent, throughout the decade 2020-2030.

According to the BLS, nurses were paid an average of $80,010 per year in 2020.


The world of healthcare has changed dramatically since the early 1900s. The introduction of anesthesia, antibiotics, and other medical advances has improved the quality of life for millions of people around the globe.

Today’s perioperative nurses play an important role in these advancements. They work closely with physicians, surgeons, technicians, pharmacists, and many other professionals to ensure safe and effective surgeries.

This post has provided the right information about the education you need to become a perioperative nurse and how to advance and make a successful career.