Perioperative nurses often have a fascinating career. It can be very rewarding and some nurses find this type of nursing more rewarding than regular floor nursing. Perioperative nurses can often work in a slightly more relaxed atmosphere, depending on where you work.
In fact, a couple of my friends moved from a cardiac floor to do perioperative nursing, and they really liked it.
We recently received a great question on this topic:
How can I become a perioperative RN? I have an ADN and been a nurse for sixteen years. Looking to change specialties previous were psychiatric and dialysis…..is there more than one path to this goal??? Thank you!
Thanks for your question Paul.
Tips on Becoming a Perioperative Nurse
Generally speaking, as long as you are already an RN, you should be able to directly apply to be a Perioperative nurse. While some experience may be preferred (depending on your employer), it is often not required by most employers. The exception, of course, is if they are specifically looking for someone with experience.
In my hospital, people often switch floors to different specialties all the time, and there is usually not problem whatsoever (even if they have no previous experience at all). When I was first hired, I had no experience at all beyond some volunteer work and the clinicals I took in college, and yet that was no problem at all.
Most hospitals can and do train you for their particular floor or specialty. You will work alongside experienced nurses who will teach you the job as you work. After a week or two, you will be amazed at how much information you can learn. You can learn further by taking additional certification classes as you work.
How to Gain Experience as a Perioperative Nurse?
If you decide you want to get a little experience anyway, you could always seek out a “refresher course,” in this specialty, or even go as far as taking a certification program for it. The best way to do this would be to contact the employer directly (or manager of that particular specialty), and ask if he/she knows of any certification courses or refresher courses specifically for this type of nursing.
In some cases, they may require employees to take one of them, and if so, they could easily tell you more information about them.
But again, in my experience it is usually very easy to move from one specialty or nursing floor to another. And in most cases, the employer will be very happy to train you, or assist in getting certified if they require it.
Since you have so many years of nursing experience already, that should be a big plus in you getting hired. Most employers love to hire people with many years of experience, regardless of what specialty or field you may have previously worked.
In any event, I wish you the best of luck!