I have been a travel nurse for the past 5 years, as well as an RN since 1984 with much med/surg, cardiac and tele experience. I am also 56 years old. How would someone like myself break into the field of OR nursing?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi George, that is a tough one. You have great background but, much of it will not apply to OR. Check into an internship with the new grads for OR. Try a refresher course that would allow you to do OR clinicals, apply for a Surgical Floor or other area in a facility then, try to transfer later, see if anyone will let you shadow a nurse in OR or PACU in a non-paid position to see the pros and cons of that area of practice. Do some OR CEs on this site or others. Good luck to you.
I appreciated your question about breaking into the OR/PACU. I have recently thought that I need to diversify my scope after being in the same specialty for so many years. I have a friend who took a position in a surgery center (outpatient) and then moved to the OR/PACU/Day Surg in the hospital setting. This might be an avenue for you. Another nurse friend took a PRN Per Diem position in the OR and ended up taking a perm FT position once she got her foot in the door. Another RN "filled in" at the Ambulatory Surgery clinic with the VA for 6 mos. until they were able to hire someone permanently and orient him or her. The "fill in" nurse told me that he was offered the position but worked in the unit FT and was happy there. There was nothing wrong with the surgery clinic position, he just couldn't work nites in the ICU and days in the clinic. Hope some of these examples help you. I am also interested in hearing any info or suggestions on changing specialties from other nurses. Thanks for your post. ))
In my local hospital I know that the best way is to work in the Day Surgery unit, from there you can get opportunities to work in PACU and from there there are learning opportunities to move into a training rotation in anaestheitcs/scrub/scout. Be on the look out for DSU openings.