Operating Room Nurse

Operating room nurse has a lot of responsibilities and duties apart from regular nursing practices. If you are aspiring OR nurse then here is Operating room (OR) nurse job description and Salary that you must know

$4,144 – $7,891
AVG    Annual    SALARY
$4,144 – $7,891
AVG    Monthly    SALARY
$23.89 - $43.62
AVG    Hourly    SALARY

Operating Room (OR) Nurse Salary And Job Description

Undergoing a surgery is one of the most critical things that a person could ever face. Whether it’s generous or a serious one, surgery brings several challenges for both the patients and the doctors. Moreover, in such a situation, the requirements of a smart professional who can handle the things with utmost care and responsibility are essential. One such skilled profession is that of Operating room nurse (OR). They work along with the surgeon and assist them in the phase of pressurized situations. Specifically trained, these nurses show exceptional patience, sincerity, and intelligence when needed. They help and facilitate the patients during, before and after the surgery.

Individuals aspiring to be in the profession of Operating room nurse must show phenomenal efficiency, should be attentive enough and must have proper knowledge of various operation procedures and patient safety. They must have the abilities to assess the patients prior to their surgery and should be able to alleviate their concerns with ease. While gathering the entire supplies essential for the surgery to take place, they should stay alert towards the sterility of the operating room. They must be sensitive and compassionate enough to understand the plight of the patients and make them feel comfortable in spite of the painful situation. The individual must have the capability of thinking critically and acting fast in the situations of emergencies.

Operating Room (OR) Nurse Job Description

Due to numerous tasks their job may prove out to be really hectic and mind-boggling at times, however, the operating room nurse must be able to handle the pressure with discipline, calmness and should also deal with the widespread technical, personal and patient’s emotional chores that she has to fulfill.

While an operating room nurse or preoperative nurse may have to struggle around different tasks, their major duties and responsibilities include looking out for the patients and providing them the desired care before, during and after the surgeries. Their strenuous working day also includes comforting the patients by providing them enough education, and understanding of the surgery. They may have to circulate or scrub the nurses, and must potentially assist the operating room director with other additional trainees, surgeons or nurses.

They not only work within the operating suite but also manage the core tasks in the sterile field, scrubbing of nurses, and preparation of the operating equipment and instruments. They usually work in every kind of healthcare facilities including ambulatory, physician offices, outpatient surgery centers and of course in various hospitals.

Major Responsibilities Of Operating Room Nurse

Operating room nurses must provide individualized or direct nursing care to their patients as per the various applications included in scientific nursing principles. In spite of the various chores that they are supposed to handle, they should use their skills to efficiently and effectively paying more attention to the tasks which are required to be performed instantly. And above all, they must be sensitive towards the patients and must be obedient towards their major surgeon. In addition to this general nursing care, these are some specific responsibilities and role of the operating room nurse which she must fulfill-

  • Coordinating and consulting with the whole health care team members to access, design, implement and evaluate the various patient care plans.
  • Conducting pre and post-operative education plans for the patients and trainees if any.
  • She serves as the major communication liaison for all the acquaintances and for the various members of the operating team.
  • She has to analyze and monitor the vital signs of patient’s health.
  • Must ensure that the operating procedure which they are going to undertake is being performed on the right patient and as per the right guidelines and procedure
  • She must provide basic and bedside care to the patient, and must respond to the various life-saving situations as per the specified standards and protocols.
  • Administers, prepares and records the prescribed medications orally, subcutaneously and through an IV. Should report the adverse reactions of the patient towards the medicines or the treatments, as per the policies stated in regards to the administration of medications by a licensed registered nurse
  • Must record all the information concisely, completely and accurately in a timely manner. Should also put it in the appropriate format in the prescribed forms
  • Should prepare the operating room for the patients and the procedure
  • Must initiate the corrective procedures and actions as and when directed by the monitoring equipment, and in the situations of any adverse symptomatology
  • Throughout the surgery and the care continuum, she must take care and monitor the patient’s emotional and physical well being.
  • Should initiate education plans of the patient as per the physician. Should teach them how to manage their post-treatment needs.
  • Must perform the various position related duties as assigned to them.

Training, Requirements, And Qualifications

Those women who are willing to join as an operating room nurse must possess certain minimum educational and skills requirements which can help them in constructive criticism in such a fast-paced and challenging environment. An associate degree is a minimum requirement, however, for advanced positions, an undergraduate degree is essential in nursing Perioperative. A specialty certificate in nursing or a degree program from any recognized university/institute which is preferred by the employers is also desirable. When it comes to licenses, the individual must be a registered nurse (RN) through National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and should have the access to voluntary specialty certification.

All these programs are specifically designed for the operating room nurses and also encourage them to move out of their comfort zone and undergo critical training sessions in an emergency room and surgery units. However, if considering the various job prospects and roles within the operating room, the nurses must have-

  • for perioperative RNs- CNOR ( Certified Nurse Operating Room)
  • for First Assistants who will directly assist the surgeon- CRNFA (Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant)
  • for Bachelor’s educated OR Managers- CSSM (Certified Surgical Services Manager )
  • for the Master’s educated Clinical Nurse Specialists- CNS-CP (Clinical Nurse Specialist Perioperative Certification Exam)

During their course of study and training, the nurses undergo various lectures and clinical instructions on prospective care alternatives. They also have to learn about the various aspects within the operating room including the procedures like sterilization and disinfecting the room, the safety of the place, use and requirement of various surgical tools, communication with the patients, skin preparation and anesthesia assessment. The lectures from experienced professionals and various training sessions in established health care centers help them to develop their clinical experience, along with gaining the firsthand knowledge of specialty and general surgeries.

They get prepared for working with numerous surgical team members and understand how to deal with the whole team and patients simultaneously. They are supposed to assist various surgeons and anesthesiologists.

Training through a reputed and established organization is essential because the nurses develop various fundamental and specialized skills during their training period. They attain better-thinking skills, advanced communication skills, ability to maintain calmness under pressure, familiarity with office software, environment, and medical database software with the knowledge of perioperative medical equipment. The training period of 1 year is generally desired by various employers before hiring the operating room nurses.

Operating Room Nurse Salary

The pay scale of an operating room nurse can vary as per her skills, educational qualifications, capabilities and moreover due to the experience. However, it may also fluctuate according to the policies that prevail in various states. As per the statistics published on February 4, 2018, the median annual salary of an operating room nurse is somewhere around $65,861U.S. However, this may range from $44,137 – $96,583 as per the skills and experience that they possess.

The figure can largely vary based on the positions they are appointed to. With a better-earning capacity and actively participating in more and more surgeries, the nurses here can achieve huge heights in this profession. This data is based on an analyzed survey which was undertaken by a team of professionals in various health care centers of U.S.

In some of the researchers, it has been stated that based upon their location of training and degree procurement, along with a greater experience, the average median salary can also hike up to a greater extent in a year. And as already mentioned, with advanced specialization, more degrees, and great efforts, they can eventually increase their salary. Along with their monetary basic salary needs, they are also entitled to receive, free housing facilities, flexibility in working schedules, expense reimbursement, comprehensive health, vision and dental coverage, free liability insurance along with various other bonuses as per their performance.

The growth of professionals being involved in the field of operating room nurse is really fast and beneficial. It is estimated that between 2012 and 2022 the growth of nurses would be 19 percent faster than what it stays during the average times. One of the most desirable places to work as an operating nurse in the U.S. as the pay scale there is considerably rising at a faster pace than any other area. The availability of both permanent and temporary vacancies in this field is really high and the deserving students can earn abundant monetary and non-monetary benefits through this field.

How Much Do Operating Room Nurses Make On Hourly Basis

The average hourly wage of the operating room nurse is around $31.18. However, the pay for this profession rises steadily for those who are well experienced but may even go noticeably down for the employees who have attained more than 20 years of experience, as per recently published statistics. The hourly rate falls in between $23.85 – $43.41. Along with a great salary, a nurse also gets benefitted with overtime that ranges from $26.41 – $64.31 yearly. They are also entitled to a bonus of $0.00 – $5,059 on yearly basis and when calculated on an overall basis, the total pay scale for the most experienced, advanced, well educated and skilled nurses can range from $49,645 – $94,285.

Well, this data is solely based on the reviews and statistics provided by various health care centers, employers, and employees of USA. It was updated latest on January 2018 but can largely depend upon various factors like the country, state, and region along with personal caliber of the nurse.

Operating Room Nurse Salary Description
Basis Pay Scale
Salary $44,137 – $96,583
Bonus $0.00 – $5,059
Profit Sharing $410 – $3,945
Commission $2,500
Total Pay $49,645 – $94,285

Highest Paying States

The job profile not only brings a huge positive transformation in terms of salary and compensations, but it also serves the individual to fulfill their moral desires of serving various patients with utmost care and sincerity. Through this profession, a registered operating room nurse can earn great within no time. Some of the states are best known for completing the education, undergoing the training period and attaining great jobs, those states which pay the highest include-

Highest Hourly Paying States
STATE Hourly Wage
California $29.99 – $59.13
Alaska $36.40 – $39.69
New York $23.87 – $38.79
Texas $24.73 – $35.51
Massachusetts $30.46 – $42.74
Oregon $31.09 – $39.52
Nevada $33.22 – $38.26
District Of Columbia $35.41

The wages are calculated and generated by various researchers and analysis of numerous job profiles, job seekers, the answers from employees and employers. A lot of these places also serve the candidates with advanced bonuses and great facilities as per their capabilities and the will and skill of working hard.


Thus, there are certain minimal set standards which every candidate or student must fulfill to get a desirable position as an operating room nurse. One who has got the will to serve the patients with full heart and has the capability of dealing with regularly fluctuating and pressurizing situations must undertake this profession.

Once an individual is appointed as a professional, she has got arrays of opportunities to increase her working potential and create a better environment for her supervisors, juniors, and patients as well as clear understanding of the core duties and responsibilities. The operating room nurse should have complete knowledge of various surgeries and they should carry out various emotional and practical procedures to make the patient understand and handle his/her own condition efficiently.

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