Surgery nurses play a vital role in the healthcare team. They are responsible for providing care to patients before, during, and after surgery. Surgery nurses must have a strong understanding of human anatomy and physiology, as well as the ability to perform complex procedures with precision and skill. They must also be able to think quickly and make decisions on the fly in emergency situations.

What does a surgery nurse do?

Surgery nurses have a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Preparing patients for surgery: This may involve things like assessing the patient’s vital signs, administering medications, and starting an IV line.
  • Assisting the surgeon during surgery: This may involve things like holding instruments, suturing wounds, and monitoring the patient’s vital signs.
  • Caring for patients after surgery: This may involve things like monitoring the patient’s pain levels, managing their medications, and helping them to mobilize.

Education and training requirements

To become a surgery nurse, you must complete a nursing degree program. Most nursing programs require students to complete a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. After completing your BSN degree, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become a licensed registered nurse (RN).

Once you are a licensed RN, you can gain experience working in a general hospital setting. After gaining some experience, you may decide to pursue additional training in surgery nursing. There are a number of different ways to do this, such as completing a residency program or getting certified in surgery nursing.

Job outlook

The job outlook for surgery nurses is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for surgery nurses is expected to be particularly strong in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.

Salary expectations

The median annual salary for registered nurses was $75,330 in May 2021. The highest-paid 10% of registered nurses earned more than $117,670, while the lowest-paid 10% earned less than $53,340.

Unique benefits and challenges

Surgery nurses enjoy a number of unique benefits, such as:

  • Job satisfaction: Surgery nurses often report a high level of job satisfaction. They enjoy being able to help patients and make a difference in their lives.
  • Competitive salary: Surgery nurses are typically paid well, especially those who have experience or additional training.
  • Job security: The job outlook for surgery nurses is good, and there is a high demand for qualified nurses in this field.

However, surgery nurses also face a number of challenges, such as:

  • Long hours: Surgery nurses often work long hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • Stressful work environment: The work environment in surgery can be stressful and demanding. Surgery nurses must be able to handle pressure and make quick decisions.
  • Physical demands: Surgery nurses must be able to stand for long periods of time and lift heavy objects.

How to become a surgery nurse

To become a surgery nurse, you must follow these steps:

  1. Complete a nursing degree program.
  2. Pass the NCLEX-RN exam and become a licensed RN.
  3. Gain experience working in a general hospital setting.
  4. Consider pursuing additional training in surgery nursing.
  5. Apply for surgery nurse positions.


Surgery nursing is a rewarding career that offers the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. If you are interested in becoming a surgery nurse, be sure to do your research and explore the different educational and training options available.

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