Travel OR Nurse Jobs

OR Nurses working in the operating room are critical parts of any surgical team, and skilled perioperative travel nurses are always in demand in a variety of different clinical settings including hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, children's hospitals, and trauma centers. They work alongside surgical teams to provide best possible care for patients, serve as liaisons between surgical teams and families of the patients, and also assess the patients before surgery.

Travel nursing can be an exciting and rewarding career, especially for those who are excited about experiencing new places and meeting new people. There are many benefits to working as a travel or nurse, such as an increased income, professional development opportunities, and gaining experience in areas outside of your own geographic region.

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OR Travel Nurse FAQ

How Much Do Operating Room Nurses Make?

The salary of a registered nurse can vary significantly depending on the experience of the nurse as well as the experience, certifications, and location they are working in. The median salary for a registered nurse was $ 80,010 per year or $36.22 per hour in 2020 with most earning between $61,630 and $93,590 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entry-level registered nurse jobs or those with the lowest 10% salary earned around $53,410, while the highest 10% earned more than $116,230. Typically, travel nurse assignments will provide higher hourly and weekly pay than permanent positions in the same city. Healthcare facilities across the country have open positions in the operating room, and skilled perioperative travel nurses are always in high demand.

What Does a Travel Operating Room Nurse Do?

Operating Room Nurses

Operating Room Nurses are responsible for the safe and efficient delivery of patient care in an operating room. This includes ensuring patients are prepared for surgery, managing the sterile field, assisting the surgical team during surgery, and providing postoperative care. Registered Nurses working in operating room typically break into a few distinct roles.

Scrub RN

Scrub RNs prepare the operating room for the patient: sets up tools and makes sure the area is sterile for surgery. They also assist the surgical team with their masks, gowns, and gloves. They’ll often aid the physician by passing instruments. After surgery, they clear away the tools and prep the patient for transport to the recovery room.

Circulating RN

They work the perimeter of the surgical area inspecting equipment, double-checking the patient’s identity, and getting proper consent forms. The Circ RN also assists the anesthesiologist with the patient and works with the surgeon regarding any special concerns or needs that could affect the patient’s care. An OR RN watches for complications and monitors the patient’s vital signs, alerting the physician to any changes. Performs CPR and controls bleeding when applicable. OR RNs also suture (stitch) wounds and apply dressings and bandages.

Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA)

RNFAs are an expanded perioperative nursing role that provides surgeons with assistance in direct surgical care including suturing and controlling bleeding. Their intraoperative responsibilities are expanded from handling instruments and preparing the room and are more directly involved in working with Surgeon. Their role also can include patient management in collaboration with other healthcare providers for both perioperative and postoperative patient care.

Typical Operating Room Nurse Responsibilities:

  • Prepare the operating room for each procedure by arranging equipment and setting up a sterile field
  • Manage the patient’s care from admission to discharge
  • Provide preoperative assessment of surgical patients
  • Ensure that all surgical procedures are performed safely, competently, and in a timely manner
  • Ensure that all necessary equipment, supplies, and medication are available before each procedure begins
  • Assist with surgery as needed and monitor patient vitals
  • Communicate with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians, assistants, laboratory staff about patient status postoperatively
  • Ensure that perioperative documentation is accurate
  • Manage the patient’s care from admission to discharge
Patient Ratio 1:1
Certifications BLS, ACLS, PALS
Subsets Scrub, Circulation, First Assist RN, CVOR
Patients Thoracic, Orthopedic, General, Neuro/Spine, Endoscopy, Urology, Cardio, Oral ENT, Plastics, Transplant, OB/GYN, Ophthalmology ENT, Podiatry

How to Become an OR Travel Nurse?

Education & License Requirements

To work as a Travel Operating Room Nurse, Registered Nurses must complete their associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing and take the National Council Licensure Exam NCLEX -RN Exam, which is a requirement to practice as an RN in the United States. Once the NCLEX exam is passed and you meet the board of nursing license requirements in your state, then all that is left is to do is gain the necessary experience in your specialty and explore additional certifications.

Certifications

Common certifications required for operating room nurses include basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and pediatric advanced life support (PALS) certifications. There are options for experienced OR RNs to become certified and advance their career and compensation opportunities. Certified Nursing Operating Room (CNOR) certification is for nurses that want to improve their knowledge & skills in order to provide better patient care during surgery. After achieving CNOR certification, OR Nurses with experience scrubbing into surgery and looking to expand their professional achievement further can also pursue Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA) certification.

How Do Pay Packages work for Operating Room Travel Nursing Jobs?

While compensation offers can vary greatly depending on the contract or agency offering, pay packages for OR travel nurse jobs typically have four major components: hourly taxable wages, meals and incidentals, housing, and travel.

Hourly Pay

Full-time nurses working at healthcare facilities receive a salary, but most travel nurse employers offer hourly wages. Every pay package must include a taxable hourly wage, and the amount can vary depending on the shift, location, and specialty required of the assignment.

Housing

Housing payments can be included in a payment from a staffing agency. This is typically offered in two ways. Either the company is providing housing, or the traveler is taking the housing stipend. It is more beneficial for the traveler to take the housing stipend for two primary reasons. First, they will have a choice in where they stay. Everyone’s definitions of comfortable and acceptable are different. The second reason the housing stipend is more beneficial for them is that it can be given as a nontaxable amount.

Meals and Incidentals

Also known as per diems, meal and incidental stipends provide a daily budget for daily living expenses. These standards vary depending on the cost of living in cities and states across the country.

Travel Expenses

Travel is the last portion of the pay package. Many recruiters may not even offer travel and instead put that money into the per diems or housing for their traveler so they are receiving the benefits over the entire contract, not just at the very beginning or end of the contract. While a travel stipend can be used to cover the cost of a flight for the traveler, it is more often than not used to subsidize the traveler’s expenses to and from an assignment. Travel expenses can be offered as a reimbursement rate per mile, though many agencies will opt to offer a flat rate to and from an assignment.

Getting Started as a Traveling OR Nurse

Many travel nurses find work through recruitment agencies and marketplaces, which means you have better access to job boards to choose your schedule, location, and salary. When you begin browsing for jobs, be sure to consider the housing options, the benefits, the guaranteed hours policy, and the recruiting company’s overall reputation.

The good news is that Fusion Marketplace has everything you need when it comes to finding the perfect traveling nursing jobs. Here, you have the freedom to compare benefits, packages, and staffing agencies—all in one place. So find your next job today.