Subscribe to Notes on Nursing, our monthly news digest.

Medical-Surgical Nurse

A Medical-Surgical Nurse has extensive knowledge that can assist doctors on the medical-surgical floor of a hospital.
Required education
Average Annual Salary
Source: PayScale, Aug 2018
React and make decisions quickly in demanding conditions.
Higher salary
Earn more by having advanced skills and responsibilities.
Work hands-on, directly with patients.
Take on different tasks, patients, and situations every day.
You’ll thrive on working in a challenging, fast-paced environment where every case is different. You’ll multi-task and make split-second decisions that’ll save lives.
Nursing bag, medication, and signs cartoon graphic
What you’ll do


You’ll constantly increase your knowledge through hands-on experience and continuing education.


You’ll assess patients and coordinate their care with other members of their medical team under the supervision of a manager or charge nurse.

Where you’ll work
  • Inpatient clinics
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Surgical centers
  • Patients’ homes
How to become a Medical-Surgical Nurse


Pass the NCLEX-RN.


Work as a Registered Nurse for two years or spend 2,000 hours in Medical-Surgical.


Pass your Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse exam through the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board.


You’re ready to work as a Medical Surgical Nurse.

Join an Organization
Become a member of a Medical-Surgical Nurse organization to find career opportunities, learn from your colleagues, and support the profession.
A Nurse Educator’s role is also higher salary.
A Holistic Nurse is another type of long-term care nurse.
Group of smiling nurses in scrubs holding folders
Group of smiling nurses in scrubs holding folders
Subscribe to Notes on Nursing, our monthly news digest.
Explore issues of our monthly newsletter, which features the many ways nurses' innovation and leadership drive transformative change in healthcare.