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Perioperative Nurse

A Perioperative or Surgical Nurse cares for patients before, during, and after surgery, and other invasive procedures.

High demand

Perioperative Nurses are in demand because of the aging US population and a growing need for surgical procedures.

Required education
Average annual salary
Work hands-on, directly with patients.
Follow a routine that allows you to anticipate and prepare for every situation.
Take on different tasks, patients, and situations every day.
You’ll be a vital member of the surgical team and the only one who works with the patient on the surgical journey from beginning to end.
Nursing bag, medication, and signs cartoon graphic
What you’ll do


You’ll assist the team, coordinate patient care, monitor vital signs, and manage the equipment during procedures.


You’ll be the liaison between the surgical team and patient’s’ family.


You’ll teach patients and their families how to care for themselves at home following a procedure.


You’ll help get patient physically and emotionally ready for their procedure.

Where you’ll work
  • Ambulatory surgical units
  • Doctors' office
  • Hospitals
Hear what Perioperative Nurses have to say
  • Video still of Kristle Simms in hospital setting
  • The life of a Perioperative Nurse

    Find out why working in the PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit) gives Kristie, MSN, RN, NP, a lot of career satisfaction.

How to become a Perioperative Nurse


Pass the NCLEX-RN.


Work as a Registered Nurse.

Gain experience in Critical Care and taking relevant continuing education courses, such as Discharge Planning and Sterilization.


Get the prescribed amount of experience for your specialty.


You’re ready to work as a Perioperative Nurse.

Join an Organization
Become a member of a Perioperative Nurse organization to find career opportunities, learn from your colleagues, and support the profession.
A Poison Information Specialist’s role is also varied.
A Nurse Anesthetist is another type of surgical nurse.
Group of smiling nurses in scrubs holding folders
Group of smiling nurses in scrubs holding folders
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