OR Nurse Salary

Information You Need About Salary As A Perioperative Nurse

commonly asked questions

How Much Will I Make As A New Grad?

Many healthcare facilities now offer a surgical residency program for nursing. The need for perioperative nurses is high and they see the value in training nurses in surgery, from the start. Gone are the days of “sink or swim” and you will benefit greatly from one of these programs. Typically you will have to sign a contract of some sorts and pay will depend on where in the country you are working. The average starting salary according to glassdoor.com is approximately $54,000-$56,000 annually. Also factor in any sign on bonuses, health insurance benefits and 401k programs. 

What Is The Average Salary?

This answer varies widely, depending on location, type of facility and your experience. Newer nurses may start out around $55,000 on average while those with 10+ years experience can be making $77,000 or more. Perioperative nursing is a field that continues to grow. Being a part of a specialized nursing field only enhances your future salary growth the more experience you gain. 

How Can I Negotiate The Best Pay Rate?​

As a new nurse, this may not be an area where you have much choice but as you gain experience and increase your education, you can definitely begin to negotiate. Using a recruiter can help if you are unsure how to negotiate well as they have just as much incentive as you do to get you a high pay rate. Also, the more marketable you are, the better you stand. Read on in the next section to get info on how to make yourself desirable to those hiring!

What Can I Do To Be More Marketable?

The best things that you can do to increase your marketability are to gain a variety of experiences and further your education. Making sure you achieve your bachelors in nursing is essential, along with becoming CNOR certified. This shows others that you are serious about education and patient care. Also, other certifications such as ACLS and PALS can help tremendously, along with working at facilities that perform a variety of surgeries. The more knowledge you have in multiple specialties, the better.

Does Travel Nursing Pay Better?

At first glance, the hourly rate often offered by travel nursing companies, is higher. Short term, this can be a great way to see different parts of the country and make good pay. Comparing your salary to a full time job though, you have to account for your health benefits, any type of retirement plan, and/or other discounts or benefits you receive (gym membership, school reimbursement, etc.). Each job has it’s pros and cons and can be right for you at different times in your career. Look into and see if travel nursing could work for you! I’ve had many friends who’ve had a great experience.

How Does OR Nursing Salary Compare With Other Types Of Nursing?

In general, the more specialized you become and the more skills and certifications you have, the more in demand you will be and the higher your pay will be. OR nurses are always in demand, especially in larger urban areas. Many of the website articles that talk about nurse salaries, include many that require a masters degree or higher (CRNA, NP, etc). For associate and bachelor level RNs, working in surgery seems to be on par with other specialties that require training beyond passing the NCLEX (such as ICU nurse). The fast pace, high stress and level of knowledge required is rewarded with a higher pay, once you have a few years of experience.

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Hospital surgery center OR

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Steve Jobs

Surgery OR nurse

Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.

Conan O'Brian


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