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Operating Room (OR) Nurse Job Description

Review this Operating Room (OR) Nurse job description for a reference when building your resume. Review the qualifications and requirements listed to get an understanding of what you need to include on your resume for what employers would look for in this field.


An Operating Room (OR) Nurse, also known as a Perioperative Nurse, is a specialized healthcare professional responsible for providing nursing care to patients undergoing surgical procedures. OR Nurses work collaboratively with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other surgical team members to ensure safe and effective patient care in the operating room.

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  1. Preoperative Assessment:
    • Conduct thorough preoperative assessments of patients, including medical history, allergies, and any potential risks.
    • Verify patient identity, surgical site, and procedure before entering the operating room.
  2. Surgical Planning and Preparation:
    • Collaborate with the surgical team to plan and prepare for surgical procedures.
    • Ensure that the operating room is properly set up with the necessary equipment, instruments, and supplies.
  3. Patient Advocacy:
    • Advocate for the patient’s well-being throughout the surgical process.
    • Provide emotional support and education to patients and their families regarding the surgical experience.
  4. Surgical Assistance:
    • Assist the surgical team by passing instruments, maintaining a sterile field, and anticipating the needs of surgeons.
    • Handle and care for surgical specimens as directed.
  5. Instrumentation and Equipment:
    • Demonstrate proficiency in the use and care of surgical instruments and equipment.
    • Assist in the setup and maintenance of specialized equipment, such as laparoscopic or robotic systems.
  6. Medication Administration:
    • Administer medications as ordered, including anesthesia, and monitor patient responses.
    • Ensure accurate documentation of medications administered during the surgical process.
  7. Infection Control:
    • Implement and maintain aseptic techniques to prevent infections.
    • Follow established protocols for sterilization and disinfection of instruments and equipment.
  8. Communication and Collaboration:
    • Communicate effectively with members of the surgical team, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, and surgical technologists.
    • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to coordinate patient care.
  9. Postoperative Care:
    • Assist in the transfer of patients to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) or other designated recovery areas.
    • Monitor patients postoperatively and provide appropriate interventions as needed.
  10. Documentation:
    • Maintain accurate and thorough documentation of intraoperative nursing care.
    • Document surgical counts, procedures performed, and any unexpected events.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN) is preferred; Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) accepted.
  • Current and unrestricted Registered Nurse (RN) license.
  • Certification in Perioperative Nursing (CNOR) is desirable.
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certifications.
  • Strong attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work in a high-stress and fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Flexibility to work variable shifts, including on-call assignments.
  • Physical stamina and dexterity to assist in surgeries.

Note: OR Nurse job descriptions may vary based on the specific requirements of the healthcare facility and the types of surgical procedures performed.

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