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I have 4 years past experience as an LPN in MA. After graduating 2022 with a BSN I’m looking into OR or L/D. Both specialties require past experience, for those who work in these fields what advice would you give so I standout as a stronger candidate

June 27th, 2022

Teaching hospitals are a good choice. Look for Residency Programs (for transitioning into Specialty Areas). Look into Peri-Op 101 program for OR. Try ACU/PACU as a way to transition to OR. Shadowing is another great path as previously mentioned. I've been a nurse 10y but hubby has almost 25y in. He started on M/S/Onc Floor...then ACU (12y)...then in-house Peri-Op 101 class (8y+) traveling as OR Circulator (CNOR).

July 19th, 2022

I agree with Sandra, a teaching hospital is your best bet. Many hospitals are offering residency/nurse transition programs for the OR. I went on AORN and looked up Periop 101 programs in my area. I was surprised to see my hospital had a program but they didn't post it as a job. AORN used to list the contact information for program instructors. I contacted the instructor at my hospital and was able to get into a transition program.
I'm unsure how to break into L/D. What I would advise is at least a year of floor experience, either med/surg or ICU (they offer residency programs for that as well). I have been an OR nurse and preceptor for 11 years and have found that the nurses that have at least a little floor experience seem to have a smoother transition into the OR. I had a year of med/surg and 2 years ICU prior to going to the OR and the skills I learned there were immensely useful (prioritization, dealing with codes, etc).
I wish you luck in your endeavors. If you work in a hospital ask to shadow for a day in the OR or contact the supervisor in the OR. Both the OR and L/D are tough to get into but there are residency/nurse transition programs available. Good luck!

August 10th, 2022

UPDATE FROM THE AUTHOR: it only took a week start to finish but I found a Hospital interested in me! Their staff asked to give me a tour of their OR post interview and I even watched the end of a surgery. I had a good feeling after leaving so I wasn’t surprised when I got the call saying I got the job. I’ll be starting their Periop program in September! Thank you all for your well wishes and advice :)

July 8th, 2022

I would definitely try to get in a teaching hospital - they have peri-op program which you get certified. Working in the OR requires setting priorities, knowing the case and what a specific surgeon needs pending on case. Not every surgeon is the same they have their idiosyncrasies.
Work with the nurse who will precept you on each service which at times may be difficult due to the shortage of staffing.
Adhere to the standards of the AORN and hospital policies.
There are a lot of new technology out there. It is very technical on the equipment. I have done OR for the last 40 years and I just loved it. A lot of personalities to deal with and can be very stressful at times trying to turnover the cases and getting the room ready for the next case.
Best of luck to you in your transition.

May 9th, 2022

I went into high-risk L/D/OR after I became a nurse, but they were in need since it was an inner-city, teaching hospital and they dealt with lots of heavy cases. There never seemed to be enough nurses to cover all the patients, although that's common almost anywhere. I also tech'd in the MICU while going to nursing school, so I learned a great deal there. Depending on your area, you might want to try a city hospital, start off in another unit like Mother/Baby/Nursery. What is your experience as an LPN? You could also talk with a nurse manager of a few units and let them know your interest? Try a shadow day too.

July 10th, 2022

I definitely agree with one of the ladies’ answers that you should look into academic facilities with Periop 101 programs. Their programs are based on AORN’s program where you get to learn everything about the OR.

OR RN for 42 years
No. CA

June 28th, 2022

I have been an LPN for 3 years now and I was looking to switch my patient care to another patient population. I fortunately got an opportunity through Ochsner hospital, which is a teaching hospital, to work on their Mother/Baby unit and L/D. They created this chance for me which hasn’t ever been done. So I went in confident and let them know I was willing to learn what I needed to in order to work on the unit and care for those patients. Teaching hospitals are good to look into and always go in confident of your ability and be open

July 14th, 2022

My suggestion for you to find teaching trauma level 1 hospital. They usually have a fellowship programs in OR for a one year. Also, I work in NYC for the city health system which can give you a great experience however they don’t pay enough. They always understaffed and accept almost everyone. Make sure you really want to be in OR. It’s not an easy environment. Your main clients are doctors, residents, reps and etc. Lots of different personalities. My point is not every one is meant to be an OR nurse. It’s very intense.

August 10th, 2022

I finished my BSN some time ago. But, I did my senior specialty in L&D. After I was about done I made sure I knew who the managers of each unit in the service line were as well as the director. Women and Children's is highly specialized. Be sure to make contact with both managers and directors. Just a simple email message or voicemail work. Introduce yourself, give a little background information, and let them know you have applied and are very interested in this position. I luckily was hired and had a job waiting for me before I finished school. Job shadowing is also a great way to learn.

August 8th, 2022

Do not think that way. Apply, make it clear that you are new to the specialty but that you’re open to training and would love to be part of x unit. Apply apply and keep applying! Places are always hiring and if they don’t want “new grads” then look for a residency program/transition program.

July 2nd, 2022

My recommendation would be to get at least one year experience in the floor but you have that under your belt. Find a good perioperative program and when you are with preceptors take a little from each to find your own “style”. Also, keep a small notebook in your pocket.

August 8th, 2022

Hi, I agree with most responses about looking for jobs in a teaching hospital or those offering residency programs. If you cannot find in your area you may have to relocate. Also, go on popular sites like glass door or indeed or LinkedIn if you see multiple job postings for L&D for awhile it means they have multiple opportunities ans may be willing to train. Also, get certified in fetal heart monitoring by signing with awhonn and nrp through aap. And read the reviews from other

September 14th, 2022

As an OR nurse for 41 years, it was my passion. I agree with the others. Our hospital had a program designed to help nurses train and prepare for OR nursing. It was a tough program, but the students had preceptors to help them. I'm glad you were accepted! Hang in there. There are many different personalities to deal with in the OR. You have to develop tough skin. Good luck!

March 7th, 2023

Seek out hospitals that have a peri op 101 course. I think that is a great experience and job. BUT it is hard work, physically and also have to be on call. Just be prepared. I have never been an L/D
Nurse, because I never favored that specialty even though experienced emergent births in various areas of the ED when we could not get them to L/D on time. Good luck.

December 12th, 2022

Try looking into larger hospital systems that offer nursing fellowship programs. They are offering new grads and nurses with no experience in specialty areas a chance to train in those areas as the need is great. Also may be worth asking people you know if anyone has connections and could get you the name of a nurse manager or director to contact via email directly to let them know you have an interest in working for them. I know the managers I have worked with would love to have nurses reach out to them as it shows you really want the job and that you really care about getting the job.

October 30th, 2022

You need to look at area hospitals hiring for peri-op program. They eill train you to work on the OR.

October 22nd, 2022

Work as registery nurse which will get your feet everywhere.

October 18th, 2022

HCA Hospital System offers a StaRN Plus Program for nurses who have some work history as a nurse, but no OR experience. It's a year-long program. You may want to check into HCA in your state. COVID has changed a lot of things in the felid. Update your resume to display the attributes/ experience you currently have that may be applicable to the job postings for these desired positions and KEEP APPLYING. You have a great chance of being hired, especially with the current nationwide shortage.

September 5th, 2022

Also, sometimes your area may have an OR trading program at their community colleges. Check those out, they definitely help get your foot in the door for an affordable price.


August 28th, 2022

Become a certified doula/ childbirth instructor

August 22nd, 2022

There are several hospitals in MA that offer the Peri-Op 101 course. I would be happy to discuss this with you further. Are you from the eastern part of MA?