Orthopedic nurses help treat patients with a wide variety of injuries and musculoskeletal conditions as well as surgeries. Nurses in this specialty often get the opportunity to see the patients they care for make daily progress. Here is everything you need to know to become an orthopedic nurse.
Orthopedic nurses examine patients and take histories. They can educate patients, prepare them for surgery, assist with passive range of motion therapy, cast, set fractures, and serve as an assistant to orthopedic surgeons during surgical procedures.
In addition to the duties that orthopedic nurses perform, they work in a variety of different settings such as trauma units, emergency rooms, nursing homes, oncology units, sports medicine practices, and surgical units.
Orthopedic nurses work with patients and do a lot of lifting and positioning with them. They also have to be flexible because of the amount of work they’ll be called on to do on a daily basis. They can help patients with recovery in the hospital, educate patients and families before surgery, and do pre-op workups, which means a busy work schedule!
The first step is to attend a degree program for nursing approved by your state. You can get a 2-year ADN degree but a 4-year BSN is recommended. After graduating, you must take the NCLEX exam and meet all other RN licensing requirements for your state. An MSN in nursing is not required for an orthopedic nurse, though it may make getting a job easier. It is traditionally something that a nurse who wants to become an orthopedic nurse practitioner will opt for.
Orthopedic nurses can take the Orthopedic Nurses Certification Board's Orthopedic Nurse Certified (ONC) credential. Before you can take it, you must have two years of experience as an RN and 1,000 working hours minimum in orthopedics. An additional certification is available for orthopedic nurse practitioners.
Orthopedic nurses make approximately $66,000 per year. Jobs in the nursing profession are increasing across the board, especially with the growing number of people aging in the United States. Orthopedics is a crucial part of geriatric medicine.
Orthopedic nurses can find their next new position on NexNurse. Create your free profile today and connect with hiring managers looking to fill roles across the country on our website.