Certified Nurse - Operating Room (CNOR): Career and Certification Facts

The CNOR credential is offered to operating room nurses who wish to prove that they meet the highest standards in their field. To earn the CNOR, you must graduate from an approved nursing school, earn your nursing license and work for at least two years in the field of perioperative nursing. Read on to learn how you can start the certification process. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

An operating room nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who works in the field of perioperative nursing. These nurses assist a surgeon before, during and after surgery. They might select tools and hand them to a surgeon, control bleeding, suture incisions and monitor the patient during surgery.

Degree Options Associate's or bachelor's degree
Certification CNOR credential
Median Salary (2017) $70,000 per year (for all registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Become a Nurse?

To become an RN, you'll need a diploma, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in nursing. A bachelor's degree program is the best option if you're looking for a more comprehensive education. Many RNs who hold associate's degrees or diplomas go on to earn bachelor's degrees to improve their job prospects. Graduation from an RN program will qualify you to take National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which leads to RN licensure.

How Do I Earn the CNOR Credential?

The Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI), an organization that offers continuing education for perioperative nurses, offers the CNOR credential. Holding this credential indicates to employers that you meet the highest standards in the periopartive nursing field. The CNOR credential is accredited by the American Board for Specialty Nursing Certification and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

Eligibility requirements for the CNOR credential include RN licensure; 2,400 hours of operating room nursing experience, 1,200 of which should be in an intraoperative environment; and two years of work experience. The CNOR examination consists of 200 multiple-choice questions in nine subject areas. The CCI offers preparation courses and provides other resources that could help you prepare for the examination. According to the CCI, it could take 2-3 months to prepare for the exam.

What Can I Expect as a Certified Operating Room Nurse?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment for registered nurses is set to grow by 15% in the years between 2016 and 2026, which is greater than average for all employment opportunities. The average median salary for registered nurses as of 2017 is $70,000 per year.

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