Plastic Surgery Nurse Education and Career Facts

Uncover the education required to become a plastic surgery nurse, and explore the certification and experience pathways for this specialty of perioperative nursing. Get the career outlook for the nursing field. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Plastic surgery nurses typically begin their schooling in the general nursing field and then adjust their education to gain the knowledge and certifications they need to work specifically as surgical nurses. Plastic surgery nurses assist in the operating room, lending their assistance to surgeons and caring for their patients.

Programs Diploma, Associate in Nursing, BS in Nursing
Certification CNOR
Career Outlook (2016-2026)* 15% job growth for all registered nurses, greater than average

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Level of Education Do I Need?

There are three levels of education you may undertake to obtain a job as a nurse:

  • Diploma
  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

You will be required to have a nursing license in order to practice as a nurse in the U.S. With an approved nursing degree, you can take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN, and earn your nursing license. You can get a wider scope of training from a bachelor's degree program, and many RNs go on to earn bachelor's degrees to make themselves more desirable to employers.

How Can I Specialize in Plastic Surgery Nursing?

When you attend nursing school, you'll probably take nursing as a single major, rather than enrolling in degree programs which train you specifically to become a plastic surgery nurse. You can choose to specialize in perioperative surgical nursing and then work in different areas of surgical nursing, including plastic surgery nursing, at a single work place.

Employers generally want you to have your degree, some experience, and sometimes professional certification to work as a plastic surgery nurse. The CNOR certification, offered by the Competency and Credentialing Institute, is a common certification which you would obtain if you wanted to work as a plastic surgery nurse or work in another surgical nursing setting. To take the CNOR examination, you need your nursing license and two years (2,400 hours) of perioperative nursing experience.

How Will My Career Grow?

Plastic surgery, like other medical procedures, requires the help of nurses who treat and provide support to patients. As a perioperative nurse, you can specialize in assisting plastic surgeons, taking on supporting tasks such as handling instruments. According to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 2,995,200 registered nurses in 2017, and this number was estimated to grow 15% by 2026.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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