What Education Is Required to Become a Scrub Nurse?

In an operating room, much like a repair facility, the correct tools must be used. Scrub nurses prepare, locate, and pass the tools that are used in surgery. To become a scrub nurse, you'll need to be either a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). Read on to find out what education you'll need to become a scrub nurse. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Defined

A scrub nurse is an LPN or RN with perioperative training. As a scrub nurse, you are in charge of ensuring that a surgeon has the correct instruments available to perform an operation. When you're asked for an instrument in the operating room, you locate the instrument and hand it to the surgeon. In some cases, you'll anticipate the surgeon's need and have the instruments ready without being asked.

Important Facts About This Program

Specializations Neurosurgery, oncology, pediatrics, orthopedic surgery
Programs Perioperative Nursing internships are available
Online Availability Some courses, such as perioperative nursing theory, are available
Possible Careers Nursing Informatics, Nursing Administrator, Medical Device Sales,

Education Requirements

To become a scrub nurse, you first need to become a licensed nurse. You can do this by completing an LPN program or earning an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in nursing.

LPN Program

To become an LPN, you'll need to complete a one-year program at a community or technical college. Your courses will include physiology, anatomy, psychology, surgical nursing, obstetric nursing, and pediatric nursing. An LPN program is designed to prepare you to take the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) exam.

As an LPN, also called a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), you'll work as an entry-level nurse under the supervision of an RN or physician. You'll perform duties including taking the heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature of patients. You may complete paperwork and help patients with practical needs, such as showering and dressing.

With experience, you may be qualified to step into the operating room as a scrub nurse. Or, you may continue your studies by completing a certificate program in surgical or perioperative nursing. Perioperative certificate programs for LPNs include approximately 12 credits of concentrated studies in advanced concepts in operations and surgical care.

Associate's Degree

Earning an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) will qualify you to take the NCLEX-RN, the national examination to become a RN. The courses you'll take in this program include pharmacology, human development, and practicum courses in maternity care, acute care, maternity care, pediatrics, geriatrics, and emergency care. Some programs also include elective courses in perioperative nursing techniques.

Bachelor's Degree

Completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) also prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN exam. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs with a minimum of a BSN have better promotion opportunities than those with only an ADN. A four-year nursing degree includes courses in perioperative nursing and may include a surgical rotation as part of clinical training. If you enroll in a BSN program, you'll likely have more opportunities for hands-on training in a hospital setting than you'd have in an ADN program, says the BLS (www.bls.gov).

Certification

Once you have completed your education to become a scrub nurse, you may decide to earn the CNOR certification from the Competency and Credentialing Institute (www.cc-institute.org). To be eligible for the CNOR exam, you'll need to be an RN, and you'll need to demonstrate that you have two years or more experience and over 2,400 hours of working in perioperative nursing. This work experience can include teaching, administrating or nursing. You'll become certified after passing an exam.

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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