Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, accounting for one of every four deaths annually, as per the American Heart Association. Cardiovascular operating room (CVOR) nurses are among the health care professionals who work around the clock to lower these numbers. These clinicians are members of the surgical services and operating room teams which care for cardiovascular patients before, during, and after open-heart surgical procedures. CVOR nurses are responsible for assisting surgeons with tasks involved during surgical procedures which include operating cardiopulmonary bypass/heart-lung machines, administering and monitoring anesthesia, and more.
Common duties that CVOR nurses are tasked with are likely to include:
CVOR nurses can find employment wherever heart surgeries are performed, including:
Becoming a CVOR nurse starts with obtaining the appropriate nursing degree and gaining some medical-surgical skills. At this point, if you don't already have them, it might be wise to gain a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification, and a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification. A strong knowledge base in cardiovascular issues and a passion for surgical nursing are a must for the role.
To become a CVOR nurse, the following educational requirements must be met:
Yes, due to the surgical assisting skills required, CVOR nurses will need to hold active and unrestricted RN licenses in the state they are practicing in. A BSN degree or higher is preferred for the role.
To be competitive in the job market, CVOR nurse aspirants are advised to hold the CNOR certification for perioperative nurses, which is offered by the Competency & Credentialing Institute. To be eligible for the CVOR certification, individuals will need to have fulfilled the following requirements prior to submitting their applications:
*CVOR nurse aspirants are also advised to hold the BLS Certification and either the ACLS and/or the PALS certifications which are offered by the American Heart Association as many employers will require them
There are two main reasons why CVOR nurses will remain in high demand in the coming years. First, cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in the country. Second, surgical departments are enormous revenue generators for hospitals. So, not only are CVOR nurses needed, but they're also highly profitable for employers.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for CVOR nurses working in the U.S. is approximately $93,882. The earning potential for these nurses will depend heavily on factors like the city and state of their employment, their education levels, certifications held, and how much experience they have. In addition to their yearly salaries, CVOR nurses can expect to receive a number of benefits from their employers, such as medical insurance and an annual allotment of sick leave and/or paid time-off each year. Retirement and life insurance plans are usually made available by employers as well.
CVOR Nurse Resources