How To Become an Orthopedic Nurse

How to become an orthopedic nurse

Once you have earned your bachelor's degree in nursing online, the world of health care is open to you. The skills and knowledge you received while in nursing school make you qualified for a variety of positions, including working with patients who have muscle and bone injuries and disorders. Becoming an orthopedic nurse can be a challenge, but the rewards you receive are worth all that effort. If you are interested in pursuing a career in nursing, and love learning about the muscles in the body and how bones heal, consider working in orthopedics.

What do orthopedic nurses do?
Orthopedic nurses primarily care for patients with musculoskeletal disorders, but they can also help in different departments. They can often be found assisting physicians who are treating patients who have broken bones or who are suffering from osteoporosis and arthritis. Orthopedic nurses tend to be the health care professionals who assist patients with musculoskeletal birth defects and people who have been affected by muscle degeneration. If operating room nurses are unavailable for surgery, orthopedic nurses can be called on to assist the surgeon during joint replacements and other corrective procedures.

Orthopedic nurses also play a critical role in the recovery of a patient after a corrective operation. They will often be asked to assist in therapy sessions, observing if and when pain occurs while trying to maximize and restore strength and mobility. Orthopedic nurses work with a wide variety of therapeutic devices designed to promote muscle regeneration, and are often educate patients and their families about different types of treatments and preventive practices.

What kind of certificates and degrees do orthopedic nurses have?
Orthopedic nurses begin their careers as registered nurses. They usually earn their bachelor's degree in nursing and then take the NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination. After you've completed your degree and passed the licensing exam, you should try to find work in an orthopedic setting to help prepare you for certification,

Becoming certified as an orthopedic nurse requires two years of experience as an RN in an orthopedic unit. You will also need to complete the Orthopedic Nurses Certification examination.

Why should I become an orthopedic nurse?
There are many reasons why you should consider working as an orthopedic nurse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for RNs are expected to grow by as much as 19 percent through 2022. The median annual pay for registered nurses is $65,470, with the top 10 percent earning more than $94,720.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit

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