Interested individuals may enroll in a standard Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program that offers courses or a component in surgical nursing in order to learn the practical and technical skills required of a surgical nurse. Programs typically require four years of study. Such programs are designed to provide students with an introduction to nursing theory, health care systems, medical terminology, patient assessment, human anatomy and physiology. Admissions requirements often include a GPA of 3.0 or higher for students already enrolled in an undergraduate program. Students should be prepared to complete clinical rotations and laboratory experiences as well as coursework. Once licensed, registered nurses can also seek certification as plastic surgery nurses. Experience and a passing score on an examination are required.
Plastic Surgery Nurse Training
Most schools do not admit freshmen into nursing programs, and only accept those undergraduate students who have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Entrance into nursing programs can be difficult; therefore, college freshmen interested in such programs may want to concentrate on completing prerequisites in chemistry and microbiology. Participation in volunteer experiences at health care facilities may also be beneficial.
Bachelor's degree programs in nursing contain classroom seminars, laboratory experiences and clinical rotations. Some examples of core courses include:
- Nursing theory
- Patient assessment
- Medical-surgical nursing
- Community health nursing
- Nursing research
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report exact data for plastic surgery nurses; however, the registered nursing field as a whole is projected to grow by 16% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent with registered nurses holding more than 2.7 million positions across the United States in 2015, according to the BLS. The BLS reported mean earnings for registered nurses working for general medical and surgical hospitals as $72,980 in May 2015.
Licensure and Certification Information
RNs in all states are required to hold licensure, according to the BLS. To gain national licensure, nurses must graduate from an accredited program and pass the National Council Licensure Exam - Registered Nurse. To be eligible to gain the designation of Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN) from the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses, candidates must be registered nurses with at least two years of experience working with a plastic surgery team. They can have experience working as a general staff member, administrator or teacher. Candidates must also sit for an examination to gain the designation.
While there are no specific programs for plastic surgery nurse training, RNs are able to complete specialist training. Licensure is required for all RNs and plastic surgery nurses will need two years experience to become a CPSN.