Discover what makes perioperative nurses so special




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Eileen Williamson, RN

As nurses, most of us can recall the hospital tours during our first clinical days and the excitement we felt walking from floor to floor, unit to unit, seeing who worked where and what they were doing.

Few stops along the way, however, held more interest or intrigue than the OR. What was happening behind those big double doors? And what was it like to work there?

Whether called the operating room, the surgical suite or the perioperative area, we knew there were lots of RNs behind those doors working in many different roles with patients before, during and after surgery.

As sub-specialties, procedures and surgical techniques grew over the years, so too did the perioperative nursing specialty, and today it’s still a popular practice area and holds interest for many nursing students. Moreover, for those who enter the big doors and pursue the specialty, it’s proven to be a rewarding career.

According to AORN, the professional nursing organization for perioperative nurses, more than 160,000 perioperative RNs are working in the U.S. and more than 40,000 of them belong to AORN.

Whether they work in the neurosurgical, orthopedic, urological, oncological, cardiac or any one of the countless other sub-, perioperative nurses are valued and admired for the crucial roles they play in surgical patients’ care and well-being.

Before, during and after surgery, perioperative nursing forms the perfect care continuum for patients, and we salute these nurses.

Perioperative-focused magazine

This special edition brings you the following features:


About the author
Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN

Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN 

Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, is a former senior vice president and CNE at OnCourse Learning, where she led nursing programs and initiatives. She continues to write and act as a consultant for Nurse.com. Before joining the company in 1998, Eileen was employed by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, where she held a number of leadership positions in nursing and hospital administration, including chief nurse at two of the system’s member hospitals. She holds a BSN and an MSN in administration, and is a graduate fellow of the Johnson & Johnson University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Nurse Executives program. She also is a board member and past president of the New Jersey League for Nursing, a constituent league of the National League for Nursing.

One response to “Discover what makes perioperative nurses so special”

  1. AORN is not the only organization for perioperative nurses. American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) is a rapidly growing national organization consisting of pre and post op nurses and preadmission testing nurses. The perioperative arena consists of many nursing specialties beside the operating room nurse. An efficient and safe OR can only be had when all these nurses work together to provide an outstanding patient experience.

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