How to Find Operating Room (OR) Nurses

A guide to help you find top operating room nurses.

How To Find Operating Room Nurses

November 6th, 2020

Operating room nurses, also known as perioperative nurses, are responsible for the care of patients before, during, and after surgery. With the high demand for experienced nurses in the U.S., the way in which you present your vacancy and manage the hiring process is crucial to attract the best candidates.

Finding operating room nurses with the required experience and credentials can be a challenge, therefore employers should adopt a proactive approach to hiring these skilled healthcare professionals.

Special Offer

Send jobs to 100+ job boards with one submission

Post Jobs for FREE

Completely free trial, no card required.

Reach over 150 million candidates.

How to Find Operating Room (OR) Nurses:

1. Create a compelling job post.

A winning job description for an operating nurse should clearly outline your job requirements and what you're looking for in terms of qualifications, skills, and experience.

OR nurses often cite poor management and a lack of respect as pain points in their nursing careers. If your organization offers great leadership and values their employees, be sure to put that in the first paragraph of your description.

You will also want to describe your workplace culture, how many hours nurses are expected to work, and performance expectations for the role. Selling the role is important to differentiate your organization from others, and convince candidates to apply for your job.

2. Post your job to multiple sites.

Start off by posting your job on general job sites, like Indeed, which attract lots of traffic, and are free to use. From there, you'll want to branch out to larger sites like LinkedIn.

If you find that free job sites are not working in your favor, try more niche sites such as, Daily Nurse, and ANA Enterprise. Google for Jobs is another useful tool to help boost exposure for your job post and recruit an operating room nurse.

3. Screen your applicants.

Screening job applicants allows you to weed out unqualified candidates from qualified ones, and speed up the recruitment process to help you find a good operating room nurse.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to use pre-employment assessment tools, which you can use to evaluate applicants and assess their knowledge and skills by having them complete an online assessment.

If screening tools are not your forte, you might want to send out a screening email with questions to see if applicants meet your basic requirements.

Example questions:

  • Do you have a state-approved registered (RN) nurse license?
  • Are you able to work shifts?
  • How much experience do you have as an operating room nurse?

You'll want to look for qualities that might disqualify candidates, such as not being able to work extra shifts or on weekends. For candidates that meet your requirements, continue to sell the position to them and find out if they have any questions about the role.

4. Conduct a telephone interview.

Once you have a shortlist of candidates, you'll want to conduct short telephone interviews that enable you to ask basic qualifying questions. This will save you time prior to the interview stage.

Example questions:

  • Why do you want to work for our organization?
  • How has your OR nursing experience prepared you for this role?
  • Why did you leave your last OR job?
  • Can you tell me how you organize and prioritize your work?

5. Conduct in-person interviews.

In-person interviews allow you to gain insight into a candidate's suitability for the role, their personality, work ethic, and job expectations. In addition, it gives you the chance to show them around your facilities, introduce them to the team, and highlight the advantages of working for your organization as opposed to others.

Example interview questions:

  • What would you do if you noticed the operating room was unsterile?
  • What type of surgeries do you have experience in as an operating nurse?
  • Can you describe a time you had a negative interaction with a doctor? How did you resolve it?
  • How would you prepare a patient for an appendectomy?
  • What questions should you ask a patient before surgery?

Take a look at our operating room nurse interview questions for more ideas.

6. Make a formal job offer.

Once you have decided on a candidate, be sure to make them an offer right away to avoid losing them to other employers. You'll want to give them a phone call to let them know they've got the job, and follow it up with a formal offer letter that outlines the job description, benefits, and salary.


What should I look for in an operating room nurse?

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN).
  • State-approved Registered Nurse (RN) license.
  • At least 2 years' experience as an OR nurse.
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) license.
  • Exceptional knowledge of surgical instruments and equipment, as well as sterile techniques.
  • Advanced proficiency in developing and implementing perioperative nursing care plans.

Is it difficult to hire an operating room nurse?

Yes. Considering the demand for registered nurses across the country, there may be competition in finding operating room nurses with experience.

How do I hire an operating room nurse?

  • Create a compelling job description and post it on free job boards, like Indeed, as well as nursing job boards.
  • Screen applicants by using screening tools and conducting telephone interviews.
  • Sell your job by highlighting the benefits of working for your organization.
  • Make a solid job offer.