Operating Room Nursing

Health Sciences

The Operating Room Nursing (ORN) program is for the licensed registered nurse interested in learning the circulating and scrub role of the operating room. Registered nurses learn to use instrumentation, set-up back tables for surgical procedures, perform surgical procedures, and network with teams in pre-op holding, the operating room and the recovery room. This role involves caring for the patient in the perioperative service.

Registered Nurses of the Operating Room utilize their assessment skills on an on-going basis while ensuring patient safety throughout the pre-op holding, surgical area and post-operative care. Job responsibilities include:

  • Complete patient assessments prior to and throughout the perioperative services.
  • Prepare the patient and family for the environment of the operating room.
  • Discuss the consent for the surgical procedure with the patient to ensure their understanding.
  • Transport the patient to the operating room.
  • Maintain a sterile surgical field at all times while the patient is in the operating room.
  • Count sponges, needles and instruments before, during and after the patient’s operation.
  • Hand instruments and supplies to the surgeons and surgeon’s assistants, hold retractors and cut sutures and perform other tasks as directed by surgeons during an operation.
  • Wash instruments, set-up trays, process surgical instruments for sterilization.
  • Monitor and continually assess operating room conditions, including patient and surgical team needs.
  • Prepare dressings or bandages and apply them at the end of the surgical procedure.
  • Operate, assemble, adjust or monitor lights, suction machines, diagnostic equipment, drills, saws and robotic equipment throughout the procedure.
  • Complete the perioperative record on the computer and manage electrical equipment.
  • Launch robots, ensure that supplies and instruments are readily available to the surgical team.
  • Prepare and deliver medications to the sterile field and ready them for the surgeon to apply to the patient.
  • Discuss patient needs throughout the procedure with the team members.

Most registered nurses who are knowledgeable as a surgical scrub and circulator are employed in clinics, hospitals and surgical centers.

Upon completion of two years as a registered nurses working of the operating room the registered nurse can sit for the Certified Nurse of the Operating Room (CNOR) certification through AORN.  CNOR certification is defined as: “the documented validation of the professional achievement of identified standards of practice by an individual registered nurse providing care for patient’s before, during and after surgery.” CNOR means that you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills that denote competency in the specialized field of perioperative nursing. (AORN).

Admission requirements include an Arizona State unencumbered license as a registered nurse or a compact state with Arizona. This program admits new graduates, re-entry nurses and those transitioning from other areas of practice. 

Program Location

Washington Campus 

Program Cost

Certificate of Completion in Surgical Technology for Operating Room Nurse: $3,502 - $4,167*

* Please note that these are only estimates and do not include books. These estimates may change based on increases to tuition, course fees and book costs. Estimates are based on the 2016-2017 tuition rates for in-county students. Additional fees may apply.



Accreditation is a process used to measure and certify the credibility and quality of services offered by an organization. GateWay is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Why should you choose an accredited school?

Although many schools offer seemingly similar degree and certification options, not all schools are accredited. In many instances, accreditation of the degree or program you complete may be required in order to become certified to work in the field.