An orthopaedic nurse receives specialized education and training to care for patients with diseases and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. These nurses play an important role in providing care to patients who have bone fractures, degenerative diseases, joint replacement surgery or other conditions that affect the bones and muscles. Orthopaedic nurses are highly trained in casting, external fixation care, neurovascular status monitoring, traction and continuous motion therapy. With their specialized education and skills, they can assess patients, administer treatments, provide procedures as well as administer medications. They also utilize their knowledge and skills to ensure patients remain as comfortable as possible. Orthopaedic nurses can teach patients new methods for performing personal tasks and provide them with information regarding assistance programs, support groups and other resources they may require.
Education and Certification Requirements
To become a certified orthopaedic nurse, you must first complete a registered nursing program at an accredited school and pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Once you have obtained your RN license, you can then take the orthopaedic certification exam given by the Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board. Passing this exam and receiving certification will provide you with the credentials that indicate your expertise in this specialized field.
There are many career opportunities for skilled orthopaedic nurses. These include hospital orthopaedic units, medical and surgical units, private orthopaedic practices, clinics, nursing facilities as well as sports medicine practices.
Responsibilities of an Orthopaedic Nurse
Orthopaedic nurse’s daily responsibilities may include assessing new patients, monitoring existing patient’s conditions, providing treatments such as dressing changes and administering medications as ordered by the physician. Orthopaedic nurses also provide care to patients who have recently undergone surgery. This may include monitoring and recording vital signs, monitoring the surgical site and informing doctors of any changes with the patient’s condition. Keeping the patient comfortable is of the utmost importance, which could involve repositioning the patient and administering pain medications as needed.
The average annual salary for a certified orthopaedic nurse is approximately $63,871 although salaries can vary according to the nurse’s position and experience, the employer and the location. Most employers offer excellent benefit packages including paid sick days, holidays and vacation days.
Job Outlook for Orthopaedic Nurses
Because orthopaedic nurses are registered nurses and can be utilized in a variety of different medical settings, registered nurses remain one of the fastest growing professions in the nation. Due to the rising numbers of the aging population, the need for orthopaedic nurses is expected to continue to grow.
Sub-Specialties and Advanced Opportunities for Orthopaedic Nurses
As orthopaedic nurses gain experience, there are several advanced positions they may qualify for such as head nurse, nursing instructor, nurse manager or director of nursing. Orthopaedic nurses may also choose to specialize in certain fields, which could include emergency rooms, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine, operating rooms, oncology, home health and rehabilitation centers. Certified orthopaedic nurses also have the opportunity to continue their educations and advance their position to an orthopaedic nurse practitioner or an orthopaedic clinical nurse specialist.
Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
- Associate of Science in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Get a hands-on education at Lincoln Tech. Designed for today’s tough job market, our in-depth programs cover many fields including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, Automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus.
- Nursing (Practical)
- Medical Assistant
Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!
What Are You Waiting For?
- Practical Nursing - Diploma
- Medical Assisting - Associate's
- Nursing (RN) - Associate's
Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.
* Programs vary by location
* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information
- Practical Nursing
- Associate Degree in Nursing
- Medical Assisting
- Licensed Vocational Nurse
We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.
- Vocational Nursing
- Medical Assistant
Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.
- Practical Nursing Diploma
- Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Clinical Concentration
The goal of Virginia College lies in its responsibility to its students, the technical and business communities, and the general citizenry. We have a long history of offering new direction to students.
- Medical Assistant Associate's Degree
- Medical Assistant Diploma
Get personalized attention at UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training at our campus in Clearwater, Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.
Gainful employment information can be found at ultimatemedical.edu/gainful-employment.pdf and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.
- Nursing Assistant
- Patient Care Technician
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Assisting