For Nurses and Advanced Practice

The Gateway to the Operating Room (OR) Program is a comprehensive, 6-month, orientation program that is open to both new-to-practice nurses as well as registered nurses who do not have operating room experience.

During this program, nurses learn the fundamental principles of operating room nursing through both formalized classroom instruction and clinical experience with a preceptor. At the completion of the program, they become key members of the operating room team at one of the most respected hospitals in the country.

Program Format

The program consists of 5 weeks of classroom and skills lab instruction and 12 to 16 weeks of structured clinical experiences in each of the 12 specialty areas. Through lecture, discussion, self-learning modules and clinical experience, nurses develop core competencies in:

  • Pre-operative assessments
  • Basic operating room case prep skills
  • Creation and maintenance of sterile fields
  • Intra-operative documentation
  • Intra-operative scrub and circulating duties
  • Correct processing of specimens
  • Positioning of patients and equipment
  • Safe care and handling of surgical instruments
  • Safe use of specialty equipment needed for surgery
  • Airway management, anesthesia safety and malignant hyperthermia management

Eligibility Criteria

Nurses who meet the following criteria are eligible for the Gateway to the Operating Room Program:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited institution
  • Valid Pennsylvania RN licensure prior to hire date
  • A passion to be a nurse in the operating room

Postings for nursing positions are available under job opportunities.

Program Locations

The Gateway to the Operating Room Program is available at the following Penn Medicine locations:

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