Cardiac Surgery Nurse

Cardiac Surgery Nurse



Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse (COVR)
Cardiac OT Nurse
Cardiac Scrub Nurse
Cardiac Step Down Nurse
Cardiac Surgery ICU Nurse
Cardiac Surgery Nurse
Cardiac Surgical Nurse
Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse
Cardiovascular Operating Room Nurse
Cardiovascular Surgery Nurse
Cardiovascular Surgical Nurse
Open Heart Surgery Nurse

job description

A cardiovascular operating room (CVOR) nurse works as part of the surgical services and operating room teams that treat open-heart (cardiovascular) patients. CVOR nurses assist with patient care, ensure that sterile procedures are followed during surgery, necessary equipment and medications are available for the operating room team and that a patient’s safety is assured at all times.


  • Conduct and document a thorough assessment of a patient’s medical status upon admission and throughout the patient’s course of treatment
  • Assist in the development and implementation of an individualized treatment plan for each assigned patient
  • Assess, plan and evaluate the nursing care of the patient before, during and after a surgical procedure
  • Participate in the care of patients receiving sedation and assist physician during procedures
  • Administer prescribed medications, apply dressings and monitor vital signs during procedures
  • Ensure that sterile procedures are followed throughout the course of surgery, necessary equipment and medications are available for the operating room team, record progress and outcomes of surgical procedures and ensure proper handling of specimens
  • Provide quality control and ensure patient safety at all times

what do they do

A cardiovascular operating room nurse specializes in the care of cardiovascular patients before, during and following surgical procedures. The CVOR nurse participates in the sedation of patients and assists physicians during the procedure by administering medications, monitoring vital signs and applying dressings. The CVOR nurse coordinates the entire operating room with respect to sterility, cleanliness and availability of functioning equipment and supplies, as well as provides critical quality control to ensure the patient’s safety

how to become one

Once a nurse earns a nursing degree and secures an RN license, obtaining hands-on experience in critical care, cardiovascular treatment and/or operating room procedures is the next step. Most CVOR nursing positions require RNs to also hold the Basic Life Support Certification (BLS) from the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. In addition, many CVOR nursing job openings prefer an RN to hold the CNOR Certification for perioperative nurses from the Competency & Credentialing Institute, the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Certification (ACLS) and/or the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certification (PALS) from the American Heart Association.

A typical job posting for a cardiovascular operating room nursing position would likely include the following qualifications, among others specific to the institution:

  • Active RN license, BSN degree preferred
  • Minimum 1-2 years professional nursing experience, operating room experience preferred
  • Hold the Basic Life Support Certification; hold the CNOR, ACLS and/or PALS Certifications preferred
  • Excellent attention to detail needed in ensuring patient safety and quality monitoring
  • Strong organizational skills needed in coordination of care across the CVOR


Most CVOR nurses hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree, and all hold an active RN license, which can be achieved through passing the NCLEX-RN. Most hospitals prefer cardiovascular operating room nurses to have prior operating room experience, as well as hold a BLS Certification, ACLS and/or PALS Certification and the CNOR Certification for perioperative nurses from the Competency & Credentialing Institute.


Most open CVOR nursing positions require candidates to hold the BLS Certification from the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. Many employers also prefer candidates to hold the CNOR Certification for perioperative nurses offered by the Competency & Credentialing Institute. In order to be eligible for the CNOR exam, a nurse must hold a current unrestricted RN license, be currently working full- or part-time in perioperative nursing in the areas of research, education, administration or clinical practice, and have completed two years and 2,400 hours of experience in perioperative nursing. Some employers may also prefer candidates who hold advanced life support certification, such as the ACLS or the PALS Certifications offered by the American Heart Association.

Notes. We would find the most often searched term in this group and build this page around that term. It might not be “cardiac surgery nurse.” We have some work to do to figure out how to square the various searches with the various job titles/job post titles. While we could create a page for every variation of every nurse type, that might well could be over 1000 pages. Not the worst thing in the world to have all of those pages; really only hard on time and costs but it will make it easier to rank for various sub-specialties and synonyms. However, in this case here, we would have 14 different and (importantly) unique pages with unique content all about essentially the same thing. That would be the way to play this big, particularly with funding.