College of DuPage Offers New Perioperative Nursing Certificate

Perioperative nursing

By Brian Kleemann

Responding to a growing need for trained nurses in the operating room, College of DuPage is offering a new Perioperative Nursing Certificate program.

Recently approved by the Illinois Community College Board, the one-semester program starting this fall will prepare students for the Certified Nurse in the Operating Room exam as well as for positions as circulating nurse, scrub nurse and perioperative nurse. The Illinois workNet Center predicts the need for CNORs in Illinois will increase 19.8 percent during the next seven years.

“There’s a huge need, because no one will hire an operating room nurse without any OR knowledge or experience,” said Professor Kathy Cabai, Coordinator of the Surgical Technology program. “Medical institutions are currently turning to nursing agencies to fill positions on a temporary basis.”

Students must have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree before entering the Perioperative Nursing program because most of the open job positions require a BSN, Cabai said. The six-credit program will consist of one course, “Introduction to the Perioperative Arena,” and an internship. Cabai said the course will be offered mainly online to accommodate the schedules of her students, as she expects most, if not all, students to already be working as nurses. In addition, students have the option of enrolling in a second internship for additional experience and scrubbing skills.

Cabai said nursing programs do not teach the specifics of working in an operating room because skills and equipment are specialized based upon the type of procedure.

“This certificate will give nurses the exposure they need to find a job as an OR nurse,” she said. “Once they secure a job, their employer will train them for a specialization.”

For more information, call (630) 942-2259, email healthcareadvising@cod.edu or visit www.cod.edu/programs/perioperative_nursing.