Orthopedic Nurse

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Orthopedic nursing became popularized in Victorian England. A British nurse, Dame Agnes Hunt, worked tirelessly to alleviate pain and impediments associated with joint problems since she struggled with septic arthritis in her hip. She spent a lot of time caring for crippled children and veterans returning home with debilitating injuries. During the past, most orthopedic nurses worked in hospital operating rooms or orthopedic units. Currently, patients with various problems are now being treated within orthopedic units. As a result, orthopedic nurses practice in various settings where rehabilitative, preventative, pediatric, and palliative care is administered. Nurses specializing in musculoskeletal injuries and treatments must complete specialized training to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to administer orthopedic care.

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Orthopedic nurses treat patients struggling with musculoskeletal problems, teach students at nursing schools, conduct orthopedic research, and assist patients rehabilitating from serious injuries. orthopedic nurses can hold any of these positions:

  • Head nurse
  • Staff nurse
  • Nurse coordinator
  • Clinical specialist
  • Nurse supervisor
  • Nursing educator
  • Director
  • RN first assistant
  • Nurse administrator
  • Advanced nurse practitioner
  • Case manager
  • Nurse research
  • Office manager

Practice Settings
Orthopedic nurses can choose multiple different settings to work in. Many practice at hospitals, doctors’ offices, assisted living facilities, colleges and universities, and home healthcare providers. Additionally, orthopedic nurses can be found at:

  • Emergency rooms
  • Surgical units
  • Athletic facilities at schools
  • Pediatric orthopedic units
  • Adult orthopedic units
  • Trauma centers
  • Palliative care facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Gerontology units
  • Oncology clinics
  • Schools of nursing located at hospitals

Orthopedic nurses are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, or licensed vocational nurses with specialized skills and knowledge. To learn new skills and enhance job opportunities and earning potential, many orthopedic nurses earn graduate degrees. Likewise, many enhance employment opportunities by passing a certification exam administered by the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses. This credential demonstrates expertise in this field and is the sole designation proving proficiency in the field of orthopedic nursing.

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