Masters in Nursing Surgical Nurse
Many schools of nursing do not offer this as a formal area of specialization for clinical nurse specialists, but medical-surgical (med-surg) nurses who obtain a Masters in Nursing Surgical Clinical Specialist often gravitate back to the medical area of concentration whence they came. The difference is that an advanced practice nurse may take a more active role in some surgical activities, especially once they have had the experience required to learn certain surgical skills. Some clinical nurse specialists become valued members of surgical teams, gaining much of their training by working alongside surgeons on various procedures. As surgery has become less intrusive, many procedures are conducted today on an outpatient basis or without general anesthetic, providing opportunities for masters' in nursing graduates to take active roles.
Surgical nursing has historically been an option for nurses who took a year's post graduate training and became certified nurse first assistants (RNFAs) working in the surgical suite. Today advanced practice nurses are assuming that role in surgery settings that include physician offices or outpatient clinics or in hospitals where outpatient surgical procedures are performed. As an example the hundreds of thousands of angioplasties performed every year are outpatient procedures today and are conducted by a cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon with the assistance of an anesthesiologist and one or two other attendants. The advanced practice nurse can assist in procedures of this magnitude by helping with cutting, suturing, monitoring vital signs, tube placement, and other surgical tasks involved with standard surgical activity.
Some Masters in Nursing Surgical Clinical Specialists work in the post-operative area, managing recovery rooms or acting in a supervisory capacity on wards designated for surgical recovery. Work in this type of environment requires attention to all of the monitoring processes and management of the staff that has been assigned post-operative tasks that are critical to the stability of a patient who is not yet conscious. This is a more typical job for the surgical specialist with a MSN degree: managing the critical post-operative care that often requires immediate on-site medical expertise.