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Theatre nurse

Theatre nurses work with patients of all ages and are involved in each phase of a person’s operation.  

Training and qualifications required

You’ll need to be a registered adult, child, mental health or learning disability nurse (having successfully completed a nursing degree) to work as a theatre nurse. After a period of induction you will undertake specialist training including courses to consolidate the specialist skills you'll require to work in theatre.

Expected working hours and salary range

Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. Theatre nurses in the NHS will usually start at band 5 and can progress to roles at band 8 and above. You'll work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Terms and conditions will vary for any jobs outside of the NHS.

Desirable skills and values

You’ll need a variety of skills to be a theatre nurse including a caring and compassionate nature, being able to work in a highly technical area, excellent problem solving and organisational skills, very good communication skills, be able to stand for long periods and react quickly in an emergency within a confined area. If you're applying for a role either directly in or working on behalf of the NHS, you'll be asked demonstrate the values of the NHS Constitution.

Prospects

You’ll have several options to progress your career in theatre nursing, including management, education, research and advanced practice. Experienced theatre nurses can take further training approved by the Royal College of Surgeons to work as surgical care practitioners. After a typical two-year training programme, you’ll be able to complete certain surgical procedures under the supervision of a consultant surgeon. With experience, you might be able to reach consultant nurse who are some of the highest paid nurses in the profession.
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