Orthopedic nurses are registered nurses who specialize in the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders. Besides broken arms and legs, orthopedic nurses treat patients with a wide array of musculoskeletal conditions affecting the muscles, bones, and joints, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and hip replacements. Orthopedic nursing is an ideal career path for nurses wanting to help patients pursue fully mobile, pain-free lives.
Orthopedic nurse salary
Staff orthopedic nurses earn an average annual salary of $70,200. This salary breaks down to approximately $1,350 per week and $33.75 per hour in a 40-hour work week. Travel orthopedic nurses in comparable positions can expect to earn more. Per 2019 NurseFly salary data, orthopedic RNs in travel positions earned an average gross weekly salary of $1,790. This salary may include tax-free stipends for housing, meals, and other incidental expenses for travel nurses who can claim a permanent tax-home.
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Orthopedics Nurse FAQs
How Much Do Orthopedics Nurse Jobs Pay?
For jobs available on NurseFly as of Sunday, April 11th 2021, the average weekly pay for Orthopedics Nurse jobs is $2,033, but can pay up to $2,857 per week. In 2021, Orthopedics Nurses jobs on Nursefly paid a gross average weekly pay of $1,670 per week working an average of 36 hours per week. This includes non-taxable compensation like living stipends, meal stipends, and housing which add up to an average value of $1,097 per week.
- min - $1,377
- avg - $2,033
- max - $2,857
How to become an Orthopedic Travel Nurse?
It’s possible to work as an orthopedic nurse as an LPN/LVN but most are RNs, which requires earning an Associate Degree or Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited nursing program. New grads must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for RN licensure from their state board of nursing. After one to two years of nursing experience, RNs can become an orthopedic travel nurse. For those wanting to showcase their orthopedic nursing expertise, the Orthopaedic Nurse Certification Board administers Orthopedic Nurse Certification, the only credential that demonstrates expertise in orthopedic nursing.
What skills make a good Orthopedic nurse?
Orthopedic nurses are well-versed in the musculoskeletal system and experts on various orthopedic conditions, treatment methods, and surgeries. They have in-depth knowledge of pain management, mobility devices, and splinting, casting, traction, and other stabilization techniques. Orthopedic nurses must be physically fit to safely lift and position orthopedic patients and empathetic of patients’ chronic pain and/or mobility concerns. They’re also skilled at being persuasive to convince patients to follow instructions even when it causes pain or discomfort. Critical thinking, logical reasoning, and exceptional communication skills are also valuable traits in a good orthopedic nurse.
Where do Orthopedic nurses work?
Orthopedic nurses work with a wide range of patients, caring for both men and women of all ages in a variety of settings. They frequently work in hospitals, outpatient care clinics, and private physicians’ offices. Orthopedic nurses may also find employment in rehabilitation and physical therapy facilities, sports medicine practices, home health care agencies, and long-term care centers, such as skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.
What does an Orthopedic nurse do?
The duties of an orthopedic nurse may vary based on where they work and the patient population, but tasks focus on musculoskeletal issues. They may perform musculoskeletal exams, administer pain medications, and assist with casting materials and immobilization devices. Other duties an orthopedic nurse might perform include:
Repositioning patients per surgical and/or mobility restrictions
Providing dressing changes and assessing wounds for signs of infection
Facilitating patient care plans that address pain management and emotional concerns
Interpreting diagnostic imaging and laboratory tests
Assessing patients’ neurovascular status
Assisting with continuous passive motion therapy
When musculoskeletal conditions require surgery, orthopedic nurses may assist in preparing the patient for surgery and helping patients with postoperative recovery. Orthopedic nurses also spend a lot of time encouraging patients to increase their mobility and educating them and their families about their orthopedic conditions and potential complications.