Who is Perioperative informatics nurse

A perioperative informatics nurse is a specialized nursing role that combines perioperative nursing expertise with knowledge of healthcare informatics and technology.

Perioperative nursing deals with a specialized area of nursing that focuses on providing care to patients before, during, and after surgical procedures.

These nurses play a crucial role in ensuring the safety, well-being, and positive outcomes of patients undergoing surgery. Perioperative nurses may also specialize in specific areas such as circulating nurses or scrub nurses.

Circulating nurses are responsible for coordinating patient care during the intraoperative phase, ensuring a safe and sterile environment, documenting the surgical process, and communicating with the surgical team.

Scrub nurses work directly within the sterile field, assisting the surgeon by handling instruments, sponges, and sutures, and maintaining strict sterile technique.

Stages of the perioperative nursing process

  • Preoperative Phase

During this phase, perioperative nurses prepare patients for surgery. They perform assessments to gather information about the patient’s health status, medical history, and any potential risks or allergies.

They also provide education to patients and their families regarding the surgical procedure, preoperative instructions, and what to expect during the perioperative period.

  • Intraoperative Phase

In the operating room, perioperative nurses work closely with the surgical team, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, and surgical technologists.

They assist in preparing the surgical environment, ensuring the availability and sterility of equipment and supplies. They also advocate for patient safety by verifying patient identity, surgical site, and performing surgical counts to prevent retained objects.

Perioperative nurses monitor the patient’s vital signs, administer medications as directed, and provide support and comfort throughout the procedure.

  • Postoperative Phase

After surgery, perioperative nurses care for patients in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) or the recovery area.

They closely monitor patients’ vital signs, assess pain levels, manage postoperative nausea and vomiting, and provide wound care as necessary. Perioperative nurses educate patients and their families about postoperative care, including activity restrictions, medication administration, and signs of complications.

Key roles of a perioperative informatics nurse

They work collaboratively with healthcare professionals, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other perioperative team members, to ensure the safe and efficient management of surgical procedures.

System Implementation

They assist in the planning, development, and implementation of perioperative information systems, such as electronic health records (EHRs), computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and surgical scheduling systems. They help customize these systems to meet the specific needs of perioperative departments.

Data Management

They are responsible for collecting, organizing, and analyzing perioperative data. This includes patient information, surgical schedules, resource utilization, and quality indicators. They ensure data integrity, accuracy, and confidentiality.

Clinical Decision Support

They also develop and implement clinical decision support tools and protocols to assist perioperative teams in making evidence-based decisions. This may involve creating guidelines for preoperative assessments, medication administration, and surgical site marking.

Training and Education

Perioperative informatics nurses provide education and training to perioperative staff on the use of information systems and technology. This includes orientation for new employees, ongoing training sessions, and support for system upgrades or changes.

Quality Improvement

Perioperative informatics nurses collaborate with quality improvement teams to identify areas for improvement in perioperative care processes. They use data analysis to identify trends, track outcomes, and implement interventions to enhance patient safety and operational efficiency.

Patient Safety

They promote patient safety by implementing and monitoring safety protocols, such as surgical site verification, medication reconciliation, and infection control measures. They also participate in root cause analysis and adverse event reporting.

Research and Evidence-Based Practice

They participate in research activities and contribute to the development of evidence-based practice guidelines for perioperative care. They stay updated with the latest advancements in perioperative informatics and incorporate them into practice.

How to Become a perioperative informatics nurse in the United States Of America

Here is a step-by-step route to becoming a perioperative informatics nurse;

Earn a Nursing Degree

Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited nursing program. This typically takes four years to complete. Alternatively, you can earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and then pursue a BSN through a bridge program.

Obtain Licensure

Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). Licensure requirements may vary by country or state, so ensure you meet the specific requirements of the jurisdiction where you intend to practice.

Gain Perioperative Nursing Experience

Acquire experience as a perioperative nurse by working in an operating room or other perioperative settings.

This experience will provide you with a solid foundation in perioperative nursing principles, patient care, and surgical procedures.

Pursue Informatics Education

Gain knowledge and skills in healthcare informatics. You can pursue additional education, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on nursing informatics or a postgraduate certificate program in healthcare informatics.

These programs typically cover topics like healthcare information systems, data management, healthcare technology, and clinical decision support.

Obtain Informatics Certifications

Consider obtaining certifications related to nursing informatics, such as the Certified Informatics Nurse (RN-BC) offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This certification demonstrates your expertise in nursing informatics and validates your knowledge and skills.

Gain Experience in Informatics

Seek opportunities to gain practical experience in healthcare informatics. This can be done by working on informatics projects, participating in system implementations, or taking on informatics-related roles or responsibilities within your healthcare organization.

Specialize in Perioperative Informatics

Once you have a solid foundation in nursing informatics, you can pursue opportunities to specialize in perioperative informatics.

This may involve working in perioperative departments that utilize informatics systems or pursuing further education or certifications specific to perioperative informatics, if available.

Salary of Perioperative Informatics Nurse

The salary of a perioperative informatics nurse can vary based on factors such as location, years of experience, educational qualifications, and the employing healthcare institution.

United States

In the USA, the salary of a perioperative informatics nurse can range from approximately $75,000 to $120,000 per year.

The exact salary will depend on factors such as the nurse’s level of education, certifications, geographic location, and the specific healthcare facility they work in as earlier mentioned.

Perioperative informatics nurses with advanced degrees and extensive experience may earn salaries at the higher end of the range.


In Canada, the salary of a perioperative informatics nurse can vary depending on the province, experience level, and the specific healthcare institution.

On average, perioperative informatics nurses in Canada can earn between $70,000 and $100,000 per year. Nurses with advanced degrees, certifications, and specialized expertise may have the potential to earn higher salaries.

A final thought on the Perioperative Informatics nurse

Perioperative informatics nursing is an evolving and specialized field that combines the skills and knowledge of perioperative nursing with healthcare informatics and technology.

As healthcare continues to advance and integrate technology, the role of perioperative informatics nurses becomes increasingly critical in optimizing patient care, enhancing patient safety, and improving operational efficiency in the surgical setting.

Perioperative informatics nurses play a vital role in the implementation and utilization of information systems and technology in perioperative departments.

They ensure the smooth integration of electronic health records, surgical scheduling systems, and decision support tools, enabling healthcare professionals to make informed decisions based on accurate and timely data. By leveraging technology, they contribute to streamlining perioperative processes, reducing errors, and improving patient outcomes.


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