Responsible for delivering direct care to patients, medical-surgical nurses account for nearly a sixth of all healthcare professionals in the nursing profession – the largest group of all nursing specialties. Originally looked upon as an entry-level position, medical-surgical nursing has developed into the bedrock foundation of healthcare, becoming one of the most demanding specialties in the nursing profession.
Medical-surgical nurses must master a vast set of skills in order to do their day-to-day tasks and be knowledgeable in every area of adult health. This includes having superior skills in assessment, managerial, prioritizing, and technical; able to advise patients and families as well as other nurses and healthcare professionals effectively
As a med-surg nurse, your patients’ safety is your top priority, supporting them in their efforts to reach better health and able to identify the treatment that’s in their best interests. You will manage and provide the care of many patients – many of whom have multiple medical, surgical, and psychiatric diagnoses from nurses and doctors across several healthcare specialties. This includes understanding the differences from one medication to another, many of which are complex.
Taking one of the medical-surgical jobs available means always learning something new and sharing that knowledge with your patients and peers. You will make a difference in somebody’s life every day; providing comfort to those who need your emotional support as well as the care you provide, so they can return to the highest level of living life.
Today, nurses in the medical-surgical specialty can expect to earn a salary between $57,000 and $62,000. As a medical-surgical nurse, you can practice in a variety of different settings that include:
To enter the medical-surgical nursing field, you first need to earn a degree. You can either study to obtain:
Once you complete your nursing program, you must pass your National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in order to start practicing as a registered nurse. You may want to spend two years of experience working as a registered nurse before you apply to take your Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) exam through the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN).
Are you thinking about travel nursing but still wondering which field is right for you? Explore our top travel nursing specialties to learn more: