Become a Perioperative Nurse

The Perioperative Nursing class (NURS 219) is a course that helps prepare students for employment as a Perioperative Nurse. This course provides entry-level knowledge and skills required for functioning in the role of perioperative nurse. Course includes an introduction to perioperative nursing through all phases of surgery, surgical asepsis, surgical patient safety, the foundations of surgery, and surgical anesthesia. After completing this course, the student will be better prepared to pursue employment as an entry-level perioperative nurse.

  • Course Length:
    1 semester (4 units)
    Lecture hours total = 36
    Laboratory hours total = 108
    Pass/No Pass grading
  • Course Completion:
    • Occupational Skills Certificate

What is a Perioperative Nurse?

A perioperative nurse (can also be referred to as an Operating Room or Surgical Nurse) is a Registered Nurse who works in the operating room. A perioperative nurse takes care of the patient before, during and after surgery. A perioperative nurse works with surgeons, anesthesiologists, other nurses, and technicians.  Typical duties and responsibilities are:

  • Ensuring Patient Surgical Readiness
  • Maintaining Sterilization in the perioperative environment
  • Effective Communication
  • Coordinating care to optimize patient outcomes during preoperative and postoperative care
  • Passing instruments and supplies to the surgeon during surgery
  • Ensuring Patient Safety in the perioperative environment
  • Assists with equipment and supplies used in the surgical environment

Characteristics of a Perioperative Nurse

  • Self-reliant
  • Collaborative
  • Effective communicator
  • Patient advocate
  • High energy and physical stamina
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Embrace technology
  • Excellent assessment skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Adapts to stressful situations

Application Process

The online application for the Perioperative Nursing course will be available during the application cycle. It is important to read through all of the information prior to applying.

Application Dates:

  • March 1 - April 30: applicants who apply during this application cycle will begin the course in the Summer intersession, if selected.

Example of Lecture and Clinical Schedule

Summer 2024 Lecture Schedule:

  • Fridays 8:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. June 28 - August 16

Summer 2024 Clinical Schedule:

  • 13.5 hours per week by arrangement with the Instructor

Lecture and Clinical schedules will be posted when available.

Apply here

Enrollment Limitations:

Prospective students must have evidence of completing the nursing courses for the Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing and Advanced Medical -Surgical Lab offered in the Pasadena City College Registered Nursing Program or successful completion of an Associate Degree or higher nursing program or hold a valid California nursing license.

Follow the steps below to be eligible for the course:

Step #1:

  • Apply and be admitted to Pasadena City College. Upon admission to the college, you will be assigned a PCC Student ID number and a PCC student email account. You will need these to complete the Perioperative Nursing application.
  • Submit a Perioperative Nursing application online via the PCC website. A complete application includes all information on the application is filled out and transcripts are official documents that have been scanned and saved as a PDF file.
  • An official college transcript from an accredited United States college showing successful completion of Advanced Medical-Surgical theory course and Advanced Medical-Surgical lab/clinical course is required. The official transcripts must be opened, scanned and saved as a PDF file and uploaded with your Perioperative Nursing application. Label the transcripts "Nursing School Transcripts". Keep the opened transcripts for your personal records.
  • If licensed, you need to submit a copy of your California Registered Nursing License saved as a PDF file labeled "RN License". Must show expiration date and status must be "active". Expired RN licenses will not be accepted.

Follow these basic directions for scanning documents to your online application:

  • Open the sealed official nursing school transcript(s) that you will be uploading to your Perioperative Nurse application
  • Scan the official transcripts using a device such as a printer or scanner
  • Follow the scanner manufacturer's directions to scan each document to your computer or USB drive
  • Select the PDF file format option before scanning. Only PDF files of your transcripts and other supporting documents will be accepted. Formats such as JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIF, screenshot, word documents, etc. will not be accepted for the application process.
  • Save your PDF document to a folder in a location on your computer or removable drive that you can easily access (Desktop or Documents folder is suggested)

NOTE: Students who do not have access to a personal scanner may choose to use a commercial copying center to have their required documents scanned and made into PDFs that then may be uploaded as part of your application.

Follow these basic directions for uploading documents to your online application:

  • When prompted on the application to upload your documents marked "Drop Files here or Select Files" click on this button
  • Find the PDF files you want to upload from your computer or flash drive
  • Select the file by double clicking on it (tap twice)
  • Your file will be uploaded

Step #2: 

Applicants will be selected on a first-come first-served basis for a conditional seat in the course will be contacted via email to return (as a completed packet) the documents listed below. These items must be scanned and saved as PDF files. Formats such as JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIF, screenshot, word documents, etc. will not be accepted.  An email address will be provided to send the packet of completed documents.

  • American Heart Association CPR/Basic Life Support card verification. Must show an expiration date. Label the PDF file "CPR". Other types of CPR will not be accepted (example: Red Cross).
  • Proof of a Completed Background check.
  • Copy of the completed Health Sciences Perioperative Health Requirements form. Make sure you have signed and dated the form. Label the PDF file "Health Requirements".

Keep copies of all your documents for your own personal records. The Health Sciences Division cannot make copies for you.

Health Requirements Overview

The Perioperative Nurse course requires the following health requirements:

  • Titers for Rubella, Rubeola, Mumps, Varicella.  For measles, mumps, rubella and varicella, quantitative protective titers are required within 12 months of the first day of each year of training unless otherwise specified.  If titers are non-protective, a booster vaccine and a follow-up titer will be required.  This requirement may exceed the CDC guidelines for Healthcare Personnel (HCP) workers.
  • 16 Drug abuse panel urine screening.
  • Immunization dates for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Td (tetanus/diphtheria), Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B, Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis), Influenza, Covid 19.
  • TB (tuberculosis) screening is required.  Nursing clinical sites will only accept IGRA testing, completed within 12 months of the first day of each training year unless otherwise specified.
  • Physical examination completed within the last 6 months of entrance to the course.  Must be able to perform the basic physical requirements of the entry level position including: stooping, lifting 23-35 pounds, pulling, standing, walking, practicing proper body mechanics, pushing occupied beds, wheelchairs or gurneys, bathing, turning and ambulating patients, manipulating small equipment.
  • Have good physical and mental health.

A Health Requirements form will be given to qualified applicants who are chosen for a conditional seat in the course.

The health requirements may take 3-5 weeks to complete with several office visits required.  The PCC Student Health Services Office offers low cost medical services for enrolled students. 

Selection Process

Applicants who complete Step 1 will be offered a conditional seat in the course, until the course is full. Applicants who are selected will be sent an email with the necessary forms and documents that must be completed by a deadline date.  Candidates who complete the required documents by the deadline will be given permission to register for the course. Failure to complete the required documentation means you will not be able to register for the course.

All applicants will be notified of their status prior to the start of the class by email.  Additionally, non-selected applicants will be notified when the class is full.

Course Completion

Upon successful completion of the Perioperative Nurse course, students will be awarded an Occupational Skills Certificate. Students will be ready to apply for positions as an entry level perioperative nurse.

 Estimated Cost of the Program

Prices subject to change:

Health Screening from PCC Student Health Services (costs will be higher in other settings):

Administrative Fee for services - $23.00
Lab fee - $4.00 per visit
Hepatitis B vaccine - $50.00
Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine - $93.00
Tdap - $50.00
Varicella vaccine - $163.00Influenza (flu) vaccine - free
Physical exam - $25.00 (payment required in advance)
Drug Abuse 16 panel Urine Screening - $42.00 plus $9.00 Confirmatory Test (if a test is positive)
Tuberculosis skin test - $15.00 per test
Quantiferon blood test - $52.00
Consultations - free

Uniform (per set) 2 sets are recommended - $120.00

Shoes - $150.00
Name Badge - $8.00 per badge
PCC Uniform Patch - $5.00 per patch

Stethoscope & pen light - $100.00
Watch with second hand - $50.00
Textbook - $200.00

Background check - $35.00
Parking (per semester includes campus and clinical sites) - $100
Tuition (per unit for CA resident) $46/credit 
CPR Card – American Heart Association only - $65.00