Medical Surgical Nurse

When other RN jobs were not developed all nurses practiced in all capacity including medical or surgical nurses. It was their duty to care for patients in hospital wards and assist physicians to carry on their duties and handle other tasks. Today, Medical Surgical Nurse works in varied health care settings including HMOs, home health care, hospitals, intensive care units, surgical centers, acute centers, inpatient care units, ambulatory care units,  home care agencies, military posts, primary adult care facilities, schools, nursing homes, long term care units and others.

Medical Surgical Nurses are also the largest nursing practice group. They are the main nurses to offer cares to pre and post surgical patients before and after their surgical procedures. They even attend the patients who are administered pharmaceuticals (medications) for getting cured. They perform varied tasks that keep them engaged throughout the day. At times they even provide cares to above eight patients any time. Traditionally, Medical Surgical Nursing can be termed as entry level position and stepping stone for specialty areas.

Medical Surgical Nurse Duties

The primary duty of the Medical Surgical Nurse is to provide cares to patients in varied health care settings. They perform multi tasks, such as taking the blood samples, assessing the medical status of the patient, administer medication as directed by the physician or surgeon, provide treatments, keep accurate records, maintain and documents the care procedures and offer any types of the treatments that may be required by the patients except these that require specialized care from specialty nurses, physicians or surgeons.

Medical Surgical Nurse’s patients consist of all types, irrespective of age, caste and culture and include infants, children, adolescents, adults and elderly patients. They also offer their caring services to patients of long-term illness, recouping their health from long illness or surgery and patients after surgery.

The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) is the main specialty organization of Medical Surgical Nurses that look after the welfare of these nurses and assist and nurture them in their career advance.

Medical Surgical Nurses Education

RNs can be certified as Medical Surgical Nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). In ordered to get Medical-Surgical Nursing Eligibility they are required to sit and pass exam offered by the ANCC. The exam is a Computer Based Test (CBT). The passing of the exam awards them credential as RN-BC (Registered Nurse—Board Certified).
In order to get eligibility to appear in the test, following criteria must be met by the applicants including:

  • Posses active RN Licensure
  • Must have practiced for complete two (2) years as a RN.
  • Completed 2000 hours of clinical practice in medical-surgical nursing specialty area preceding 3 years of the application.
  • Completed continuing education of 30 hours in medical-surgical nursing within the last three years


The average salary of medical surgical nurse is around $52,000 & more depending upon the work experience, education and certification, job location, position, size & type of the facility, benefits and working place.