Orthopedic Nurse

Orthopedic Nurse is specially trained and educated to provide cares to patients, suffering from musculoskeletal diseases and disorders. These muscular and skeletal conditions or disabilities may include arthritis, broken bones, loss of bone density or lupus erythematosus, diabetes, joint replacements and systemic disorders, fractures, genetic malformations and osteoporosis.

Orthopedic Nurse Job Duties

These nurses provide treatments and corrections to these problems including ligament conditions. Their primary duties and responsibilities consist of:

  • Evaluate the type and condition of problems.
  • Provide cares or assist patients to live with their conditions.
  • Educate and coach patients to perform their own tasks and guide them for better functionality and inform about the available resources to mange their daily lives. These resources may include assistance programs and support groups.
  • Assist the orthopedic doctors in surgery.
  • Provide after surgery cares and help patient in regaining mobility, strength and health.
  • Educate and inform patients, families and public about musculoskeletal diseases and disorders, symptoms and prevention, and participate in research.

Further, the expertise and special skills possessed by these nurses also assist them in managing and performing neurovascular status monitoring, casting, tractions, therapies, such as motion therapy, and others.

Job Places

Orthopedic Nurse perform their duties and responsibilities in various types of the settings such as hospital Orthopedic care departments, outpatient rehab centers, emergency rooms, intensive care units, operating rooms, trauma units, rehabilitation centers, private and community clinics and home health care settings.

In these settings, their job positions also varies as per their education, certification and qualification including staff nurse, RN first assistants, clinical nurse specialists, directors, case mangers, nursing educators and nurse managers.


If you are aiming to become a Orthopedic Nurse, you must earn the credential of a registered nurse by successful completion of nursing diploma offered by the hospitals, associate degree in nursing or accredited baccalaureate degree program; – BSN in Nursing and pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) developed and administered NCLEX-RN (the National Council Licensure Examination) Exam for RN Licensure.

The earning of RN Licensure also offers you eligibility to pursue advance studies and you can earn master’s degree by successfully completing MSN program or doctorate in nursing.

Next, you require gaining 2 years working experience by practicing in areas such as critical care, medical-surgical, emergency room, or oncology nursing. Once you meet the certification requirements, you can opt for the Orthopedic Nurse Certification (ONC) through the Orthopedic Nurses Certification Board to become certified. The certification will be offered to you, after passing the certification exam successfully.

Association and Foundation

National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) is a non-profit, volunteer-run professional organization with 7,000 RNs, LPNs and student nurses, and associate members nationally and internationally, having shared interest in musculoskeletal health care. The organization works for advancing the lives and careers of orthopedic nurses.

The NAON Foundation tries to achieve the aim and mission of NAON by offering scholarships, grants, and awards to nurses, willing to advance their careers in musculoskeletal health care field through orthopedic nursing practice, education, administration, and research.


The average salary of the Orthopedic Nurse ranges around $63,871 to $81,000, depending upon the education and certification, job location and position, and working experience.