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PACU Nurse Requirements

Qualifications/Skills of a PACU Nurse

Becoming a PACU nurse is a great career choice for all RNs and prospective nurses. As a PACU nurse, you are caring for patients as they come out of sedation after surgery, which is a very vulnerable time. 

A prospective PACU nurse must first complete a couple of key steps: 

  • --Complete a degree in nursing
  • --Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
  • --Obtain your RN license in your state of residence.

Most PACU travel nurse jobs will require an RN license with at least 1,800 hours of relevant perianesthesia experience. 

An excellent way to boost your career as a PACU nurse is to pursue continuing education. You can attend conferences or meetings put on by professional associations such as the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses, or watch webcasts or online seminars on your own time. 

Another way to boost your career is to pursue certification. Certification can enhance your marketability by demonstrating your commitment to excellence and validates your efforts to gaining more knowledge relevant to your specialty and to the profession of nursing. (It also illustrates your commitment to your patients and their safety and well-being.)

PACU nurses interested in certification should consult the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification, Inc. (ABPANC). ABPANC awards two types of certifications to nurses who have met their hours and testing criteria:

  • --Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN) certification
  • --Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA) certification.

According to ABPANC, in the two years prior to applying for your initial certification, you must put in at least 1,200 hours of direct clinical experience to apply for either. You could even apply for both, but you’d need 1,200 hours of experience in both of the relevant phases.

Read More About PACU Travel Nursing Salary and Requirements from the link below.

To connect with a PACU travel nursing recruiter, simply complete the form on the bottom of this page.

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