Once relegated as the art and science of nursing on hospital wards, medical-surgical nursing is now considered as the foundation of the nursing practice. Most nurses begin as medical or surgical nurse (med-surg) or at some point during their nursing career worked in this field of nursing. Many nurses continue med-surg nursing for the excitement and experience it brings to their career.
The medical-surgical nursing field has progressed from an entry-level job position to a unique comprehensive specialty. This field is no longer seen as a stepping-stone but a specialized science—the backbone of a healthcare institution. Currently, medical-surgical nurses are the most common among all nurse specialties.
Medical-surgical nursing is an exception field in the sense it is not limited to the disease process or body systems but rather, holistic in approach. It requires nurses to acquire and maintain diverse and extensive knowledge and skills on the different aspects of nursing care. A medical-surgical nurse should strive hard to possess a wide variety of competencies and knowledge to survive on different situations in the workplace.
Because it is the foundation for health care, medical-surgical nursing is the perfect area for foundational learning for novice nurses and students. The primary requirements for nurses who want to be medical-surgical nurse is to obtain comprehensive knowledge and competency to be versatile and flexible when facing diverse settings.
To be a certified medical-surgical registered nurse, you need to apply for certification that is granted by MSNCB (the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board) - accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and American Nurses Association (ANA).
Being qualified as a Certified MS-RN brings plenty of benefits, such as enhanced career opportunities and higher salary. The American Nurses Credentialing Center set several eligibility criteria:
This certification lasts for 5 years - and to be re-certified, you need to meet the continuing education requirements or pass an examination given by ANCC or MSNCB.
Medical-surgical patients often present with complex diagnoses as well as corresponding complex needs. Patients in this area vary, from ambulatory to total care and as such, medical-surgical nurses are expected to be flexible and versatile in providing holistic care. Below are the kinds of patients medical-surgical nurses handle:
The following are some of the functions of a medical-surgical nurse:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered nurses, including medical-surgical nurses, is projected to increase by 26% between 2010 and 2020, much faster than other occupations. Factors affecting growth include technological advancements, the increase of aging baby-boomer population, and the increase in the emphasis of preventative care. These factors will require more medical and healthcare service to achieve longevity and healthier lives. The average annual salary of medical-surgical nurses is $65,000.
Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
Powered by Campus Explorer