The Ins and Outs of Being a CVOR Travel Nurse 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

Does the thought of working in an operating room get your heart beating? 

Do you thrive in a fast-paced environment where life-or-death situations are the norm? 

Are you smitten by an undeniable sense of wanderlust? 

If the answer is yes — a job as a CVOR travel nurse may be just what you’re looking for to satisfy your desire for adventure. 

Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to become a CVOR travel nurse and the many exciting benefits that await you on the road. 


Table of Contents



What Is a CVOR Travel Nurse?

A traveling cardiovascular operating room (CVOR) nurse works in operating rooms where cardiovascular surgeries occur. 

Surgeries a CVOR travel nurse may assist with include:

  • Heart transplant
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Insertion of a pacemaker
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) insertion
  • Maze surgery
  • Aneurysm repair
  • Insertion of ventricular assist device (VAD)


What Does a CVOR Travel Nurse Do?

A CVOR nurse is a critical player in the cardiovascular operating room. 

The duties a CVOR travel nurse may perform include: 

  • Preparing the operating room for surgeries.
  • Cleaning patients’ incision sites. 
  • Conducting and documenting an assessment of each patient’s medical status from admission through the course of treatment.
  • Monitoring the patient and alerting the surgeon of any urgent concerns. 
  • Assisting in creating and implementing individualized treatment plans.
  • Coordinating each patient’s nursing care before, during, and after a surgical procedure.
  • Caring for patients receiving sedation. 
  • Assisting the physician during procedures.
  • Administering medications, applying dressings, and monitoring vital signs during procedures.
  • Making sure that sterile procedures are followed throughout the surgery. 
  • Ensuring all necessary equipment and medications are available for the operating room team.
  • Recording the progress and outcome of surgical procedures.
  • Ensuring proper handling of specimens.
  • Providing quality control and ensuring patient safety at all times.


CVOR Travel Nursing: Demand, Assignment Length, and Salary


Is CVOR Travel Nursing in Demand?

While the demand for certain travel nursing specialties may vary from time to time and from location to location, CVOR nurses are generally in high demand. 

There is always a need for cardiovascular surgeries — and CVOR nurses to care for them throughout the procedures.

If you decide to accept an assignment as a CVOR travel nurse, you may have the option of working in:

  • Hospitals 
  • Surgical centers
  • Day surgery centers
  • Clinics 


Where Are CVOR Travel Nurses Needed the Most?

Imagine yourself on a CVOR assignment in one of these exciting, high-demand locations:

  • Livingston, NJ
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA
  • Nashville, TN
  • Orlando, FL
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Richmond, VA
  • San Antonio, TX


What Is the Average Assignment Length for a CVOR Travel Nurse?

The average CVOR travel nurse assignment is 13 weeks long. 

However, depending on the travel nursing agency you choose, you may be able to find longer or shorter assignments.

Trusted Nurse Staffing offers flexible 6, 8, and 13-week contracts, plus more.

Check out the Pronto app today to discover our CVOR travel nurse jobs nationwide.


cvor travel nurse


How Much Does a CVOR Travel Nurse Make?

Not only are experienced CVOR travel nurses highly sought after, but CVOR also pays more than most other nursing specializations.

The average salary for an operating room registered nurse is $154,790 per year in the United States — and add to that $9,863 overtime per year. 

The current nine highest-paying cities for operating room registered nurses are:

  1. Livingston, NJ — $170,541 per year
  2. Miami, FL — $169,373 per year
  3. New York, NY — $159,058 per year
  4. Seattle, WA — $148,326 per year
  5. Nashville, TN — $136,790 per year
  6. Orlando, FL — $136,612 per year
  7. St. Louis, MO — $127,346 per year
  8. Richmond, VA — $117,169 per year
  9. San Antonio, TX — $107,348 per year


cvor travel nurse jobs


How To Find CVOR Travel Nurse Jobs

With the high volume of patients needing cardiovascular surgeries, finding CVOR travel nurse jobs is as easy as doing a Pronto job search. 

Trusted Nurse Staffing’s Pronto app makes it easy to get started in the exciting field of CVOR travel nursing.

TNS is dedicated to helping nurses just like you find assignments in their chosen locations. And we promise to be with you every step of the way — whether you want to extend your current assignment or find a new CVOR travel nursing location. 


What Are the Requirements To Become a CVOR Travel Nurse?

To qualify as a CVOR travel nurse, you first must become an RN and receive the necessary certifications to legally work in your state. Follow these steps to become a traveling CVOR nurse:


Education Requirements

The first steps in getting CVOR travel nursing assignments are: 

  1. Getting a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
  2. Passing the NCLEX.
  3. Obtaining licensing as a registered nurse.

Some employers may accept an associate’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree when filling their CVOR nurse job openings. 

If you’ve already obtained a BS in another field, you may have the option of attending a second-degree program in nursing. This type of program typically takes around two years to complete. 

Second-degree nursing programs can offer courses to enhance your medical knowledge and skill set, such as:

  • Biology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Patient care
  • Nursing research
  • Healthcare law and ethics
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Introduction to professional nursing


Certification Requirements

Once you have the educational requirements under your belt, you’ll need to obtain the certification requirements to become a CVOR nurse. 

Two basic certifications for CVOR nurses are:

  1. Basic Life Support (BLS)
  2. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

Depending on your level of experience, you may also want to acquire the:

  1. ACLS for Experienced Providers. This is the American Heart Association’s follow-up certification that builds upon the ACLS program.
  2. Certified Perioperative Nurse (CNOR), which may be obtained from the Competency & Credentialing Institute. 

These two certifications go a long way toward showing your prospective employers and patients that you are serious when it comes to upholding the highest standards for patient safety. 


Experience Requirements

Generally, CVOR travel nursing jobs require previous experience, often from ten months to two years. Some positions, however, will allow a CVOR travel nurse to gain clinical experience while on the job. 

When experience is required, it is usually in the form of operating room experience.


Do I Need a License To Work as a CVOR Travel Nurse?


CVOR travel nurses need to be licensed in the state where they are going to work. 

The eNLC (Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact) is a multi-state nursing license that grants the licensee the privilege to practice nursing in all participating compact states — as long as they remain a resident of the issuing state.

It’s important to know that each state, as well as the eNLC, has its own nursing license requirements. Talk with your Trusted Nurse Staffing recruiter to find out more. 


cvor travel nurse


Benefits of Being a CVOR Travel Nurse

Life as a CVOR travel nurse is an exciting ride! 

When you are on the road, you may have the opportunity to:

  • Work in a wide variety of environments
  • Meet new people from many walks of life
  • Bring in a great salary
  • Receive travel, housing, and meal stipends
  • Get lots of on-call hours since trauma level one hospitals are required to have a surgical staff available around the clock


Challenges That Come With Being a CVOR Travel Nurse

While there are many great benefits to becoming a CVOR travel nurse, there are also downsides to consider. 

A few of these include:

  • Stress — The stress level that comes with CVOR travel nurse jobs can wear you down and may result in burnout.
  • Extensive preparation —- A CVOR travel nurse is expected to arrive at each case having done a thorough review of a patient’s presentation, procedure, scans, operative steps, etc. 
  • Demanding surgeons — Each surgeon has a different style, and they can often be intense and have short tempers. 
  • Intraoperative codes — Code blues are not uncommon in the CVOR, and you’ll often be working in what can only be described as “controlled chaos.” 
  • Patient loss — Due to the critical nature of the procedures performed in the cardiovascular operating room, patients occasionally don’t make it through surgery. 


cvor travel nursing


How To Know if CVOR Travel Nursing Is the Right Fit for You

Are you still trying to decide if a position as a CVOR travel nurse is the right job for you? 

Cardiovascular operating room nursing is not for the faint of heart. Here are a few of the most important qualities you’ll need to possess to become a successful traveling CVOR nurse:

  • Thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Be able to stay calm during high-pressure situations.
  • Think fast and respond at lightning speed.
  • Be confident in high-stakes, emergency situations.
  • Have a “thick skin” to not become offended by demanding surgeons.
  • Possess strong communication skills.
  • Have extreme attention to detail.
  • Be physically strong and have the stamina it takes to be on your feet for hours at a time.
  • Have a strong understanding of basic medical and advanced cardiology terms. 
  • Have excellent organizational and time-management abilities.
  • Be able to memorize and quickly recall each surgeon’s particular hand signals and the tools needed during procedures.


Trusted Nurse Staffing: Helping CVOR Travel Nurses Find the Best Jobs and Supporting Them Every Step of the Way

Are you ready to hit the road as a CVOR travel nurse? By simply doing a Pronto Job Search, you will be well on your way to finding your dream travel nurse assignment. 

Trusted Nurse Staffing is here for you every step of the way! 

We offer: 

  • Full-time, part-time, and per diem positions
  • The industry’s highest pay rate
  • 401(k) with a 4% match after 1,000 hours and one year of employment
  • Overtime and double time 
  • Weekly paychecks
  • Direct deposit
  • Housing, meal, and travel stipends
  • Customize benefits packages
  • Employee-sponsored Blue Cross & Blue Shield Health insurance
  • And so much more

Travel the country and make great money, all while working a job you love — with Trusted Nurse Staffing.


cvor travel nurse