Circulating Nurse Job Description Template

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Written by Katherine Zheng, PhD, BSN Content Writer, IntelyCare
A circulating nurse meets with his supervising physician prior to a surgery.

A circulating nurse is one of two types of operating room (OR) nurses who work in the surgical ward. While scrub nurses handle instruments directly during a procedure, circulating nurses manage all other nursing care duties outside of the sterile field. If your facility is seeking an individual who can primarily take on circulating duties, it’s important to create a targeted circulating nurse job description to attract the right applicants for this role.

Below we’ll provide a circulating OR nurse job description that outlines example benefits, duties, and qualifications. We recommend tailoring this template as needed and preparing interview questions to recruit highly qualified OR nurses onto your surgical team.

Circulating Nurse

Tips: The first section of your job description should introduce your facility and the role you’re looking to fill. To help your facility stand out from others, you can use this section to highlight any special distinctions, awards, or benefits of working at your organization. Additionally, you can weave in key qualifications to capture the attention of the right applicants.


We’re seeking an experienced RN to work as a circulating nurse in our downtown surgical ward. [Facility name] is renowned for several surgical specialties, offering nurses the chance to work with cutting-edge technology and a highly experienced, interdisciplinary team. If you’re looking to further your career as a perioperative nurse, we invite you to join us in furthering our mission to produce the best patient outcomes possible.


Tips: Now that you’ve garnered the attention of prospective applicants, it’s time to sell candidates on all the unique benefits that your facility offers. This section is your opportunity to highlight the most notable perks available in your employee benefits package. Candidates will be weighing these factors alongside other opportunities, so it’s important to portray them as accurately as possible.


  • Competitive pay
  • 401(k) retirement plan with matching
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Paid time off (PTO) and holidays
  • Continuing education (CE) credits
  • No weekends, nights, or calls

Duties and Responsibilities

Tips: This section should give prospective applicants an idea of what the job entails. When hiring for the OR, circulating nurse job description duties should differ from that of a scrub nurse — unless you’re seeking someone who can rotate in and out of both roles. Depending on the workflow of your facility, it may also be helpful to distinguish circulating nurse responsibilities before surgery and after surgery.


  • Collaborates with the surgical team to deliver nursing care to patients undergoing surgical/invasive procedures
  • Performs circulating functions, such as monitoring, recoding, and managing overall nursing care of patients before, during, and after surgery
  • Verifies identity of patient and surgical location prior to surgery
  • Updates patient medical records before, during, and after surgery
  • Prepares and sterilizes operating rooms for use before surgery
  • Stocks operating rooms with sterile equipment, linens, and supplies prior to each surgical case
  • Provides pre- and post-operative education to patients and their families
  • Assists anesthesia during patient intubation and extubation during surgery

Compensation and Schedule

Tips: This section of the circulating nurse job description should list all the additional job details about compensation and scheduling. Since operating rooms have atypical hours compared to many other types of hospital units, it’s helpful to be as specific as possible about your scheduling requirements.


  • $35-$45/hour with up to $15,000 sign-on bonus
  • Start times range between 0530-0700
  • Full time, expected 32-26 hours/week
  • May occasionally work overtime, depending on length of cases
  • Location: [Insert city, state]

Skills and Qualifications

Tips: In this section, you’ll want to describe more specific skills and qualifications that are needed to carry out this role. In addition to education requirements and certifications, consider whether you want a nurse with experience that’s related to the surgical specialty they’ll be working in. Additionally, differentiate between required and preferred skills to avoid excluding any qualified candidates.


  • BSN from an accredited nursing school required
  • Active RN license administered by the [insert state] Board of Nursing
  • BLS, PALS, and ACLS certification required
  • At least 1 year of critical care or operating room experience preferred

Call to Action

Tips: Now that your prospective applicants know everything about the job, they’ll be looking for ways to take the next step. This final section of your job description should include a call to action that invites interested nurses to apply. Provide a link to your application portal or related instructions so that candidates can submit their resumes and cover letters.

Template: Ready to take your career as a perioperative nurse to the next level? Click here to start your application today.

Recruit the Best Candidates for Your Surgical Team

Need help attracting candidates after writing a circulating nurse job description? IntelyCare has your back. Connect with us today and discover how our innovative staffing solutions can help you reach and recruit highly qualified nursing professionals when you need them.