orthopedic nurse

An orthopedic nurse practitioner deals primarily with health issues concerning bones, muscles, and tendons. In the course of practice, this means caring for broken bones, arthritis, and joint replacement surgery, to name a few examples.

Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner Education

Nurses must earn their diploma, associate’s or bachelor’s in nursing to become eligible to sit for state boards. Some schools have focused programs specifically for nurses who wish to specialize as orthopedic nurse practitioners. General nurse practitioners who decide that they would like to specialize in orthopedics can still become certified as orthopedic nurse practitioners later.

Nurses can become certified in orthopedics through the Orthopaedic Nursing Certification Board (ONCB).  The credential awarded for orthopedic nurse practitioners is Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner – Certified (ONP-C), and it is often required to be employed as an orthopedic nurse practitioner at hospitals and physicians’ offices. To sit for the ONP-C certification exam, nurses must hold an eligible registered nurse (RN) license. Click here for more information about Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner Education programs.

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Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner Career

An orthopedic nurse practitioner’s job description includes managing the care of patients who suffer from a range of musculoskeletal conditions. From prescribing medications for the pain of a broken bone to analyzing x-rays of a hip replacement, orthopedic nurse practitioners take care of patients with bone, joint, and muscle problems from all populations. An orthopedic nurse practitioner would be expected to conduct physical exams on such patients, take detailed patient histories, prescribe tests and treatments, and analyze those tests and treatments. Orthopedic nurse practitioners work closely with physicians and nursing staff to coordinate patients’ care from the time of injury to discharge. Orthopedic nurse practitioners can work in physicians’ offices, clinics, and hospitals.

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Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner Salary

An orthopedic nurse practitioner’s salary is estimated at $57,000 per year, but that figure is dependent on experience, location, certification, and venue.

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Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner Certification

OrthopaedicNursingCertificationBoard (ONCB)

Type of Certification: Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner – Certified (ONP-C)

Eligibility Requirements: Nurses must hold a valid RN license.

Certification Process: Nurses can complete the online application or download the candidate handbook and apply via mail. Once they are deemed eligible to test, applicants can take the exam in March, May, August, and November. Further instructions come with the authorization to test.

Fees: $440 for non-members

Renewal Process: Certification is valid for five years. Recertification requires 125 contact hours and a current RN license.

Learn about other advanced practice nursing specialties.

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State Nursing Certification Information