Periop 101 for Nursing School Programs

Designed for Inclusion in General Nursing Programs

AORN advocates for the inclusion of learning activities in the perioperative setting for all undergraduate professional nursing curricula. The perioperative setting is a prime area where the nursing process can be applied.

AORN's Fundamentals of Perioperative Practice provides a well-defined foundation of perioperative nursing concepts and gives students basic information about aseptic technique and teamwork that can be translated into clinical experiences. The Fundamentals Course can be integrated into the existing curricula of nursing programs and contribute to the desired end-of-program outcomes.

According to AORN's white paper, Perioperative Nursing Succession Planning, "Nursing students have minimal exposure to perioperative content and to clinical rotations in operative settings as part of traditional baccalaureate education. This means novice nurses are often unfamiliar with perioperative nursing as a realistic employment option after graduation. In addition, many nurse leaders are reluctant to hire new graduates into the perioperative arena due to their minimal exposure to the setting and limited theoretical knowledge of the specialty area.”

Fundamentals Course Modules

  • Introduction to Perioperative Nursing
  • The Surgical Environment
  • Perianesthesia Nursing
  • Perioperative Assessment
  • Sterile Technique
  • Safety in the Surgical Suite
  • Scrubbing, Gowning and Gloving
  • Positioning the Surgical Patient
  • Skin Prep
  • Sterilization and Disinfection

Each educational module delivers critical didactic material and includes:

Facilities purchasing the Fundamentals Course will receive: 

  • One complimentary registration for the Administrator Course
  • One complimentary registration for the Preceptor Course
  • Complimentary certificates of completion for each student who successfully completes the entire course
  • Students have access to the course for six months. Administrators have access to the administrator and the student course for the full one-year term of the agreement.

Textbooks for required reading assignments may be purchased online and include: 

Purchase the textbooks in a bundled package and save 15% off the individual textbook price. 

Videos are available as a supplemental learning tool from the Perioperative Nursing Video Library

Each student has six months to complete the modules on AORN’s Learning Center (ALC) from the time they first open up a course module. A score of 80% or better is required to successfully complete each module. Students will receive a complimentary one-year AORN Student Membership upon successful completion of all 10 modules.

The modules in the Fundamentals Course are components of a complete education program for novice perioperative nurses called Periop 101: A Core Curriculum™. The full curriculum of 27 learning modules can also be purchased for use as an elective or post-licensure course.

Perioperative nursing content and clinical skills should be taught by faculty and cooperating staff (ie, staff serving as preceptors or mentors) who are both academically prepared and clinically experienced. The academic institution must ensure that students receive a blended educational program that includes facility or institution-provided skills labs and facility-provided clinical experiences.

Primer for Perioperative Education – AORN encourages perioperative nurses to collaborate with schools of nursing to utilize the surgical setting for clinical observation and experience. Perioperative settings provide numerous opportunities for nurses to showcase the nursing process to meet the unique needs of patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. This primer has been designed with several components to help prepare perioperative nurses to approach schools of nursing with an organized and effective presentation that will encourage future collaboration and the opportunity to give students a taste of the perioperative experience.

For additional information or to purchase, please contact Terry Avitable, MSN, RN, CNOR, at (800) 755-2676, ext. 211.