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Travel Nursing: Med-Surg

Med-surg nurse with patientConsidered the foundation of the profession, medical-surgical nursing (often shortened to med-surg) is an important role in hospitals, urgent care centers and even nursing homes across the nation.

Though it was once used as a stepping stone to other specialties, today many nurses specialize in med-surg or one of its subspecialties. Read on to learn about med-surg travel nursing and how you can find a job in this field.


Med-surg nurses care for patients of all ages recovering from surgery or invasive testing as well as those with acute conditions and chronic illnesses. They are often caring for five to seven patients on their shifts in addition to taking new patients and discharging others throughout the day, according to the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nursing.

Basic life support (BLS) certification is required for a job as a med-surg nurse and, while not required, a certified medical-surgical registered nurse (CMSRN) credential shows that you’re committed to the field and have the experience employers are looking for.

Note: One year of clinical experience is required for all travel nursing jobs.


RNnetwork places nurses within several specialties under the med-surg umbrella:

  • Medical: congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes, pneumonia, UTI, sepsis, COPD, asthma, emphysema and bronchitis
  • Surgical: pre-op, stable post-op and wound care
  • Neurology: cerebrovascular accident (CVA), stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA) and organic brain syndrome (OBS)
  • Orthopedics: spines, hips, knees and traction
  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary: lungs, COPD, emphysema and asthma
  • Renal: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis
  • Gynecology


Med-surg nurses once primarily worked in hospitals, but today they’re needed in nursing homes, ambulatory care units, surgical centers, long-term care facilities, urgent care centers, clinics, inpatient care units and even universities.

Many med-surg nurses also provide acute care to patients in their own homes through home healthcare organizations. The med-surg specialty allows you the flexibility to pick both the type of facility you’d like to work at and the type of care you’d like to provide within the med-surg subspecialties.

Interested in an opportunity with RNnetwork? Check out our open med-surg travel nursing jobs now.

About the author


Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a healthcare writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

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