Post Anesthesia Travel Nursing Jobs

Stability Healthcare offers PACU travel nursing jobs in post-op recovery units at top medical facilities.

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Start your easy and fast search of Stability Healthcare’s nationwide Post Anesthesia traveling nurse jobs here. Our mission is to provide the adventure and exploration of travel, along with the comforts of home!

Post Anesthesia Job Description

PACU nurses are highly specialized RN’s who care for patients who have gone under anesthesia. These nurses are responsible for observing and treating patients after surgery. They will monitor vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rate. PACU nurses are typically the first ones to greet the patient after surgery and will provide comfort and reassurances to the patient as well as family.

Post Anesthesia Job Requirements

  • Active BLS and ACLS from the American Heart Association
  • Active professional license within the state of practice
  • A Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) credential from the American Heart Association is recommended and may be required for specific registered nurses and travel nurse positions
  • Other specialty-related certifications are preferred and may be required for specific positions
  • Experience as a PACU nurse in a hospital setting
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience as an RN



Post-anesthesia nurses are highly popular and needed in almost every medical environment. They’re specialized nurses providing care for patients who have gone under anesthesia. This is particularly important since sometimes patients can experience side effects of anesthesia or have trouble regaining consciousness. Post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses can enjoy a long and rewarding career in their field, often finding employment in many settings. If a career as a PACU nurse intrigues you, keep reading to learn about what you need to know to start your path toward becoming one.

Benefits Of Traveling With Stability Healthcare

What is a Post Anesthesia Nurse?

As their name states, post-anesthesia nurses care for patients who have gone under anesthesia. They observe and treat patients post-operation to make sure they safely awake from anesthesia. PACU nurses care for vital signs, measure consciousness levels, and ensure sedation is wearing off properly.

Unlike operating room nurses, PACU nurses take care of patients once they leave the operating room. Similarly, PACU nurses are not mistaken with nurse anesthetists, who have specialized and advanced nursing degrees.

National average salary: $94,966 per year

Job outlook: 12% increase by 2028

Where Do Post-Anesthesia Nurses Work?

Post-anesthesia nurses work in the post-anesthesia care unit in hospitals. While this is a critical care unit, patients here have gone under anesthesia but do not need close monitoring like in an ICU. Sometimes PACU nurses can find employment in other medical facilities that provide treatments that require anesthesia, such as testing facilities and ambulatories.

What Kind of Patients Are in a Post-Anesthesia Care Unit?

Patients in the post-anesthesia care unit aren’t in any danger. These patients have gone under anesthesia and are transferred here for close monitoring until they’re fully awake. These patients haven’t undergone any major surgical procedure that requires intensive care. Otherwise, patients would be transferred to the ICU instead.

What Does a Post-Anesthesia Nurse Do?

PACU nurses work in the recovery room, becoming one of the first people they see after a procedure. Because some patients experience side effects such as nausea, fear, agitation, and difficulty breathing, post-anesthesia nurses are there to care for and monitor their progress. Sometimes, PACU nurses may also be responsible for helping patients stand and completing the discharge process.

Post-anesthesia nurses provide comfort and assurance. They explain to family members the anesthesia side effects and answer any potential questions. This close connection to patients and families means PACU nurses need to be understanding and compassionate.

Most responsibilities include:

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and make quick critical decisions
  • Respond to complications administering medications and assisting in other procedures as needed
  • Monitor post-operative patients’ levels of consciousness
  • Measure and record patients’ vital signs
  • Treat pain, nausea, and other post-operative symptoms of anesthesia
  • Provide comfort and reassurance to distressed patients
  • Educate patients and family members on post-surgery care

How Do You Become a Post-Anesthesia Nurse?

Like other nursing specializations, the journey to becoming a PACU nurse starts with getting certified as a registered nurse. Gaining experience in the post-anesthesia care unit is enough to start carving a career in this field. However, you can also further your education by becoming a certified post-anesthesia nurse (CPAN).

Common certifications:

  • Certified post-anesthesia nurse (CPAN)
  • Certified ambulatory perianesthesia (CAPA) nurse
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Post-Anesthesia Unit Nurse?

Most PACU nurses handle between one to two patients at a time, so it’s considered a less stressful nursing job. Still, it is paramount that good PACU nurses have strong nursing skills and make quick decisions about their care. Compassion, communication, and collaborative skills are crucial in this position. PACU nurses often are part of a larger team and must work in a group environment.

Most common skills or post-anesthesia unit nurses include:

  • Experience in intensive care unit or post-anesthesia care unit
  • Proficiency in electronic hospital management systems
  • Exceptional interpersonal, communication, and collaboration skills

Travel Nurse Salary & Benefits

Career Benefits

Many consider a post-anesthesia nursing career the stepping stone to reach more highly specialized positions. Obtaining experience in the post-anesthesia care unit can prep nurses to assist in the operating room or even become anesthetic nurses in the future. If a nursing career in post-anesthesia care interests you, these steps will help you position yourself as a great candidate.

At Stability Healthcare, we place nurses in hospitals across the United States, helping them find tremendous opportunities in various fields, including in the post-anesthesia care unit. If you’re ready to kickstart your career, search for your next placement and set up an interview today.

Travel Nursing Reviews

Jennifer, RN

The response time from my recruiter and nurse specialist is amazing! They both have been so great to work with on my first assignment out in California!!! Chad and Samantha both are super caring and very responsive! I already extended my contract with the hospital because of the smooth process. They made the transition from Florida to California a lot loss stressful than I imagined. Would definitely recommend them both!!!

Tammy D.

My recruiter, and other staff I have had the pleasure of interacting with, are all so friendly and helpful. My recruiter is responsive, and even reached out while she was on vacation to check on me! I’ve worked with other agencies in the past, but Stability is next level when it comes to making your travel nursing experience as seamless as possible! Special shout out to Lindsay (best recruiter ever) and Tracy. Amazing people to work with.

Brittany J.

My recruiter is very responsive and personable. I have NEVER had any issues with them!! This agency even has PTO! None of my co workers with other agencies have this benefit!! Also the rates are equal or higher than most other agencies!! Everything feels more like family than business and for that I would choose stability over any other agency!! I am so happy I chose to work with them!

Sopheare C.

My recruiter Amanda is amazing and always timely with her responses. Debbie who is my nurse experience specialist who is with me all times of the contract is truly awesome. Love how responsive she is and will answer any and all my questions. Big thanks to Jesse my compliance coordinator for making all the appointments and getting me travel ready. Can’t thank my team enough for all they do. Any question or issue I have they resolve right away. And I love that they breakdown each contract into a spread so you know exactly what your getting for the terms of the contract.

Sara R.

I have been incredibly impressed by the professionalism, ease of communication, ability to have all requirements for onboarding fulfilled in a timely manner, and just overall outstanding service. Lindsay Hernandez is my particular recruiter and she has been a pleasure to work with, as well as all the team members at Stability. I’m looking forward to staying with them for my next assignment. I highly recommend them to my nursing friends, and anyone looking to travel as a nurse!

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