Chamberlain University and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Announce Partnership to Address Critical Shortage of Operating Room Nurses

July 28, 2021
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CHICAGO – July 28, 2021 – Chamberlain University, which has the largest nursing school in the U.S., and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), creators of evidence-based guidelines and education resources for perioperative practice, are announcing a new educational partnership to help address the critical shortage of operating room nurses across the nation.

Starting in early 2022, Chamberlain and AORN will launch a 16-week online training module in perioperative nursing designed to address industry needs and prepare students to acquire an educational badge in the specialty. This is the first educational initiative of its kind being offered in partnership with AORN, which developed the training module, and the intent is to scale the badge program through Chamberlain’s national reach.

The badge specialty program will be available exclusively through Chamberlain. It is designed to be aligned with perioperative industry-specific competencies defined by AORN, and it is being offered at no additional cost as a non-credit bearing option to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. The initiative aligns with the university’s ongoing commitment, and that of its Chicago-based parent company Adtalem Global Education, to address critical workforce needs in the healthcare industry.

“Chamberlain is a leading workforce solutions provider, and we are confident that this partnership with AORN will assist in providing solutions to the challenges facing healthcare systems across the nation,” said Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN, and President, of Chamberlain University. “There is a need to increase awareness of perioperative nursing opportunities because, until now, undergraduate nursing studies provide limited exposure to the specialty. With this program, Chamberlain will graduate nurses who are both interested in and prepared to pursue additional specialty training for the perioperative setting.”

The badge program is designed to create a pipeline of perioperative nurses, also referred to as operating room nurses or surgical nurses, who work with surgical patients in the pre- and intra-operative process and through recovery in post-anesthesia care units. A 2021 research paper, “The State of the Perioperative Nursing Specialty Workforce,” outlines how academic partnerships with hospital facilities can address recruitment and retention challenges as well as be cost-effective. It can cost up to $120,000 to train and prepare a new perioperative nurse11, according to the research paper.

“Hospitals and ambulatory centers are significantly challenged to recruit nurses with the necessary qualifications to work in the perioperative setting,” said AORN’s CEO/Executive Director, Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN. “This is due, in part, to limited perioperative education in nursing schools and nursing students not being exposed to the many career opportunities that can be realized in the surgical suite. We are very grateful to Chamberlain for being part of the solution.”

The need for perioperative room nurses is expected to grow due to the growth to increased volume of surgeries and a nationwide shortage of qualified nurses, according to AORN. Contributing to that shortage is that 20% of operating room nurses are expected to reach retirement age within the next five years, according to data collected by AORN2.

To address this challenge, Chamberlain will increase awareness among students of the specialty and actively engage with students to encourage those who are strong candidates to consider the perioperative specialty. The program, which is designed to be taken concurrently with Chamberlain’s BSN program, leads to a badge upon successful completion and assessment of competencies. Those who earn the badge will be eligible to be considered for a concentrated clinical rotation in the perioperative areas of participating health systems. Chamberlain will begin offering the badge program to students pursuing their BSN degree at campuses in Chicago, Tinley Park, Addison, Atlanta and New Orleans, with the intent to expand nationally across all 23 of its campuses.

About Chamberlain University
Chamberlain University is a part of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE). Chamberlain University’s mission is to educate, empower and embolden diverse healthcare professionals who advance the health of people, families, communities and nations. Chamberlain is comprised of the College of Nursing, which offers a three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program and flexible post-licensure programs such as the RN to BSN option, Master of Science in Nursing degree program, Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program and graduate certificates, and the College of Health Professions, which offers Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work degree programs. Chamberlain University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For the most updated accreditation information, visit To learn more, visit

About AORN

About AORN: AORN represents the interests of more than 200,000 perioperative nurses by providing evidence-based research, nursing education, standards, and practice resources to enable optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures.


The purpose of Adtalem Global Education is to empower students to achieve their goals, find success, and make inspiring contributions to our global community. Adtalem Global Education Inc. (NYSE: ATGE) is a leading workforce solutions provider and the parent organization of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, Becker Professional Education, Chamberlain University, EduPristine, OnCourse Learning, Ross University School of Medicine and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.