Operating Theatre Nurses

Our Operating Theatre (OT) Nurses often work with emergency teams to treat people wounded in conflict zones or through natural disasters.  Alternatively, you could join a team providing longer-term surgical care to communities without access to a functioning health care system.  No matter where you are working be prepared for the fact that diagnostic equipment and facilities in the operating theatre will be limited – there may not even be an X-ray machine.

As an OT Nurse with Médecins Sans Frontières you will manage the OT, recovery room and sterilisation team. Close collaboration with surgeons, anaesthetists, hospital ward supervisors and the logistics team is required.
If an emergency arises that requires your skills we may ask you to go to the field at very short notice. You may also be on call 24/7 while working in the field.  However Médecins Sans Frontières does offer OT Nurses the opportunity for shorter-than-usual assignments.


  • Minimum 3 years experience in general surgery, trauma, orthopaedics and/or obstetrics
  • Familiar with sterilisation and hygiene procedures in the OT
  • General knowledge of all OT duties (must be able to train staff and manage the OT)
  • Ability to work in a low-tech environment
  • Available to work in the field for at least 3 months
  • People with a medical background must display no recent gap in clinical experience greater than two years


  • Experience as an OT Nurse Manager
  • Available at short notice (in emergencies we may need OT Nurses to leave within 24-48 hours)


The essential criteria is an overview of the minimum requirements for international staff (in addition to the profile requirements above). Please note, these can change without prior notice in response to organisational needs. To work overseas with MSF, every applicant must meet the following requirements:

Work in a diverse team

The ability to work and live in multicultural and multidisciplinary teams in contexts that are often complex, unstable and isolated, requiring strict respect for the local culture, teams and security rules in force.

Experience working in remote, low resource and low tech settings

Clinical/working experience in environments with limited human resources, materials and equipment.  Access to electricity can be unreliable, running water may not be available, medical and other equipment may be in short supply and computer systems may be basic.

Management experience

Most assignments will involve supervision or management of teams and will require experience in: capacity building, training, planning and administration and performance management.

Commitment to the goals and values of MSF

Adhere to the MSF Charter and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment.

Commitment to a career with MSF

Commitment for 2+ assignments. We are looking for people that want to commit to multiple assignments and a long-term career in humanitarian aid. Hiring and training an employee is a major investment for MSF and we want to hire international staff who want to grow within the organisation. 

Ability to cope with stress

Many MSF projects are located in or near conflict areas. The environment is often chaotic and you will face various challenges. International staff must be able to cope with stress in a difficult and unpredictable environment.                   

Flexibility and adaptability

Contexts, environments, team composition can change quickly. Flexibility and adaptability are critical for a successful MSF assignment.                 

Work independently and use initiative

MSF assignments are demanding and every staff member must be able to manage their responsibilities and workload in a professional manner, with minimum direction.     


Language skills

Knowledge of French or Spanish, or willing to learn. 
Other languages including Portuguese, Russian or Arabic are an asset.


Please apply if your skills and experience match the profile requirements and essential criteria above. Note: all Australian and New Zealand applications are processed through our Sydney office.

Allow approximately 1 hour to complete to application. Before starting the application, please prepare the following: 

  1. CV (use our guide on how to write your CV for MSF below)
  2. Motivation letter 
  3. Technical CV for skills assessment (below) 

Please note, your CV must include:

  • Specific details of your duties, responsibilities within the OT ('assisting with….' is not sufficient detail)
  • Your experience and role in relation to sterilisation and hygiene
  • Types of surgeries you have experience with
  • Number and type (major/minor) of surgeries per month in the OT
  • Number of staff you work with and/or manage in the OT

If you’re not yet ready to apply, use the link below to register to receive updates from our Field Human Resources team including information on upcoming recruitment events.

Meet some of our operating theatre nurses