Our surgical wards are located on the fifth floor of our hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, with stunning views over Cambridge and the south Cambridgeshire countryside (on a clear day, of course).

Our nurses contribute to some of the best outcomes nationally and internationally, such as the inpatient survey and cancer experience survey where we regularly rank in the top results. 

We are also one of the biggest centres for lung reduction surgery and a world-leader in minimally invasive surgery. 

It's a really friendly and supportive place to work, with great access to the education team.
Staff Nurse, 5 North

Who do we help and support?

Every day we carry out life-saving and life-changing cardiac and thoracic surgery, heart and lung transplants and specialist procedures such as pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) surgery, for which we are the only hospital in the country. 

Our surgical nursing team plays an important role in preparing patients for surgery, assisting with their recovery and preparing for discharge home back to their loved ones, where they can enjoy a new and improved quality of life. 

You will collaborate closely with other healthcare professionals such as surgeons, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists as part of a tight, multidisciplinary team.

5 North

A 41-bedded ward at the cutting edge of technology, caring for patients undergoing cardiac surgery as well as heart and lung transplantation. 

We also have a four-bedded progressive care unit on the ward. This is an intermediate care facility, allowing the early step-down of patients from critical care to a ward, helping them to receive the right care at the right time to enhance recovery.

5 South

Also a 41-bedded ward, specialising in treating patients after thoracic and cardiac surgery. 

Complex lung resections, chest wall surgery and the investigation and management of pleural diseases are among the many conditions and surgeries cared for. 

The team treats local, national and international patients, sometimes taking on cases that have been turned down elsewhere. 


Filming on our surgical ward for BBC documentary 'Surgeons: At the Edge of Life'

What does a day look like in our surgical ward

It can be fast-paced and challenging but extremely rewarding. With our ideal nursing ratios of 1:5, you and your colleagues can be certain at the end of each shift that you have made a positive difference to people's lives.

You will deliver specialised care for patients before and after surgical procedures, working collaboratively with the multidisciplinary team, monitoring patients’ vital signs, administering medication and ensuring patient comfort and safety.

Your shift will start with a comprehensive handover, reviewing the patients’ medical history and assessing their current needs with a head-to-toe assessment, monitoring vital signs, drain and indwelling catheter and line management, administering medication as required and assisting with personal care.

Mobilisation is crucial for recovery, and you will work closely with our specialist physiotherapists to support patients with early mobilisation. 

A critical aspect of the job is to educate patients on their postoperative care to ensure their safety and recovery are optimal, such as falls, pressure ulcers, wound prevention and much more. 

We take pride in nurturing a strong essence of teamwork, providing support to all of our colleagues, and celebrating our collective achievements in a compassionate and collective culture where we champion our values.

Our values

Benefits and rewards

Find out more about the benefits we provide, from 50% off delicious food and drink in our restaurant to enhanced annual leave, a gold-standard pension and free tea, coffee and milk. 

You can also access a wide range of discounts and get free tickets to music gigs, comedy tours and sporting events.

Our staff benefits

Yako started here as a student six years ago and is now a deputy charge nurse

Support, training and education

If you join our surgical nursing team, you will be offered a wide range of training and development opportunities to help you develop your skills.

Depending on your experience, you will have a three-to-four week supernumerary period when you join the team to help you get used to the new role in a supportive environment. 

We have two education sisters to provide regular training, including new starter study days, clinical skills workshops and preceptorship training for newly qualified nurses. We also offer the opportunity to take part in continuous professional development courses with Anglia Ruskin University.

Due to the specialist nature of our services, our surgical nurses gain advanced skills such as the management and removal of drains, pacing wires and central venous catheters. They also regularly manage patients needing inotropic support, high flow oxygen and left ventricular assisted devices (LVADs) for patients awaiting heart transplantation. 

Apply now

Staff stories

Claudia, Staff Nurse

I have been at Royal Papworth Hospital since 2021. Our role is to give first-hand care to patients who have either been through cardiac surgery or heart or lung transplant surgery. We administer medication, we take out lines and we help with personal care.

I chose to come here because I was interested in either cardiac or transplant care and I heard about how friendly it was here, and it's true. It's a really nice place to work, everyone is really friendly and supportive.

Especially the education team, they give you lots of opportunities to progress and advance your knowledge.

Claudia, wearing a blue nurse uniform and black spectacles, smiling in a hospital ward corridor.


Get in touch or apply

If you have any questions about our surgical nursing roles, please feel free to get in touch with our nursing recruitment team who will be happy to help or register your interest

Or you can start your application now.