© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.This study was carried out to understand and explain nursing students’ experiences of operating room (OR) practice via distance education and their perceptions of career goals, feelings, and thoughts within the scope of social cognitive career theory (SCCT). The study used a qualitative design based on Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Data were collected through a semi-structured interview program by conducting face-to-face interviews on the ZOOM meeting software. All interviews were completed in one month. The COREQ (Consolidated criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research) checklist, which consists of items that should be included in qualitative research reports, was used to report the study. The study was conducted with 13 students. Two themes and six sub-themes were elicited from the study data. The themes were (1) away from the operating room (in the context of being a student in the operating room practice performed with distance education) and (2) the operating room nursing as a career goal (in the context of students’ perceptions of becoming an operating room nurse in the future). In the light of the results of this study, the importance of clinical OR practice at the end of the Covid-19 process before graduation has emerged for the future of surgical nursing.