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Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA)

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The Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA) is an advanced practice nurse specializing in the Operating Room environment. First Assisting is within the scope of nursing practice in all fifty state boards of nursing.

As a provider of surgical assisting, the RNFA is often reimbursed by insurance companies for services rendered at a significantly lower cost to the consumer while providing safe quality patient care.

To be accepted into an RNFA program, the RN must have at least two years of professional nursing experience in the operating room environment and achieved the credential of CNOR (Certified Perioperative Nurse), or possess an advanced practice degree.

Certification is not required to function under the Florida State Nurse Practice Act as an RNFA.  The program is usually a 2 semester program involving both classroom and clinical components.  The nurse may then apply for and complete a national exam to receive the credential (CRNFA) through the Competency & Credentialing Institute

What does a RNFA do?  The RNFA has preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative duties including patient history and assessment, collaborating with surgeon and other professionals for an optimal surgical outcome, assisting with patient positioning, skin preparation, draping, providing wound exposure, handling tissue, controlling blood loss, suturing tissue, and performing follow-up care. 

Education:  Completion of an approved Competency & Credentialing Institute program.   

For more information go to the web site http://www.aorn.org for national information.

For testing information follow the link http://www.cc-institute.org.

Credentialing Requirements include  CNOR, Bachelor's Degree, or Master's Degree in nursing, 2000 hours (first assisting) and completion of a CBPN-acceptable RNFA program. Registered Nurse First Assistants are credentialed by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

In the State of Florida, under the Nurse Practice Act, you do not have to be credentialed to function as a RNFA, but you do have to attend advanced training. Gulf Coast State College offers this surgical assistant program once a year as an open enrollment theory class with the lab session offered once a year in September each year.

COURSES  CH
#+* NSP2290, Perioperative Nursing Theory, or proof of certification as Perioperative Nurse (CNOR) 3
#+* NSP2090, Registered Nurse First Assistant Theory 3
 
#+* NSP2090L,Registered Nurse First Assistant Lab and Clinical 3

TOTAL CERTIFICATE CREDITS 9

APPLICATION PROCESS (all requirements are listed in the program packet):

  1. New students apply for General Admission to Gulf Coast State College <click here> .
  2. Returning students who have not attended in 2 years or more must also re-apply for admission.
  3. New students must pay the $20 non-refundable college application fee online, at the Bookstore, or at the GCSC Business Office.
  4. Returning students who have not attended in 2 years or more must pay a $10 non-refundable college application fee online, or at the GCSC Business Office.
  5. New "first time" students must attend a free online College Orientation prior to course registration, otherwise a "hold" will be placed on student's account; for more information, go to College Orientation.
  6. Submit completed, signed Registered Nurse First Assistant Program application  <click here> .
  7. Request official high school transcripts and diploma from all high schools attended, or equivalent GED with scores, and have them mailed to the Enrollment Services Office.
  8. Request official college transcripts from all colleges attended, and have them mailed to the Enrollment Services Office.    
  9. Proof of Licensure - Submit proof of current licensure as a registered nurse.
  10. Have 2 Personal Reference Forms completed; found in program packet.
  11. Submit a copy of your current Resume.
  12. Submit a copy of your current, valid driver's license.
  13. Register and pay for courses; and successfully complete the courses with a grade of “C” or better.

Requirements for Starting the Lab Class (all requirements are listed in the program packet):

  1. Submit completed GCSC Immunizations Form signed by a physician and the student.
  2. Satisfactory criminal background check, at student's expense, which must be done through GCSC.
  3. A chain-of-custody 10-panel uring drug screen, at student's expense, is required as outlined by the clinical sites (see program packet).

NOTE: Proof of background screening and immunization status may be waived for those students currently employed or credentialed at the clinical site. Proof of employment or proof of privileges may be substituted.

Recommended Certificate Plan:  Please refer to the degree plan to determine what classes are typically offered each term. This represents a student plan of approximately three semesters or 12 months for completion of the advanced technical certificate. 

Spring: Credits
  NSP2290, Perioperative Nursing Theory, or proof of certification as Perioperative Nurse (CNOR) 3
 
Summer:
  NSP2090, Registered Nurse First Assistant Theory 3
 
Fall:
  NSP2090L, Registered Nurse First Assistant Lab and Clinical 3