Presented by: The National Institute of First Assisting, Inc. (NIFA®) in partnership with the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC®).

National Standards:RN First Assistant (RNFA®) program meets all national AORN Standards for RN First Assistant Education Programs (December 2013 Association of periOperative Registered Nurses) and has been accepted by the Competency Credentialing Institute (CCI®) since 1998. RNFA curriculum is recognized by all 50 state nursing boards.


  • RNs: Registered Nurses who qualify for the program must be CNOR or CNOR-eligible and must:

    • Have a current unrestricted RN license.

    • Be currently working full-time or part-time in perioperative nursing in the area of nursing education, administration, research or clinical practice.

    • Have completed a minimum of 2 years and 2,400 hours of experience in perioperative nursing, with a minimum of 50% (1,200 hours) in the intraoperative setting.

    • RNs must submit proof of CNOR certification prior to graduating from the program.

  • APRNs: Board-certified or board-eligible Advance Practice Registered Nurses qualify for the program and the CNOR experience clause is waived. APRN’s must submit proof of national certification prior to graduating from the program.

Area of Study

Operating room nursing skills and knowledge and Registered Nurse First Assistant scope of practice, surgical skills and the perioperative care of patients to achieve optimal outcomes.


This course is designed to enhance the perioperative nurse's knowledge and skills necessary to pursue the position as a Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA).

During Course 1, the student completes home-study instruction on multi-specialty surgery and the safe practice of preoperative through postoperative care, within the scope of practice of an RNFA. Operating room principals, practices, guidelines and standards will be explored. Anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology are reviewed and supplemented by an in-depth study of those organs and structures that relate to a wide variety of surgeries. Step-by-step surgical procedures are studied, along with related knowledge and skills to safely perform a variety of surgeries, and ensure optimum patient outcomes. Pre, post and intraoperative testing, procedures, complications and considerations are explored. Pharmacology, anesthesia, special equipment and pre and postoperative routines will be covered. (Contact NIFA for more details.)

During Course 2, the expanded intraoperative functions unique to the RNFA are emphasized and include, providing exposure, tissue handling, suturing, providing hemostasis and using surgical instruments. Manual dexterity of surgical skills and intellectual knowledge of surgical anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and pre, intra and postoperative considerations are combined to prepare the qualified student with essential skills and knowledge necessary to function in this expanded role. (Contact NIFA for more details.)

Contact NIFA at 1-800-922-7747 Mon.-Thurs. 7:30-5:00 Fri. 7:30-5:00 MST

Visit or email:

Jennifer Curran RN, CNOR, CRNFA Dean Parsons RN, CNOR, RNFA

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