From the Editor

Julie LancasterDid you see this morning’s segment on CNN stating that, despite the poor economy, the health care industry is growing?  In the first 11 months of 2008 alone, 348,000 new health care jobs have been created. One reason is the aging baby boomer population. That means more: workers, facilities, and naturally . . . cases.

Many perioperative nurses are seizing the current downturn as a perfect opportunity for training. In fact, over the past two months, NIFA has had an unprecedented number of nurses contact us to advance their education and subsequently their salary. Read more in NIFA Program Director Jeremy Gofton’s letter, posted on our website.

In a season that is bleak this year for many, this issue brings some good news – NIFA’s first-ever financing options for students who would like to spread the expense of their training over several months. Scroll down for the story.
And finally, best wishes from all of us here at NIFA for a safe and happy holiday season.

Julie Lancaster, Editor


News: Checklists in the OR

Just as airplane pilots and copilots run through a safety checklist before the plane takes off, a comprehensive surgical checklist is about to become standard in all New York City hospitals.

ChecklistIn a Nov. 26 report on WABC news, medical reporter Dr. Jay Adlersberg says, “Surgeons are voluntarily adopting the use of a comprehensive surgical checklist based on recommendations by the World Health Organization to help reduce the risk of complications and death. . . . The plan is designed to target the three biggest causes of mortality in surgery – preventable infections, preventable complications from bleeding and safety in anesthesia.”

Student Spotlight

Photo: Lindsay Erickson and her husband Bruce.

Name:  Lindsay Erickson

Credentials:  RN, CNOR

City & State:  From Mississippi; currently in Savannah, GA.

Work History:  Nurse for 5 1/2 years. Circulator for 4 years. Has worked in several specialties in the past, with focus on bariatric, general, cardiovascular and orthopedic.

Current Job: Currently working at an orthopedic surgery center and a plastic surgery center in Savannah, GA, and working on clinical hours for her RNFA. “Mostly I am with an ortho surgeon specializing in spines, and I am also employed there as a circulator for their surgery center. I am learning about current surgical interventions to treat radiculopathy, spondylosis, herniated discs, etc. Also learning the instrumentation of Globus, Medtronic, and NuVasive. I also am getting experience with two plastic surgeons here in Savannah.”

Quote:  “Surgical staff are their own breed. You have to have a certain sense of humor to handle the good and the bad. . . . When you are on call, your coworkers become your family. You learn each other’s moods, looks, quirks . . . .  Also, surgery is cut off from the rest of the world, so people tend to stick together. I find that that environment helps us be able to feel comfortable enough to let someone know when they aren’t doing something the way it should be done, or to policy, or to a code of ethics.

“I have found that I am more outspoken when it comes to my operating room, whether I am the circulator or the assistant . . .  the operating room relationships between staff allow me or anyone else in that room to speak on behalf of the patient and do what is right for them. And almost all of the time, the comment is respected and almost always agreed on. Not all jobs are like that. I think it would be better if they were. I find that the OR teaches you to think on your feet, know when to be flexible and when to stand firm.”

Off Work:  “My spare time is spent with friends and my husband, Bruce, and our three dogs Rudy, Rolo, and Guinness. I enjoy traveling and football. Roll Tide!”


The 2008 AORN Salary Survey and Calculator are now available! If you are an AORN member, you can to read the detailed compensation analysis or use the online salary calculator tool.

And if you’re not a member, we encourage you to consider joining. AORN membership offers extensive benefits for perioperative nurses.

New! Financing Options

For the first time ever, NIFA is offering financing as a way for students to fund their program. You can pay as little as $810 down, and payments of $199 per month – or 90 days, same as cash.

As past AORN Salary Surveys have shown, RNFA graduates make more. Many students are able to pay off their tuition and secure a bright financial future in less than a year.

Call us at 1-800-922-7741 (press 1) about our new pay plan options, or email us at [email protected]. No eligible nurse will be turned down.