Name: Dean Parsons
Credentials: RN, CNOR, RNFA, RNAS-C (Registered Nurse Assistant at Surgery-Certified)
Graduated from NIFA’s RNFA program in 2007
City and State: Omaha, NE
* Program Director, NIFA
* General OR, Alegent Health, Omaha, NE
Path to Becoming an RNFA: When I was 10 years old I was hit by a car. I was choking on my tongue and a nurse pulled it out and saved my life. I also had several broken bones and was in the hospital for quite some time. That experience has always stayed with me and influenced my later career choice.
After high school, I went to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and studied for a couple of years to become a elementary teacher. Then I met my wife, who is also a teacher, and at that point it made more sense for me to pursue an associate’s degree as an RN while she was working on her master’s degree. From that point on, I continued to refine my medical skills and worked as many hours as I could to help support our family (we now have four children, ages 5 to 12).
From 1992 to 1998 I worked at Creighton University Medical Center, mostly in cardiac OR. Then I moved to Alegent Health, where, from 2000 until about a year ago I was clinical coordinator for cardiac surgery.
Recently I made the decision to pursue a Nurse Practitioner degree, which dovetailed perfectly with the opportunity to serve as RNFA program director at NIFA. Alegent allowed me to transfer to a part-time, general OR position, with a future focus on robotics and orthopedics. This allows me time to pursue my studies as well as work with NIFA. In addition, I am serving on an AORN committee focusing on Core Curriculum for RNFAs.
Working with NIFA: I’ve been an instructor for NIFA for about two and a half years, and I am looking forward to working with many more students as program director. I really enjoy teaching and seeing its effect on so many people. I love to see the light go on in a student’s eyes; I love to help make that happen.