From the Editor
Julie Lancaster We’ve been a little busy the last two months with hosting our first SutureStar Summit in January. You can read all about it here and meet one of the students who attended.

Julie Lancaster, Editor

First Summit a Success!

In January, NIFA held Students at SutureStar Summitthe first SutureStar Summit–a completely new format for delivering the in-person portion of the RNFA training. Click here and scroll down to see photos and a few videos of the event.

Rather than sending equipment and an instructor to present a workshop in another city, as NIFA has done for the past 15+ years, NIFA decided to bring students to Denver–the home of NIFA and AORN–for an intensive event spanning 9 days and incorporating both the 3-day (for experienced perioperative nurses) and the 6-day SutureStar workshops (for new NPs and perioperative nurses who want more).

“We were excited about our new approach, but we didn’t really know how it was going to turn out,” said Jeremy Gofton, RNFA Program Director. “The results were amazing. Over the 9 days of the event, we had 75 students representing 30 states. Instead of our usual 16 students per instructor, we had an average of 11 students per instructor, so students got a great deal of personal attention.”

A total of seven instructors offered hands-on training in more procedures than ever before. Students had the opportunity to choose class segments according to their needs (state-of-the-art lap chole, endoscopic vessel harvesting, advanced wound closure, C-section, and more). Because NIFA has purchased its own suture machines, making thousands of sutures during the classes, students were able to operate without restraint. Outside-the-classroom extras included a tour of AORN, an in-depth presentation about medical billing, special-event dinners, and abundant networking opportunities.

“There was a lot of excitement and synergy happening from having so many students together,” Gofton says. “Even more important, it was a phenomenal networking opportunity for the students. They created some camaraderie and support systems that will definitely give their RNFA careers a boost.”

And of course there’s the individual achievement and sense of pride that has always characterized the SutureStar workshops. Click here for NIFA’s Facebook page and scroll down to the video of Jason telling about the improvement in his one-handed tying skills.

All training for 2011 will be offered in the “Summit” format. The March Summit is already sold out, but there’s still time to get in on the Early Bird Special for the May Summit. Click here for more details and access to our brand-new program brochures.


Student in the Spotlight

Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Leiva Name: Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Leiva
Credentials:  RN, BSN
City and State: Miami, FL
Student Status:  Current NIFA student
Current Job:  RN at Redondo Hand Center, Miami
Path toward RNFA:  I’m a foreign physician (orthopedic surgeon) from Cuba, where I practiced as a hand surgeon for almost 12 years. In 2003 I left my country looking for freedom and arrived in Miami, Florida, after a long trip all the way through Belize and Mexico toward the USA border.

Living in this fabulous nation has been one of the best things that came to my life; here I tasted FREEDOM for the first time since my birth. This country is also helping all my dreams come true, giving me the chance to go to the university and obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Florida International University in 2008. I have been working in the surgical field at Redondo Hand Center in Miami since 2005, first as Surgical Assistant and in the last three years as an RN, always under the guidance of a nice and dedicated surgeon, Doctor Jacqueline Redondo, MD, who has been an invaluable help in my progress not only as a professional as well as a financial supporter.

I consider that NIFA’s programs are a wonderful educational tool for an RN with a surgical background like me; you guys include in your Staff excellent and friendly instructors with the highest level of training and knowledge. I just completed the three-day SutureStar Workshop on the way to obtain my NIFA Certification and I know that will be an intensive and hard route but I feel confident and happy having NIFA as educator.

Safe Surgery Initiative

The Safe Surgery Initiative  is a new website launched by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies Foundations Program that offers a collection of free tools and resources designed to help raise awareness, increase knowledge, and change behavior related to the prevention of surgical site infection (SSI), a major source of preventable postoperative illness.

The tools and recommendations presented on the website have been identified from searches of the published peer-reviewed literature and the Internet, as well as from professional organizations and discussions with clinical leaders in the fields of quality improvement, infection control, and SSI reduction. The objective is to present users with information on a range of potential interventions.

On the site you can select your own “toolkit” of resources and even customize them for printing with your organization’s logo.