From the Editor

Although Valentine’s Day is behind us, February is still Heart Month, according to the American Heart Association. In this issue we bring you information about Aortic Valve Replacement (AVR) surgery, a procedure that is performed some 60,000 times a year in the U.S.

You can read up on the procedure and then do a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge.

Our featured student is Marciene Morgan, RN, BSN, of Nashville, MI.

Read on for heart apps, jobs and NIFA’s favorite links.



Julie Lancaster, Editor

PS: Visit us at the AORN Surgical Expo next month – booth #3853.


Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery

Recently the Denver Broncos’ coach underwent aortic valve replacement surgery. Denver Post writer Joan Niesen spoke with Dr. Carlin S. Long, Chief of Cardiology at Denver Health Medical Center, to learn about the procedure’s implications for the 58-year-old coach.  Click here to read the article.

For an overview of the aortic valve, its functions, warning signs of failure, and types of replacement valves, see this page from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.  Another overview, but from the perspective of a former double heart valve surgery patient, is at

Finally, here is a step-by-step video showing a Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement procedure.
Heart Apps

Echocardiography Atlas by Epocrates, edited by Scott D. Solomon, MD. See examples of normal and abnormal echocardiograms, with 250 annotated images and 189 videos encompassing a wide range of cardiac pathology, including Aortic Valve Disease, Myocardial Infarction, diseases of the aorta, and more. (for iPhone)

Heart Pro III by, LLC, gives you an in-depth look at the heart, allowing you to cut, zoom, slice, and rotate parts of the heart system as well as view animations, create notes and share screenshots. It is designed for students, educators and professionals. (iPhone, iPad and Mac OS)

Student Spotlight: Marciene Morgan
475Name:  Marciene Morgan
City and State: 
Nashville, MI
Current Job: 
Circulator in the OR, Pennock Hospital, Hastings MIWhat made you want to become an RN?I took an Advanced Biology class in high school and couldn’t get enough information about the human body. I found it to be amazing. Plus my grandfather was paralyzed in a farming accident when I was young and I had helped with his care growing up. Then when I was a junior in high school my grandma was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and I cared for her until she passed away.
I learned to be compassionate and empathetic by watching two of the most important people in my life struggle with difficult, life-changing events. Yet, they always remained positive.Where did you get your RN training?I went to school to become an RN at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek MI and then went back and earned my BSN from Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI.Why did you decide to become an RNFA?I wanted to be more involved in the surgery aspect of my job. I love working in surgery but my institution would not agree to train me as a scrub. This was a step I could take to further my education and get the hands-on involvement that I wanted.What is one thing you learned in your RNFA training that was particularly helpful?Being prepared ahead of time is very important. I learned so much at the training, it was invaluable. The instructors were amazing, so intelligent and patient, and they could relate what we were learning to real-life experience.

Perioperative Puzzle: AVR Surgery 

In this month’s puzzle, test your knowledge of the heart and AVR surgery.

When you’re ready to check your answers, follow this link to see how well you did!

Good Luck!

 Job Front

Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month!

Do you have questions about implementing an RNFA team or becoming an RNFA?
Our continuing education course,
RNFAs, APRNs and Implementing an RNFA Team, will answer many of your questions. If you need answers more quickly, please see the links below or just call us at 1-800-922-7747. We will be happy to discuss any questions you may have and discuss the benefits to staff, surgeons and administrators of having an RNFA team at your facility.

Prerequisites for becoming an RNFA

Surgical Skills Workshops  

NIFA Office Hours

Monday-Thursday 7:30am – 5:00pm (Fridays 7:30am – 4:00pm).