From the Editor

Julie LancasterThis issue focuses on learning about the APRN title versus the APN title and how they relate to the surgical setting with AORN’s new position statements (see below).

And in our Student Spotlight, we’re pleased to present Tammy Roberts, who attended a Denver SutureStar Summit this past summer.
Julie Lancaster, Editor
Have You Heard the Term APRN?

Many haven’t, but will!

The title APRN means “Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.” This credential has been in use for some time, but is becoming more prominent.

Who Uses this Credential?
According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, an APRN is one “who has obtained a license to practice as an APRN in one of the four APRN roles: certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), certified nurse-midwife (CNM), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), or certified nurse practitioner (CNP).”

The Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” under the heading “Titling,” reiterates the above four categories and goes on to say: “This title, APRN, is a legally protected title… No one, except those who are licensed to practice as an APRN, may use the APRN title or any of the APRN role titles.  An individual also may add the specialty title in which they are professionally recognized in addition to the legal title of APRN and role.”

Will the title APRN replace APN?

What about the title APN (Advanced Practice Nurse)? The APRN Advisory Committee, in its 2008 report, “Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education,” chose the term APRN over APN. In a note (page 18 of the PDF), the report states, “The term advanced practice nurse (APN) was initially used by the Work Group… However, the Work group reached consensus that the term advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) should be adopted for use in subsequent discussions and documents.”

APRN, new umbrella term for APNs?

Lastly, the American Nurses Association article, “Advance Practice Nursing: A New Age in Health Care,” states, “… advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs)–an umbrella term…” for RNs who have met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements.


The Association of PeriOperative Nurses (AORN) has just approved a new APRN in the Perioperative Setting Position Statement as well as a new RNFA Position Statement. We have posted these statements on our site and highlighted the sections of particular relevance to you.

Crossword Puzzle x 2


This month we bring you two puzzles:
Crossword Puzzle #1 – the RNFA role. Click here for the puzzle and clues, and a link to the answers.
Crossword Puzzle #2 – the APRN role. Click here for the puzzle and clues, and a link to the answers.

Try these out and sharpen your understanding of the two roles!

iPad Apps of the Month

Surgical Nursing: Learn about surgical nursing! Surgical Nursing is a fully-featured flash card app that helps you learn about the responsibilities of nurses in the OR. Individual cards can be added to or removed from a built-in “Faves Deck” at any time. Use the “Faves Deck” to study only the cards that really give you trouble!

Nursing & Surgery: WAGmob brings you Simple ‘n Easy, on-the-go learning app for Nursing and Surgery. The app helps you understand the basics in a nice and organized manner. Features include tutorials, quizzes, flashcards and more. App is continuously updated based on your feedback. App tools include search, bookmark, and facebook integration.

We found some other great apps on iMedicalApps. Check them out.

Student Spotlight

Name:  Tammy Roberts

Credentials:  RN, RNFA, ACLS

Current Job: RNFA, Prince William Hospital, Manassas, VA

Why did you become a nurse?  When I was 18, I was in a very bad accident. I went off a cliff in a 4-wheeler, resulting in a lacerated liver and other injuries. I was on life support for three days. That experience made me want to save people’s lives like they saved mine.

Path to RNFA: In 2005 I was working as the charge nurse and my unit lost two RNFAs. I offered to go and receive my RNFA to help out the hospital. Plus, I had always wanted to further my education within the operating room. At that time I took an RNFA course from another institution. So this time, I was already an RNFA; I took NIFA’s RNFA course as a refresher. I have to say this course by far “out-taught” the other course I went to. The other course was mostly all lecture, and at the end of the day maybe you got to do a little tying. Whereas this NIFA course was 90% hands on. It was a lot more informative and Dean and Jo were WONDERFUL.


RNFA Enrollment Notice!
After four years, the FREE airfare and hotel for RNFA classes ends January 31, 2013. If you or a friend are thinking about enrolling, do it now to take advantage of this great offer!


Surgical Continuing Education


Need to get some Continuing Education Credits by the end of the year? Check out NIFA’s current offerings!



Do you have questions about implementing an RNFA team or becoming an RNFA?

Try the following links. If you do not find the answers you need, please call us at 1-800-922-7747. We would be happy to discuss any questions you may have and discuss the benefits of having an RNFA team–you will please staff, surgeons and administrators!