June 2021 • Volume 15, No. 6

From the Editor

Welcome to our annual Summer Reading (and other media) Issue! It’s been a heck of a year for everyone. Summer is traditionally a time to slow down and kick back, but this year’s summer may be anything but restful, as social engagements and travel gradually resume their pre-pandemic pace.  

But if you can carve out some time to relax, we’ve got you covered with some good book and media suggestions.

Speaking for myself, my sweetie and I got deeply into The Knick TV series this year. Directed by Hollywood director Steven Soderbergh, it focuses on the lives of employees at the fictitious Knickerbocker Hospital in New York City in the early 20th century. Besides the acting, which is excellent, great care has been paid to everything from the nurses’ starched uniforms to the transition from horse-drawn to motorized ambulances to grizzly scenes of new techniques being tried in the operating theatre. That’s not to say it hasn’t taken some liberties with timing of some medical developments for the sake of drama, but the series is compelling and thought-provoking.

This month our Student in the Spotlight is Carrie Bussey, CNM, ARNP, Olympia, WA.

Scroll down for jobs we’ve collected for you and NIFA’s favorite links.


Julie Lancaster, Editor


Cutting for Stone


Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP
January 2010

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned, bound together by a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. The author is Senior Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Read more . . .

Under the Knife: A History of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations


Arnold van de Laar
October 2018

From the story of the desperate man from seventeenth-century Amsterdam who grimly cut a stone out of his own bladder to Bob Marley’s deadly toe, this is a history of surgery told through 28 famous operations. Written by a laparoscopic surgeon, Under the Knife offers fascinating and unforgettable insights into medicine and history via the operating room.  Read more . . .

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine

Lindsey Fitzharris
October 2018

Historian Lindsey Fitzharris shows how the world of nineteenth-century surgery was transformed by advances made in germ theory and antiseptics between 1860 and 1875. Early surgeons were lauded for their speed and brute strength, but they were baffled by persistent infections that kept mortality rates high. Enter a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would change the course of history. Read more . . .

The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery


Wendy Moore
September 2006

In an era when bloodletting was considered a cure for everything from colds to smallpox, surgeon John Hunter was a medical innovator, an eccentric, and the person to whom anyone who has ever had surgery probably owes his or her life. In this sensational and macabre story, we meet a surgeon who counted luminaries Benjamin Franklin, Lord Byron, Adam Smith and Thomas Gainsborough among his patients. Read more . . .

The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives

Theresa Brown 
May 2016

Practicing clinical nurse and New York Times columnist Theresa Brown invites us to experience not just a day in the life of a nurse but all the life that happens in just one day on a hospital’s cancer ward. The book delves into individual struggles as well as larger truths about medicine in this country. By shift’s end, we have witnessed something profound about hope and healing and humanity. Read more . . .




Nurses for Healthy Environments

Host Beth Schenk, PhD, RN, FAAN, interviews nurses working at the intersection of health and environment. Listen here . . .


Nursing Uncensored

Host Adrianne M. Behning, BSN, RN, offers content that is “raw, real, and relevant to life on and off the clock.” The podcast addresses day-to-day living as a nurse, how to cope with those shifts that make you want to quit, helpful apps and products for nurses, and more. Listen here . . .


Nurses for Healthy Environments

Host Beth Schenk, PhD, RN, FAAN, interviews nurses working at the intersection of health and environment. Listen here . . .



TV Shows


The Knick

A look at the professional and personal lives of the staff at New York’s (fictitious) Knickerbocker Hospital during the early part of the twentieth century. Learn more . . .


The Good Doctor

Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and Savant syndrome, is recruited into the surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. The show has received strong ratings and includes interesting, medically accurate animations as part of its way of explaining the different way this doctor understands his patients’ conditions. Learn more . . .


St. Elsewhere

This show focuses on the lives and work of the staff of St. Eligius Hospital, an old and disrespected (and fictitious) Boston teaching hospital. It enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s, thanks partly to a star-studded cast and its vibe of gritty realism. Learn more . . .

Student Spotlight: Carie Bussey


Student Status
Current student in NIFA’s RNFA program.

City & State
Olympia, WA

Current Position
I am a CNM, ARNP at an outpatient OB/GYN physician-owned practice in Olympia, WA, called Olympia Obstetrics and Gynecology. I work with a fabulous group of 6 physicians and 4 other CNMs, ARNP.

Where did you get your RN degree?
Pacific Lutheran University BSN; University of Washington MSN.

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
I enjoy first assisting with C-sections and the physician group I work with recognized this in addition to their needing a first assist for their gyn robotic cases.

What is the scariest (or funniest) moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
I feel privileged to be part of C-sections & helping newborns into this world. I love showing a newborn baby to parents through a clear drape or on the way to the warmer!

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
There are so many! Probably #1 is establishing near/far before tying.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
I have been in my current role as an ARNP for a long time. I am so excited (& humbled) to be adding to this role & grow as a provider & ARNP. I also think it will enhance my working with patients and participating with their shared decision making.

Jobs Front

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

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Practice Resources

Here are several of the most-in-demand sites for our students, prospective students and grads:

MD Edge Surgery News: Specialty News and Commentaries, Videos and More
RNFA Scope of Practice by State (PDF)
ACS List of Cases that Require an Assistant at Surgery, 2020 (PDF)
Perioperative Nurse Links (state nursing boards & professional associations)
APRN Nurse Links

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA. NIFA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of statements made by our contributors and does not accept any liability for error or omission. It is the responsibility of all perioperative personnel to work within and adhere to their facility bylaws and individual scope of practice.

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