From the Editor

How One Busy RNFA Stays Organized


Julie LancasterThe other day I was talking with Nicola Hawkinson, RN, RNFA, NP, about some articles she’s going to develop for the NIFA Surgical e-News about her specialty, spine surgery.

You’ll be hearing more about Nicola in a future issue, but here’s a brief overview:

She graduated from NIFA’s program in 2008, works full time as an Adult Acute Care NP at New York University’s HospitaNicola Hawkinsonl for Joint Diseases, runs her own company offering recruiting and education for the spine industry (, and has written many articles for the SpineUniverse website. She’s also getting her doctorate in nursing. Oh, and she has three children, ages 9, 7 and 5.

Dazzling productivity always gets my attention, so I asked her if she had any tips. [read more]


NEWS: First U.S. Near-total Face Transplant

Last month, the recipient of the first near-total face transplant in the U.S. left a Cleveland hospital, able to breathe normally and eat solid food for the first time since a traumatic injury several years before had left her with no nose or palate. Dr. Maria Siemionow, a reconstructive surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, led the operation.

“In a 22-hour procedure, 80 percent of her face was replaced with bone, muscles, nerves, skin and blood vessels from another woman who had just died,” reported the Feb. 6 Associated Press story on

Click here for an NBC News video that includes an animation showing which portions of the face were replaced. And a more  in-depth description of the surgery is available in this The New York Times article published on Dec. 18, 2008, including a link to a piece on ethical issues underlying facial transplants.

RNFA in the Spotlight

Name:  Beatriz Orvis
City & State:  Oak Park, CA
Credentials: CNM, NP, RNFA, MSN, MBA
Current Job:  Self-employed
Quote:  After being “hard core OB” since 1978, I am now turning into the ortho queen with my first assistant practice. I do cases four days a week; sometimes five. The majority of the cases are ortho and spine with some OB, gyn and urology in the mix . . .  I am now doing an average of 10-15 cases per week and have had as many as 19 cases in one week. My income is fantastic and I love being my own boss!

In these days of “doom and gloom,” it’s wonderful to read about folks whose work lives are thriving. Click here to read Beatriz’ full story.


Have you ever found it tough to cut a strand of suture with regular suture scissors?
The trick is to rotate the scissors to a point where the center screw is facing you, or up. Since suture scissors are manufactured to operate that way, you will find it easier to cut from now on!