Beginning January 1, 2022, the final test in the NISE program will be the CCI knowledge-based test for the new CFPN Credential. Not only does NISE completion prep the learners for the CFPN test, but once learners obtain the CFPN credential, they may sit for the CNOR exam after 18 months of perioperative experience (refer to CCI for more information). 

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The NIFA Nurse In Surgery Essentials, NISE™, program offers many benefits to training employees and a better answer to the OR nursing shortage.


Program Overview

NISE™ is an easy to follow, user-friendly online program that will guide the learner from novice to advanced beginner.

Facility Benefits

NISE™ licenses are good for 4 years and learners have up to 8 months to complete this accredited Certificate of Mastery Program.

Trainee Benefits

NISE™ graduation is the first step towards earning the new CFPN credential. The Knowledge Based Test for the CFPN credential and the NISE™ tests are written in the same style as the CNOR exam.


NISE™ – A Better Answer to the OR Nursing Shortage

The Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN) reports that as of 2018, the average age of an OR nurse is in their late fifties and approximately 20% of the perioperative nurses will retire within the next five years. That means that the next seven years are critical in the training of new perioperative staff. It is becoming more important that facilities plan for the growing demand of perioperative nurses and the need to pass the knowledge torch to the novice OR circulator.

This program, based on the current version of the AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice, will be an asset to recruiting and retaining perioperative staff as well as making the transition to practice easier for the novice nurse.

NIFA® and the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI®)

NISE™ is an evidence-based program presented in a structured online format using materials that were developed in a partnership between NIFA® and the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI®) to provide the fundamental skills and knowledge that are the foundation of the perioperative nursing practice. The collaboration with CCI® is planned and purposeful.

Unlike any other program for novice OR circulators, the NISE™ Program materials are based on the recent Job Analysis findings for the CNOR® credential, administered by the CCI®. The Job Analysis process allowed for input from a nationwide, representative group of CNORs® and was conducted within the guidelines of professionally sound practice, using a multi-method, scientifically rigorous approach to identify the tasks and knowledge that are important to the competent performance of qualified perioperative nurses.

Program quiz and exam questions were developed by the CCI® using the same methods for development as the CNOR® certification exam questions. Our intent is to facilitate the career development of the learner leading to testing for CNOR® certification. *

Additionally, NISE™ Competencies were developed by the Education Division of the CCI®. Required competencies validate the learner’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes; all traits that promote safe patient care.

* CCI® neither sponsors nor endorses training or educational opportunities in specialized practice areas or preparatory program for any of the CCI® examinations. CNOR® is a registered trademark of the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI®). All rights reserved. CCI® administers the CNOR® exam.

NISE™ Accreditation

NISE™ is the only ABSNC accredited novice nurse in surgery training program in the nation. Accreditation through the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), validates that the NISE™ Program is compliant with the highest quality standards for a certificate bearing program. ABSNC accreditation validates the multi-modal assessment measures used throughout the NISE™ Program to determine learner competency. Stakeholders including facilities, learners, and patients will benefit from improved outcomes that are the result of the various assessment measures and learning tools found throughout the NISE™ Program.


To be eligible to enroll, learners must have an active RN license and be employed in the perioperative setting.

NISE™ does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its admissions, operations, or hiring decisions.

NISE™ is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all staff, participants, clients, and volunteers.

NISE™ will make every reasonable attempt to comply with Federal regulations concerning the administration of assessments for qualified persons who are temporarily or permanently disabled (All policies can be accessed by following the link below).


NISE™ provides assistance and personalized support with their perioperative training program. NISE™ Administrators are available to help alleviate the workload of facility educators and management by providing 40 hours per week support for the learner and staff. This allows the facility educator and management to devote time to the multiple other requirements they may have. NISE™ Administrators are in contact weekly with the facility. NISE™ features include:


NIFA® Administrators are available for learners and preceptors for questions related to testing, reading assignments, or program requirements.


NISE™ Administrator monitors and provides a weekly report of learner progress to the facility contact. Facility chosen Preceptors will be enrolled in the Preceptor Exam and it is recommended that Preceptors successfully complete the exam.


Licenses for the NISE™ Program may only be purchased by Health Care facilities for their current and/or future O.R. Registered Nurse employees.

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Accredited Training for Novice O.r. Nurses

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