From the Editor

e5651521-0a79-4662-9408-c8f0e9d97393Finding your way in the healthcare thicket of possible certifications and career directions can be challenging. In this issue, a NIFA graduate shares some thoughts on taking RNFA training as an NP.

If you have ideas and experiences to share about your own career path in health care, please email them to me.

As seen in the article below, it’s amazing how many perioperative and advanced practice nurses who contact us have a background in GYN! So we thought it would be fun to test your memory on this popular specialty with the summer’s last brainteaser.

And NIFA is offering a new service for employers of RNFAs. Read on!


Julie Lancaster, Editor
RNFA Training Helpful to NPs?

68ea3891-2f73-4b50-a300-9b5590742867Susan Van Beuge, MSN, APN, FNP-BC, was a nurse practitioner (NP) when she took her RNFA training, graduating from NIFA’s RNFA program in 2005.

Now, as a lecturer/clinical instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who is working on a doctorate in nursing, she encourages her NP students who want to work in the OR to take the training, too.

“As an NP, I did this in order to assist and be paid the assistant surgeon pay, which is a different category than the RNFA,” Susan says. “I found the experience very valuable and enhancing to my career.”

As an advanced practice  nurse with a master’s degree who hadn’t worked as a circulating nurse, she found the training helpful not only for practical skills but also for documenting her abilities for insurance companies. After the training, she worked in a general surgical practice and was able to bill at the assistant surgeon rate, providing income for her practice, and also assist another physician with GYN procedures.

“I think it’s a great thing for NPs who want to be involved in surgery,” she says. “NPs have a lot to offer as far as patient care goes. And my experience in the OR was invaluable — not observing but actually doing it. You can’t really appreciate it until you get in there and do it for a couple of years. You gain an appreciation of anatomy, physiology, and what patients go through during surgery procedures.”

Refining Your Practice Matrix

“Depending on how your practice’s pay structure is set up,” Susan continues, “you can also increase income by assisting for your practice surgeon, providing another source of income that makes you competitive.

“Every skill set you bring to the practice, general surgery or specialized surgery, provides the patient and surgeon you are working with a qualified, competent professional nurse practitioner,” she says. “Compensation is important, but the core values of patient care bring with them a responsibility to the entire team. RNFA training can help you provide the holistic care that the surgical patient needs.

“It’s all part of figuring out how your practice matrix will work,” Susan concludes. “When you get a nice system going and find someone you work well with, you can really move through the work quickly and it’s a benefit for everybody. The more skill sets you have, the more you bring to a practice, which, in the long run, is of benefit to the patient.”


OB-GYN Crossword Puzzle

2.    The “A” in TAH.
7.     A kind of transfixation stitch.
9.     Use this to approximate.
11.    A vein in the uterus.
13.    Nurse Practitioner.
16.    Dissecting extraneous tissue from the uterine artery before clamping.
17.    The main supporting ligament of the uterus.
18.    A kind of laser.
20.    An abdominal suction tip.
22.    This ligament is found on the posterior aspect of the uterus.
23.    An egg.
24.    Left Salpingo-Oophorectomy.
26.    The muscular layer of the uterus.
28.    Clamp, cut, and ________.
29.    Medical Doctor.
34.    Where the Fallopian tube exits the uterus.
35.    This artery branches from the internal iliac and supplies the uterus.
36.    An opening.
39.    You take these in a cancer case.
41.    The ligament that encases the uterine artery.
43.    An anatomical line of reference.
44.    A patient person.

1.   This can ablate endometrial implants.
3.   The mesentery that encases the small arteries that supply the ovary and ovarian ligament.
4.    An RNFA is a ______ physician first assistant.
5.    Short for laparotomy.
6.    Bad news for the uterus.
8.    Inner lining of the uterus.
10.  Pouch in the back of the uterus.
12.   A condition surgical patients love.
14.   The mesentery of the Fallopian tube.
15.   This approach to hysterectomy leaves no visible scars.
17.   Carcinoma.
19.   Before making the incision you must do this to the skin.
21.   Another name for the uterine tubes.
23.   This artery that you are concerned with during TAH branches off the abdominal aorta.
25.   This structure has a fundus and a corpus.
26.   This incision provides greater exposure than the Pfannenstiel.
27.   The midsection of the ovarian tube.
30.   This structure is at risk during a TAH.
31.   This ligament extends from the fundus to the pelvic sidewall and enters into the inguinal canal.
32.   Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy.
33.   Contains the opening from the uterus to the outer world.
37.   A good one of these will really secure a stitch.
38.   Do this with bony prominences.
40.   Sub-Acute Care (Unit)
42.   Doctor of Osteopathy


Employers: Hire an RNFA!

We have a new service that allows employers to post job openings for RNFA positions on our website.

NIFA has the country’s largest database of skilled RNFAs ready to work. Rather than posting job ad online, only to have it disappear in a monster-sized employment database, you simply post it on a special form at our website and within 7 days it will be distributed directly to our RNFA database.

The service is FREE through 10/1/08! Read more here.