January 2021

What is an RNFA Nurse?

An RNFA is a Registered Nurse First Assistant. These nurses have advanced education and training in surgical assisting during specific surgical procedures. They provide assistance to healthcare professionals like surgeons and podiatrists with patient care before, during, and after surgery.

What is the Primary Role of RNFA?

The primary role of an RNFA is to assist physicians in performing surgical procedures in a hospital or clinical setting. This role includes preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative duties, such as patient assessment and preparation, surgical instrumentation, suturing, and surgical site closure.

What Does an RN First Assistant Do?

An RN First Assistant is a specialized nurse with advanced skills and training in the field of surgical procedures. They are responsible for providing support and expertise to the surgeon and surgical team during operations. This includes shepherding the procedure, maintaining a sterile environment, providing patient assessment and education, maintaining patient safety, providing both pre and postoperative care, and ensuring proper and accurate documentation.

How Do You Become an RNFA?

To become an RNFA, you may need to complete an accredited RNFA program offered by an Associate Degree Program, a nursing college, or an approved teaching hospital. Once you complete the program, you may need to register with the state as a Registered Nurse First Assistant.

Depending on the state, you may have to pass a national certification exam such as the Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA) Exam in order to be able to practice as an RNFA. Some states may also require you to complete a set number of continuing education courses in order to maintain RNFA credentials.

What is the Difference Between Scrub Nurse and an RNFA?

A scrub nurse is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the operating room environment and the instruments used for the surgical procedure, whereas a RNFA (Registered Nurse First Assistant) is responsible for providing direct patient care in a collaborative role with the surgeon during the operation such as assisting with surgical closures, wound closures, suturing, and wound dressing. The RNFA is also required to complete preoperative assessments and verify surgical consent forms.

How Many Types of Surgical Nurses Are There?

There are four main types of surgical nurses:

  1. Operating Room Nurse
  2. Surgical First Assistant Nurse
  3. Scrub Nurse
  4. Circulating Nurse

How Much Do RN First Assistants Earn?

RN first assistants earn an average of $75,100 per year, with those at the highest end of the salary spectrum earning up to $142,000 annually.


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