The RNFA is a licensed RN who has acquired the necessary qualifications including the knowledge, skills and judgements necessary to serve in this capacity. The RNFA practices in collaboration with, and as directed by the surgeon during the intraoperative phase of the perioperative experience.
The decision by a RN to practice as an RNFA must be voluntary and deliberated with an understanding of the professional accountability the role entails. The intraoperative nursing behaviors of the RNFA may include:
- handling tissue,
- providing exposure,
- using instruments,
- suturing, and
- providing hemostasis
Note: An RNFA should not concurrently function as a scrub nurse.
Current licensure as a registered nurse in New Hampshire
The RNFA scope of practice is a further refinement of perioperative nursing practice and is included within the nursing practice governed by the RN licensure. Additional credentialing establishing the RNs qualifications, competency and proficiency should be done by the institution or agency granting this clinical privilege to the RNFA. This credentialing should occur prior to the RN's performance of first assisting functions.
There are educational programs to prepare experienced RNs who have achieved proficiency in the OR. Formal RNFA education is provided in many colleges throughout the country which involves the equivalent of one academic year of both classroom and supervised clinical education with oversight by a surgeon preceptor. For additional information regarding this nursing specialty, contact AORN at (800) 755-2676 ext 1 or www.aorn.org.
Based on the recommendation of the Practice and Education committee January 2015, the board advises that an RNFA does not harvest arteries.
New Hampshire Board of Nursing
121 South Fruit Street | Concord, NH 03301
Nursing (603) 271-2323 | Nursing Assistant (603) 271-6282
Fax (603) 271-6605