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RN First Assistant Program (RNFA)

Prepare to practice as an RNFA with the University of Rochester's RN First Assistant program.

Students donning gloves and OR gear

The RN First Assistant program prepares CNORs to take on an expanded role and empowers APRNs to follow their surgical patients throughout the perioperative experience.

The RNFA program — based on Association of Peri-Operative Registered Nurses (AORN) guidelines — is considered an acceptable program for CRNFA or RNAS-C eligibility with the National Assistant at Surgery Certification (NASC).

Course Length

6-week online course

Plus one and a half in-person experiential skills days at the University of Rochester Medical Center

Clinical Internship

200 hours

Clinical internship with a board-certified surgeon preceptor

Application Deadline

November 15

for spring session

Why the University of Rochester?

Our RNFA program in Rochester, New York is the best of both worlds - an immersive on-site Experiential Learning & Skills Day where you will meet practicing RNFAs and RNFA students, and have the ability to complete clinical requirements where you live.
Robotics image of students in the OR

RNFA Curriculum

Learn the essential elements of RN First Assistant practice, including scope of practice, the nursing process as a foundation for practice, communication, and operating room safety. During the program, surgeons, RNFAs, and other specialists from the University of Rochester Medical Center will cover use of surgical instruments, tissue handling and wound healing, surgical procedures, and management of perioperative complications.

Learn more

Program Overview

The RN First Assistant program features a six-week course, one and a half experiential skills days on the University of Rochester Medical Center campus in New York, and a clinical internship. This combination of learning methods provides flexibility with close guidance from program faculty. Upon completion, prepare to practice as an RNFA.


RNFA Curriculum

RNFA Session Dates

Applying to the RNFA Program

Schedule an Appointment

Julius D. Cheng, MD, MPH Contact Information

Julius D. Cheng, MD, MPH

Professor, Department of Surgery & Pediatrics
Associate Professor, School of Nursing

Julius Cheng Bio
Marialaina Chennell, DNP, RN, FNP-C, NP-C, RNFA Contact Information

Marialaina Chennell, DNP, RN, FNP-C, NP-C, RNFA

Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing

See Bio
Donna Steo, MS, RN, CNOR, CNE-cl Contact Information

Donna Steo, MS, RN, CNOR, CNE-cl

Instructor of Clinical Nursing

Connect With Us

Questions about Center for Lifelong Learning courses or programs? Contact us.

PHONE (585) 275-0446
FAX (585) 273-1270

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