RN First Assistant Course

Why Choose Our RN First Assistant Course?

Are you a certified operating room nurse (CNOR), and ready to take on an expanded role? Or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with the desire to follow your surgical patients throughout their perioperative experience?

This hands-on course will provide you with an in-depth look at the essential elements of RN First Assistant practice, including scope of practice, the nursing process as a foundation for practice, and communication and safety skills. You will gain skills in tissue handling and wound healing, surgical procedures, and management of perioperative complications.

The course begins with a four-day on-campus session where you will learn from interactive presentations by surgeons and current RNFAs. You will complete the remainder of the coursework at a distance, then complete a 200-hour clinical practicum with a board-certified surgeon preceptor of your choice.

Fifty hours of this internship can be pre- or post-operative, the remainder must be intra-operative.

This course is designed for students who already hold a degree in nursing. It is based on the guidelines set forth by Association of Peri-Operative Registered Nurses (AORN) and is approved for 6 graduate level credits and also recognized by the CCI: Competency and Credentialing Institute.

Requirements and Registration

Apply for the RNFA course

To secure your spot in the next RN First Assistant course session, please begin the application process as soon as possible. You will be able to save and come back to your application as you submit various materials.

To complete your application and secure your spot, submit the following first:

  •  current RN license in same state in which the clinical internship will be undertaken
  • verification that you are eligible for or currently have one of the following credentials:
    • CNOR—if the student is not certified as a CNOR at the time of admission, proof of certification must be submitted before a certificate of completion is awarded.
    • APRN—proof of recognition must be submitted before a certificate of completion is awarded.
  • verification from a board certified surgeon agreeing to act as preceptor. You will need to find a preceptor and coordinate this agreement. This can be in the form of a letter on letterhead or an email from a hospital or surgery center email address.
  • curriculum vitae or resume
  • information for the hospital or surgery center where you plan to complete clinical placement, including name, address, and contact information.
  • two letters of recommendation from an OR manager or nursing peer, that validate:
    • proficiency in the role of scrubbing, circulating or first assisting
    • one's ability to perform effectively in stressful and emergency situations
    • one's ability to perform effectively and harmoniously as a team member
    • one's ability to perform effectively as a leader

After you’ve been accepted but before you begin the course, we will also require:

  • certification in CPR or basic cardiac life support (BCLS) (required) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) (preferred)
  • notice of Health Examination/Immunization Form ($30 fee)
  • proof of health care insurance (current insurance card)

Program Duration

Two to three semesters, depending on practicum schedule

Course Start Dates:

June 4-7, 2018

Helen Wood Hall, UR School of Nursing
255 Crittenden Blvd., Rochester, NY 14642
Maps and Directions

Application Deadlines

The RN First Assistant Program is offered each year in June and November. Preference is given to those who already have a placement agreement and those who already have CNOR/NP certification.
  • Apply before Oct. 1 to waive the application fee for the November class.
  • Early admission deadline for June class: March 15 ($25 fee)
  • Late admission deadline for June class: May 1 ($50 fee)

Program Costs

Tuition for the RN First Assistant Program is:

  • $3,500
  • Please note: there is a $25 early admission and $50 late admission non-refundable application fee, as well as a $30 health update fee.

What You Can Do as an RNFA

Upon completing the RN First Assistant Program from the UR School of Nursing, you’ll be prepared take on nursing roles in a variety of ways:

Work for the operating room of a hospital
Work directly with one physician or a physician group
Work for yourself