How to Become a RNFA After Completing an LPN to RN Program

Posted On September 7,2017


Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA) courses are ideal for individuals interested in qualifying for positions in a surgical unit or hospital setting. Enrolling for the course after completing an LPN to RN program gives you an opportunity to gain advanced knowledge of surgical procedures and anatomy.A number of nursing schools allow qualified professionals to take advantage of seminar segments of the degree program as part of the long-distance classes. The seminars provide a flexible way for busy registered nurses to participate via the internet. The participants can clock clinical experience hours in person.

A wide variety of institutions, including universities, nursing academies, and community colleges offer RN to First Assistant (RNFA) programs. The course expands on knowledge gained through work experience and the LPN to RN program. It provides advanced training to build patient care skills of students.

The program requires students to complete more clinical practicum experience hours than the LPN to RN program. To obtain certification, RNs are required to complete at least 2,000 hours of RNFA work experience.

Students taking online classes still need to visit the campus to attend laboratory skills training classes. All RNFA programs must have a seal of approval issued by the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN).

Some of the program options offered by nursing schools and other institutions include:

  • RNFA Post-Baccalaureate Program
  • RNFA Course
  • Advanced Technical Certificate RNFA Program

How to Qualify for an RNFA Program

Registered Nurse First Assistant courses are available to RNs with various qualifications. Eligible applicants include nurses with diplomas and bachelor’s degree holders. Completing the LPN to RN program is a sure-fire way to open doors towards an RFNA qualification.

Many institutions accept students who are pursuing or possess the Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) credential. Students can obtain the certification through the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI).

It is common for nursing academies to require applicants to have at least two years working experience in a perioperative nursing capacity. Some of the additional admission eligibility requirements placed by colleges include a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and DNP or MSN coupled with APRN certification.

Eligibility Requirements for CRNFA Certification

RNFA graduates can take certification exams offered by organizations, such AORN and the National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA). The CRNFA certification is valid for a period of five years. Professionals with the CNOR credential at the time of completion will combine two. The CNOR certification becomes part of the CRNFA credential.

To qualify for professional CRNFA certification, graduates must satisfy a number of eligibility requirements. These include:

  • Working full or part time in an RNFA capacity
  • Completed at least 2,000 documented hours of RNFA work experience. The hours can encompass various aspects of patient care, including intraoperative, preoperative and postoperative.
  • Possess a valid, unrestricted registered nurse license
  • An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or CNOR certified
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in any field


Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA) prepare nursing professionals for perioperative roles. The work focuses on key aspects, such as advanced surgical procedures, techniques, and anatomy. The coursework imparts in-depth knowledge and makes it easier to perform a wide variety of intraoperative surgical procedures. These include:

  • Controlling bleeding
  • Tissue removal
  • Tying knots
  • Suturing
  • Using surgical instruments, such as retractors

The coursework covers pre- and postoperative patient care management. This enables nurses to demonstrate proficiency in discharge planning and postoperative care. As a result, it becomes simpler to assess the needs of both the surgical team and patients.

Start Your Journey Now

To learn more about our courses, including the LPN to RN program that prepares you for the RNFA, contact Athena Career Academy in Toledo.