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Earn an RN First Assistant Certificate online or in person at OU

Wed Aug 31, 2022 at 09:52 AM

Registered nurses looking to participate in care within the operating room now have a HyFlex option for earning an RN First Assistant Certificate at Oakland University. The School of Nursing has developed the RN First Assistant non-degree certificate program that is being offered through OU’s Professional and Continuing Education. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to sit for the national RNFA exam and will earn a potential of 139 Nursing Continuing Professional Development hours.  

Nurses interested in the program must have two years of experience in the operating room and have passed the Certified Perioperative Nurse exam prior to the first class meeting.The RNFA program will teach them operative procedures, such as suturing, retracting and positioning to enhance the resources of functions in the operating room. 

Jennifer Cepnick, continuing education coordinator in the School of Nursing, said the program is designed for working adults, with a flexible program schedule. 

“Our participants can attend the lectures live and in-person or, if they can’t make it during that time, they can use Zoom to watch the lecture. There will also be the option to listen to the recorded Zoom lectures at a later time. This meets the needs of everyone,” said Cepnick. “We understand that we have non-traditional students who can’t always come to a class between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. We want to make it available to everyone.”

The program runs for 15 weeks. Cepnick said there are 99 hours of didactic lectures and 40 hours of clinical training, including suturing and knot tying. There is also a hands-on requirement. For those who don’t work in a hospital that can provide the OR experience, students are able to do the training in a hospital with OU faculty. 

After the program, students will be able to identify surgical anatomy and physiology, recognize asepsis, infection and wound healing. RNFA’s also work on techniques to prevent patient injury and achieve optimal surgical outcomes. They also learn about prepping, draping, gowning, gloving and specimen handling. 

Upon completion of the program, the RN will be able to function as an RNFA in orthopedic, neuro spine: plastics (cosmetic); vascular and robotic procedures including OB/Gyn, urology and general surgical procedures. With these skills, the RNFA will be able to provide safe care for all surgical patients.

The program is offered to individuals, nurses from a hospital system are encouraged to participate together. There is a $1,000 tuition discount for multiple participants. 

For more information, contact the School of Nursing Continuing Education department