Here's my question:
As I work on my FNP, would it be unwise to work in the OR (part-time)? I would also like to work per diem for an underserved clinic maybe one weekend per month doing more direct care patient type activities. No offense to any that like bedside nursing, but I have found it to be unfulfilling personally and full things I do not care to do.
I'm concerned that gaining most of my experience in the OR would translate into not being able to get an FNP job that consisted of regular, one on one patient contact. On the other hand, perhaps it would lend itself at least to doing first assist work
Have you given any thought as to how much committment will go into the work of a perioperative nurse? Have you any experience in an OR?
It takes 6 months to 1 year of full time work to become fully oriented to the basics of perioperativve nursing. Most facilities require prior OR experience or at the very least completion of a periop. program (6-9 months) offered at either a hospital or a college. Some hospitals offer such a program in an effort to entice nurses into perioperative nursing.
As for first assisting; most facililties will not hire a nurse as a first assist (RNFA) unless they have taken an RNFA program. (An intense 3 week course followed by 6 months-1 years mentoring with a surgeon); after which one may sit for a certifying exam in this (CRNFA). a BSN is also required to sit for this exam. There are many programs available at the approximate cost of $3,000-5,000.
One criteria for taking the RNFA course is certification in the OR. For this you need at least 3 years of perioperative nursing before you will be eligible to sit for the certification exam. so you see, there is a lot of preperation to becoming a first assist.
Check out the web site www.AORN.org
for more information on perioperative nursing.