Advanced Degress in the OR


Hello All!

I have never used this site before, but I have a question about advancing my degree in OR nursing. I know about RN First Assist (which sounds awesome), but what about DNP in the OR? What are my options in that area? Please let me know if you have any tips or info about advancing my degree.

Thank you!

:)- Allie

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,348 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

We have a few surgical practices that employ NPs. A few of them work in the OR as the first assistant to a surgeon from their group. However, most of them are responsible for rounding on patients on the floor or completing discharge paperwork.

Another advanced degree in the OR is the CRNA (nurse anesthetist), but most if not all schools require critical care experience.

Then there's the management and education options.

RNFA does not actually require an advanced degree; my facility currently employs several who currently hold an ADN. More info about RNFAs can be found here: Registered Nurse First Assistant : Association of periOperative Registered Nurses


11 Posts

I am curious about DNPs in the OR as well. I have read that DNPs are utilized in the OR as Surgical Assists as well. I would like to hear more about this.

Specializes in CT ICU, OR, Orthopedic.

I was a surgical technologist for 5 years, and an RN for 9 years in the OR. When I got my DNP (Remember that your DNP is your degree not your title. Just as you would say, BSN or MSN), I became an acute care nurse practitioner. No jobs were offered to me. It is cheaper for ORs to hire STFAs and RNFAs. However...They are now talking about making RNFAs an advanced practice nurse. They actually make the same that I make. I don't know if this will happen or not, because in places where I work, we hire STFAs as well. So bottom line is usually money. Now, if you want to do what I did, I got into a surgical practice with an orthopedic surgeon (but many surgeons hire NPs, not just ortho), then you can first assist with your surgeon(s) in the group. But you will also be expected to round in the hospital, and work in the office. I will warn you that it is not all it is cracked up to be. It's long crappy hours, and you get dumped on a lot. I'm not trying to discourage you, but being that I have my doctorate and make the same as someone with their may want to think of all your options is all....