Can FNP's work in the O.R.?

Nursing Students NP Students


Hello all,

Can any of your tell me if FNP's can work in the O.R. as a first assist? I live in Virginia and I have no idea if that's allowed/common here. Would pay go up if you worked in the OR or would in be around the same if you worked in a practice?

I'm just curious because I want to be a FNP and I also love the thought of working in the OR! Thank you guys in advanced for any help you can throw my way :)

Specializes in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

Yes, but you may need additional training. It depends on the state.

My state follows the consensus model strictly. For an NP or any other nurse to work as a first assist, they absolutely must have a RNFA certification. Most RNFA programs waive the OR experience requirement for NPs meaning you can get very well qualified in a relatively short period of time if that is your career goal.

I've seen a couple of threads where NPs were told by the hospitals they worked at for years that they'd need to produce an RNFA cert to maintain their credentials.

The chief of surgery for my hospital system is trying to make it so that only ACNPs can work on any surgical service - in the OR or not. And if you want to work in the OR you should pursue your RNFA. Formal training is important in the OR.

Yeah but most places use PAs since they have a surgery class and rotation in school

Thanks for the response! I'm not sure if I should do ACNP or FNP. I'd rather do FNP because I like the thought of maybe working at an outpatient facility when I'm older and not wanting to wake up super early to get to the O.R. However, the O.R. is my first love! Do you know if NP's who work in the O.R. make about the same as they would not working in the O.R. in a typical setting? I think in my area NP's start out at at least 90k, but of course I have no idea what someone would start out if they were assisting in surgery.

This is true! I hope I'd have a chance if I got my RNFA.

Thanks for your response! I def plan on getting my RNFA, hopefully by the time I graduate it's a little bit more typical to see ACNP's in the OR. :)

ACNPs can work in outpatient specialties. So that shouldn't be a reason to choose FNP. In my area the compensation typically goes OR/ICU > inpatient non-surgery > outpatient specialty > primary care.

Yeah there's a couple of ways, I live in Texas and work as a OR circulator in a surgical center. There is a FNP who works with an prominent ortho doc and is the only fnp out of mostly PA assist. She had to get FA certified but it's worth it because she has more prescriptive and practice ability so she can get more done for the docs. They all ask if she can float to help them

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