I am about to graduate and have a couple job offers for the Cath lab and the OR as a scrub nurse or circulating nurse. I plan on continuing my education and getting my RNFA but I have a small problem: I am not sure if Cath Lab scrub nursing or circulating nursing will count towards the two years experience required for RNFA school. If it does, GREAT, thats what Im gonna do, if not, I will need to go to the OR which is also fine but the schedule is not nearly as nice as the Cath Lab. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Cath lab most likely would not as it is often considered outside the realm of perioperative. Resources for information about RNFA programs include AORN, CCI, and NIFA
I'm not sure that cath lab would "count" or be fully applicable. While in general, there is a huge push to perform as many procedures as possible as minimally invasive as possible - I don't think that only cath lab experience will help you. It is incredibly unlikely that you would see any true open procedures and your experience handling and identifying instruments would likely be far less robust than if you worked in the OR.
I would personally go to the OR if RNFA is my goal. Most likely, you would be working in the OR as an RNFA, and that means you need to be familiar with the environment. It would be unfortunate to bother to get into and even potentially finish school and decide you can't stand the OR. In the OR you'll handle instruments, possibly see some of the anatomy you need to learn to identify, see things you'd need to learn, etc.
FYI - check not only the requirements of programs, but what the state board requires in your state. Keep in mind that individual hospitals are different and maybe even more strict than the state board requirements. For example, we have some NPs who can function in the FA role - no surg tech or RN assists - have to have the education and licensure of a PA or NP. The state allows RNs with completion of a training program to function in the FA role.