Job Description

Reg Nurse First Asst


The Registered Nurse First Assistant is responsible for surgical support activities and assistance to the supervising physician and effectively manages the surgical patient. The RNFA is accountable for integrating care within scope of practice licensure, relevant education and experience.


  • Assists surgeons by performing basic intraoperative functions such as draping of patient maintaining sterile technique, providing hemostasis, visualization and exposure, properly handling tissue and using instruments, suturing, cleansing surgical area and application of dressings, and other duties as requested by the surgeon that fall within the scope of licensure.

  • Scrubs for cases according to established sterile procedures and changes into appropriate operative attire; dons sterile gown and gloves and assists the surgeon with same.

  • Passes instruments, sponges, sutures and other sterile supplies and equipment as needed. The RNFA expedites the operative procedure by anticipating the needs of the surgeon in a first assist role. The RNFA does not function concurrently as a scrub nurse.

  • Utilizes aspects of the nursing process (assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation) with appropriate skill to effectively manage the surgical patient pre and post-operatively.

  • Works with clinical support staff to ensure accurate documentation and timely communication with patient/families.

  • Provides appropriate and pertinent patient education to the patient family to facilitate optimal patient recovery, function and well-being.

  • Under the direction of the surgeon the registered nurse first assist may be responsible to procure in vitro conduits (i.e. greater and lesser saphenous veins, arm veins and radial arteries).

  • Performs other related duties as assigned and within scope of licensure, including patient admittance evaluations in which the RNFA obtains basic information on all new patients, reviews patient's pharmacologic chart, elicits pharmacologic history, and performs an abbreviated physical examination. The RNFA also transcribes findings and admission orders into patient's chart and briefs staff surgeons on their list of admissions and each patient's pharmacologic status.

  • Performs postoperative procedures (eg, assisting surgeon with daily rounds; daily observation of surgical incision and subsequent wound care; removing drains; Foley catheters; skin sutures; central venous catheters; communication with surgeon about any deviation from normal clinical progress).

  • Provides patient discharge instructions (eg, discharge teaching). The RNFA must maintain respect for the individual patient's social and cultural traditions.

  • Assists in the completion of discharge summaries on routine surgical procedures. Performs other duties consistent with purpose of job as directed by surgeon.

  • Assists circulating nurse the care of patient pre-operatively, intraoperatively, and postoperatively as directed by surgeon. Under the direction of the surgeon, may write preoperative and postoperative verbal orders as directed by surgeon.



  • Graduate of an RNFA program and internship that meets the criteria set out in the "AORN recommended education standards for RN first assistance programs."

  • Three years of perioperative nursing experience in both a scrub and circulating role.

  • Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification.

  • CSTFA who obtains an RN degree and continues in the First Assist role.


  • Bachelor's in Nursing.

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

Job: Nurse

Primary Location: Michigan-Petoskey-McLaren Northern Michigan

Organization NRT10-McLaren Northern MI-Hospital

Employee Status Regular

Shift Evening Job

Job Type Standard

Schedule Full-time

Req ID: 20009557

Company Info

Company Name
McLaren Health Care
Zip/Post Code