Currently, the average Registered Nurse First Assistant salary is around $80,000 annually. More than half of all RNFAs in the country earn between $73,000 and $87,000 per year with about 10% making more than $93,000 a year. The bottom 10% of these healthcare professionals has an annual salary of below $66,000.
In some metropolitan areas such as Washington DC, San Jose, Atlantic City, Boston, New York, Settle and Honolulu, RNFAs may make more than $100,000 a year. Employers also usually offer generous benefit packages to RNFAs such as health, dental and life insurance, and paid vacation.
What does a Registered Nurse First Assistant do?
In simple terms, a registered nurse first assistant is a healthcare professional who works in conjunction with a surgical team and other members of health care to ensure optimal patient treatment. The RNFA is a preoperative nurse who takes part in the surgical process at the direction of the surgeon but does not function as a scrub nurse at the same time.
Some of the main roles of an RNFA are maintenance of a sterile field, conscious sedation administration, procedural assistance, and documentation among others. A registered nurse first assistant works in a hospital setting normally in the operating room.
Registered Nurse First Assistant job opportunities
According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected increase in demand for registered nurses is about 20% between 2012 and 2022. There is not specific data regarding demand for RNFAs but they likely make up a significant part of that demand.
This means at least for the coming decade, there will always be a demand for registered nurse first assistants here in the United States. Hence, many young high school graduates with an interest in the medical field but without the will or qualification to become doctors are opting to become registered nurse first assistants instead.
How to become a Registered Nurse First Assistant
Obviously, you need a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate first. Then you need to complete a nursing course, and then an RNFA education program and obtain your RN license. Most of these programs will normally require a 2-year experience minimum in the perioperative arena before acceptance.
The RNFA is one of the most highly specialized forms of perioperative nursing. It is both physically taxing and mentally demanding. You will spend countless hours standing, and will need critical thinking skills to save lives. Nevertheless, it is also very rewarding. RNFA really make a difference in the care of patients before, during and after surgery.
As you can see, a Registered Nurse First Assistant salary is very good but the work is very demanding so you will earn every penny that you make.