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Course Overview

Close up of doctors holding scalpels and other tools

NISE – A Better Answer to the OR Nursing Shortage

The Association of PeriOperative Nurses (AORN) reports that as of 2018, the average age of OR nurses is late fifties and approximately 20% of the perioperative nurses will retire within the next five years. That means that the next seven years are critical in the training of new perioperative staff. It is becoming more important that facilities plan for the growing demand of perioperative nurses and the need to pass the knowledge torch to the novice nurse.

This course will be an asset to recruiting and retaining perioperative staff as well as making the transition to practice easier for the novice nurse.

“… I thought the journal questions were good and liked how they tie into being in rooms instead of just “book” questions. I also thought the competencies were very well done and were a lot more in-depth then I was expecting. It was a pleasant surprise. It’s also easy to follow…”

Erin Reusze, OPS/OR Supervisor, California

NIFA and the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI)

NISE is an evidence-based course presented in a structured online format using materials that were developed in a partnership between NIFA and the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI) to provide the fundamental skills and knowledge that are the foundation of the perioperative nursing practice. The collaboration with CCI is planned and purposeful.

NISE – Evidence-based and Psychometrically Sound Learning Tool

Unlike any other course for novice nurses, the NISE course materials are based on the recent Job Analysis findings for the CNOR® credential, administered by the CCI. The Job Analysis process allowed for input from a nationwide, representative group of CNORs and was conducted within the guidelines of professionally sound practice, using a multi-method, scientifically rigorous approach to identify the tasks and knowledge that are important to the competent performance of qualified perioperative nurses.

Course quiz and exam questions were developed by the CCI using the same methods for development as the CNOR certification exam questions. Our intent is to facilitate the career development of the learner leading to testing for CNOR certification. *

Additionally, NISE Competencies were developed by the Education Division of the CCI. Required competencies validate the learner’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes; all traits that promote safe patient care.

* CCI neither sponsors nor endorses training or educational opportunities in specialized practice areas or preparatory courses for any of the CCI examinations. CNOR® is a registered trademark of the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI). All rights reserved. CCI administers the CNOR® exam.

NISE Accreditation

NISE is the only accredited novice nurse in surgery training course in the nation. Accreditation through the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), validates that the NISE course is compliant with the highest quality standards for a certificate bearing program. ABSNC accreditation validates the multi-modal assessment measures used throughout the NISE course to determine learner competency. Stakeholders including facilities, learners, and patients will benefit from improved outcomes that are the result of the various assessment measures and learning tools found throughout the NISE course.


To be eligible to enroll, learners must have an active RN license and be employed in the perioperative setting.

NISE does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its admissions, operations, or hiring decisions.

NISE is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all staff, participants, clients, and volunteers.

NISE will make every reasonable attempt to comply with Federal regulations concerning the administration of assessments for qualified persons who are temporarily or permanently disabled (All policies can be accessed by following the link below).

NISE Course Offering

Advantage Gold
Advantage Gold is for the facility that wants assistance and personalized support with their perioperative training program. NISE Administrators are available to help alleviate the workload of facility educators and management by providing 40 hours per week support for the learner and staff. This allows the facility educator and management to devote time to the multiple other requirements they may have. NISE Administrators are in contact weekly with the facility. Advantage Gold features include:

  • NIFA Administrators are available for learners and preceptors 40 hours per week for questions related to testing, reading assignments, or course requirements.
  • NIFA Administrator monitors and provides a weekly report of learner progress to the Preceptor (preceptors must successfully pass the NISE Preceptor Certificate Exam (PE) prior to learner engagement in the course) and/or Facility management.
  • Licenses for the NISE Course may only be purchased by Health Care facilities for their current and/or future O.R. Registered Nurse employees.

Facility Benefits

Group of various doctors and nurses

Taking on the Administrative Role

Consistent training of employees results in consistent care for your patient population. NISE assumes the Administrator role on your behalf leaving your OR staff/Educators time to focus on other tasks and departmental needs.

  • We have Administrators on staff to handle multiple learners and are available to the facility administration, preceptors, and learners 40 hours per week.
  • NISE provides mentoring and monitoring on a weekly basis. This timely monitoring helps ensure the learner completes the program and is competent in their skills while meeting the requirements of the course.
  • Weekly progress/status reports can be provided to not only the learner, but also management and the facility preceptor fostering collaboration and success.

Licensing is Valid for a Period of 4 Years

Each license purchased is valid for a period of 4 years. Within the 4-year duration, the learner has 8 months to complete the course. 8 months will allow adequate exposure to topics associated with perioperative nursing. This additional time may be utilized to provide the learner exposure to perioperative areas such as the Sterile Processing Department, Preop, and PACU, making them a well-rounded, knowledgeable staff member.

Waiting room at doctors office

Trainee Benefits

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Learning the Role of Perioperative Nursing

NISE is an easy to follow, user-friendly online course that will guide the learner from novice to advanced beginner. NISE was developed as a unit-based program that provides the tools necessary in learning the role of perioperative nursing.

The learner will have online, didactic assignments as well as hands-on learning experiences. The hands-on learning experiences will be at the facility with the guidance of a facility designated preceptor and facility staff. The learner will be able to incorporate the evidence-based learning into their daily exposure within their facility.

Easy to Navigate Online Course

The NISE Course is structured around 6 units covering 29 topics with a user-friendly interface for ease of navigation. Each user is required to complete Unit 1 and then may follow in sequence or choose the next unit assignment, depending upon the individual learner and facility.

At the completion of the course, there is a comprehensive, proctored examination. By utilizing CCI developed questions, the learners are exposed to the style of questions encountered when taking the CNOR certification exam.

The learner has access to 40-hour per week course Administrators and mentors. They will receive weekly progress reports to help successfully complete the course. These weekly reports are also shared with the preceptor and facility manager. Upon successful completion of the course, the learner will be awarded 70.8 CEs. (Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider Number CEP11471.)