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Surgeon Employed Assistants, AS150 TDLTM may be your only choice for formal Surgical Assistant Training.

Every surgical assistant program in the country now requires you to log cases in different specialties (rotations) during your program student preceptorship before you can move on to program graduation - except one - NIFA's AS150 college first assistant program. This is a requirement in the new CAAHEP surgical assistant programs.

NIFA agrees that logging multi-specialty rotations for first assistant students is an excellent educational model for SA students. However, for a great many of you (along with your employers), logging multi-specialty rotations as part of your program curriculum is not always possible.

As a matter of fact, for group employed and surgeon employed assistants who work in one specialty only, logging multi-specialty rotations in a first assistant program may be - literally impossible.

If your employer is requiring you to enroll in a surgical first assistant program and then get certified, you should seriously ask yourself if you can log at least 135 cases in the specialties required by CAAHEP programs below:

  • General - Minimum of 20 major cases & 10 minor cases
  • Orthopedic - Minimum of 20 major cases and 10 minor cases
  • Peripheral Vascular - Minimum of 10 cases
  • Endoscopic procedures - Minimum of 20 cases
  • Electives in two other surgical specialties with a minimum of 20 cases in each
If you can log the cases above in different specialties as part of your first assistant training program curriculum, or even if you think you can but are not completely sure, we encourage you to try to enroll in a CAAHEP surgical assistant program found at As outlined below, since there may be other reasons why you may not qualify, we strongly encourage you to carefully read all CAAHEP prerequisites and requirements. Contact all the programs directors listed and see which one is best for you.

After reading their program prerequisites, if you ascertain that you absolutely cannot enroll in a CAAHEP program because it 1) would be impossible for you to log the multi-specialty cases itemized above or; 2) because you were on the job trained or; 3) because your facility would not sign the required training agreements or; 4) for any other reason, then you should seriously consider enrolling in our AS150 Total Distance Learning (TDL) Surgical Assistant Program.*

AS150 Surgical Assistant TDL Program is now the only formal, college program in the country that will still allow you to log all your cases in one specialty.+

For the majority of you who are surgeon or group employed who cannot log rotations, or those of you who were facility trained, AS150 is now your only choice to document formal first assistant training and to get nationally certified by virtue of program graduation. NIFA's programs are Approved and Regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Private Occupational School Board. NIFA Agents are licensed by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Private Occupational School Board. To verify school approval, see:

Currently, AS150 tuition is only $2495.00

More reasons to enroll in AS150 Surgical Assistant TDL Program:
  • There are no 6 day classes to attend
  • There are no costly airline tickets to purchase
  • There are no hotel room costs
  • There is no time off work
  • You can complete the entire program at your home and facility
  • You'll save thousands of dollars off of other program costs
  • You'll have the option to attend our SutureStar™ Workshop at a phenomenal discounted price.
  • The tuition for our program goes up $500.00 after December 31, 2007
All program graduates qualify to sit for the Assistant at Surgery - Certified™ (AS-C™). The secured AS-C exam is now presented in over 220 secured ACT testing centers throughout the United States.

To receive additional information from NIFA regarding our AS150 and SA250 Programs, please fill out the short form to the right.


*In our school catalog, you will see the SA250 Surgical Assistant Program. SA250 requires rotations and training agreements also. Please call 1-800-922-7747 press '1' for a "student consultation". We are enrolling students in this program on a case by case basis.

CST® Note: Currently, you can sit for the CST/CFA® exam by attending a CAAHEP SA program found at or by challenging the test by logging 350 cases and two years of assisting experience in the last 4 years. Visit for eligibility.

Other college notes: NIFA still has its SA program offered through the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). If you are a current student, you will not be affected by the new programs. If you were making arrangements or would like to enroll in one of the CSN/NIFA SA programs (previously featured on this site) we will be happy to assist you in enrolling at 1-800-922-7747 press 1.

State Announcement: It is the practitioner's responsibility to always adhere to your own state laws regarding first assistant education, certification and right to practice.

+IMPORTANT: There is a strong possibility that the AS150 program will end soon. Because of this, enrolling in AS150 for only $2495 may represent one of your last opportunities to enroll in an affordable, credible, first assistant program and by virtue of that, move on to national certification.

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Certification Exam Deadline Oct. 1, 2008:

Found on Beginning October 1, 2008, the National Assistant at Surgery Council (NASC) will require that all applicants for the AS-C exam show proof of graduation of a formal surgical technology school recognized by the USDOE in addition to the successful completion of a NASC approved Surgical Assistant program (along with other prerequisites).

Important: The above ruling does not apply to students enrolled in or who have graduated from approved NASC SA programs previous to October 1, 2008. However, they must apply and sit for the AS-C exam before July 1, 2009 or they will be disqualified from exam eligibility.