Specialized Care with a Home Town Feel: Merrie Quigley, BSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA
Merrie Quigley, BSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA
Merrie Quigley’s passion for patients is obvious as she talks about assisting in the operating room, but what is inspiring is listening to her talk about educating herself to higher levels in order to provide a higher level of care as well as to do what she loves for the rest of her life.
“I wanted to educate myself further so that I could do more in the surgery department and take care of patients from start to finish,” Quigley said.
When she first came to Gothenburg Health in 2002, Quigley said she worked on the acute floor, night shift and in Gothenburg Family Practice as an LPN for a short time. Then, a position became available in surgery. She said she was concerned that surgery would not be the right fit for her. To her surprise, she said she found out that surgery is something she loves. “I want to be scrubbing or assisting in the operating room every day,” she said.
Before Quigley became an RN in 2012, she said she learned to scrub and to do central sterilizing. Then, in 2017, Quigley studied to be a Certified Nurse of the Operating Room (CNOR) and passed the national exam through the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI) on the first try.
Shortly afterwards, Quigley became the first and only First Assist at Gothenburg Health after completing a two-year online course, 130 hours of mentorship with four surgeons and a five-day suture/surgery workshop through the National Institute for First Assist (NIFA).
A Registered Nurse First Assist (RNFA) is a nurse who works directly with the surgeon under his/her guidance to aid in surgical procedures. As an RNFA, Quigley has increased operating room abilities. Some examples are providing exposure to the surgical site, handling or cutting of tissue, providing hemostasis and suturing.
Quigley didn’t stop there. In 2019, she also earned her bachelor’s degree (BSN). “I love being in the OR and able to do everything from pre-op to post-op,” she said. “I enjoy working with the patients to explain the steps and what is about to happen while also trying to calm their fears.”
She lives in Gothenburg with her husband, Chad, of 31 years. They have one daughter, Nichole, and two grandchildren.