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Sample Questions

Many candidates find it helpful to review sample questions to see the format and complexity of actual CRNFA exam questions.

1. A patient with a new diagnosis of short bowel syndrome (SBS) requires ____________.

  1. long term antibiotics
  2. intermittent temporary feeding
  3. Total Parental Nutrition (TPN)
  4. intestinal transplant

Correct answer: C.
Reference: Rothrock, J.C. (ed.).Alexander’s Care of the Patient in Surgery. (2015). Chapter 11: Gastrointestinal Surgery, (p. 335).
Rationale: TPN is required due to the inability of the intestine to absorb essential nutrition. SBS is the result of multiple small bowel resections. Intestinal transplant is the last resort after all possible treatments have failed.

2. Patients with extracellular fluid (ECF) volume excess would display symptoms of:

  1. weak pulse, increased BP, and increased central venous pressure (CVP).
  2. headache, confusion, and decreased CVP.
  3. increased pulse, postural hypotension, and decreased CVP.
  4. bounding pulse, increased BP, and increased CVP.

Correct answer: D.
Reference: Harding, M. M., (2014). Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Based Imbalances. In Lewis, S. L., et al. (Eds.). Medical surgical nursing: Assessment and management of clinical problems (p. 292). St.Louis: Elsevier Mosby.
Rationale: In fluid volume excess, the pulse is full and bounding, with an increase in BP and CVP. Additional signs include peripheral edema, jugular vein distention, dyspnea, and pulmonary edema. Because of the expanded intravascular volume, the pulse is not easily obliterated and will be bounding.

3. Methods for providing good exposure of the surgical wound include retraction, patient positioning, and:

  1. use of appropriate suture materials.
  2. surgical light adjustment.
  3. avoiding chemical hemostasis.
  4. using extra tension when toeing in.

Correct answer: B.
Reference: CRNFA (2014), Module III: Tissue Handling and Wound Healing, (p. 60).
Rationale: Exposure of the surgical wound can be provided through many methods. Appropriate lighting is a key element to visualize the surgical field. Hemostasis including pressure, sponging, and coagulation are important to have a clear view of the wound. Extra tension should be avoided to prevent tissue injury in the area around the retractor.

4. A patient with a body mass index (BMI) of ________ would be considered for bariatric surgery if there were serious comorbidities present.

  1. 25
  2. 28
  3. 32
  4. 35

Correct answer: D.
Reference: Phillips, N. (2013). Berry and Kohn's operating room technique, (p. 675). St. Louis, MO.:Elsevier Mosby.
Rationale: The usual target score of BMI that makes individuals a candidate for bariatric surgery is 40 and up. If a person has serious comorbidities and a BMI between 35-40, they may be considered for surgery after multiple evaluations.

5. Educational preparation for the RNFA role includes:

  1. verification of CNOR credential prior to entering an RNFA program.
  2. completing an RNFA program equivalent to four semester hours of post-basic nursing study.
  3. completing a program based on AORN’s core curriculum.
  4. obtaining a BSN prior to entering an RNFA program

Correct answer: C.
Reference: AORN. (2013). Position Statement on RN First Assistants. Retrieved Sept. 14, 2015 from:
Rationale: RNFA programs must provide six semester hours of credit. The CNOR credential is required for graduation from, not entry into, an RNFA program. A bachelor’s degree is not required until after Jan. 1, 2020, and it does not have to be in nursing. The RNFA program must meet AORN standards for RNFA education.