IDFPR – Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation

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Registered Surgical Assistant (RSA)


In Illinois, Registered Surgical Assistants (RSA) are certified with IDFPR (Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.) Typically, completion of this program consists of:

a) Certification of completion from a medical education program approved by the Division, or has graduated from a United States Military Program that emphasizes surgical assisting. The following applicants are considered from an approved program:

1) Individuals who are graduates of a National Surgical Assistant Association approved program of surgical assisting. The category shall include certificate programs, an associate degree or higher, and formal hospital based programs for surgical assisting.

2) Individuals with 3 consecutive years experience as a surgical first assistant with 750 hours per year. The individual must provide a signed and notarized affidavit from his or her supervisor attesting to his or her experience and 5 verifiable letters of reference from surgeons he or she has assisted.

3) Individuals with 2 full years of first assisting experience during the last 4 years with 350 documented surgical cases.

4) Individuals who are graduates of a foreign medical school must submit: a copy of the diploma or a reference letter from their medical school (verifying surgical training and experience) and a reference letter from a sponsoring U.S. surgeon who has evaluated the individual’s technical skills and aseptic technique;

b) Documentation that the applicant has passed a national certifying examination from the National Surgical Assistant Association on the Certification of Surgical Assistants; the Liaison Council on Certification for Surgical Technologists as a certified first assistant; or the American Board of Surgical Assistants;

c) Proof of current certification by one of the following certifying bodies:

1) National Surgical Assistant Association for the certification of surgical assistants;

2) Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist as a certified first assistant; or

3) American Board of Surgical Assistants;

d) If the applicant has ever been licensed/registered in another state or territory of the United States (jurisdiction), certification, on forms provided by the Division, from the jurisdiction applicant was originally licensed and the jurisdiction applicant predominantly practices and is currently licensed, stating:

1) The time during which the applicant was registered in that jurisdiction, including the date of original issuance of the license; and

2) Whether the file on the applicant contains any record of disciplinary actions taken or pending;
If you have any questions about this program, you may reach out to IDFPR for more information at www.ilga.gov. If you already hold this certification, and would like to speak with a representative of American Surgical Professionals about current career opportunities, feel free to reach out to us at www.amerisurg.com/contact/.