Association of Surgical Technologists

Nevada State Assembly

Association of Surgical Technologists
Association of Surgical Technologists




            NVSA is Proud to let everyone know that our Team Nevada Legislation Efforts to set Standards for the Practice of Surgical Technology and Surgical Technologists in the State of Nevada has achieved that goal with the Passage of AB347!!
                         Nevada Surgical Technology Education and Certification Bill AB347 Signed into Law
                         May 23, 2017 by Nevada Governor Sandoval                     


Nevada Surgical Technology Law

News Release:  KOLO TV Reno

Every surgical patient deserves a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) in every operating room.

The Certified Surgical Technologist is an allied health professional who helps assure the care and safety of the surgical patient with an effective and positive outcome on all surgical procedures. All patients facing the unknowns of surgery will now be able to count on the Certified Surgical Technologist to have the education, training and expertise to perform the surgical procedure safely and competently as part of the surgical team.   



AST Legislative Position:

Creates a pathway of "standard entry"  to the profession of Surgical Technology for  surgical technologists.

In the interest of patient safety, promotes healthcare facilities to employ only individuals who sastisy baseline educational and clinical competency requirements. To ensure that all patients in all operating rooms will be in the most capable hands across ALL surgical team members.

In an effort to protect the existing surgical technology workforce, legislation includes a "grandfather exception." It allows surgical technologists already employed as of a certain date, prior to the law going into effect, to continue working in their "pre-law" position without having to meet the same requirements as new-hires.

Officially recognize the Surgical Technology profession in Nevada State Law.



Graduation from an accredited program in surgical technology and holding / maintaining the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) as a condition of employment. This law accomplishes that goal, while recognizing those individuals who have long practiced in the state and allowing them to continue their careers uninterrupted.

It  accomplishes much for the Surgical Technology profession, including the definition within state law of surgical technology as a real profession for the first time in the State of Nevada, along with education and credentialing standards.

At this time there are ten(10) states that have passed this law.
Indiana(2009), Massachusetts(2012), Nevada(2017), New Jersey(2011), New York(2015),
Oregon(2016), South Carolina(2008),
Tennessee(2006)(2013 CE Education Requirement), Texas(2009)

IDAHO(1991): Education and Certification Requirements: Certification Required:
Administrative rule requiring that surgical technologists (referred to as "operating room technicians" in the rule) either complete a CAAHEP accredited program OR satisfy the NBSTSA requirements for CST  Certification.

3 States Require State Registration:  
North Dakota(2011) "Unlicensed Assistive Person" registry
CST NOT Required for Registration

All Require CST Certification to Qualify for Registry 

There are many State Assemblies of AST that are at some phase of the process of following suit, by building on the
language of the AST legislative mission to get the law passed in their states.

                                   Nevada Surgical Technologist  Certification Law
                                                           Main Points
                                               Effective   January  1, 2018
Effective January 1, 2018, the State of Nevada requires individuals to have and maintain current Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA); or to have completed a military surgical technology program, in order to practice surgical technology in the State of Nevada healthcare facilities.

    The Law Requires:  SURGICAL TECHNOLOGISTS entering the profession:

(1) to graduate from a Nationally-Accredited  (CAAHEP / ABHES) Surgical Technology program
     /or completed a military surgical technology program.

(2) to earn and maintain the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) Credential from
      the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

    ♦  The CST Credential from NBSTSA is the Professional Credential for Surgical Technologists and is the ONLY CERTIFICATION 
        accepted for hiring surgical technologists in Nevada. 

       The grandfather exception is NOT to be applied to individuals hired AFTER the effective date of this law:
                    January 1, 2018.

    ♦  The law contains a  "grandfather" exception, which means continued employment of surgical technologists
       (whether certified or not) who were employed as surgical technologists before January 1, 2018.

       If a surgical technologist is "Grandfathered" under this law, it does  NOT  mean they have
       been given an automatic certification. 

    ♦  Military-Trained Surgical Technologists do NOT need to re-train as civillians or obtain the CST Credential.

  BE AWARE: When a State passes this law, nothing in the law prevents an employer from requiring ALL of its surgical technologist employees
(not just new-hire) to meet the full requirements of the law regardless of whether the employee fits into the "grandfathered" or Military" exceptions. 

   ♦  "Grandfathered" and "Military-Trained" surgical technologists (Except Federal Employees) working in Nevada
      are required to complete 15 hours of Continuing Education (CE) each year.

   ♦  CSTs are still required to complete 60 CE every four years to renew their CST Credential.
        (New Re-Certification cycle requirements: 30 CE every two years)

Where the law goes into effect, EVERY surgical technologist (except Federal) employed in that particular state is required to complete CEs, as detailed in the law, regardless of a tech's certification status.

    Association of Surgical Technologists
    Nevada State Assembly of Surgical Technologists

   Surgical Technologist Scope of Practice Inquiries / Association of Surgical Technologists:

Please note the Association of Surgical Technologists provides this information on an educational basis and does not offer legal advice. AST recommends that individuals or health care facilities consult with their attorneys for answers to legal questions.

"Scope of Practice" is a legal term that is addressed through city, county, state and federal laws and regulations. Scope of practice is specific to licensed professionals only; for example, physicians and physician assistants have laws and regulations in place that address scope of practice through their respective state boards. However, surgical technologists do not have a scope of practice; if a state has a surgical technology law in place the law may include a list of duties ("intraoperative surgical patient care that involves" or "surgical patient care that includes, but is not limited to, the following tasks or functions"), but it is not a scope of practice.

Generally speaking, surgical technologists fall under the board delegatory authority of surgeons. The underlying principle is that surgeons may delegate intraoperative tasks to surgical technologists when those tasks are performed in the presence of an under the direct supervision of the surgeon, and the surgeon and/or employer has made a reasonable determination that the person to whom thsoes tasks are to be delegated has the appropriate skills and knowledge to safely perform those tasks.

It is recommended that the health care facility consult with legal counsel and risk management to research the state medical laws, in particular if a surgical technology state law has been established. This also provides the health care facility the ability to document the results of the research in order to support surgery deparment employee policies.

The following states require surgical technologists to be a graduate of an accredited surgical technology program, and hold and maintain surgical technologist certification: Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Registration is mandatory for surgical technologists working in Colorado and Washington, and registration is voluntary in Arkansas, Illinois and Virginia.       


Why should Surgical Technologists be Certified and why should a healthcare facility want to have their Surgical Technologists Certified?

When a patient enters a healthcare facility, they assume and expect that all personnel caring for them are properly educated, have attained the required credentials to practice their professions, and have the appropriate clinical experience to perform the surgical procedures safely and competently. The hiring of these professionals that have been properly educated, certified, registered or licensed ensures the healthcare facilities commitment to exellence in providing the highest quality of care and standards for the safety of all their patients.

Accredited Education, Certification Standards, and Continuing Education is critical to the development of Surgical Technology and the Surgical Technologist.

CST Certification Credential is a means of setting entry level standards for all Surgical Technologists. It is a credential that attests that you have satisfactorily completed your educational training and you have passed the proficiency exam for surgical technology and been awarded the CST credential.

CST Certification by Surgical Technologists demonstrates that the individual meets the national standards for knowledge and skill levels that underlie the practice of Surgical Technology.

Continuing Education is a means to ensure the continued competency and skill levels of practicing Surgical Technologists after they have completed their accredited surgical technology program  (CAAHEP /or ABHES) and passing the National Board of Surgical Technolgoy and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) certifcation exam.

Experience is not comparable to certification or vise versa:
It takes years of scrubbing in all the many surgical services and learning all the specifice procedures relating to each of these services to acquire those skill levels and bring it up to par with surgical technologists that have already under gone the learning experience of many years to develop their skills and knowledge.

Certification does not automatically make you better:
A license, Registration or Certification does not make any of us better, again, it is all that experience from years of practice, keeping up on your education and improving your skills by mastering new techniques and expanding your knowledge that will make you more proficiant and competent in your career and make us all better surgical technologists.

Surgical Technology Programs must meet Accredited Baseline Educational Requirements for Students:
As a Surgical Technology student you will need to attend accredited surgical technology programs either (CAAHEP / or ABHES) that have met criteria and standards for the teaching, education and training for the profession of Surgical Technology.  At completion of your program, you then can sit your NBSTSA exam for certification and credentialing, upon passing the exam, you are awarded the CST credential, and you are now qualified to practice as a Certified Surgical Technologist.

Along with the completion of the educational program comes the credentialing aspect of your profession as a Surgical Technologist. Credentialing is part of the completed education process for Surgical Technologists to become  professionals in the career of Surgical Technology and is required in order to be employed as a Surgical Technologist in the State of Nevada.

Continuing Education:
Continuing education is part of the surgical technologists career development, not only by AST and NBSTSA, but part of compentencies and skill levels required by healthcare facilities. All surgical technologists in the operating room are expected to keep up with education requirements and meet appropriate skill levels so that we are competent  to practice our area of expertise safely.

Certification sets a foundation that promotes professional growth through continuing education. It validates and recognizes a lifelong dedication, hard work and a level of expertise for the surgical technologist as well as an ongoing commitment to quality paitient care.

While certification is not required in all States, obtaining the knowledge and credentials that come with the process of certification provides a sense of empowerment in the workplace and pride in the profession. It is a means for upward mobility, a condition of employment, a route to higher pay and a source of recognition nationwide. 

                                                                                          "Aeger Primo"   Patient First
                                                                         "Enhancing the Profession to Ensure Quality Patient Care"