Professional Certification Acknowledgement
Currently there are no requirements for state licensure for Surgical Technologists. Professional certification is required to practice as a Surgical Technologist. The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting currently sets certain eligibility criteria to take the surgical tech certification exam. Graduates of an accredited program in surgical technology or surgical first assisting programs can take the exam with a notarized letter from their program director stating their graduation date, with a copy of their transcript.
The Certificate in Surgical Technology program offered at the Asheville campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) (25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, 727-210-2350), based upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC-STSA).
The application and self-study for the Associate of Science in Surgical Technology program offered at the Knoxville campus to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org, 9355 – 113th St. N, #7709, Seminole, FL 33775, 727-210-2350) has been submitted and a site visit scheduled for pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. This step in the process is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted. Accreditation must be awarded to the program prior to graduates being able to attempt the required certification examination to practice as a Surgical Technologist.
State Law Overview
The following states have passed law related to the education and certification of surgical technologists. This includes graduation from a CAAHEP-accredited surgical technology program, obtain the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST®) credential from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), and maintain the CST® credential by completing mandatory continuing education (CE) hours.
NOTE: When a state passes this law, nothing in the law prevents an employer from requiring all of its surgical technologist employees (not just new-hires) to meet the full requirements of the law regardless of whether the employee fits into the “grandfathered” or “military” exceptions.
- Indiana (2009)
- Massachusetts (2012)
- Nevada (2017)
- New Jersey (2011)
- New York (2015)
- Oregon (2016)
- Pennsylvania (2020)
- South Carolina (2018)
- Tennessee (2013)
- Texas (2009)
- Idaho (1991) – Idaho has an 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.
The following states require surgical technologists to register in order to work in the state:
- Colorado (2016) (CST not required for registration)
- North Dakota (2011) (“Unlicensed Assistive Person” registry; CST not required for registration)
- Washington (2010) (CST not required for registration)
The following states offer optional registration/title protection for surgical technologists:
- Arkansas (2017) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
- Illinois (2004) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
- Virginia (2014) (Must be a CST in order to qualify for the registry/title protection)
CST Exam Pass Rate
First-Time Pass Rate for NBSTSA CST Exam (Knoxville campus):
September 2021 Graduating Class – 100%
March 2022 Graduating Class – 80%
September 2022 Graduating Class – 100%”