A method and system for detecting proximity of a nerve to a proximity electrode and status of nerve. The method of detecting the proximity of the nerve to the proximity electrode applies a first electrical signal with multiple current levels to a calibration electrode. The method applies a second electrical signal with multiple current levels to the proximity electrode. Based on the response of the nerve to the first and second electrical signals, the method determines the proximity of the proximity electrode to the nerve. The method determines the status of the nerve by applying the first electrical signal with multiple signal levels to the calibration electrode.