LITTLE ROCK -- The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has received approval from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education for a Nurse Anesthesia specialty in the College of Nursing's Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program. The UAMS Council of Deans and the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees previously approved the program.
The College of Nursing will now focus on hiring a program director this summer and submitting an application to the Council on Accreditation this fall for initial accreditation of the program.
Patricia A. Cowan, PhD, RN, dean of the College of Nursing said that the need for nurse anesthetists continues to rise and the region has few options for students to gain the necessary education.
This program would allow UAMS to meet a specific health care and educational need for the state and surrounding area.
UAMS would become only the second Arkansas university to offer nurse anesthesia training and the first in central Arkansas. Jill Mhyre, MD, chair of the UAMS College of Medicine's Department of Anesthesiology said the program would help address a shortage of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) and promote superior health care.
The program will place an emphasis on clinical practice leadership training, so graduates will have skills to work effectively with anesthesiologists to deliver safe anesthesia care, but will also be prepared to continuously improve services over time to better meet the needs of our population according to Mhyre.
The proposed curriculum would require students to attend full-time for three years, completing 95.5 credit hours over nine semesters. Upon completion, the D.N.P. UAMS College of Nursing Gets Approval for Nurse Anesthesia Specialty Program.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nurse anesthetist occupation is expected to grow 16 percent through 2026, faster than average job growth. Nurse anesthetists are employed in a variety of health care settings including physician's offices, hospitals and outpatient centers.