Villanova, PA, November 15, 2010 — The nurse anesthesia program of the Villanova University College of Nursing and Crozer-Chester Medical Center has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, a specialized accrediting body recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and The Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The reaccreditation process occurs every 10 years.
The nurse anesthesia specialty in the College’s Graduate Program prepares nurses with a sound base of theoretical knowledge and clinical experience in the practice of nursing anesthesia as they earn their master of science in nursing degree. The 27-month program consists of classroom and clinical experience that exceed the minimum requirement set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and offers unique learning opportunities to its students.
Interestingly, certified nurse anesthetists or CRNAs, who are the main provider of anesthesia to men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, have their roots in the 1800s, when nurses first gave anesthesia to wounded soldiers on the battlefields of the Civil War. They are the first healthcare providers dedicated to the specialty of anesthesia. CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in every practice setting, and for every type of surgery or procedure, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. CRNAs are also the sole anesthesia providers in two-thirds of all rural hospitals, and the main provider of anesthesia to expectant mothers.
The College of Nursing’s nurse anesthesia concentration began in 1997. The current program with Crozer-Chester Medical Center admitted its first students in August 2002. The highly competitive program, which draws students nationally, offers three curriculum course tracks that give students flexibility and the opportunity to take MSN classes prior to the anesthesia clinical component. There are traditional, nontraditional, and post-master’s courses of study. With many of the core courses online, both out-of-state and local students can take courses prior to enrolling in the anesthesia portion of the program; this enables the working student to continue full-time employment while studying at home. Students are exposed to a variety of full-time adjunct faculty, consisting of board-certified anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and doctorally prepared faculty.
The program has access to all facilities at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and its affiliated institutions. Students hone clinical judgment and skills in clinical scenarios on Villanova’s interactive human patient simulators and anesthesia machines before seeing similar cases in the operative setting. Clinical experience is obtained at more than 20 clinical sites located in Philadelphia and its suburbs, central Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to gain exposure to different facilities and techniques. Rotating to various clinical sites also helps students network and most are quickly recruited upon graduation. Upon completion of the professional curriculum, students are eligible to take the National Certification Exam administered by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists. To date, graduate performance on the national certification examination far exceeds the national norm.