RIC School of Nursing Offering New Master’s Program
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
RIC President Nancy Carriuolo said, “The new nurse anesthesia program is the first of its kind in Rhode Island higher education and is part of RIC’s ongoing efforts to support the needs of Rhode Island’s economy.”
Graduates of the Rhode Island College School of Nursing/St. Joseph Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia will be eligible to take the National Certification Examination required for licensure as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
CRNAs are registered nurses with at least two years of extensive training in anesthesia. In Rhode Island, they are able to provide anesthesia in collaboration with medical doctors in any medical setting in which anesthesia is delivered.
To be admitted to the 30-month program, applicants must have a Bachelor of Science in nursing from a nationally accredited program and a minimum of one year of critical care experience. Due to clinical rotations, applicants must be licensed to practice nursing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
“This specialized program is an important achievement,” said Jane Williams, dean of the RIC School of Nursing. “The program will meet a critical need for nurse anesthetists.”
According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 58 percent of nurse anesthetists nationwide are between the ages of 55 and 64. Thirty-eight percent of nurse anesthetists, the association reports, plan to retire within five to 10 years.
Anne Tierney, program director at SJHSNA, said her graduates have a 100 percent employment rate and that many secure positions prior to graduation.
“Our graduates make up a significant portion of the nurse anesthetist workforce in Rhode Island,” Tierney said. “There is a need in Rhode Island for nurse anesthetists. Prior to this program, Rhode Island students have had to go out of state for their academic training. This program gives the opportunity to train in Rhode Island and stay to work here.”
The program is under shared authority of the Associates in Anesthesia, Inc. and Rhode Island College. Students will be based primarily on the RIC campus for the first two program semesters, under the supervision of RIC MSN Program Director Cynthia Padula, with clinical education following. Students will conduct their clinical rotation at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, home to the School of Nurse Anesthesia since 1962. Experienced CRNAs will supervise student practicums.
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