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SIUE School of Nursing to Offer Doctorate for Nurse Anesthetists

The nurse anesthesia (NA) program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing has been approved to transition from a master’s degree program to a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program in May 2015.

SIUE’s DNP NA program has received all university approvals and recently received approval from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs (COA) in January 2014. SIUE is the first higher education institution in the St. Louis metropolitan area to offer a doctoral degree for nurse anesthetists.

The new program will retain its core anesthesia curriculum, but will also incorporate the School’s DNP curriculum. The master’s program requires 31 months, 72 credit hours and 2,428 practicum hours. The DNP NA will require 36 months, 80 credit hours and 2,740 practicum hours. The transition to the DNP reflects the changes in the national health care system, as well as the growing need for nursing leaders to have extensive knowledge to design, implement and assess care.

“We are extremely excited that the SIUE nurse anesthesia program will now lead to a DNP degree,” said Dr. Kathy Ketchum, assistant dean for graduate programs. “Our students will incorporate advanced leadership and evidence-based skills into their theory-guided anesthesia practice to achieve the highest quality patient outcomes.”

Interim Dean Anne Perry noted that the approval from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs is essential to ensure continued academic preparation for nurse anesthesia providers in the region. By 2022, COA is requiring all nurse anesthesia programs to transition their curricula from a master of science to a doctor of nursing practice.

Students currently enrolled in the program will receive a master’s degree with a specialization in nurse anesthesia. Those submitting applications for the 2014 cycle will be applying for the DNP NA, with accepted students beginning the new program in May 2015.

The SIUE School of Nursing began offering a post-baccalaureate nurse anesthesia master’s in 1990.

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