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Message from the Director

[IMAGE: Andrew Griffin]SIUE's nurse anesthesia program is off to another big year. While we are proud of our recent accomplishments, we are certainly not planning to maintain the "status quo." The dynamics of higher learning, nurse anesthesia and our health care system demand an ever changing approach when considering CRNA education. So, what is new for 2013?

SIUE nurse anesthesia faculty members are implementing the largest research effort ever put forth by our program. The study is designed to evaluate the correlation between CRNA students' individual wellness and how they are thriving in their nurse anesthesia program. Wellness is defined through a holistic approach by the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS). Outcomes defining a thriving student will be approached from a multi-dimensional perspective, consistent with the SWPS framework. Data from several focus areas will be collected over the next year and a half and then correlated back to individual wellness scores. The study is not designed to determine why students might fail, but to identify factors that lead them to thrive and succeed in their program.

While the Typhon Tracking System is not new for us this year, we are continuing to promote new ways for our clinical coordinators and preceptors to utilize this tool to better capture the essence of our students' matriculation through the clinical process. Moving SIUE students through our model of multiple clinical sites with a focus on underserved and rural areas requires effective communication. We are conducting several meetings throughout the southern and central Illinois regions to introduce new communication tools to our clinical coordinators and preceptors, and to thank them for the assistance and guidance they provide our students.

Consistent with the new recommended objectives put forth by the Council on Accreditation (COA) for Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs', we are looking for new ways to provide students with pain care experiences. With the Medicare patient access to CRNA pain care rule that took effect Jan. 1, 2013, it is even more important that our students are appropriately exposed to pain care interventions. We are excited to have Paul Darr, with his expertise in this area, on our faculty. We hope that he will assist us in being a leader in pain education.

Finally, I could not address our future without discussing the progress of the doctor of nursing practice (DNP). A MSN to DNP completion degree has been in place at SIUE for two years. We are currently writing anesthesia curriculum for a BSN to DNP degree. The basic course progression has been approved by the School of Nursing Faculty Council, and we hope to introduce all course syllabi this spring. Once completed, we will send to our Graduate School and the COA for approval. It is a long process, but we are well on our way!

In addition to all the dynamics discussed in this letter, we will continue with our focus of educating nurse anesthetists. We plan to introduce 26 second-year students into the clinical arena this spring and will welcome 24 new students to our program in May.

As always, we appreciate your feedback. If you have any questions or comments regarding our program, please let me know!

Andrew Griffin, CRNA, PhD, APN
Assistant Professor and Director of
Nurse Anesthesia
(618) 650-2182

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