USM to offer nursing anesthesia program
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 01:04
The School of Nursing at the University of Southern Mississippi is getting closer to finalizing a program that will offer a degree-granting nurse anesthesia program (NAP).
USM received approval earlier this year from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs to establish and develop the program. However, the school won’t be notified of its accreditation approval from the council until October.
If accreditation is granted, the first class will begin in January 2013, according to the nursing school’s website. This will be the state’s first program to offer a nursing anesthesia degree.
The program will include 36 consecutive months of study, which the Council on Accreditation requires for doctoral programs. Student in the program will earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice with an emphasis in anesthesia.
Southern Miss will only accept up to 20 students per year to join the NAP. The program will also require students to have nursing experience. According the program criteria, the student must have one year of clinical experience (two years preferred) as a licensed registered nurse in an area of intensive care nursing.
Vickie Stuart, assistant clinical professor at USM, will serve as the director for the new anesthesia program. Stuart was quoted by the Office of University Communications earlier this month.
“Our vision is that the Southern Miss nurse anesthesia program will emerge as a premier practice-oriented doctoral nurse anesthesia program that excels in scholarship, practice and research,” Stuart said.
Olivia Vaughan, a sophomore nursing major, said the program will be a positive addition to USM’s School of Nursing.
“This new program is so great for Southern,” Vaughan said. “Not only does it open opportunities to students that are nursing majors already, but I think it will have a great pull for incoming students looking into that profession.”
The NAP is also garnering attention from out-of-state residents. Lucas Dobson graduated with his nursing degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. in 2010, and he is eager to apply for USM’s new program. He said that the proximity to his hometown is a major factor in his interest.
“The closest one to Mobile is either in Birmingham or New Orleans,” Dobson said. “My whole family graduated from Southern Miss except for me, so I wouldn’t mind a Southern Miss degree behind my name.”
Dobson said that USM will receive many applicants for the program.
“CRNA programs are so competitive,” Dobson said. “I know eight people in my unit that want to apply for a CRNA program, but there aren’t any option close to Mobile, so Southern’s program will definitely receive attention.”
Aside from the NAP, the School of Nursing is also looking forward to its new nursing building. In January, the Southern Miss Foundation announced a campaign to raise $8 million to construct a new building. It was also announced that the Asbury Foundation has committed to donating $4 million to the construction. The name of the building will be Asbury Hall.
For more information about the admissions criteria for the program, visit www.usm.edu/nursing/nurse-anesthesia-program-nap.