The Advance-Titan

UWO offers first nurse anesthetist doctoral program

Ti Windisch

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The UW Oshkosh College of Nursing is launching the first Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist doctorate program in the state of Wisconsin.

College of Nursing Dean Leslie Neal-Boylan said the timing of the new program happening almost simultaneously with the 50th birthday of the nursing program is perfect.

“A tremendous amount has been accomplished in the last 50 years,” Neal-Boylan said. “But now healthcare is changing and nursing is changing and so we need to rise to meet those challenges and we really need to look to the future to meet the needs of the citizens of Wisconsin.”

Kathleen Wren and Molly Condit are the Director and Assistant Director of the new CRNA emphasis, respectively.

Condit said the program is valuable for UWO because anesthesia is a growing field for nurses.

“The job market is very good, especially since a lot of CRNAs are set to retire in the next five years,” Condit said.

UWO nursing student Allison Meyer said she heard UWO’s College of Nursing is top tier, and learned it through experience.

“In my experience in the program I have found that the professors, other faculty and resources available to nursing students are wonderful,” Meyer said. “The professors are all very experienced nurses and nurse educators. They promote professional behavior in the clinical setting and provide their own knowledge of the field in lecture.”

Neal-Boylan said the program is the first doctorate CRNA program in the state.

“Now that we’ve gotten approval we are the first and only doctoral program for certified nurse anesthetists in the state,” Neal-Boylan said.

Neal-Boylan clarified that UW-La Crosse has a master’s in biology that serves as a foundation for nurse anesthetists and is working on acquiring the doctorate approval, but UWO is the first to get it in the state.

Neal-Boylan said the program is open to students that have completed a year as a registered nurse already.

“You have to practice for a year in critical care before you’d be eligible to apply,” Neal-Boylan said.

Meyer said she is considering several career options, although CRNA is not one of them at the moment.

“[CRNA] is not something I myself am interested in pursuing,” Meyer said. “But I have heard many other students express their interest in this field and their excitement in finding out that Oshkosh is now offering this as a doctorate program.”

Neal-Boylan said the new CRNA program goes to show that UWO leads the state in nursing.

“I think not only do we feel, but the data supports, that we’re the best college of nursing in Wisconsin,” Neal-Boylan said. “We have had, for a long time running, the highest RN board exam pass rates in Wisconsin, we continue to have that. We have 100 percent pass rates in our graduate program for exams.”

According to Neal-Boylan, the inaugural CRNA cohort will be made up of 12 students and will begin in June 2017. The program is now taking applicants.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
UWO offers first nurse anesthetist doctoral program