There are nearly 50,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in the nation today. They administer over 65% of the anesthesia in the United States. In some rural states, that percentage is significantly higher. They are licensed in all states and serve as commissioned officers in all branches of the military as well as the United States Public Health Service. Studies conducted by the federal government have detailed the need for many more CRNAs in the U.S. today. Our nation has a significant shortfall of these invaluable Nurse Specialists. The administration of anesthesia by nurses is not a new development in health care. They have a long and distinguished history. Nurses were first specialists in the administration of anesthesia and their history dates to the 1800s.
The first organized program to teach the administration of anesthesia was not founded until the early 20th century. In 1915, chief nurse anesthetist Agatha Hodgins established the Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia in Cleveland, Ohio. This program was open to graduate nurses, physicians, and dentists. The training was six months, and the tuition was $50.00. A diploma was awarded on completion. In its first year, the program graduated six physicians, two dentists, and 11 nurses. Later, in 1918, it established a system of clinical affiliations with other Cleveland hospitals. The only post-graduate training just for physicians in circa 1920 was a one-month course in Ohio conducted by E. I. McKesson. Obviously, many factors have changed since then and the number of anesthesia specialists, both physicians and nurses, has increased. The length and cost of programs has also increased.
Nurse Anesthetist is a clinical specialty track within the School of Nursing at the University of North Florida (UNF). The School of Nursing has several innovative Advanced Practice specialty areas. With over 16,000 students, UNF is a major component of the State University System of Florida. UNF houses an extensive number of academic programs, including 30 programs at the Master's and Doctoral levels. The Nurse Anesthetist curriculum is an extremely rigorous academic and clinical undertaking. It consists of a nine (9) semester continuous program of full-time graduate study. The program is approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Graduates will be eligible to take the National Certification Examination to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) as well as to obtain the ARNP (in nurse anesthesia) credential from the Florida Board of Nursing.Graduate education, and Nurse Anesthesiology education in particular, is a major undertaking: academically, professionally, emotionally, and financially. Classroom, clinical time and study time average around 60 hours per week. As such, this is a full time graduate program and outside employment is not realistic and not consistent with the demands and expectations of such a program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to research all aspects of this undertaking carefully. You are highly encouraged to speak with practicing CRNAs and Anesthesiologists, current Nurse Anesthetist Residents, or faculty to observe and/or discuss the practice of modern anesthesia care. With respect to financial planning, applicants are strongly encouraged to have a financial plan in place, as well as a back up plan, prior to making application to the program.This program is one of several university-based CRNA programs in Florida. The total amount of in-state tuition and fees for the entire program is currently approximately $67,000. The total amount of out-of-state tuition and fees for the entire program is currently approximately $135,000. These amounts are subject to change. Clinical sites include both military and civilian healthcare facilities in the State of Florida. Sites include community private-based hospitals, two Level-I trauma centers, and an office-based CRNA practice. In addition to classroom and clinical forums, training utilizing SimMan simulator environments for anesthesia scenario training and airway management are incorporated into the training regimen.
The attrition rate for our most recent graduates was 4%. Eighty-eight percent (87%) passed the certification exam on the first attempt, and 100% were employed upon graduation.
Graduate Academic Learning Compacts:
Estimated Cost of Attendance
NAP Computer Requirements
Nurse Anesthetist Resources
Dr. John McDonough
Nurse Anesthesia Program Director
Meghan Niemczyk, MPH
Assistant Director, Advanced Nursing Practice
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