Westminster to Graduate First Class of Nurse Anesthetists
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Krista DeAngelis (801) 832-2682
Dec. 16, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY– Westminster is proud to announce the first graduating class of the college’s Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) program. A graduation celebration will be held on Dec. 18, 2008, at 5 p.m. in the Tanner Atrium of the Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory.
As Utah’s first and only college to offer the degree, Westminster will graduate a class of 11 students who began the program in the fall of 2006. The school is one of only 108 schools in the country to offer an MSNA.
“Having a nurse anesthesia program in Utah helps ensure the anesthesia needs of patients will be met throughout the state and intermountain region for years to come,” said James Stimpson, MSNA program director. “There are numerous job opportunities for nurse anesthetists throughout the country.”
This year’s MSNA graduates are: Aaron Bronson, Dan Bunker, Jeremy Carlisle, Scott Felt, Patricia Gibbons, Greg Sanders, Kathy Schlichter, Kristina Sparks, Jason West, Brock Wolff and Seth Wolff.
All 11 graduates have secured employment opportunities nationwide, including jobs in Utah, Texas and Illinois.
“My experience in the MSNA program has definitely prepared me for becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist,” said Seth Wolf, MSNA graduate. “I think the future for CRNAs is bright, and there is a large demand and great opportunities out there for anesthesia providers.”
Graduates of Westminster’s program learn how to provide anesthesia care in independent and team practice settings, frequently in collaboration with their anesthesiologist colleagues. At the end of the educational program, students have completed more than 850 patient cases, and have spent nearly 2,000 hours performing in-hospital anesthesia time.
“Westminster’s nurse anesthesia students are exposed to all aspects of anesthesia care, including intravenous sedation, general anesthesia and regional blocks,” said Stimpson. “Clinical rotations include a level I trauma center in Texas, level II trauma centers in California and Utah, and rural hospitals in Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, and Idaho.
CRNAs join with other healthcare professionals to offer the public excellent and safe patient care. In these economic times, CRNAs are a viable option to help maintain costs of healthcare.
Graduates of the MSNA program become CRNAs once they pass their certification. CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who administer approximately 65 percent of all anesthetics given to patients every year in the United States. CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered, including: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, Public Health Services and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
About Westminster’s MSNA program:
Westminster’s MSNA program was established, in part, by a grant from the Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation. The program accepts 15 students per year, and is a 30-month program that includes interactive classroom, human simulator, gross anatomy experiences and clinical instruction in the operating room. The first 15 months of classroom experiences are offered on Westminster’s campus. The following 15 months require students to rotate through a combination of urban and rural clinical facilities. Graduates of the MSNA program are eligible to take the National Certifying Examination, passage of which enables the Certified Registered Anesthetist to practice in all 50 states. For more information, visit http://www.westminstercollege.edu/crna.