Nurse-anesthetist degree is offered
Friday, August 04, 2006
Deseret Morning News
By Brittani Lusk
Westminster now has one of few such programs in West
Westminster College's school of nursing and health sciences will offer a new master of science in nurse anesthesia, officials announced Thursday. It will be the third graduate nursing degree offered by the school.
Jane Dyer, dean of the school of nursing and health sciences, said the new program will be the first program of its kind in the Intermountain West.
West of Texas, the only certified registered nurse-anesthetist programs are two in California, one in Arizona and one in Washington.
Westminster officials decided to create a program so Utah students could study without going far away.
"This is such a big need. I'm just thrilled. I cannot believe they are going to offer this," said former state Sen. Paula Julander, who was a nurse for 40 years.
Students are excited to take advantage of the program. Jeremy Carlisle is one of 15 students entering the program with the first class. Carlisle grew up in Sandy and has been a nurse in Idaho Falls.
"When I first heard there would be a program here I was very excited," Carlisle said. "The greatest thing for me and my family is how close it is to where we live."
Of the 15 students admitted from a pool of 300 inquiries, four are from Idaho, one is from Colorado and the remaining 10 are from Utah.
In 59 percent of Utah's rural hospitals, CRNAs are the only source of anesthesia. Because they are needed in rural communities, the program will train students in rural settings.
The program consists of 10 months of in-classroom instruction with 20 months of training in clinical settings, where students will be exposed to a variety of procedures and situations.
The new program will be directed by James Stimpson, the president-elect for the Utah Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He is also the chief nurse anesthetist at Ogden Regional Medical Center.
Carlisle hopes that his education will allow him to find opportunities and support his family.
"It's going to change my life, I hope," Carlisle said.