A Job that Puts Most People to Sleep

A Job that Puts Most People to Sleep

The increased demand for anesthesiology professionals throughout the healthcare industry has led to an interesting new trend in Indiana colleges. In just the past few weeks, several universities have announced plans to add new anesthesiology-related degrees to their programming and a few of those degrees are the first of their kind to be offered in Indiana.

Specific employment projections for anesthesiology-related careers vary from source to source, but they all share the common theme of significant growth and impressively high wages. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, an estimated 40 million anesthetics are administered each year in the U.S., with most of those taking place during surgical procedures. That figure is only expected to increase as the population of the U.S. ages and more surgeries take place.

To meet this demand, Indiana schools are getting proactive. Take a look at some of these recent announcements:


Indiana’s Only DNP-CRNA Program

The University of Saint Francis has launched a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with two tracks including a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) option. Other than this new degree, there is currently no DNP-CRNA program in Indiana. Based on USF’s current plan, the first CRNA cohort will begin in fall 2017.

The DNP is the University of Saint Francis’ first doctoral degree program. USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss OSF said, “We are very proud of the university’s tradition of producing leaders in Nursing. It is fitting that our first doctoral offering be in healthcare programs, where nearly 50 percent of our student body resides. With this new program, our 127 year history of education continues to grow stronger.”

“It’s a 36-month rigorous continuous program, with didactic (classroom) and clinical elements,” states program director Dr. Marquessa Fisher Fisher. Students perform a minimum of 2,000 operating room hours and log 600 cases spanning each specialty area, such as open heart, thoracic, obstetrical and pediatric surgery.

The DNP program is under the leadership of Dr. Wendy Clark, Graduate Nursing Program Director, and Dr. Mindy Yoder, Dean of the School of Health Sciences. Practicing professionals can pursue a BSN-DNP Nurse Anesthesia program which provides bachelor’s-prepared nurses with a practice doctorate so they can become nurse anesthetists, leaders and educators. Alternatively, students can earn the Post-MSN Doctor of Nursing Practice, which allows graduates who have earned a Master of Science in Nursing a chance to increase their skills with a focus on population health.

“The DNP in population health supports existing research in northeast Indiana. Graduates of the program will apply innovation and best practices to improve the health of our community,” said Dr. Clark.


New Master’s Degree is the 12th of its kind Nationally

A new master’s degree at Indiana University School of Medicine will help address projected needs for qualified anesthesia providers. The new Master of Science in Anesthesia Program is the twelfth of its kind in the country, which trains students to become Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants (CAAs).

Anesthesiologist Assistants are non-physicians with master’s degree-level training who have served as valued members of physician anesthesiologist-directed Anesthesia Care Teams (ACTs) for more than forty years. With the support and encouragement of leaders of the Indiana Society of Anesthesiologists, the state of Indiana licensed the anesthesiologist assistant profession with legislation signed into law in 2014.

“This new program at Indiana University School of Medicine will educate and train highly qualified individuals to become CAAs and join anesthesiology practices as members of ACTs in Indiana and beyond,” said William McNiece, MD, physician anesthesiologist and medical director of the new program.

Highly specialized, CAAs provide physician delegated anesthesia services to patients undergoing surgery and selected other procedures. Similar to physician assistants, CAAs work with physician anesthesiologists as part of ACTs to increase access to anesthesia care while maintaining the high level of patient safety for which anesthesia is recognized. The number of CAAs in the US has quadrupled over the past decade, and each year more states welcome them to practice.

Richard Bassi, MMSc, MEd CAA, and program director for the Anesthesiologist Assistant Program at IU School of Medicine, said, “Graduates of our new program will immediately be able to apply their knowledge and skills in a career field with a historical job placement rate of 98 percent.”


Increased Demand Leads to New Degree

Marian University’s Leighton School of Nursing will offer a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. The DNP degree program has two tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Nurse Anesthesia.

The new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree prepares registered nurses (RNs) at the highest level for advanced clinical practice and leadership roles. The DNP curriculum is delivered using hybrid methods of both on-campus and web-based instruction and offers courses in systems leadership, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, policy and advocacy, informatics, and other key areas to improve patient and organizational outcomes.

Marian University’s newest doctoral program will help meet increasing local, regional, and national employment demands for APRNs. The increased demand for comprehensive healthcare in hospitals, outpatient settings, clinics, and other facilities exists because of increased emphasis on preventive care, more awareness about health and wellness, and the changing population demographics in the US.  The Institute of Medicine report on The Future of Nursing emphasizes the key role APRNs must play in order to meet our nation’s healthcare needs.

According to Dr. Gomez, acting Dean of the Leighton School of Nursing, “Graduates of this program will be awarded a clinical doctorate in order to provide the highest degree of patient care in a variety of clinical settings. DNPs also work in research facilities, teach at the university level and play a fundamental role in the transformation of the future of healthcare.”

The nurse anesthesia program is among the first of its kind to be offered in Indiana. Previously, Hoosiers interested in becoming nurse anesthetists completed their training in Cincinnati, Chicago, and other out-of-state colleges and universities.