Following a mandate by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, CRNAs have become the only Advanced Practice Nursing group to require doctoral degrees as entry into practice. As of Jan. 2022, no students are allowed to matriculate into an anesthesia program that does not offer a doctoral degree.
As the first doctoral cohort at TXWES, 103 students began classes in Aug. 2019 and 96 graduated on Aug. 20, 2022. The differences between the old Master’s curriculum and the new Doctoral program are numerous!
Stretching the program from 28 months to 36 months and the clinical phase from 16 months to 20 months gave the nurse anesthesia program flexibility in broadening educational opportunities. Adding courses such as Leadership, Finance/Practice Management and Health Policy broadens the professional foundation.
Evidence-based practice courses culminating in disseminated scholarly work teach future CRNAs to continually evaluate evidence for use in practice and not just by “gut” or “experience”. Finally, the additional 4 months of clinical allow the student additional opportunities in clinical areas of interest.
In addition to the hooding and graduation ceremonies, the graduates celebrated with a grad toast hosted by the Alumni Association on Aug. 19 at Los Vaqueros. We are overwhelmingly proud of our graduates and are excited to see how they change the face of nurse anesthesia and patient care!