The School of Health and Human Services is pleased to announce that the Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia received Council of Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) approval to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree effective Aug. 2, 2021.

The Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia began in 1953 out of Abbott Northwestern Hospital. The first two nurse anesthesia graduates were both women, and they graduated under the direction of the first program director, Leah Tharaldson, RN. The program moved to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in the 1990s, with official transcripts reflecting the transfer of ownership beginning in 1997. The Master’s Degree was awarded to graduates beginning in 1998. Over the decades, the program has graduated over 1,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) that work all over the country and the world.

The new 85-credit, 36-month DNP program consists of courses in four areas including, a scientific core, leadership core, project core, and clinical scholarship core. Students will complete over 3000 hours of bedside clinical practicum rotations at over 40 regional clinical sites already established by the current GNA program.

The first DNP cohort of 21 students begins this fall semester. Congratulations to the program leaders Dr. Leah Gordon and Dr. Julie Gauderman and instructor Dr. Carol Daniel for all their work to make this happen.

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