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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA)

william f. connell school of nursing

Nurse Anesthesia Program

Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing is the largest Jesuit school of nursing and has offered the baccalaureate degree since 1947, the master’s degree since 1958, and the doctoral degree since 1988. The nurse anesthesia program is a collaborative effort between the William F. Connell School of Nursing and Anaesthesia Associates of Massachusetts (AAM), the largest provider of anesthesia services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The curriculum design takes advantage of the core courses common to all master of science nursing specialties, and in addition, students learn the advanced physiologic and pharmacologic principles specific to nurse anesthesia practice. Clinical practica at the varied AAM facilities give students broad hands-on experience. The Connell School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the 27 month, full-time nurse anesthesia program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

View standards and benchmarks here.

Learn about the Council on Accreditation here.

 

Program Overview

The program in nurse anesthesia prepares registered nurses who already possess a baccalaureate degree in nursing and a minimum of one year of critical care experience for the advanced practice role of nurse anesthetist. The full-time, 62-credit curriculum over 27 months (January start) provides students with core and specialty theory courses and a structured practicum and residency, all of which follows the standards of the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination to become certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Upon completing the master's degree program in nurse anesthesia, the graduate will be able to:

 

  • Perform a detailed and complete preanesthetic assessment including obtaining a history and physical examination, reviewing laboratory data and pertinent information from the patient's medical record;
  • Develop a plan of anesthesia care based on scientific theory related to the patient's past medical and nursing history, current status, and surgical requirements;
  • Implement an anesthetic plan utilizing a broad spectrum of techniques based on sound physiology and established guidelines;
  • Incorporate patient safety considerations with regard to equipment check, positioning, and anesthetic administration;
  • Evaluate and adapt the anesthetic plan based on patient response and surgical considerations, utilizing physiologic and pharmacologic theories;
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize a variety of anesthetic modalities including general and regional anesthetic techniques to patients across the lifespan;
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize various invasive and non-invasive monitoring techniques and to interpret information obtained from them;
  • Utilize effectively a variety of non-anesthetic pharmacologic agents commonly used as adjuncts in anesthesia practice;
  • Rapidly synthesize essential information to develop and implement a plan of anesthesia care for emergency and trauma patients;
  • Develop and implement a plan of fluid and temperature management based on physiologic conditions;
  • Evaluate the patient post-operatively insuring patient safety and comfort, identifying and consulting on any anesthesia-related complications;
  • Incorporate the study and evaluation of current literature into practice;
  • Function as a leader and resource in the area of airway management and critical care and as a member of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation team;
  • Demonstrate the qualities of the self-directed learner, striving to add knowledge and improve practice through self-critique;
  • Maintain legal and ethical standards of practice, accepting responsibility for one's own actions and judgments;
  • Maintain both advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and pediatric advanced life support (PALS) certification.

Additional Specialty Certificate

This option is available for applicants who have already completed a master of science degree in nursing. The curriculum is identical to the master’s degree curriculum with the exception that students may be exempt from taking some of the core courses provided they can demonstrate that previous coursework was the same or similar to the course at Boston College. Each student’s transcript is evaluated individually along with other appropriate documentation such as course syllabi. The time to completion of the program remains 27 months. Admission requirements are identical to that for the master’s degree format. The additional specialty option has been approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs as a post-master’s certificate.

 

Applicant Rights and Responsibilities

  • The applicant has the right to be treated with respect and to expect that their application will be reviewed fairly and without bias
  • The applicant has the right to receive accurate information regarding the program, the college, and the clinical sites
  • The applicant has the right to speak with faculty and/or current students in the program if they so desire
  • The applicant has the right to know the collective success of program graduates on the National Certification Examination
  • The applicant has the right to receive a letter from the Dean regarding the admission decision
  • The applicant is responsible for insuring that the application and all supporting materials have been received by the graduate office
  • The applicant is responsible for accurate completion of the application
  • The applicant is responsible for any necessary arrangements related to the interview process
  • The applicant is responsible for notifying the graduate office if they wish to withdraw their application
  • The applicant is responsible for assessing and exploring any required financial aid

 

Clinical Sites

The strong history of academic excellence found at Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing is matched by the reputation for clinical excellence and patient safety enjoyed by Anaesthesia Associates of Massachusetts. Students rotate among 4-6 clinical sites and experience a variety of practice settings within the AAM system. Most clinical sites are in the Greater Boston area with the most distant being St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The program believes it important that students obtain the maximum benefit from their clinical education and for that reason rotations will be decided by need rather than geographic convenience.

 

Curriculum

The nurse anesthesia program at Boston College is a front-loaded curriculum. Students begin the program in January of each year and the Spring and Summer semesters consist of 15 credits of didactic coursework. Each semester there is a blend of core courses required of all master of science nursing students and specialty courses related to nurse anesthesia practice. The fall semester begins the clinical practicum for the program and from this point on students are in the operating room 4 days per week and at the college 1 day per week.

** = Core course

Year I - Spring                                                                                   
                                                                                              
  • NURS7420: Advanced Pharmacology Across the Life Span ** (3)
  • NURS7415: Conceptual Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice ** (3)
  • NURS7672: Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Life Span ** (3)
  • NURS7490: Physiologic Variables for Nurse Anesthesia Practice I -- Respiratory (3)
  • NURS7491: Chemistry and Physics for Nurse Anesthesia Practice (3)
Year I - Summer                                                                              
  • NURS7430: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span** (3)
  • NURS7520: Research Methods for Advanced Practice Nursing** (3)
  • NURS7492: Basic Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (3)
  • NURS7493: Pharmacology of Anesthetics and Accessory Drugs (3)
  • NURS7494: Physiologic Variables for Nurse Anesthesia Practice II --Cardiovascular (3)
Year I - Fall                                                                                       
  • NURS7417: Role of Advanced Practice Nurses** (3)
  • NURS7590: Physiologic Variables for Nurse Anesthesia Practice III (3)
  • NURS7591: Nurse Anesthesia I (5) 
Year II - Spring                                                                                 
  • NURS7416: Ethical Issues in Advanced Practice Nursing** (3)
  • NURS7592: Advanced Principles for Nurse Anesthesia Practice (3)
  • NURS7593: Nurse Anesthesia II (5)
Year II - Summer                                                                                 
  • NURS7595: Nurse Anesthesia III (5)
  • NURS7524/5: Research Practicum (3)
Year II - Fall                                                                                      
  • NURS7691: Nurse Anesthesia IV (1)
Year III - Spring                                                                                
  • NURS7693: Nurse Anesthesia V (1)

 

Faculty

The nurse anesthesia program benefits from the many years of teaching experience represented by the Connell School of Nursing faculty and by the strong clinical experience of the nurse anesthesia specialty faculty. All nurse anesthesia didactic and clinical courses are taught by experienced nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists who are a part of Anaesthesia Associates of Massachusetts.

Susan Emery, PhD, MS, CRNA, program director, and Denise Testa, MS, CRNA, assistant program director, have a combined 35+ years of clinical anesthesia experience and have each participated in the clinical teaching of nurse anesthesia students for more than 12 years. During the clinical practica students have the opportunity to work with very knowledgeable and highly skilled anesthesia providers who place an emphasis on patient safety and excellence in patient care.

 

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

  • The faculty have the right to be treated with respect by students and program administration
  • The faculty have the right to know the objectives for each course for which they are responsible
  • The faculty have the right to remove a student from the classroom or the clinical area if the integrity of the class or the safety of the patient may be compromised
  • The faculty have the right to see course evaluations and have the opportunity to discuss the evaluations with program administration
  • The faculty have the right and responsibility to provide feedback regarding the program, curriculum, and students and make suggestions for improvement
  • The faculty have the responsibility to be available during office hours for student questions
  • The faculty have the responsibility to demonstrate respect for the student and the learning process
  • The faculty have the responsibility to be prepared for each lecture with a good understanding of their subject matter
  • The faculty have the responsibility to evaluate the success of teaching strategies and the effectiveness of evaluation methods
 

Student Rights and Responsibilities

  • The student has the right to be treated with respect and as a member of the anesthesia care team
  • The student has the right to have the educational process viewed as an interactive exchange between student and teacher
  • The student has the right to meet with faculty during mutually agreed upon office hours
  • The student has the right to expect the faculty to be prepared for class
  • The student has the right to fair and timely evaluation of his/her progress and receive constructive suggestions for improvement
  • The student has the right and responsibility to provide feedback regarding the program, curriculum, and faculty and make suggestions for improvement
  • The student has the responsibility to be present and prepared for class and clinical
  • The student has the responsibility to know the objectives of the course or clinical experience and to make every effort to attain the objective
  • The student has the responsibility to complete all projects and assignments on time
  • The student has the responsibility to seek learning experiences and be available when these experiences can only be attained outside of scheduled hours
  • The student has the responsibility to respect faculty and other members of the perioperative team
  • The student has the responsibility to place patient safety ahead of all other considerations

Contact us

For more information, contact Arlene Ross at 617-552-2756 or arlene.ross@bc.edu.

 

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