Nurse anesthesia program moves to School of Nursing

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School of Nursing Dean Doreen Harper (far left) and School of Health Professions Dean Harold Jones (far right) hosted a breakfast for faculty, staff and students of the Nurse Anesthesia Program to celebrate the move of the program from Health Professions to Nursing.

UAB’s Nurse Anesthesia Program officially moved to the School of Nursing from the School of Health Professions to link it more closely to other advanced-practice nursing programs and better align its research, practice and education outcomes. The move, effective Aug. 1, was recommended and approved by faculty from both schools.

School of Nursing Dean Doreen Harper, Ph.D., says the program brings a successful, rich history to her school.

“The move has provided synergy among our acute-care programs and has blended the nurse anesthesia faculty’s expertise with our advanced-practice faculty,” Harper says. “We are excited to build upon the knowledge base of both the program and school to improve the lives of patients and their families.”

The Nurse Anesthesia Program was established as a hospital-based program in 1946, graduated its first class in 1947 and moved to the School of Health Professions in 1969.

Changes to the program will be minimal, but will include the degree name.

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“Instead of earning a master of nurse anesthesia degree, graduates will receive a master of science in nursing beginning with the December graduating class,” says School of Health Professions Dean Harold Jones, Ph.D. “Otherwise, students will see little change.”

A 2010 Institute of Medicine Report titled “The Future of Nursing” noted the significant leadership role advanced-practice nurses play in health care. Nurse anesthetists have a critical impact on complete patient health, from preoperative assessment to surgery and recovery.

UAB’s program is one of the largest and most respected nurse anesthesia programs in the country. Harper says the School of Nursing will seek avenues to partner with the broad and diverse network of distinguished alumni in strengthening and enriching the program and the nurse anesthesia profession.

attendants“Collaboration is a core value of UAB and our school,” Harper says. “Our disciplines, science, educational programs and practice are delivered as a team to produce better clinical outcomes for the populations we serve. This new model requires our alumni. They are at the critical juncture in health care where research, education and practice intersect, and they are integral to transforming health.

“UAB has a legacy of educating more than 14,000 leaders who have transformed not only nurse anesthesia, but health,” Harper says. “Our school’s vision is to be innovative leaders transforming health. We are excited about how we will transform health together with our alums.”

Alumni are encouraged to join the UAB Nurse Anesthesia Chapter of the UAB National Alumni Society and to attend the annual Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists meeting Oct. 19-21 in the Wynfrey Hotel. The UAB Nurse Anesthesia Alumni Chapter will host its fourth annual Continuing Education Event in March 2013 at Ross Bridge Resort and Spa in Birmingham.

For more information on these and other events contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 975-9419 or nursealum@uab.edu.

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