By unanimous support of various members and committees, the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists (IFNA) has renewed the Level #2 Recognition of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Nurse Anesthesia Specialty Track for five years.
The renewal means the School’s Nurse Anesthesia Specialty Track remains one of just 21 programs internationally and only six within the United States to have received this prestigious IFNA designation.
The IFNA decision was based on the Nurse Anesthesia Specialty Track meeting eligibility requirements, its compliance with IFNA education standards and its efforts towards continued improvement. The IFNA noted the UAB Specialty Track’s strengths are in academics, clinical experiences, faculty and leadership.
“For the UAB School of Nursing and nurse anesthesia, it is important that we have a global presence, and the IFNA represents nurse anesthetists from 40 countries around the world,” Associate Professor and Nurse Anesthesia Specialty Track Coordinator Susan McMullan, PhD, CRNA, said. “It was very important for us to continue membership and maintain this Level #2 Recognition.”
McMullan was particularly pleased that the recognition renewal was based, in great part, on feedback from students within the specialty track and its faculty.
“I think that is probably the most important thing,” McMullan said. “This wasn’t just about getting the renewal automatically. The re-recognition process included surveying of our students and faculty as well as a review of the Nurse Anesthesia curriculum. Faculty and program administrators CVs were submitted as well.”
The School’s Nurse Anesthesia Specialty Track was the first to receive IFNA Level #2 Recognition in November 2010 under a newly approved Anesthesia Program Approval Process (APAP). Previous awards had been given to anesthesia programs that had participated in a 2006-08 pilot project that led to the implementation of the APAP.
Other recognized nurse anesthesia programs include Western Carolina University in Ashville, North Carolina, Mount Marty College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, University of Tennessee Health Science Center-Memphis, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College in St. Louis. These are the only programs or specialty tracks of the 117 in the country with IFNA Level #2 Recognition.
The IFNA’s mission is the advancement of educational standards and practices which advance the art and science of anesthesiology and support and enhance quality anesthesia care worldwide. The School’s current Level #2 Recognition is valid until May 2021.