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CNHP’s Nurse Anesthesia Faculty Return to School for Their Doctorate Degrees

August 29, 2013

Faculty from the Nurse Anesthesia Department have returned to school part-time to obtain their doctoral degrees in accordance with a mandate from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). The COA has sanctioned that all nurse anesthesia programs offer a doctoral degree for students who begin study in 2022. As a result, the accrediting body is also requiring that all Nurse Anesthesia Program Directors and Associate Program Directors obtain a doctoral degree by 2018.

Once the nurse anesthesia program transitions to include the mandated doctoral degree, the program will be a minimum of 36 months in length instead of the current 24 months. Drexel’s current Nurse Anesthesia program is 28 months and students graduate with an MSN degree. Department Chair Lew Bennett, who is currently working on his DNP part-time at Chatham University, said the department is hoping to offer a degree completion program for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) by 2016. Practicing CRNAs will be able to complete their doctoral degree part-time at Drexel University.

Associate Program Director Ferne Cohen, who just received her EdD from Drexel in June said, “Just like us, they all have full-time jobs; we’re not going [back to school] full-time.”

After launching the completion program in 2016, the department will start to adapt the curriculum to become a DNP program with the goal of offering a full-time Nurse Anesthesia DNP by 2018.