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Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Thursday, September 13, 2012


Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia Adds Doctorate Degree, Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Sixty-year-old school is first in Tennessee with DNAP program,
will bolster education of current nurse anesthetists

Nashville, Tenn. – The Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) is approved to offer a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree. This is the first time a DNAP degree—a doctorate-level nursing degree that is focused on a nurse anesthetists’ career—will be offered in Tennessee.

MTSA plans to start its DNAP classes in September 2013. The new program comes on the heels of a major campus expansion and renovation that will benefit MTSA’s students and offer more opportunities for learning. Improvements include the addition of a second simulation skills lab where students can practice clinical procedures in an operating room environment on realistic mannequins that react like humans. Also, MTSA has added resources for distance education and space for faculty members. Future plans include building a new a lecture hall, an atrium and a learning resource center.

“The field of anesthesia is evolving, and MTSA is preparing now for important transitions we’ll see in the future,” said Dr. Kenneth Schwab, president of MTSA. “The DNAP program will produce higher-quality graduates with a deeper understanding of anesthesia, not simply more graduates. MTSA alumni, which can be found in clinical settings across the country, are considered the top in the industry. The DNAP will ensure they remain among the best.”

The DNAP program at MTSA will be a nurse anesthesia-specific completion degree, meaning only current certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) can apply. A doctorate degree, such as a DNAP, will eventually be required for all new nurse anesthetists seeking to enter practice.

“MTSA has always put our students ahead of the curve with a rigorous education and clinical experiences that prepares them to provide anesthesia,” said Chris Hulin, CRNA, MSN, MBA, MS, DNP dean and program administrator of MTSA. “The academic and physical expansions at MTSA reflect our steadfast commitment to offering students the best education possible.”

A major aspect of MTSA’s new DNAP program is distance learning. In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, more than 600 internet experts and users agreed that by 2020 “there will be mass adoption of teleconferencing and distance learning….”

MTSA is prepared for the trend with a new teleconferencing center dedicated to distance learning. Designed for professors to give virtual lectures, the distance learning classroom has built-in cameras, audio systems and noise-reducing walls. MTSA anticipates this facility will be used for the DNAP and other courses it may offer.

MTSA plans to have 12 students in its inaugural class with plans to grow in subsequent years. The school currently enrolls up to 72 students per year in its master’s degree program, which has been offered at MTSA since 1994. The school has trained nurse anesthetists since 1950.

The DNAP program is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and Tennessee Board of Nursing.

About the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia
The Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia provides a Christian, Seventh-day Adventist learning environment that fosters the pursuit of truth, excellence in anesthesia practice, and a life of service, to supply needed anesthesia providers in Nashville, Middle Tennessee, the Central South, and nationally. A leader in academic and professional excellence, MTSA is responsive to the needs of its constituents, providing affordable graduate education for students from diverse backgrounds. For more information, visit

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