Mission & History

Founded in 1950, Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) provides graduate-level education and training of nurse anesthetists in a Christian environment born of its Seventh-day Adventist heritage. MTSA is the only independent, fully accredited anesthesia institution of its kind in the nation, instilling excellence through innovative and diverse clinical experience. A leader in academic, clinical and professional distinction, MTSA is responsive to the needs of its constituents, providing affordable graduate education for students from diverse backgrounds. The campus is located in Madison, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville.


Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia exists to provide a Christian, Seventh-day Adventist learning environment that fosters the pursuit of truth, excellence in and access to graduate nurse anesthesia education, and a life of service.


  • Reflect Christ in a culture of service, inclusion, and diversity
  • Deliver an exceptional student experience that attracts premier applicants, promotes individual achievement, and results in a clinically excellent practitioner
  • Advance CRNA practice in ultrasound and pain management through education, strategic partnerships, and distinguished scholarship

Core Values

  • Christian, Seventh-day Adventist values-driven curriculum and program
  • Academic and clinical excellence that fosters a life of service
  • Wholistic approach to education, health care, and a balanced lifestyle
  • Graduate education that prepares nurses and CRNAs to complete their educational goals and enter the workplace with confidence

Heritage & Spiritual Legacy

MTSA’s rich history began more than 65 years ago when founder Bernard V. Bowen, CRNA, DSc, began the School built on a reputation for fostering the pursuit of truth, and promoting excellence in anesthesia practice.

MTSA’s quiet beginning has roots from more than a century ago. In 1904, a group of Seventh-day Adventist pioneers committed to health, wellness, and temperance traveled south from Battle Creek, Michigan to initiate a health care education institution among the poor, and founded Nashville Agricultural and Normal Institute. This School developed and transformed through name changes and maturity including an elementary school, high school, junior college, and eventually a full college. Concurrently on the campus, a health work began with Madison Sanitarium which developed into Madison Sanitarium and Hospital, Madison Hospital, and finally nearly a century later, Tennessee Christian Medical Center. The hospital provided a site for clinical training as the college educated scores of health care professionals. Since its beginning, the School regularly provided anesthesia at rural hospitals across the region as a service – which is the basis for the multiple clinical instruction locations today.

These ancestor institutions laid the ground work for MTSA which began as the Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia for nurses in 1950 as part of Madison College. MTSA started with just two students in a 12-month program, but soon expanded to 18-months, admitting 16 students annually. On July 1, 1980, the school changed its name from Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia and officially formed as it is known today—the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia—the last vestige of Madison College and Madison Hospital that remains to this day.

MTSA continues to make strides towards ever-higher academic standards, even as it honors its heritage. With this in mind, the School launched a new logo and branding in 2016 that reflects its history while looking to the future as an institution that remains as relevant as ever in the evolving field of medicine.

Spiritual Legacy

MTSA’s Christian, Seventh-day Adventist beginnings and spirit of dedication and work that led to its development is very much alive and well today. MTSA continues to foster a learning environment encouraging strong moral principles and a close relationship with God. The School celebrates the diversity of faiths represented in its student body, faculty, and staff, and respects the differences of persuasion that are present. It operates in a wholistic approach to life that balances mind, body, and spirit.

As a Christian church, Seventh-day Adventists are a faith community rooted in the beliefs described by the Holy Scriptures (both Old and New Testaments). In harmony with a broad overall mission to reflect Christ in its educational program, and in keeping with its Adventist heritage, the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia conducts classes with an exposure to Adventist beliefs.

These beliefs are foundational and common to many Protestant Christians from a variety of faith traditions and include – The Trinity; The Divinity of Jesus; a literal six-day creation; and, Salvation through faith in Jesus. Yet, there may be some belief differences including a 24-hour Sabbath rest from work and school, beginning Friday evening sundown and concluding Saturday evening sundown, when no school-sponsored activities, classes, or events take place. (A commitment to Sabbath is why MTSA was founded – providing for no work or classes on that day). You too may notice food choices limited to a diet exempt of certain options as a commitment to health and temperance. And, an additional example may be the philosophy of encouraging a life of service. As Christ served others, it is MTSA’s wish to continue following His pattern, while exhibiting this through learning, scholarship, and ministry to our fellow man.

It is the School’s desire to honor the Bible and follow Christ’s example. For more information regarding the Church visit www.adventist.org.

The Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia for nurses was founded in 1950 by Bernard Bowen, CRNA, under the sponsorship of Madison Hospital. It has been in continuous operation since that time. The program began when Mr. Bowen was invited to Madison by Dr. James D. Schuler, a surgeon, and Dr. Julian C. Gant, who was the Medical Director of the hospital. Since that time, more than 1,200 graduates have gone out from Madison to provide high quality anesthesia service throughout the United States and in many parts of the world.

Throughout the years, all persons connected with the School, both students and teachers have contributed to the success of the School and to the growth of nurse anesthesia as a profession. Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia is proud to carry on the tradition of excellence so firmly established by Bernard Bowen, his staff, and students.

On July 1, 1980, the School of Anesthesia changed from Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia to Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. Nashville Anesthesia Services, a partnership of physician anesthesiologists, agreed to temporarily shepherd the school until a corporation could be formed. On January 5, 1982, MTSA was incorporated as an independent, 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, (Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia, Inc.), under the guidance of a Board of Trustees composed of community leaders involved in the business, educational, financial, healthcare, legal, and religious professions. Tennessee Christian Medical Center, formerly Madison Hospital, became part of the Adventist Health System and continued to provide strong support for the School in the form of a leased building and operative facilities until 2005. In 2005, MTSA initiated the Building the Future which resulted in more than $2.2 million in funding from contributing friends including foundations, corporations, board of trustees, faculty, staff, and other individuals. The expansion project included constructing an entirely new state-of-the-art lecture hall, simulation skills center, student lounge facility, and more. In 2006, MTSA purchased three acres and the two existing buildings from the parent company of Tennessee Christian Medical Center, the Adventist Health System. In 2014 MTSA purchased the P.T. Magan Building with contributed funds. This added 1.67 acres, 60 parking spaces, and 12,500 square feet to the campus footprint.

In addition to specificity accreditation in anesthesia through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, in December 1994, MTSA first received regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The latter enabled the School to grant a Master of Science with a Focus in Anesthesia degree. MTSA received accreditation approval in 2012 to offer the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree (DNAP).

MTSA meets and exceeds all National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) clinical and class experience standards.