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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Fewer than 120 universities in the nation have a Nurse Anesthesia Program, but that number will soon grow by one pending accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

Northern Kentucky University is developing a Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) that will help fill the local and national shortage of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).

“We are pleased to expand our educational offerings to fill the national and local need for CRNAs,” said Dr. Dale Scalise-Smith, dean of the College of Health Professions.

The program was developed by Dr. William Terry Ray, former director of the University of Cincinnati Nurse Anesthesia Major. Dr. Ray will direct the program, which is expected to launch in May 2017 with applications for admission accepted beginning June 1, 2016.

The Nurse Anesthesia Program, as designed, is a 36-month (106 semester hours) curriculum culminating in a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) nurse anesthesia specialization with a population focus of the family/individual across a lifespan. 

Graduates will be eligible for the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) National Certification Exam (NCE) and to assume the role of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).  

In Kentucky, only Murray State University offers the program. In Greater Cincinnati, the University of Cincinnati also offers the program.

NKU’s program will also partner with regional healthcare providers such as St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Good Samaritan Hospital, Bethesda North Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and others for clinical practice.

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