Nurse anesthesia program receives rare maximum accreditation

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News Article

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Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


The Nurse Anesthesia graduate program at the University of North Dakota College of Nursinghas received a full (maximum) 10-year accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

“Very few programs have achieved the maximum accreditation of ten years,” stated the COA Directors in the award letter. “Therefore, the directors of the COA are particularly pleased to offer their congratulations to everyone at the program who has demonstrated their commitment to meeting the requirements for continued accreditation. Please accept the COA’s congratulations on the program's performance in achieving maximum accreditation status.”

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who administer approximately 32 million anesthetics in the United States each year. Practicing in every setting in which anesthesia is available, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) practice with a great deal of autonomy and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, and they are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly 100 percent of all rural hospitals.

“This is very exciting news for the UND Nurse Anesthesia Program and the College of Nursing!” said Darla Adams, associate dean of graduate studies and nurse anesthesia program director. “I commend all students, faculty, administration, and clinical affiliates for the support and hard work that made this incredible accomplishment possible. Very few nurse anesthesia programs are granted accreditation with no progress report required and even fewer achieve the maximum accreditation of ten years. The UND Nurse Anesthesia Program did both; it is impressive and exciting beyond words!”

The Nurse Anesthesia graduate program at UND was established in 1987 and is the only such program in North Dakota. Since 1987 more than 200 students have graduated and taken employment as CRNAs across North Dakota and the nation. Graduates from the program consistently have a 100% pass rate on their national certifying exam.

As the main hands-on provider of anesthesia care in both military and civilian settings, CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is administered. That includes but is not limited to hospital operating and delivery rooms; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons; pain management centers, and within the U.S. Military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

The COA is responsible for establishing the standards and policies for nurse anesthesia educational programs subject to consideration by its communities of interest. The standards address administrative policies and procedures, institutional support, curriculum and instruction, faculty, evaluation, and ethics.