The University of Southern Mississippi School of Nursing Announces the Addition of New Nurse Anesthesia Program

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The University of Southern Mississippi School of Nursing has announced that it will offer the state’s first nurse anesthesia degree program. Classes for the nursing program are set to begin in January 2013.

Dr. Vickie Stuart University of Southern Mississippi Nursing Programs

Dr. Vickie Stuart will serve as the director of the new Nurse Anesthesia Program at The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Nursing

Our vision is that the Southern Miss nurse anesthesia program will emerge as a premier practice-oriented doctoral nurse anesthesia program that excels in scholarship, practice and research.

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Nursing has announced that it will offer the state’s first nurse anesthesia degree program. Classes for the nursing program are set to begin in January 2013.

Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg will serve as the primary clinical site for the three-year program. Once completed, students will be awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The program will accept up to 20 students per year.

“The benefit of this type of program to residents of Mississippi is access to an in-state nurse anesthesia program which will eliminate out-of-state tuition expenses,” said Dr. Vickie Stuart, nurse anesthesia program director and assistant clinical professor at Southern Miss. “The nurse anesthesia program will benefit Southern Miss by strengthening the partnerships between the university and the health community.”

Stuart points out that the new DNP program will prepare Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) for leadership positions in education, management and patient care by supplying them with advanced knowledge in quality assessment and improvement, health care systems and organizations, leadership, best evidence of practice, health policy and health care economics.

Stuart, who has been a practicing CRNA in Hattiesburg since 1998, first approached administrators at the university about launching the program four years ago. She has played an active role in the education of student anesthetists through a faculty position at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and as the associate director of the Baylor College of Medicine’s graduate program in nurse anesthesia.

“Our vision is that the Southern Miss nurse anesthesia program will emerge as a premier practice-oriented doctoral nurse anesthesia program that excels in scholarship, practice and research,” said Stuart.

The news follows on the heels of the announcement that the Southern Miss Foundation will launch a fundraising campaign to construct a new nursing building on campus. Dr. Katherine Nugent, director of the School of Nursing at Southern Miss, said the addition of the nurse anesthesia program will enrich the educational experience of all students in University of Southern Mississippi nursing programs.

“There will be opportunity for integrated learning and sharing of information relating to roles, knowledge, and practice competencies of our students in the entry-level, advanced practice, and Doctor of Nursing practice programs. In addition, scholarship and transitional research will be enhanced,” Nugent said.

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at http://www.usm.edu.

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