Texas Higher Education Board Approves "First" BSN to DNP Program in State!
The states education regulatory board heard testimony today from a variety of proponents and opponents to a proposal by the University of Texas Health Sciences Center-Houston School of Nursing (UTHSC-Houston) to convert their MSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia program to a BSN to DNP program. This requested change was due to the new mandate by the CRNA credentialing program that all CRNAs be educated at the doctoral level. Commander James L. Dickens, DNP, RN, NP-C, FAANP provided testimony for the Texas Team before the THECB in support of the DNP in Texas! Dr. Pat Starck - Dean at UTHSC-Houston and Vice-Chancellor of UT Systems Dr. Ken Shine both testified on behalf of their school. Both also serve on the Texas Team Strategic Advisory Committee.
All CRNAs are to have a DNP as mandated by the credentialling agency in the future. Dr. Dickens - a DNP graduate himself - stated : "The Texas Team fully supports and encourages UTHSC-Houston plans to re-design their nurse anesthesia program to move students more rapidly and at less cost toward the DNP degree and the credential to practice as a nurse anesthetist in our state." CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer more than 33 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) 2011 Practice Profile Survey. CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management and trauma stabilization services. In Texas, CRNAs are the sole providers in nearly 100% of the rural hospitals.
According to a 1999 report from the IOM, anesthesia care is nearly 50 times safer than it was in the early 1980s. Numerous outcomes studies have demonstrated that there is no difference in the quality of care provided by CRNAs and their physician counterparts. A recent article in Nursing Economic$ (September-October 2011) presented the results of a review of 37 studies of patient outcomes and perceptions with care by Advanced Practice Nurses compared to situations with physician care only. For all parameters examined in the underlying studies (ranging from patient satisfaction to specific measures of health and the need for treatment), the results were found to be equivalent.
Dickens ended his testimony with "The Texas Team looks forward to a future where CRNAs are educated at the doctoral level."
|by Alexia Green, RN, PhD, FAAN | December 12, 2012|