New concentration for Doctor of Nursing Practice program approved

Northwestern State University has received approval from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing to add of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Nurse Anesthesia concentration to NSU’s current DNP program.

“The DNP-Nurse Anesthesia concentration was created in response to a request from our numerous community partners who said ‘we need CRNAs, can you please help?,’’’ said Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health Dr. Dana Clawson. “We began working to make this concentration a reality. It was a team effort between our talented faculty and committed community partners.”

Clawson said NSU and its clinical partners have invested over $4 million into the BSN to DNP-NA program, the first in the University of Louisiana System, to better serve northern and central Louisiana’s healthcare needs, and to keep the best and brightest BSN graduates from leaving Louisiana to attend out-of-state colleges to obtain this degree.

“Throughout its history, Northwestern State’s nursing program has played a leadership role on the state and national level,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Chris Maggio. “Our nursing faculty have always sought ways to better serve the health care needs of north and central Louisiana. This innovative BSN to DNP-NA program will provide new opportunities for our students and allow us to meet the needs of our partners throughout the region.”

The BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia concentration will provide baccalaureate prepared registered nurses doctorate-level education focused on the advanced practice role of nurse anesthetist. The BSN to DNP program admission cycle is now open with the deadline for completed applications is August 1, according to Dr. Aimee Badeaux, director of doctoral studies and nurse anesthesia program coordinator.

The BSN to DNP program is nine semesters in length and the first two semesters are delivered completely online, allowing the student to remain in practice as a nurse during program enrollment.

For more than 70 years, NSU has been a leader in partnering with clinical agencies to meet healthcare and workforce needs. In 1950, NSU took several failing hospital diploma nursing programs in northwest Louisiana and moved them into the collegiate setting, where they thrived. Today, according to Badeaux, Northwestern State is providing doctorate nursing programs that produce healthcare professionals who are educationally prepared at the highest practice level to care for Louisiana’s citizens.

The BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia concentration is currently under eligibility review by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) and will undergo an onsite accreditation visit in October 2020.

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