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The educational framework for Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island School of Nurse Anesthesia is divided into two phases incorporating an academic component at Central Connecticut State University.

Phase I

During Phase I, all course work is provided at the university campus in New Britain, CT. During this 12-month phase, students commence classes in May and attend one summer semester, one fall semester, and one spring semester. Students will complete a minimum total of 450 academic class hours (30 semester credits) during this phase.

Phase II

Phase II originates at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island and continues for the duration of the Program in conjunction with student participation at clinical affiliation sites. Phase II begins in June, following completion of the academic spring semester. A period of one month is devoted to orientation, to acquaint the new students with the general program, physical plant, didactic requirements, approach to case conduction and management, and general philosophy of anesthesia. Included in this month are courses in Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice and Basic Principles of Nurse Anesthesia. During this phase, students will receive 17 months of clinical experience, and didactic instruction from faculty CRNA's totaling a minimum of 256 class hours. Criminal background checks and mandatory drug testing may be conducted prior to rotations at certain affiliated institutions.

The total number of months of the program will be 29. Students will graduate in October. The minimum number of anesthetics performed shall be in accordance with the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs Standards and Guidelines.

Academic Requirements

Phase I course descriptions may be found in the current CCSU Catalog. A total of ten (10) university semester courses will be completed by each enrolled nurse anesthesia student. Student may select either BIO 599 for the Plan A Thesis option, or BIO 590 for the Plan B Individual Studies option with comprehensive examination. University academic courses for the master's degree in biology with specialization in nurse anesthesia include the following:

1. Chem 550 Basic Organic & Biologic Chemistry 3 Credits (45 Hours)
2. Bio 517 Advanced Anatomy, Physiology, & Pathophysiology 6 Credits (90 Hours)
3. Bio 528 Advanced Pharmacology 4 Credits (60 Hours)
4. Bio 518 Advanced Pathophysiology and Applied Physiology 3 Credits (45 Hours)
5. Bio 540 Advanced Neuroscience 3 Credits 45 Hours)
6. Bio 525 Advanced Physical Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthesia 3 Credits (45 Hours)
7. Bio 500 Seminar in Biology 2 Credits (30 Hours)
8. Bio 598 Research in Biology 3 Credits (45 Hours)
9. Bio 590 Studies in Biology 1 Credit (15 Hours)
10. Bio 416 Immunology 3 Credits (45 Hours)
    TOTAL 31 credits (465 Hours)

Courses to be implemented at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island School of Nurse Anesthesia by the CRNA faculty will, in combination with the university courses, meet Council on Accreditation requirements. These courses will include:


1. Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia (46 Hours)
2. Chemistry & Physics in Anesthesia (15 Hours)
3. Anesthesia Pharmacology (45 Hours)
4. Basic Principles of Anesthesia (45 Hours)
5. Advanced Principles of Anesthesia (54 Hours)
6. Journal Club, Seminars & Mortality Conferences (51 Hours)
  TOTAL 256 Hours

Course Descriptions

Didactic and Clinical Course Descriptions


  1. Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia (46 Hours)
  2. This course involves a broad orientation to the study and practice of anesthesia. The course includes policies and procedures of the School of Nurse Anesthesia, Professional Adjustment, Theories of Biomedical Ethics and Ethical Responsibility, Psychology of the Role, Historical Background and Development of Nurse Anesthesia, History of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Legal Aspects of Anesthesia, and Departmental Management and Organization.

  3. Basic Principles of Anesthesia Practice (45 Hours)
  4. This course provides a comprehensive orientation to the practice of anesthesia. This course includes theoretical principles and application techniques of the anesthesia machine, use of ventilators, cardiac monitors, capnography, pulse oximetry, temperature monitoring, record keeping, intravenous fluid and blood component therapy, airway management, patient positioning, physical assessment, pre- and post-operative evaluation of the patient, medical mathematics, infection control and occupational hazards, electrical safety, malignant hyperthermia, and basic introduction to inhaled and intravenous anesthetic medications.

  5. Advanced Principles of Anesthesia Practice (54 Hours)
  6. This course includes special considerations and techniques used for anesthesia in pediatric, obstetrical, emergency, vascular, cardiac, pulmonary, and neurologic surgery. This course also covers regional anesthesia theories and techniques, advanced fluid and electrolyte therapy, anesthesia management of the patient with altered endocrine function, and specific pathophysiology in relation to anesthesia administration and management.

  7. Chemistry and Physics in Anesthesia (15 Hours)
  8. This course includes special topics in biochemistry and physics with respect to anesthesia theory and practice. Topics include a review of organic moieties from which anesthetic and accessory drugs are derived, properties of flow characteristics, gas laws in anesthesia, and physics of the anesthesia machine, vaporizers, and cylinders.

  9. Anesthesia Pharmacology (45 Hours)
  10. This course is designed to give a comprehensive presentation of the pharmacokinetics and dynamics of the volatile and non-volatile inhalation agents, intravenous anesthetic and accessory/adjunctive drugs (induction agents, muscle relaxants, opioids, benzodiazepines, butyrophenones, anticholinergics, and anticholinesterases), and local anesthetics. The signs and stages of anesthesia will be covered in this section along with theories of narcosis.

  11. Clinical Correlative Conferences-Morbidity & mortality, and Journal Club (51 Hours)
  12. These conferences will include clinical case studies, student presentations and analysis of current anesthesia literature and research, quality management and continuous quality improvement topics, and selected lectures prepared and presented by students.

  13. Clinical Anesthesia Practica I-VI
  14. This consists of structured, supervised clinical training and experience in which the student is assigned his or her own patients, and organizes, administers and manages anesthesia. Cases will be followed post-operatively through the patient's hospital stay. The course includes preoperative patient assessment, post-operative patient evaluation, and formulation of individually based patient anesthesia care plans. Throughout the clinical practica, the student is encouraged to develop a wide base of techniques incorporating anesthesia agents and accessory pharmacologic therapy based on scientific principles and current research. Clinical practica begin with basic and proceed to advanced functioning. Practicum I begins with total clinical instruction, and progresses through Practicum VI, gradually incorporating more advanced clinical skills and patient interventions. Upon conclusion of Practicum VI, the nurse anesthesia graduate should function as a competent, knowledgeable and safe practitioner.

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