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November 30, 2007

University of Maryland School of Nursing's Nurse Anesthesia Program Granted 10-Year Reaccreditation

For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2007

Contact: Patricia Adams

Baltimore, Md.—The University of Maryland School of Nursing is pleased to announce that its Nurse Anesthesia master's program has been granted continued accreditation for 10 years by the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs, with no progress report required during the 10-year period. In their letter of notification to Lou Heindel, DNP, CRNA, director of the program, the COA stated that “very few programs are granted accreditation with no progress report required, and even fewer programs have achieved maximum accreditation of 10 years.”

“This success was due to the excellent collaboration we have with our 16 clinical sites, as well as numerous contributions from School of Nursing faculty,” says Heindel.

The School of Nursing established the state of Maryland's first Nurse Anesthesia program in 2004, in response to a request by the Maryland Chapter of the American Association of Nurses Anesthetists, to help address the statewide shortage of nurse anesthetists – a shortage that is expected to grow as the over-65 population increases.

The first cohort of 17 students graduated from the program in December 2006, and 14 of those graduates accepted positions as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in the Baltimore area. The second class of 21 students will graduate December 7.

“Similar to our first class of graduates, most of the Class of 2007 plan to take positions in Baltimore and across the state, significantly reducing the CRNA shortage in this medically underserved area,” says Heindel.

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who administer anesthesia to patients for both major and minor procedures. Nationally, more than 65 percent of the 26 million anesthetics administered each year are given by CRNAs.

For more information about the University of Maryland School of Nursing's Nurse Anesthesia program, contact Dr. Heindel at 410-706-4038 or lhein003@son.umaryland.edu.

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