anesthesia program produces skilled nurses
student enrollment is up 140 percent in the College
of Health and Human Sciences from three years ago.
Two graduate programs in the College of Health and Human
Sciences are helping to meet the need for more qualified
nurses, officials say.
The School of Nursings master of science in nursing
and the School of Nurse Anesthesias master of
science in nurse anesthesia are largely responsible
for TCUs 14 percent increase in graduate student
enrollments over the last three years, Provost William
Enrollments in the College of Health and Human Sciences
increased more than 140 percent, from 56 in 2001 to
135 in 2003.
Licensed nurses in the United States who have practiced
for at least one year are able to participate in the
Harris School of Nursings online classes from
anywhere in the world.
Right now we have one student in Washington state,
and the rest are from all over Texas, said Paulette
Burns, director of the nursing program. We plan
for more enrollment. We still have room to grow in this
There is an increasing demand for health-care professionals
with specialized skills in areas such as surgical nursing
and anesthesia, Burns said.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported
that registered nurses top the list for largest projected
job growth through 2012.
Our (graduate) program is in medical-surgical
nursing. This program is best designed to meet the immediate
need of the nursing profession, Burns said.
Forty-three students have earned their graduate degrees
since the nursing program began in 2001.
The newest graduate program, the School of Nurse Anesthesia,
is one of only four such programs statewide. There are
63 students in the first class, which started in August
We want to try to keep our enrollment in the 60s
for the next few years and make sure everything remains
well-organized and under control, said Kay Sanders,
director of the anesthesia program. We can probably
attain a maximum enrollment of 85 eventually, but we
want to approach that growth slowly.
The program has two phases. Phase I begins each August
and is completed the following August.
Its incredible how much you learn, and you
realize you have to learn everything youre being
taught in anatomy and physiology, chemistry and pharmacology,
said Amy Drake, an anesthesia student.
The first semester must be completed in residence, but
students have the option of distance study during the
spring and summer semesters of Phase I, Sanders said.
Students are required to have at least one year of critical
care experience to be accepted in the program.
Its been very humbling for me, said
Wendy Stewart, an anesthesia student. A lot of
us have three to four years experience, so you think
you are a nurse that knows a lot and then you come here
and find out how much there is to learn.
Students must enter Phase II, which lasts about 16 months,
immediately after completing Phase I, Sanders said.
Students are also required to maintain a high GPA. Many
courses require a minimum of a B, and students are not
allowed more than 2 Cs throughout the program.
The first anesthesia class started in 2003, so the first
graduates will turn their tassels to the side in 2005.