2017-2018 Graduate Catalog


School of Nurse Anesthesia

TCU's School of Nurse Anesthesia is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). (Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, 222 S. Prospect Ave., Suite 304, Park Ridge, IL 60068-4010, http://home.coa.us.com.)

The Standards and Guidelines for accreditation of nurse anesthesia educational programs/schools endorsed by the COA are merely guidelines. They are not a contract between any members of the TCU School of Nurse Anesthesia and should not be construed to give rise to any liability on the part of TCU to any student enrolled in the School of Nurse Anesthesia. The program, the parent institution or the clinical affiliates will not distort or misrepresent the program's accreditation status.

The mission of TCU's School of Nurse Anesthesia is to prepare professional nurses for nurse anesthesia practice with advanced, specialized knowledge and skills in order to meet the health needs of a diverse population.

Program Goals

  1. Support the University's mission, vision and core values.
  2. Prepare graduates to become competent certified registered nurse anesthetists, ready to serve society in an advanced role on the healthcare team.
  3. Promote core values and behaviors that encourage respect for diversity, acknowledge human worth and dignity, and support professional nurse anesthesia practice.
  4. Foster an appreciation for the necessity of learning, thinking critically and continuing to grow personally and professionally.
  5. Contribute to the nurse anesthesia profession and to society by engaging in expert clinical practice and by demonstrating commitment to ethical leadership and responsible citizenship.

Code of Ethics

A code of ethics guiding the practice of TCU student nurse anesthetists is published in the school handbook and is available upon request.

Nurse Anesthesia Admission Criteria

Students will be selected based on evaluation of the following:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an appropriate bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, college or university in the United States.
  • Valid licensure as a registered nurse in Texas or another Compact State.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (verbal and quantitative > 50th percentile, writing 4.0 or better) within the last 5 years.
  • Weighted GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  • A minimum of one year of experience in adult critical care or the equivalent. Two years are highly recommended.
  • Certification in BLS, ACLS, PALS, CCRN with individual area scores.
  • Three strong professional references, one must be from current supervisor, the other two from professionals of your choice.
  • A short essay.
  • If English is not the first language, a score of at least 600 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and a score of 6 on the institutional version of the Spoken English Test within the past two years.
  • International applicants should refer to the TCU Graduate Bulletin.

Candidates who satisfactorily meet these criteria will be invited to an interview. Candidates will be informed of admission status following completion of candidate interviews.

Nurse Anesthesia Admission Deadlines

Application deadline is July 1 for classes beginning the next January. Candidates will be notified of admission status by Oct. 15. Important dates related to admission are at www.crna.tcu.edu or call 817.257.7887.

Non-Discrimination

TCU does not discriminate on the basis of personal status, individual characteristics or group affiliation, including, but not limited to, classes protected under federal and state law.

TCU complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding students with disabilities. Disabled students will be individually assessed for their ability to meet the requirements of the curriculum and of the practice. Students with questions about disabilities should contact the director.

Nurse Anesthesia Medical Requirements

A documented health examination is required prior to the beginning of classes. Each student must be in good physical and mental health, free of communicable disease when involved in patient care, and have a medical questionnaire and physician's certificate on file at the University prior to enrollment with proof of tuberculin testing (negative) and immunization against the diseases noted below.

A student who contracts a communicable disease shall notify the director or associate director as soon as possible after learning of same and shall be suspended immediately and indefinitely until the student is free from infection.

Schedule for Immunizations

  • Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td): Must have had one dose within past 10 years.
  • Measles: Those born since January 1, 1957, must have two doses since 12 months of age. The two doses must be at least 30 days apart.
  • Mumps: Those born since January 1, 1957, must have at least one dose since 12 months of age.
  • Rubella: At least one dose since 12 months of age.
  • Hepatitis B: A complete series or proof of immunity is required prior to beginning direct patient care.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox): Positive V/Z titer or documentation of immunization.
  • TB Skin Test (within one year): Negative PPD or negative chest x-ray.
  • All incoming students under the age of 30 must submit proof of a current meningitis vaccination.
  • Seasonal Flu immunization (September through March).

For more information, see www.tdh.state.tx.us/immunize/ or call the Texas School of Health, Immunization Division, 1.800.252. 9152.

Environmental Exposure

Providers in anesthesia are advised that several studies find an increase in congenital abnormalities in children of parents exposed to inhalation agents. Results of these studies are questionable. Students of childbearing age are advised to use caution and limit their exposure to inhalation agents. Dorsch, J.A. & Dorsch, S.E. (2008). Understanding anesthesia equipment (5th ed.). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.

Health Insurance

Students must carry health insurance throughout the program. Although TCU offers a major medical insurance plan for students to purchase, students are advised to evaluate several plans before selection. Proof of coverage is required. Students are not hospital employees and are not covered by Worker's Compensation. Neither affiliated hospitals nor TCU is liable for student injury during clinical residency.

Nurse Anesthesia Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statement

The following policy is in accordance with the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs' Statement on admissions inquiries regarding drug and alcohol use.

  • Applicants will be asked if they are currently using illegal drugs, abusing prescription drugs or engaging in intemperate alcohol use at the time of application. An affirmative answer is grounds for denial of admission.
  • After acceptance into the School of Nurse Anesthesia, but prior to enrollment, the student will be asked about prior illegal drug usage, abuse of prescription drugs and prior intemperate alcohol use. Past users will be monitored, including, but not limited to, drug testing. Failure to comply with this policy or failure of a drug screen will result in dismissal from the program. The University or clinical training facility pays for the drug testing.
  • All students are required to submit to random or scheduled drug testing at any point in their training based on the decision of the University or clinical training site. Failure to comply with this policy or failure of a drug screen will result in immediate dismissal from the program. The University or clinical training facility pays for the drug testing.
  • In the event of a failed drug screen, the University or clinical training site will provide information about rehabilitation. The University or the clinical training site will not incur any expense in this matter.
  • In Texas referrals are made to: Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses (T-PAPN), 7600 Burnet Road, Suite 440 Austin, Texas 78757-1292, 1.800.288.5528
  • Following successful completion of a drug rehabilitation program, students may apply for reinstatement in the program. Readmission is not automatic; cases are individually considered.
  • Criminal background checks are required for insurance coverage and facility credentialing prior to entering the clinical residency. Students with concerns or questions should contact the director before beginning the program. Prior conviction(s) may result in denial of admission to the clinical residency.

Nurse Anesthesia General Information

Housing and Meals

Students are eligible for residence halls and meal plans at TCU. Contact Residential Services at 817.257.7865 or www.rlh.tcu.edu/GraduateHousing.aspx for further information. Students are responsible for their own housing and meals at their assigned primary clinical site.

Financial Aid

Both loans and limited scholarships are available for students. Deadlines are early in the semester prior to entry, and students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Financial Aid Adviser, TCU Box 297012, Fort Worth, TX 76129 or www.financialaid.tcu.edu as soon as possible. TCU is recognized by the Veterans Administration for financial assistance to eligible students. The School of Nurse Anesthesia participates in the Veteran’s Administration Yellow Ribbon program.

A student withdrawing from TCU within a limited time frame is eligible for tuition refund. Deadlines are printed in the University calendar every semester.

The student is responsible for all supplies and equipment as required by courses. Required textbooks are provided.

The RRNA is provided with operating room attire during clinical instruction except at a few rotation sites. The RRNA must provide a white lab coat.

Technology

Students should have sufficient computer literacy to manipulate multiple types of files. Students need a Pentium Class PC with Windows XP or later version, or a Macintosh with OS X 10.2 or better. Students are required to have Microsoft Office (with PowerPoint, Word and Excel or Mac-compatible version), an Internet connection (broadband) and a printer.

Time Commitment

A student's time commitment is approximately 64 hours during a seven-day week averaged over four weeks. This includes class time and clinical time but not study time. One hour of classroom time generates two hours or more of study time. The student should expect a rotating schedule during clinical residency.

Employment

Student employment is strongly discouraged after the first eight months of the program. Students gain more from their academic and clinical experiences without the additional burden of work commitments. If student employment is absolutely necessary, the student must notify the director in writing of the position and hours, documenting that there is no conflict in time between their job and program responsibilities. Students/RRNAs may not be employed to practice anesthesia. Clinical students/RRNAs may not work the shift prior to clinical time.

Distance Option

All students must be in residence during the fall semester of the first year. Students may arrange to complete the second spring and second summer semesters by distance programming at clinical sites that offer this option. Distance option classes are presented via live interactive video broadcast. At least two students per site must elect this option to make programming feasible; once initiated for a group of students, distance programming will continue as long as needed by that group. A fee per credit hour is assessed to cover broadcasting costs (no students at distant sites are assessed broadcast fees during clinical residency).