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Factors to Consider When Selecting an Anesthesiology Graduate School

Higher Education Articles March 4, 2016

Monitoring patients and administering anesthesia during surgery is anesthesiology. Those who have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and hold a valid, current license as a registered nurse (RN) can look into graduate degree programs in anesthesiology.

Selecting an Anesthesiology Graduate School

Four-year colleges and universities offer master’s degree programs in anesthesiology. In this article, we take a look at some important factors to consider when you select an anesthesiology graduate school:

Specialty Areas and Clinical Experiences

Graduate students should also consider facilities available in the vicinity of the prospective college. Clinical experience is offered at some schools in as many as seven hospitals while enrollees in other programs may only participate in a solitary hospital or merely to campus facilities. Each school may offer different specialty area choices including gynecologic, cardiothoracic, orthopedics, head and neck, trauma and neurosurgical.

Program Coursework

While enrollees in all anesthesiology graduate programs become qualified to take the national registration examination to become practicing certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), students in some programs are offered titles with specific, small differences. A Master of Science (M.S.) in Anesthesiology and a Master of Anesthesia Education are very similar though students in the latter program are ready for roles of adult education and leadership within the field. This small difference may affect the length of the program as well as its curriculum structure may be affected by this small dissimilarity.

Student Aid

Each school may offer greatly varying amounts of student aid available. Enrollees in some schools may have monthly stipends equaling almost $300 a month for the whole time-span of the program. A grant of several hundred dollars may be provided by other schools to each student once annually, depending on state funding allowances. Some schools don’t offer any financial support at all.

Time Span

Varying by specific degree, students may take between 24 and 32 months to complete a graduate program in anesthesiology. They may take less time to complete a basic master’s degree in anesthesiology than to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) with a concentration in anesthesiology. This difference in time span is owing to the diversity in coursework, typically extended by a residency period and research, in the MSN program.

Master’s Programs in Anesthesiology

Schools offer this program as either a Master of Science (M.S.) in Anesthesiology or a Master of Nurse Anesthesia; enrollees are prepared for the national CRNA exam. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Endocrine physiology
•Anatomy
•Pharmacology
•Renal physiology

Internships or extensive clinical practicums are in the curriculum. Students learn specialized techniques for use in pediatric, neurological, and cardiovascular surgery. They also learn about operating ventilators, monitoring equipment, and anesthesia machines. Research courses are also available to students who may have to complete a thesis.

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) Programs in Anesthesiology

Students may need 32 months to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) with a nursing anesthesia concentration. The length is mostly due to the addition of specialized courses, including advanced health assessment, population health, and nurse research theory. Akin to an MS in Anesthesiology, nursing programs include coursework covering anesthesiology’s various aspects, such as:

•Anatomy and physiology
•Pathophysiology
•Advanced anesthesia principles

Students can also obtain hands-on experience through participation in internships or clinical practicums.

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