Today's nurse anesthetists need advanced theoretical knowledge and extensive clinical experience to meet the critical demands of their profession. La Roche College's graduate program in health sciences offers an integrated approach to nurse anesthesia education: a valuable blend of theoretical classroom learning and clinical practice and research that's geared to a complex and rapidly changing field.
Baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses pursuing a master's degree full-time combine theoretical course work at La Roche College with clinical-based education and practicum at Allegheny Valley Hospital School of Anesthesia, located at Allegheny General Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center.
Current Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) can supplement their clinical expertise and earn advanced degrees with part-time, graduate-level study.
By developing a broad base of knowledge in the biophysical sciences, both non-CRNA and CRNA students can gain the expertise necessary for comprehensive anesthesia management of patients. You'll learn to develop management strategies for patients of various age groups with different co-existing disease processes by applying the theoretical concepts studied in the classroom. You'll also develop the research skills necessary to solve complex problems on the job, and to evaluate current anesthesia literature. Development of leadership skills essential for managing patients within a multidisciplinary framework is an essential component of our program.
La Roche College has been a leader in nurse anesthesia education for over 25 years. After a decade of offering a bachelor's degree in the field, the College moved its curriculum to the graduate level in 1987, following a mandate by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) that anesthesia education be offered at the graduate level by the late 1990s.
The strong reputations of La Roche College's health sciences program and Pittsburgh's health care arena have attracted students from across the country and around the world to pursue advanced specialty education in nurse anesthesia. In turn, health sciences graduates are highly sought for positions nationwide.
One of the program's greatest strengths is its faculty. Dedicated, full-time professors hold doctorates and are recognized in their areas of expertise. Experienced adjunct faculty are highly respected professionals from La Roche College's affiliated school of anesthesia and Pittsburgh's health care community. Together, they provide a unique blend of theory and practical application leading to a challenging education that prepares qualified nurses to meet the changing demands of the anesthesia profession.
Graduate Health Science Curriculum
The graduate program in nurse anesthesia consists of two parts: a La Roche College portion, and a clinical-based portion taught at Allegheny Valley Hospital School of Anesthesia. A student seeking to become a CRNA must complete both parts of the curriculum successfully in order to be granted the Master of Science in Health Science from La Roche College. Students who already possess the CRNA credential (but wish to earn the Master's degree) are required to complete only the La Roche College portion of the curriculum.
The graduate program is a full-time program. Incoming students officially begin in the fall semester, and take five consecutive semesters of courses at La Roche College. For first year students, La Roche courses are taught on Thursdays and Fridays, and professional preparation in the hospital is scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Summer session classes at the end of year one are offered during the late afternoon and early evening. For second year students, the La Roche courses are taught on Mondays, with clinical work scheduled for the remainder of the week. The remaining time is spent entirely at the program's affiliated clinical sites: Allegheny General Hospital, The Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Forbes Regional Hospital, Alle-Kiski Medical Center, Butler Memorial Hospital, Passavant Hospital, Sewickley Valley Hospital, St. Clair Memorial Hospital and The Beaver Medical Center.
The La Roche College portion of the graduate program consists of three components:
Upon completion of the master's level nurse anesthesia program, the students will be able to:
- demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the fundamental sciences to ensure greater competence in anesthesia practice, as well as teaching in a nurse anesthesia program
- engage in collateral reading in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology, and clinical subjects related to the field of anesthesia
- conduct research and evaluate current literature in order to initiate and provide improved anesthesia and acute patient care
- assume a leadership role in collaboration with health care team members and serve as a role model for future health care providers
- function as a resource person for nursing staff/other learners
- apply principles of research to the clinical anesthesia setting
- design, implement,evaluate and revise an anesthetic care plan for assigned patients
- utilize appropriate scientific principles related to asepsis, anesthesia and respiratory techniques
- apply knowledge of nursing theories and models in advanced nursing and specialty areas of nurse anesthesia practice.
The La Roche College requirements include 49 credits of courses, taken in the sequence shown below.
Note: courses in the summer of Year One are offered in six-week blocks. HSCG5012 is scheduled in session 6A (the first block) and HSCG5010 follows in the second block (session 6B).
In addition, all students are required to register for two additional 6-credit courses which are taught at Allegheny Valley Hospital School of Anesthesia: HSCG5030 (Anesthesia Didactics I) and HSCG6030 (Anesthesia Didactics II).
Students at Allegheny Valley Hospital School of Anesthesia take HSCG5030 (Didactics I) in Year One and HSCG6030 (Didactics II) in Year Two
The total credits for this graduate program, including HSCG5030 and 6030, is 49.
Note: students who already possess the CRNA credential are exempt from taking HSCG5030 and 6030. Your total credit requirement for the Master of Science degree is 37.