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Nurse Anesthesia Program Moving to Virginia Beach Center

Nurse anesthesia training at present facility on the Norfolk campus

Old Dominion University's College of Health Sciences will move its Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) from the Norfolk campus to the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center to accommodate growth anticipated in NAP and other nursing programs.

Renovation of about 3,000 square feet of ODU's Virginia Beach facility near Princess Anne and Dam Neck roads has begun, and the relocation of NAP is expected to be complete for the beginning of the fall 2012 semester. Thirteen students currently are in the program.

The move will give NAP space to add students and to expand clinical simulation and other training resources to ensure compliance with accreditation standards. It also will free up offices and classrooms in the Health Sciences Building on the Norfolk campus to give other programs room to grow.

"In recent years, the University has been examining the potential synergies that its nursing programs could bring to the Virginia Beach area," said Carol Simpson, the ODU provost and vice president for academic affairs. "After careful analysis, the School of Nursing determined that expansion and relocation of the Nurse Anesthesia Program to the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center could fulfill a specific need for the community, as well as increase the visibility of ODU nursing programs in Virginia Beach."

"We are excited that ODU is moving this program to the Princess Anne Commons area of our city," said Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms. "This is the perfect location for the Nurse Anesthesia Program because not only is it prestigious, but a multitude of synergies exist with other existing institutions there. The city is pleased to be the new home for this growing and vibrant program."

Karen Karlowicz, chair of the School of Nursing at ODU, said curriculum enhancements projected to be made over the next two years should allow NAP to grant the doctoral degree. At present, the program culminates in a master's degree.

Other goals, said Karlowicz, are to: 1) increase NAP enrollments to admit at least 20 highly qualified students annually, 2) enhance capacity to provide clinical simulation training for students and community-based Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and 3) develop the capability to engage in funded research that supports the practice of nurse anesthesia.

"We are grateful for the support received from the university for NAP," Karlowicz added. "The School of Nursing is on a growth trajectory and the relocation of the NAP to the Virginia Beach center supports our strategic efforts."

Shelley Mishoe, dean of the College of Health Sciences, said, "We are enthusiastic about moving this graduate nursing program to Virginia Beach to be co-located with our other partners in education and health, including Tidewater Community College, LifeNet Health, Operation Smile, and Sentara Princess Anne Hospital. This is a wonderful opportunity for our faculty and students to be part of the growth and vision of Virginia Beach and we look forward to enhanced engagement with the community."

Renee Olander, the ODU assistant vice president for regional higher education centers, said, "The graduate Nurse Anesthesia Program is a regional jewel that produces highly skilled health professionals. What a coup both for our ODU-Virginia Beach campus and for the evolving health care hub in the Princess Anne corridor to headquarter this program at the Beach."

Approximately 25,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) administer more than 65 percent of the anesthetics given in the United States, and the field is recognized for its growing contribution to safe, cost-effective patient care.

ODU's program was established in 1995 when DePaul Medical Center School of Nurse Anesthesia (established in 1949) and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia (established in 1951) agreed to merge into a single program based within the university's School of Nursing.

NAP recently received full accreditation through 2014, as well as a new leader. Nathaniel Apatov joined ODU last year as an associate professor and NAP director. Other new faculty members associated with the program include three CRNAs: Adrienne Hartgerink and Karen Gillikin, who are co-assistant program directors, and Chad Driscoll, who serves as the anesthesia simulation instructor. These are the four faculty members who will move with the program to Virginia Beach.

This article was posted on: June 11, 2012

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