Austin Iba At the Health Science/Nurse Anesthesia building on the corner of Avenue B graduate students are learning the practice of nurse anesthesia and have welcomed the first doctorate recipients over the last two years. Let’s be clear: Wesleyan’s Nurse Anesthesia is not a nursing program. It is a Master’s level degree with advanced studies for registered and practicing nurses. Nurse Anesthesia is a very different group from nurses. Nurse Anesthetics are advanced practiced nurses, who receive more advanced training and are able to practice independently. They do not need direct supervision of doctors. In summer 2011 the doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program graduated its first class after accepting a class of 16 students in 2008, according to the DNAP web page. This page also stated that the 100 percent online Texas Wesleyan DNAP program serves students throughout the mainland United States, Hawai’i, Alaska, and military personnel stationed in Europe and the Middle East. They are able to work in different areas: operating rooms, operating tables, dental offices, and in war hospitals. They have a wide scope of practice and care for patients of all types and ages from babies to older patients to women in labor. Nurse Anesthesia education is split into two groups: one is entry Master’s program students with a bachelor’s degree and practicing nurses.  Through this program, students receive a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). The second program provides students with advanced courses for their doctorate degree called the DNAP (Doctorate of Anesthetic Practices). There are only four schools in the country that offer a doctorate of nurse anesthesia practice. Wesleyan is one of them! It provides more than 50 percent of all anesthetists in the United States. It is a very unique but not very well known field. First semester practicing intensive care unit nurses, Brandi Byrde and Becca Hope wanted to learn nurse anesthesia. “I like the challenge,” Hope said. “It’s good that you’re educated in something, and that makes patients more at ease,” she said. “A lot of people are just scared because they don’t know what to expect or what the outcome will be. “I wanted a higher understanding of everything,” Byrde said. Wesleyan is a rare find for graduate school in Nurse Anesthetics. see photo link: