Nurse Anesthetist Education Program - Patient Care Services
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Nurse Anesthetist Education Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Army have partnered to educate interested and qualified VA nurses in the field of nurse anesthesia.  The U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas (AMEDDC&S) will enroll the next class of VA students into their Nurse Anesthesia Program in
JUNE 2020

** Enrollment into this program does not constitute enlistment into any sector or branch of the U.S. military**

The thirty-six-month program is divided into two phases; didactic and clinical.  Phase I (didactic) is one year long and is conducted at the US Army Medical Department Center & School (AMEDDC&S) at San Antonio, TX (Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston).  The Phase II (clinical) is currently at the VA Medical Center-Memphis, TN.  Students will also rotate to other approved clinical sites.  Partnered with Baylor University, this program will grant a doctorate degree in nursing practice. Students will be responsible for their own living, moving, and travel expenses throughout the program.

NOTE: This is a 3 step process.

Step One:

Applicants must meet the admission standards of Baylor University; A completed application and all supporting materials must be received at: Office of the Registrar, Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Baylor University, Dallas, TX, by AUGUST 1, 2019 for consideration for JUNE 2020 admission.  *Note: When filling out your application, please check the “Nurse Anesthesia Army Program Only.”

It is the applicant’s responsibility to verify the application process is complete through Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

Step Two:

Applicants must meet the admission standards of US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing.


Step Three:

The VA Selection Board will convene in Fall 2019 to select students for the June 2020 class.  Selected students will be notified shortly after the Board has made its decision.

This program relies on funding provided through the VA’s Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP).  Congress funds the federal government on an annual basis.  Thus, as with all Federal programs, funding of the EISP is not guaranteed for the three years of the CRNA Education program.  We have a good track record of receiving funding, but we can make no guarantees.  National Anesthesia Service does not know what the VA would do if there were no EISP funds, as that has not happened for the CRNA Education program.  The opportunity the CRNA Education program provides is fantastic, however, we want you, the applicant, to be aware of the unquantifiable risk involved.


For the purposes of tracking applications by VA Nurses, and correspondence with Baylor University, please e-mail Roberta Reedy CRNA, DNSc (roberta.reedy@va.gov) when your completed application is sent to Baylor University.  Please title your e-mail correspondences VA CRNA Program.

You must also mail a hardcopy of your complete application package to:
Roberta Reedy, CRNA, DNSc
Deputy Director - Central Office Anesthesia Service
Re: US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing
VA Puget Sound Health Care System
1660 S. Columbian Way S-112-ANES
Seattle, WA 98108

E-mail: roberta.reedy@va.gov (Please title correspondence “VA CRNA Program”)

PREREQUISITES:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) from a NLNAC or CCNE accredited program;
  • Current nursing license;
  • Official transcripts covering all periods of enrollment in institutions of higher education;
  • Undergraduate statistics course. Graduate course accepted;
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and an overall science GPA of 3.0;
  • Undergraduate class in either Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry. Graduate courses accepted
  • A current resume;
  • Documentation of BCLS and ACLS certification;
  • Your current (within one year) fully signed VA proficiency report with a minimum overall evaluation rating of satisfactory.
  • Three satisfactory academic/professional references, including the applicant’s current supervisor;
  • A letter of recommendation from a CRNA must be included with your application to Baylor University. To become familiar with the role of the CRNA, contact a CRNA at your VA to “shadow” for a minimum of 4 hours. If CRNAs are not employed at your facility, “shadow” a CRNA in your local area and visit the operating rooms where they practice to gain a first hand experience of the professional activities of a Nurse Anesthetist.
  • A letter of recommendation from your facility’s Nurse Executive (i.e. the top Nursing leader) supporting upward mobility within the VA System.
  • A letter from your critical care supervisor attesting to competency in the below described clinical skills or a plan for attaining future competency within the next year.

Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories, or a US military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse is to have developed critical decision-making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (such as pulmonary artery catheter, CVP, arterial); cardiac assist devices; mechanical ventilation; and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care areas may include but are not limited to: SICU, CCU, MICU, PICU, NICU. Those who have experience in other areas may be considered provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.

Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification is encouraged but not required. CCRN certification does not substitute for bedside clinical experience in critical care.

GRE within the Last Five Years.

  • Combined recommended score (verbal and quantitative) of at least 1000.
  • On new version of GRE (297 any combination)
  • plus score of 3.5 or higher on writing component.

*GRE Competitiveness: Remember, you’re competing against your peers. While the above states target scores, you are encouraged to prepare well for this test and re-test if needed to achieve a competitive score.

An interview of qualified applicants is by invitation at the discretion of the VA board.

Program Requirement: Employee Incentive Scholarship Program

When selected to participate in the U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, the employee must apply for, receive and accept funds from the VA’s Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP), which pays tuition and books.

To be eligible to apply for the EISP you must have been continuously employed by the VA in a permanent full-time or part-time appointment a minimum of one year at the time of your EISP application.

Significant features of the EISP, to assist applicants in the course of applying for this scholarship award, include:

-Educational assistance under the EISP is awarded through an application and selection process for eligible employees     
-EISP covers the cost of tuition and related educational expenses (e.g., registration, fees, books, materials and supplies)     
-The maximum amount of education authorized is the equivalent of 36 months of full-time coursework

Eligibility:

  • Continuous employment with the Department of Veterans Affairs for not less than 1 year as of the date on which the employee submits an official application for an EISP award.  The continuous employment must be in a permanent (i.e. without time limitation) appointment, full or part time.
  • Must not be obligated under any other Federal program to perform service after completion of the course of education or training
  • Acceptance to an authorized education or training program as of the date the official application for an EISP award is submitted by the employee
  • Must agree to incur a contractual service obligation after completion of the program.  NOTE:  An employee who previously participated in EISP and breached their obligation under the agreement for any reason is not eligible to apply for another award.  This includes an employee who previously applied for, and received, a waiver of liability under the program.

Service Obligation:

  • EISP funding for this program requires a 3-year full-time employment commitment within the VA Health Care System after completion of the program.
  • Your EISP application will need to be sponsored by a specific VA.  However, recognizing that local requirements can change during the three years of your education, your commitment is to serve 3 years as a CRNA at whatever VA facility the Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health determines needs CRNA services.  This might not be the EISP sponsoring facility.
  • The service obligation agreement is a signed, legally binding contract between VA and the EISP participant and specifies the obligations of the Department and the employee
  • If the EISP participant breaches or fails to honor the EISP contract, the EISP participant may be subject to payment of damages, penalties and interest as described in the EISP Handbook.

Link to the EISP Handbook (policy) - VHA Handbook 1020 for your review: http://vaww1.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID=2241


Program Timeline

  • Length of didactic program (Phase I): 12 months at the U.S. AMEDDC&S in San Antonio, TX.
  • Length of clinical program (Phase II): 24 months at the Memphis, TN VAMC. (Obstetric, Pediatric and other required clinical experience will be conducted at clinical affiliates of the assigned VA facility.)

The admission application for the program through Baylor University’s at: https://www.baylor.edu/nursing/armydnp/ *
 
COL Denise M. Beaumont, CRNA, is the Army's Program Director for the AMEDDC&S at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.

Please contact me with any specific questions.
Roberta Reedy, CRNA, DNSc
Deputy Director, Central Office Anesthesia Service
e-mail: roberta.reedy@va.gov (Please title correspondence “VA CRNA Program”)
 
* By clicking on these links you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked Web site.