RIC School of Nursing Establishes Nurse Anesthesia Program 

RIC nursing graduate Stephanie Resendes receives congratulations from Dean Jane Williams.

RIC nursing graduate Stephanie Resendes receives congratulations from Dean Jane Williams.


The Rhode Island College School of Nursing, in partnership with St. Joseph Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia, now offers a Master of Science in Nursing, nurse anesthesia option.

Program graduates will be eligible to take the National Certification Examination required for licensure as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA.)

“This program is the first of its kind in Rhode Island and is part of RIC’s ongoing efforts to support the needs of Rhode Island’s economy,” said RIC President Nancy Carriuolo.

CRNAs are registered nurses with at least two years of extensive training in anesthesia. In Rhode Island, they are able to provide anesthesia in collaboration with medical doctors in any medical setting in which anesthesia is delivered.

“This specialized program is an important achievement,” said Jane Williams, dean of the RIC School of Nursing. “The program will meet a critical need for nurse anesthetists.”

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 58 percent of nurse anesthetists nationwide are between the ages of 55 and 64. Thirty-eight percent of nurse anesthetists, the association reports, plan to retire within five to 10 years.

Through this new program, nurse anesthetist students now can complete their academic training in Rhode Island.  Previously, Rhode Island students have had to go out of state for study.

“This program gives the opportunity to train in Rhode Island and stay to work here,” said Anne Tierney, program director at St. Joseph Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Tierney said her graduates have a 100 percent employment rate and that many secure positions prior to graduation.

The program will begin in summer 2014, and a maximum of 10 students will be admitted each year. Applications are due Feb. 15, 2014.

To be admitted to the 30-month program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a nationally accredited program and a minimum of one year of critical care nursing experience. Due to clinical rotations, applicants must be licensed to practice nursing in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The program is under shared authority of the Associates in Anesthesia Inc. and Rhode Island College. Students will be based primarily on the RIC campus for the first two program semesters, under the supervision of RIC MSN Program Director Cynthia Padula, with clinical education following. Experienced CRNAs will supervise student practicums.

Program information, including the application process, is available at www.ric.edu and at www.sjhsna.com.

The RIC School of Nursing offers a baccalaureate nursing program and MSN programs in the following: adult/gerontology with an acute care emphasis, nurse anesthesia and public health/community leadership.