Lourdes nurse anesthesia program receives accreditationWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Kovacs can realize her dream of becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist without having to spend too much time away from her husband and three children thanks to the recent accreditation of the Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Anesthesia Program (MSN: NAP) at Lourdes University.
“It means I get to see my children every day,” Kovacs said. “It means I get to put them to bed at night, have dinner with them and tuck them in. It means I can still be part of the family while I take this challenge of going through this program.”
Kovacs’ time with her family will be limited since students put in 60-80 hours per week into the program.
“My mother is driving three hours every week to stay with us for three days to keep the homefront secure because my husband will be taking care of business,” she said. “We can’t work [while in the program], so it’s some additional stress. There will be a lot of sacrifice on everybody’s part in the family.”
Kovacs and 11 other students are starting the program Aug. 22. The financial sacrifice will be lessened as she is one of four students receiving a scholarship.
“When we got the phone call, I didn’t think it was real,” she said. “Just getting into the program is a tremendous honor. To have people seeking you out to help you is phenomenal. It’s going to make a huge difference.”
ProMedica Flower Hospital, through the McKesson Memorial Fund, is donating $1 million to Lourdes University during a 10-year period for the MSN: NAP.
“We could not do what we do without the support of the hospital systems here in Northwest Ohio, ProMedica being the main one,” said Robert Helmer, president of Lourdes University. “We place our students in clinical settings, they are trained by the nurses and doctors of ProMedica, and at the end of the program when they graduate with a Lourdes degree, they are prepared to enter the work force.”
Approximately 80 percent of the funding will go to students who demonstrate need and academic merit. The other 20 percent will go toward the creation of a lecture series, continuing education in the field of anesthesia, staff development and direct support for the training program.
“One of the things we felt strongly about in our partnership with Lourdes is we wanted to make sure we could help students, not just today but future students,” said Alan Sattler, president of Flower Hospital. “That’s why 80 percent of our gift is going to go to the endowed scholarship fund.”
Another student receiving the scholarship is Sheri Myers, who works at Blanchard Valley Hospital and has been a registered nurse for five years. Myers will commute from Carey, Ohio for the program.
“I’m very excited and honored to be in this program, let alone chosen as a scholarship recipient,” Myers said. “It is an immense help. It will be a very big financial struggle, so any type of assistance is greatly appreciated.”
Myers jumped at the opportunity to apply to a program so close to home. The MSN: NAP at Lourdes University is the only program of its kind in Northwest Ohio.
“It’s a huge need in this community, because before this program was created by Lourdes, students had to leave this area to get their education,” Sattler said. “They came back here to get their clinical experience. Wherever the students go to school and are educated and trained, they are more likely to stay in that community over time.”
After a process lasting more than two years, Lourdes’ MSN: NAP was accredited this summer by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
“People have been asking for this in the community for a good 10 years,” said Janet Robinson, vice president for academic affairs at Lourdes University. “This program will attract people from all over the country.”