Info about SMSU/St. John's CRNA program in MO?

  1. After months of soul-searching, I've finally decided that I'm going to anesthesia school. I've narrowed my choices to Texas Wesleyan (so I can do my clinicals in Arkansas) or SMSU in Springfield, MO. I am familiar with the hospital and the city, but not the anesthesia program. Springfield is only a little over an hour from my husband's family in NW Arkansas, so we'll have a good support system in place for when I'm attending school. But I want to make sure I attend a quality program.

    So does anyone have any comments on this program? What about the degree offered: MS in Nurse Anesthesia? Is this better, worse, or equivilent to a MSN with emphasis in anesthesia? You can PM me if you don't want to make public comments.

    Thanks in advance.
    •  
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   MIS
    Konni,

    I know a guy who used to work in the unit I do now and he is finishing up at SMSU. I asked him some questions about the program and and I'll share the info that he pointed out to me as his main reasons for choosing SMSU:

    Low cost for out of state students (8-10K) for the entire program
    Insurance benefits for students and family (not sure what this includes)
    All the clinicals are at St. Johns
    Graduates typically have 3 times the number of required cases.
    No anesthesia residency program (don't have to fight for cases)
    He liked the feel of Springfield (He moved his family there and wanted a nice place for the wife and kids)

    I hope some of this helps

    Blake
  4. by   AmiK25
    Konnie,

    Although I am not yet an SRNA or CRNA, the general feeling I have gotten is that many people actually prefer the MS over the MSN because you do not have to take all the nursing ethics, nursing theory, etc...classes that MSN students have to take. I know that my top choice offers an MS and I will be glad not to have to take the theory classes again that we already had to take with the BSN. It also seems to leave for time for the study of principles related to anesthesia. Anyway, just my opinion.

    Ami
  5. by   whipping girl in 07
    Thanks for your responses.
  6. by   Southernboy
    Konni,

    I am in my senior year in the SMSU program at St. Johns with 11 months left until graduation. Blake pointed out the main reasons to choose the SMSU program and I agree with his statements. Out of state fees have to be among the most reasonable of all the accredited programs. There used to be a stipend ($500 per month) given to the anesthesia students in the clinical program, but as of last semester it was discontinued. The students who started the program before last semester will continue to receive the stipend until graduation, so I am lucky in that sense - it has really helped out. As far as health insurance is concerned, the school provides health and dental insurance for the entire family. This helped me out tremendously as we had our first child during my first year in school, and out of pocket expenses were less than $200.

    I have heard that the didactic portion of the program may not be as strong as that of Wesleyan and some others, but SMSU grads have no trouble with boards. I believe that the clinical experience is as good any other program and probably better than most. As Blake pointed out, we don't have to fight with anesthesia residents for cases and there are no surgical residents at St. Johns so surgical cases move along at a brisk pace (no 2-hour lap choles here). Most students graduate with 1200-1300 cases. I've got 11 months left and have over 700 already. Most of our MDAs are getting better about letting us practice regional techniques, especially in O.B. I've successfully placed over 50 epidurals and 20 spinals so far and the students in the classes behind me will probably get a lot more considering that several more "regional-friendly" MDAs have joined the department since I started.

    In the senior year students are required to take call overnight at the hospital every fifth night. There is quite a bit of autonomy in this program as far as students are concerned. You are precepted by a CRNA during the orientation phase which generally lasts 12 weeks, depending on which class you're in (spring or fall). After your preceptor and all supervising MDAs deem you competent to leave the nest, you will deliver anesthesia under the direction of a supervising MDA. I think that this is an advantage compared to those schools in which students are required to have a CRNA signed on with them for every case. Most of the MDAs push the induction drugs and let the students manage the airway. Although the docs push the incuction drugs, they expect the students to know all drugs, dosages, side effects, and contraindications. Many of them will ask you how much you want them to give so you can still be burned by too much / too little muscle relaxant, etc. if you are unprepared.

    Last but not least, the class sizes are small (5 in my class) and the atmosphere is more close-knit than I imagine at larger schools. Springfield is a nice town and if it weren't so damn cold here in the winter (for a southern boy) I'd even consider staying. Overall, I am very pleased with my education in the SMSU program. I can absolutely guarantee that if you graduate from the SMSU program you can go anywhere in the U.S. and practice anesthesia safely and competently without feeling overwhelmed.
  7. by   Southernboy
    Konni,

    I am in my senior year in the SMSU program at St. Johns with 11 months left until graduation. Blake pointed out the main reasons to choose the SMSU program and I agree with his statements. Out of state fees have to be among the most reasonable of all the accredited programs. There used to be a stipend ($500 per month) given to the anesthesia students in the clinical program, but as of last semester it was discontinued. The students who started the program before last semester will continue to receive the stipend until graduation, so I am lucky in that sense - it has really helped out. As far as health insurance is concerned, the school provides health and dental insurance for the entire family. This helped me out tremendously as we had our first child during my first year in school, and out of pocket expenses were less than $200.

    I have heard that the didactic portion of the program may not be as strong as that of Wesleyan and some others, but SMSU grads have no trouble with boards. I believe that the clinical experience is as good any other program and probably better than most. As Blake pointed out, we don't have to fight with anesthesia residents for cases and there are no surgical residents at St. Johns so surgical cases move along at a brisk pace (no 2-hour lap choles here). Most students graduate with 1200-1300 cases. I've got 11 months left and have over 700 already. Most of our MDAs are getting better about letting us practice regional techniques, especially in O.B. I've successfully placed over 50 epidurals and 20 spinals so far and the students in the classes behind me will probably get a lot more considering that several more "regional-friendly" MDAs have joined the department since I started.

    In the senior year students are required to take call overnight at the hospital every fifth night. There is quite a bit of autonomy in this program as far as students are concerned. You are precepted by a CRNA during the orientation phase which generally lasts 12 weeks, depending on which class you're in (spring or fall). After your preceptor and all supervising MDAs deem you competent to leave the nest, you will deliver anesthesia under the direction of a supervising MDA. I think that this is an advantage compared to those schools in which students are required to have a CRNA signed on with them for every case. Most of the MDAs push the induction drugs and let the students manage the airway. Although the docs push the incuction drugs, they expect the students to know all drugs, dosages, side effects, and contraindications. Many of them will ask you how much you want them to give so you can still be burned by too much / too little muscle relaxant, etc. if you are unprepared.

    Last but not least, the class sizes are small (5 in my class) and the atmosphere is more close-knit than I imagine at larger schools. Springfield is a nice town and if it weren't so damn cold here in the winter (for a southern boy) I'd even consider staying. Overall, I am very pleased with my education in the SMSU program. I can absolutely guarantee that if you graduate from the SMSU program you can go anywhere in the U.S. and practice anesthesia safely and competently without feeling overwhelmed.
  8. by   whipping girl in 07
    Southernboy, I PM'd you.

close