Advanced Pain Management Program Attains Fellowship Accreditation
The USF College of Nursing’s specialized post-graduate program tailored for certified registered nurse anesthetists has been recognized as an accredited fellowship program.
The distinction makes the nursing school’s Simulation-Based Academic Fellowship in Advanced Pain Management one of four specialty fellowship programs for nurse anesthetists in the U.S. and the only one in Florida.
The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs granted the accreditation in August after an extensive review process.
John Maye, PhD, the program’s Advanced Pain Management Education Coordinator, said upgrading the former graduate certificate program into a fellowship “confers a higher level of independence in practice and is more accepted in the clinical setting.”
“The most important benefit is that it provides an in-depth exploration of the science of pain medicine with evidence-based literature to support the decisions and interventions,” he said.
Maye said it was always his goal to seek the higher fellowship accreditation when the CRNA training program began as a graduate certificate in 2016. The review and approval process took about seven months, and students who started the program in August will graduate with the fellowship distinction in the Spring of 2018.
As part of the accreditation process, Maye designed specific outcomes and metrics so that the student evaluation process was more aligned with the learning objectives.
The program is designed for practicing CRNAs who have at least two years of professional experience. Students take four online courses over two semesters, which culminates in a three-day simulation clinical experience at the USF Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in Tampa.
The fellowship currently has 25 students enrolled, up from 20 students the first year. Maye said the program is attracting a wide-range of applicants who are all seeking advanced training in pain management techniques.
“Some people simply take the fellowship because they want to be better practitioners,” he said. “Other people are attempting to set up programs at their institutions, and then there are some people who are using this knowledge to advance their practice in rural areas of America.”
The ultimate goal of accreditation is to improve the quality of nurse anesthesia education and to provide competent practitioners to health care consumers and employers, according to the Council of Accreditation, the organization that sets the standards and policies for the Fellowship programs.
Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing