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    U.S. Army Offers Doctorate Program for CRNAs

    By Jennifer Huddleston, staff writer    

    The U.S. Army in August 2008 announced Ph.D.-level training for qualified CRNAs in the fields of education, neuroscience, nursing science or pharmacology.

    The Ph.D. program, available at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland., is paid for entirely by the Army and requires qualified participants to serve a minimum of six months on active duty before enrolling in their course of study.

    Army CRNAs provide specialized care, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, fluid therapy, general anesthesia and respiratory care for soldiers, their families and military retirees.

    According to the anesthesia page on the Department of Nursing Science website
    , the mission of the doctorate program is “to produce competent clinicians for the safe practice of anesthesia nursing. The graduate nurse anesthetist will function within medically established guidelines in time of peace, and when necessary, in time of war, civil disorder, natural disaster or humanitarian mission.”

    Candidates for the CRNA Ph.D. program must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be between 21 and 42 years of age and meet the Army’s physical and moral standards. Other eligibility requirements include:

    • current certification as a nurse anesthetist 
    • minimum two years experience as a CRNA 
    • minimum 3.5 GPA for masters of science degree in nurse anesthesia from an accredited program 
    • current, valid, unrestricted license to practice as an RN 
    • completed curriculum vitae 

    The Ph.D. program complements the financial incentives and other benefits already afforded to nurse anesthetists, including annual special pay from $15,000 to $40,000 and retirement benefits with 20 years of qualifying service.

    In addition, officers in the Army Nurse Corps enjoy other benefits such as:

    • no-cost, on-post housing or tax-free housing and subsistence allowance 
    • no-cost or low-cost medical and dental care for themselves and their families 
    • a retirement saving and investment plan 
    • paid continuing education opportunities 
    • 30 days paid vacation each year 
    • travel opportunities across the U.S. and abroad 

    There are currently more than 9,000 Army nurses in the active Nurse Corps, the Army Reserve and the National Guard. The Nurse Corps is a part of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD), which operates more than 600 hospitals, clinics and facilities worldwide. AMEDD includes a total of six corps: Dental, Medical, Medical Service, Medical Specialist, Nurse and Veterinary. For more information on the Ph.D. program or the Army Nurse Corps, contact Major Susan Orcutt-Cloft at 



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