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JBSA News
NEWS | March 7, 2023

Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing receives five-year renewal of U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing

Baylor University Media & Public Relations

The Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing, or LHSON, has received a five-year renewal of its program in cooperation with the United States Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, or USAGPAN.

The program – which operates at the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston – educates and prepares individuals to become independent Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, or CRNAs.

Upon graduation, Army CRNAs will serve a minimum of five years as officers in the Army Nurse Corps, with the option to stay in and continue to serve while increasing in rank and salary as well as function as respected members of the military health care team.

Several VA Nurses are admitted with each USAGPAN Cohort and return to serve as CRNAs in the Veterans Administration health care system. Baylor’s USAGPAN CRNAs provide full-spectrum anesthesia in their respective Army and VA hospitals across the continental United States, with Army CRNAs serving anywhere in the world they are needed.

“We are delighted that the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command has awarded Baylor University a five-year renewal of our national affiliation agreement for the U.S. Army DNP Program in Nurse Anesthesia,” said Linda Plank, Ph.D., RN, dean of Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

“For more than 65 years, Baylor has been honored to serve our country through health-related educational programs, like USAGPAN, in partnership with MEDCoE. Such military graduate programs are compatible with Baylor’s long heritage in preparing students for professional education in medicine, nursing, dentistry, nutrition, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other allied-health professions,” Plank added.

Several LHSON programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report in its 2023 Best Graduate Schools report, including the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at No. 60 nationally. U.S. News also included LHSON in its “Best Nursing” specialty rankings, with LHSON’s USAGPAN at No. 8 nationally, and Baylor’s Nurse-Midwifery program at No. 21 in the nation.

The LHSON serves as the degree-granting institution for USAGPAN that resides with the Army’s USAGPAN Program Director, Col. Steven S. Kertes, DNP, CRNA, and Baylor clinical associate professor.

“We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing. Baylor has a long-standing commitment to the U.S. Army Graduate Programs at the MEDCoE. Our partnership and merging of resources and initiatives sustains the USAGPAN to remain one of the top nursing anesthesia programs in the nation,” Kertes said.

Students in the U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing are educated in a manner that encourages independent thought and critical decision-making skills during times of great stress, both physical and emotional. As the sole providers of anesthesia under many circumstances in the Army, CRNAs need to rely on their skills and training to save the lives of those in their care.

The success rate for the 2022 USAGPAN class of graduates is reflected in a 100% pass rate for first-time test-takers on the National Certification Exam (NCE) offered through the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). In addition, the 2022 class had a 100% employment rate.

The U.S. Army and Baylor University boast a long and proud heritage in health-related graduate education. Currently, there are 10 Army-Baylor programs in the Baylor Graduate School that include:

  • Anesthesia Nursing DNP;
  • Health Care Administration MHA;
  • Health Care Administration Joint MHA/MBA;
  • Nutrition GPN;
  • Occupational Therapy OTD;
  • Occupational Therapy DScOT;
  • Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy at BAMC DScPT;
  • Physical Therapy DPT;
  • Physician Assistant Studies DScPAS (Emergency Medicine, Clinical Orthopedics and General Surgery/Intensivist); and
  • Sports Medicine-Physical Therapy at West Point DScPT.