Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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Millikin University and Decatur Memorial Hospital have partnered together to launch the new Millikin University-Decatur Memorial Hospital Nurse Anesthesia Program.  

Click here for a video of the press conference.

“The new Nurse Anesthesia track of our Master of Science in Nursing program opens yet another career path for BSN-prepared nurses to attain professional success,” said Douglas E. Zemke, president of Millikin University. “Millikin University prepares nursing leaders who integrate knowledge, skills, and values in their professional practice within a global community. Our partnership with Decatur Memorial Hospital is consistent with our endeavor to create a community of life-long learners who are able to actively shape the future of nursing and health care while adding to the quality of life for our community. We are pleased to be a partner with Decatur Memorial Hospital in this endeavor.”

“Decatur Memorial Hospital has provided supervised clinical experiences since 1965, to help educate and prepare nurse anesthetists,” said Ken Smithmier, president and CEO of Decatur Memorial Hospital.  “We are excited to partner with Millikin University to provide students with the opportunity to learn anesthesia techniques, test theory, and apply knowledge to clinical problems.” 

The program consists of an intensive, fast-paced curriculum delivered in the classroom and through clinical practice experiences. More than 2,400 hours of clinical practicum are provided through the 31-month, full-time program. Students are required to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, Professional Registered Nurse licensure in the State of Illinois, and a minimum of one year of adult critical care nursing experience. 

Successful students are conferred a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree upon graduation, are prepared to take the national certification examination to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), and are eligible for licensure as Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs).

“The CRNA’s role in the operating room is to monitor the patient’s vital signs, regulate the anesthetic as necessary, analyze situations, make decisions, communicate clearly with the other members of the surgical team and respond quickly and appropriately to ensure maximum safety and comfort,” said Dr. Rhonda Gee, director of the Decatur Memorial Hospital Nurse Anesthesia Program.  “Currently, there are 40 CRNAs employed at Decatur Memorial Hospital providing cost-effective, high quality patient care.”

The Millikin University-Decatur Memorial Hospital Nurse Anesthesia Program is the only nurse anesthesia education program based in Central Illinois.  It will become the fourth track within Millikin’s MSN program.  The other three tracks are Nurse Educator (NE), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), and Master’s Entry into Nursing Practice: Pre-licensure (MENP: PL).

“Over the past twenty months, the School of Nursing faculty has worked collaboratively with our nursing colleagues in the Decatur Memorial Hospital Nurse Anesthesia Program to envision and develop this partnership.” remarked Dr. Deborah Slayton, director of Millikin’s School of Nursing. “Judging by the level and quality of our ongoing professional engagement and the congruence of our philosophies about nursing and nursing education, we are confident this joint endeavor will be extremely successful.”

The first class is targeted to begin in June 2011. Information is available online at or by calling 217.424.5034. 

Millikin University’s nursing undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.  Nursing students combine classroom education with clinical and practice experiences under the supervision of nursing faculty at more than 34 affiliate agencies.  In recent years, 100 percent of Millikin nursing graduates have found employment or attended graduate school within six months of graduation. For more information on Millikin University’s School of Nursing, visit 

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Millikin University and DMH partner to launch Nurse Anesthesia Program
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL