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FGCU nurse anesthesiologists will be doctors for first time

 Dr. Robert Bland
Andrea Melendez
Robert Bland teaches in Florida Gulf Coast University's doctorate of nursing practice program. He holds the DNP degree and is a certified registered nurse anesthesiologist,

All graduates of the nurse anesthesiologist program at Florida Gulf Coast University will have doctorates for the first time.

Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers has been training nurse anesthesiologists since about 2006, but it’s still not a well-known specialty.

“Nurse anesthesiology is basically the same as medical anesthesiology in that we provide perioperative care to any patients needing surgery or anesthesia for procedures,” says Robert Bland, who teaches in the program.

This is the first year that all graduates of the program will have a doctorate of nursing practice.

Students enter the three-year DNP program with at least a four-year bachelor's degree in nursing and at least a year of practical critical care experience.

They learn the art and science of nurse anesthesiology through simulation.

“We have a fairly state-of-the-art simulation center where we have mannequins that not only can breathe and have a pulse, but they can actually talk to you,” says Bland, who holds the DNP degree and is a certified registered nurse anesthesiologist.

Students continue their training on real patients, working together with medical teams in local hospitals.

Copyright 2023 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Cary Barbor
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