What’s Happening: Expanding Clinical Training and Enhancing Leadership Opportunities

Learn about new initiatives set to expand clinical training and enhance leadership opportunities at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing.

Advancing health through nursing excellence is part of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing mission. Consistent behind-the-scenes efforts have resulted in two recent achievements at the School of Nursing that will broaden clinical training and leadership opportunities for students.

Expanding Clinical Training for Nurse Anesthesia Students

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) work at the forefront of patient safety. CRNAs are in high demand – and so are the educational programs that prepare them for their essential work. To meet that demand, the School of Nursing is expanding its clinical training for nurse anesthesia students with a memorandum of understanding with Ochsner LSU Shreveport.

“This agreement allows us to expand the clinical training for nurse anesthesia students at this approved clinical training site for our program,” says Laura Bonanno, PhD, DNP, CRNA, Program Director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program and Professor of Nursing. “Under the agreement, Ochsner LSU-Shreveport will provide financial resources to support 1.5 faculty full-time equivalents (FTEs) and allow us to increase our class size by 10 students, from 50 students to 60 students per cohort.”

The agreement comes at an opportune time as the School of Nursing is experiencing higher demand for the program. “We are seeing an increase in the number of qualified applicants to the program as well as demand for our graduates,” Dr. Bonanno says.

The agreement also allows the school to expand clinical training opportunities, particularly in the northern part of the state. “This enhancement to our program will allow us to better meet the demand for CRNAs in Louisiana,” she says.

Enhancing the Development of Nurse Leaders

The Epsilon Nu chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing has achieved at-large status, which now incorporates a practice setting at University Medical Center New Orleans (UMC) and LSU-Alexandria (LSU-A). The new status means greater collaboration in education, research, scholarship and community service. Including School of Nursing members, UMC members and LSU-A members, the Epsilon Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau has more than 400 active members.

“The original idea to apply for at-large status began with the chapter president before me, Marie Adorno, PhD, APRN, CNS, RNC, CNE, Director of the DNS Program and Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing,” says Quinn T. Lacey, PhD, RN, Course Coordinator for Critical Care, Nursing Instructor and current Epsilon Nu chapter president at the School of Nursing. Dr. Adorno began the process of applying for at-large status in 2019.

With the new status, the chapter “will be in an even better position to fulfill Sigma’s mission of developing nurse leaders anywhere to improve health care everywhere,” Dr. Lacey says.

Nurses who demonstrate leadership and students who earn high academic achievements are invited once a year to join this prestigious nursing honor society.

“We are so excited to embark on this new journey with UMC and LSU-A in promoting global nursing excellence through education, leadership, scholarship and service,” he says.

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