Our History

Bernard Bowen

The Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia for nurses was founded in 1950 by Bernard Bowen, CRNA, under the sponsorship of Madison Hospital. It has been in continuous operation since that time. The program began when Mr. Bowen was invited to Madison by Dr. James D. Schuler, a surgeon, and Dr. Julian C. Gant, who was the Medical Director of the hospital. Since that time, more than 1,200 graduates have gone out from Madison to provide high quality anesthesia service throughout the United States and in many parts of the world.

Throughout the years, all persons connected with the School, both students and teachers have contributed to the success of the School and to the growth of nurse anesthesia as a profession. Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia is proud to carry on the tradition of excellence so firmly established by Bernard Bowen, his staff, and students.

On July 1, 1980, the School of Anesthesia changed from Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia to Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. Nashville Anesthesia Services, a partnership of physician anesthesiologists, agreed to temporarily shepherd the school until a corporation could be formed. On January 5, 1982 MTSA was incorporated as an independent, 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, [Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia, Inc.], under the guidance of a Board of Trustees composed of community leaders involved in the business, educational, financial, healthcare, legal, and religious professions. Tennessee Christian Medical Center, formerly Madison Hospital, became part of the Adventist Health System and continued to provide strong support for the School in the form of a leased building and operative facilities until 2005. In 2005, MTSA initiated the Building the Future which resulted in more than $2.2 million in funding from contributing friends including foundations, corporations, board of trustees, faculty, staff, and other individuals. The expansion project included constructing an entirely new state-of-the-art lecture hall, simulation skills center, student lounge facility, and more. In 2006, MTSA purchased three acres and the two existing buildings from the parent company of Tennessee Christian Medical Center, the Adventist Health System.

In addition to specificity accreditation in anesthesia through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, in December of 1994, MTSA first received regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The latter enabled the School to grant a master’s degree. MTSA received accreditation approval in 2012 to offer the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree.

MTSA meets and exceeds all National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) clinical and class experience standards.

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