Texas Tech’s Board of Regents has approved a new nurse anesthesia program at a Health Sciences Center campus.

Regents approved the establishment of a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a specialization in Nurse Anesthesia Program at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Nursing in Abilene on Friday, August 9th.

The TTUHSC senior vice president for academic affairs will now seek approval for the program from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

There are no nurse anesthesia programs in West Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, or Oklahoma, according to a press release from Tech.

A certified registered nurse anesthetist is an advanced practice nurse with graduate-level education and board certification in anesthesia. They not only administer the prescribed anesthetic, but also monitor the patient’s vital signs and communicate information to the physicians.

“Establishing a Doctor of Nursing Program of this specialty is very important to the health care community and just another example of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center leading the way,” said Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance. “The great people of Abilene continue to help make this a premier health care city for the Big Country region, and we are truly grateful for their support.”

TTUHSC has experienced steady growth in Abilene, and recently opened a new nursing facility. They currently have 160 enrolled students, and Tech anticipates that they will have 200 students by 2015.