This morning, Taylor Moore and Cole Rutherford began their second year of learning at the Texas Christian University School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Instead of walking into a classroom on the Fort Worth campus of TCU, they walked into a conference room at Rapides Regional Medical Center as RRMC has partnered with TCU to help meet a growing demand for certified nurse anesthetists.

“We are excited to begin this collaboration with TCU,” said Barbara Griffin, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Rapides Regional Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer. “There is a demand for CRNAs, and this partnership will help reduce the stress placed on many of our registered nurses who enroll in this program as they now will be able to stay at home for the majority of the program.”

Moore and Rutherford, who are both registered nurses, began the three-year CRNA program last January with eight months of online courses. They spent the fall semester in Fort Worth at TCU. Now, they will finish the program at RRMC with minimal travel needed back to the TCU campus.

Moore and Rutherford will attend classes through live-streaming. In August, they will begin clinicals in the surgery department. Next January, a new group of second-year CRNA students from TCU will begin distance-learning at RRMC. The TCU program is currently the only CRNA distant-learning site in Alexandria.