Nurse anesthesia Program, university of Iceland

IFNA Recognition effective May 2011 – May 2016

Information About the University of Iceland, Nurse Anesthesia Program’s Curriculum

Lara Borg Asmunsdottir, CRNA, MS
Specialized Nursing Postgraduate Diploma, Faculty of Nursing, University of Iceland
Department of Anesthesia
12CD, Hringbraut
The National University Hospital of Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland


1. Information about the program’s curriculum as follows:
  • a. Admission requirements
: BS in nursing, 4 years study to become a nurse, 240 ECTS. In order to register for diploma studies at the Faculty of Nursing, a student must have completed a BS-Degree in nursing or other equivalent qualification and hold a nursing licence in Iceland. The student should have a minimum overall grade of 6.5 from the BS-Degree or equivalent study. The student must also have good command of English. It is permissible to require up to two years' work experience in nursing. The Faculty of Nursing may grant an exemption from the requirement of a BS-Degree, if the applicant has earned special professional qualifications or completed formal studies in the field specified in the advertisement for the
diploma programme in question.

  • b. Course Titles

i. Theoretical thinking in nursing(10 ECTS)
i. Advanced psychology, sociology and physiology (10 ECTS)
ii. Physical and mental assessment (10 ECTS)
iii. Nurse anesthesia and anesthesia theory I (4 ECTS)
iv. Nurse anesthesia and anesthesia theory II (6 ECTS)
v. Nurse anesthesia and anesthesia theory III (6 ECTS)
vi. Physics and Chemistry of Anaesthesia (4 ECTS)
vii. Pharmacology (4 ECTS)
viii. Practicum in Nurse Anesthesia (20 ECTS)

  • c. Length of Program

74 ECTS, 2 years. The duration of diploma studies is normally one to two years, plus practical training; the entire study programme shall be completed within three years. The student's progress in his/her studies shall be in accord with the advertised syllabus, and available courses. Diploma studies in nursing comprise 54 ECTS credits;
diploma studies with practical training comprise 74 ECTS credits.

  • d. Degree or certificate awarded to graduates

Diploma in nurse anesthesia

Courses in diploma programmes shall be at the MS level, and meet the relevant standards. A diploma is
conferred on completion of diploma studies, confirming that the student has completed diploma studies in the
relevant field. The student's overall grade is a weighted average of the grades from the courses comprising
the programme. Minimum grade required in diploma studies is 6.0.
A special assessment of the student's performance is carried out in the case of diploma studies for 60 ECTS

Practicum in Nurse Anesthesia
Course Description
Clinical training in Diploma program in Nurse Anesthesia is 20 units and is 1700 hours. Clinical methods are tought and trained. Students are hired to the anesthetic departments in special student positions. In connection to the program, a training manual will be prepared providing information on the practicum. The clinical training will mostly be in anesthetic departments of the hospitals but also in a simulator. The University of Iceland provides a diploma declaring that the student has fulfilled the demands. Earlier experience in the field of anesthesia is evaluated in each case. Nurses with 2 years experience or more in the field of ICU nursing will have to take 1600 hours in practicum.

Example of the curriculum and a list of course titles

Theoretical Thinking in Nursing
Course Description
The course addresses a variety of trends and issues that have become influential in the understanding of the nature of knowledge in nursing and how it develops. Knowledge development is explored from a historical perspective with a close reading of original texts by key authors such as Nightingale and Henderson. A number of much quoted contemporary scholars are introduced. The influence and use of feminist and post-structural ideas within nursing are explored. Emphasis is placed on developing skills in the analysis and evaluation of texts. Minimum number of students: 15.
Credits: 10 credits ECTS

Advanced psychology, sociology and physiology
Course Description
The course will address major bio-psycho-social issues and changes that occur as consequences of severe illness or accident. Special emphasis will be on causes of symptoms, symptom assessment as well as on usefulness and/or side-effects of treatment. Innovations regarding diagnosis, assessment, surveillance and treatment will be introduced.
Credits: 10 credits ECTS

Nurse anesthesia and anesthesia theory 1, 2 and 3
Course Description
Basic principles of anesthesia and anesthesia techniques with emphasis on physiological aspect for practice will be stressed. Different methods of anesthesia administration and function of various kinds of technologies will be discussed. A psychomotor skills specific to the practice and a training in a human patient simulator will be integrated in the course. Credits: 4 credits ECTS, 6 ECTS and 6 ECTS

Physical and mental assessment
Course Description
The purpose of the course is to incresea the students knowledge of and efficiency in assessing mental and physical healt. Empahsis will be on assessing abnormality with emphasis on symptoms, causes, consequences as well as issues related to health education, promotion and prevention.
Teaching methods: Lectures, simulation and teaching at the bedside.
Credits: 10 credits ECTS

Course Description
A thorough study of the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of drugs commonly used in anesthesia practice. A concurrent drug therapy and their anesthetic implications will be discussed. The major function of the autonomic nervous system in coordinating and regulating the physiological function of the body will be dealt with and the pharmacology of important therapeutic agents that will affect the function of the autonomic nervous system.
Credits: 4 credits ECTS

Physics and Chemistry of Anaesthesia
Course Description
In this course the physics of gasses and fluids will be introduced (the laws of vapurazation, pressure and flow). Knowledge in this field is fundamental for further understanding of the function of anesthetic gasses, oxygen and nitroux oxide as well as for the understanding of the function of lungs and vascular system in health and sickness. Furthermore, the physics that vapourizers, gas analysers, pulse oxymeters, invasive pressure messurements etc. are based on will be introduced.
Credits: 4 credits ECTS

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and Skills
By end of the diploma program at the master's level, the student demonstrates the following learning
outcomes in addition to those accomplished at the bachelor level:

1 Knowledge and Understanding
1.1 The student demonstrates specialized knowledge and understanding in particular aspects of a designated
field in nursing and related fields.
1.2 The student demonstrates specialized knowledge and understanding of the methods nursing employs to
facilitate health and well-being, encourage growth and development and to care for sick individuals and their
families in a designated field.
2 Type of Knowledge
2.1 The student demonstrates extensive and specialized knowledge and understanding of the methods nursing
employs to facilitate health and well-being, encourage growth and development and to the care for sick
individuals and their families in a designated field.
2.2 The student is able to articulate and reflect on his or her working experience in a designated field.
3 Practical Skills
3.1 The student is skilled in conducting precise assessments, formulating specific nursing diagnoses, and
organizing, providing and assessing outcomes of nursing treatment in a designated field of practice.
3.2 The student has considerable ability in professional decision-making and is capable of rationalizing such
decisions with theoretical and ethical reasoning.
3.3 The student is skilled in engaging in constructive communications with patients and form therapeutic
relationships with them.
3.4 The student can acquire and utilize specific knowledge in a designated field.
3.5 The student is independent in executing nursing treatment.
3.6 The student is respectful of patients' experiences and understands the significance of nursing in its
capacity to preserve patients' autonomy and right to self-determination, human dignity, collaboration, caring
and acting as patients' advocate.
3.7 The student able to analyze and deliberate complex, ethical dilemmas and draw conclusions.
3.8 The student understands the construction of evidence based practice and is able to take part in the
development of clinical guidelines.
3.9 The student is able to develop and direct circumscribed quality improvement projects in a designated
field of nursing.
4 Theoretical Skills
4.1 The student is skilled in analyzing and integrating concepts, research, and other academic texts in nursing
and related professional fields.
4.2 The student is capable of analyzing and articulating clinical data based on scientific knowledge.
5 Communication Skills - Information Technology and Computer Literacy
5.1 The student shows proficiency in information technology, including analyzing when information is
needed, as well as obtaining, using, and assessing information in an efficient way.
5.2 The student is capable of working professionally with supervisors, peers, and assistants.
5.3 The student is capable of directing discussions on controversial matters and lead group work.
5.4 The student is capable of guiding bachelor students in clinical practicum.
6 General Academic Skills
6.1 The student has developed significant interest and self-confidence to engage in further studies. The
student is prepared to commence further studies on step 2.

Additional information
The program consists of 74 credits course work and clinical practicum. The graduate level course work is 54
credits of theory (30 credits of core courses and 24 credits of specialty courses). The clinical practicum
component is 20 credits, including 1700 clinical working hours, 450 anesthesia cases with demand on
minimal cases in each specialty, performance in anesthesia simulation and making anesthesia plans. The
clinical practicum is administrated by two University Hospitals, Landspítali-University Hospital in
Reykjavík and FSA University Hospital - Regional Hospital in Akureyri, in collaboration with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Iceland.

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