Wake Forest School of Medicine Establishes Academic Nursing Department

July 23, 2020

Wake Forest School of Medicine Establishes Academic Nursing DepartmentWake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health, has established the Department of Academic Nursing.

Nursing education at Wake Forest Baptist dates back to 1923, with the founding of a nursing school, which closed in 1974.

Since then, formal nursing education at Wake Forest Baptist was limited to the Nurse Anesthesia program, which began in 1942 and is the longest continually running nurse anesthesia program in North Carolina. More than 900 students have graduated from the program and work around the world as certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs).

Recent years have seen the expansion of nursing education to include a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program along with other continuing education offerings.

“Nurses account for the highest number of clinical providers employed in hospitals, but unfortunately, our country is in the midst of a nursing shortage right now,” said Michael Rieker, DNP, CRNA, inaugural chair of Wake Forest Baptist’s Department of Academic Nursing. “Establishing this department structure will position us to expand educational offerings and will help alleviate the shortage of providers in our region.”

The current DNP program enrolls 12 nurses a year from a wide range of specialty areas. The two-year, part-time program is conducted online for registered nurses with a master’s degree. Those interested can email dnpinfo@wakehealth.edu for more information.

Recently, accreditation approval was received to transition the entire Nurse Anesthesia program to a doctoral degree program over the next two years. The three-year, full-time program enrolls 24 students a year. ICU nurses with a bachelor’s degree may apply. Those interested can email napinfo@wakehealth.edu for more information.

Media contacts:

Joe McCloskey, jmcclosk@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1273

Eryn Johnson, eryjohns@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-8228