College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-20-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Pamela Schwartz CRNA, DNP

Second Advisor

Bernadette Roche CRNA, EdD


Substance use disorder (SUD) is a common problem in anesthesia. While there are policies in place for practicing anesthetists, there are no known studies to date discussing reentry policies specific to the student registered nurse anesthesia (SRNA) population. The purpose of this research study was to describe key stakeholders’ knowledge and perspectives surrounding policies for reentry into academic programs for SRNAs in Illinois with SUD.

The theoretical framework used to drive this research was based off George L. Engel’s Biopsychosocial Theory. The theory examines the biological component of a person’s disease process, the psychological component, and the social component.

During November 2017-January 2018, qualitative interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide with chief anesthesiologists, chief certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and directors of academic anesthesia programs from throughout Illinois. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Eleven major themes were identified: existent and non-existent SUD policies, inconsistent methods on how to access a policy, variability in the components of SUD policies, difficulty in determining SUD among SRNAs, difficulty in confronting an individual, effectiveness of components of SUD policies are equivocal, ineffective components of a policy, knowing a person with SUD is not uncommon, variable amount of time needed for SUD treatment, differing opinions for the need for a student specific SUD policy, and reasons for need.

The immediate goal of this research was to create a comprehensive reentry policy for SRNAs in Illinois with SUD to provide a structured reentry into an academic program. The long-term goal was to provide a tool that could be utilized in all academic anesthesia programs to assist all students suffering from SUD. All institutions that educate and utilize SRNAs should have a comprehensive reentry policy in place for SRNAs with SUD, which includes SRNA reentry to their educational program.

SLP Collection


Included in

Nursing Commons