History of the School


Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia for nurses was founded in 1950 by Bernard Bowen, CRNA, under the sponsorship of Madison Hospital. It has been in continuous operation since that time. The program got its start when Mr. Bowen was invited to Madison by Dr. James D. Schuler, a surgeon, and Dr. Julian C. Gant, who was the Medical Director of the hospital. Since that time, more than 1000 graduates have gone out from Madison to provide high quality anesthesia service throughout the United States and in many parts of the world.

Through the years, all persons connected with the School, whether as students, faculty, staff, or administrators, have contributed to the success of the School and to the growth of nurse anesthesia as a profession. Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia is proud to carry on the tradition of excellence that was so firmly established by Bernard Bowen, his staff, and students.

As of July 1, 1980, the School of Anesthesia changed from Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia to Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. Nashville Anesthesia Services, a partnership of physicians, agreed to temporarily shepherd the School until a corporation could be formed. On January 5, 1982, the institution was incorporated as an independent, 501 (c)(3),non-profit organization, Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia, Inc., under the guidance of a Board of Trustees composed of community leaders involved in the business, educational, financial, legal, and medical industries.

Tennessee Christian Medical Center, formerly Madison Hospital, continued to provide strong support for MTSA in the form of a leased building and operative facilities until 2005. In 2005, MTSA initiated a capital expansion project, constructing a new state-of-the-art classroom and student lounge facility, while renovating two existing buildings. In early 2006, MTSA purchased three acres and the two existing buildings from the parent company of Tennessee Christian Medical Center, Adventist Health System. Later that year, students first occupied the innovative lecture hall and began using the newly designed and equipped Simulation Skills Center. In 2012, MTSA purchased the P. T. Magan building located across the street, and the early renovations led to the addition of a large collaborative classroom and relocation of the institutional administrative offices there. The east end of the P. T. Magan building was later renovated to create a new Learning Resource Center with multiple comfortable spaces conducive for small group study, as well as a kitchenette for students and a shaded courtyard, which opened in 2022.

In addition to specificity accreditation in nurse anesthesia through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) in December of 1994, MTSA first received regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). These accreditations enabled the School to grant a master’s degree between 1994 and 2018 and a doctoral degree since 2012.