Accreditation Announced for Alabama’s First Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program at University of Mobile

Kathy DeanGraduate, Health, News

MOBILE, Ala. – The new Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program at the University of Mobile is now fully accredited and will begin interviewing applicants in July for the first cohort of students, the university announced today. This is the first and only DNAP program in a four-state region that includes Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia. Classes begin in August.

The university was notified today (June 15, 2021) that accreditation has been approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). The program has also been approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of Mobile President Lonnie Burnett said, “We are excited about this latest addition to the University of Mobile’s academic offerings. This program will address a critical need in the field of nurse anesthesia along the Gulf Coast as well as the State of Alabama.”

Leading the DNAP program as professor of nurse anesthesia and director of the new School of Nurse Anesthesia is Todd Hicks, DNP, CRNA. Most recently, Dr. Hicks served as an assistant professor and the associate pathway coordinator of the BSN-DNP Nurse Anesthesia Pathway at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

In addition, Hicks is the Expert Clinical Sciences Lecturer for Valley Anesthesia Review, which is a nurse anesthesia board review course given multiple times per year across the country. In this role, he has assisted more than 1,000 nurse anesthesia graduates to prepare for the National Certification Examination (NCE).

Matthew Hunter Speeg, DNP, CRNA, joins UM as assistant professor and associate program director of the School of Nurse Anesthesia. Most recently he served as an adjunct assistant professor within the BSN-DNP Nurse Anesthesia Pathway at UAB while maintaining a clinical anesthesia practice at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham.

“Opening a new nurse anesthesia training program is a crowning achievement in my career, and the University of Mobile is the perfect setting,” Hicks said. “The School of Nurse Anesthesia offers an opportunity for Gulf Coast nurses to pursue advanced training in the form of the DNAP degree in order to become a CRNA and fill an employment gap, culminating in the increase of access to anesthesia services for the Mobile metro area and beyond.”

The new doctoral program provides more career options for healthcare professionals and is a response to the increasing demand nationwide for nurse anesthetists. The specialty is expected to grow by more than 30 percent in the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 36-month doctoral degree program is designed for students on a path to becoming Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. The curriculum is offered in a blended format, combining on-site and online learning. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and more than one full year of critical care nursing experience.

Students earning the DNAP are eligible to take the National Certification Examination required to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

The university is accepting applications for the second cohort of students who will begin the program in August 2022. To learn more or apply for admission, visit For more information, call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222.

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.


For more information about the University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.