The Missouri State School of Anesthesia began in 1952 at the original St. John’s Hospital, now Mercy Springfield, on Main Street in Springfield Missouri. The hospital had 125 beds and three operating rooms. Dr. OB Crawford began the program, and the first class graduated in 1955. Cases were done at Burge, now Cox Health Center, and St. John’s - thus the name Southwest Missouri School of Anesthesia for Nurse Anesthetists.
In 1996, the Southwest Missouri School of Anesthesia for Nurse Anesthetists affiliated with Missouri State University to offer a Master’s Degree in Nurse Anesthesia. In 2006, a 10 year re-accreditation was granted by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Schools. The name changed to St. John’s School of Anesthesia at Missouri State University in 2007, and in 2012, the name once again changed to Missouri State School of Anesthesia as the University became the sole provider of the program. 2012 marks 60 years of nurse anesthesia education, with hundreds of graduates practicing all over the United States.