History & Heritage

MTSA’s quiet beginning has roots from more than a century ago. In 1904, a group of Seventh-day Adventist pioneers committed to health, wellness, and temperance traveled south from Battle Creek, Michigan to initiate a health care education institution among the poor and founded Nashville Agricultural and Normal Institute. This School developed and transformed through name changes and maturity including an elementary school, high school, junior college, and eventually a full college. Concurrently on the campus, a health work began with Madison Sanitarium which developed into Madison Sanitarium and Hospital, Madison Hospital, and finally nearly a century later, Tennessee Christian Medical Center. The hospital provided a site for clinical training as the college educated scores of health care professionals. Since its beginning, the School regularly provided anesthesia at rural hospitals across the region as a service – which is the basis for the multiple clinical instruction locations today.

These ancestor institutions laid the groundwork for MTSA which began as the Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia for nurses in 1950 as part of Madison College. This rich history began more than 70 years ago when Bernard V. Bowen, CRNA, DSc, founded the School to facilitate nurse anesthesia education within the framework of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, which included no Saturday classes. MTSA started with just two students in a 12-month program, but soon expanded to 18-months, admitting 16 students annually. On July 1, 1980, the school changed its name from Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia and officially formed as it is known today—the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia – the last vestige of Madison College and Madison Hospital that remains to this day.