DNP Nurse Anesthesiology

Program Director - Jennifer McPherson
Associate Program Director - Amy Wielar
Faculty: Kelly Elmore

The Doctor of Nursing Practice – Nurse Anesthesiology Program is a 105 credit, BSN to DNP program with a 36-month, full-time plan of study. The entry to practice DNP degree offers students a hybrid schedule format using a combination of on and off campus content delivery throughout the program. In this program you will gain the requirements necessary to be eligible for the National Certification Examination (NCE).

Program Mission

The Nurse Anesthesiology Program curriculum strives to prepare students who will be leaders in the practice of nurse anesthesiology while maintaining integrity and providing superior evidence-based care. The students will attain this goal via didactic, simulation, and clinical experiences through an interprofessional approach to learning, development of critical decision making, problem-solving skills, and be responsive to the needs of the healthcare community. The supportive learning environment will foster the development of an advanced practice provider who provides culturally competent care and incorporates physiological and scientific knowledge to develop evidence-based nurse anesthesiology practice decisions. The program will develop graduates that foster a commitment to personal integrity, professional responsibility, and ethical behavior. Graduates will be prepared to function as competent and safe advanced practice providers in the perioperative environment:

  • As teachers to other students, residents, and nurse anesthetists.
  • As creative, capable, and culturally sensitive leaders in the healthcare community.
  • And with the fundamental knowledge of research and its application in anesthesia to provide care using evidence-based practice.

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as an accrediting agency for the “accreditation of institutions and programs of nurse anesthesia at the post-master’s certificate, master’s, or doctoral degree levels in the United States, and its territories, including programs offering distance education.”

Mission of the Council on Accrediation

  1. To grant public recognition to nurse anesthesia programs and institutions that award post master’s certificates, master’s, and doctoral degrees that meet nationally established standards of academic quality (quality assessment).
  2. To assist programs and institutions in improving educational quality (quality enhancement).

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Educational Programs (COA)
222 S. Prospect Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 6008
Phone: 847-655-1160


Admissions Requirements

PURPOSE: The purpose of the policy is to describe the criteria for admission to the Nurse Anesthesiology Program.

POLICY APPLIES TO: The policy applies to Nurse Anesthesiology Program applicants for admission.

POLICY: Students applying for admission to the Nurse Anesthesiology Program must meet minimum requirements to be considered for acceptance to the program.

PROCEDURE: The following criteria are considered when reviewing all graduate applications for admission:

  1. Current unrestricted RN and/or an APRN license in the Commonwealth of Virginia or state participating in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) or be eligible for licensure in Virginia.
  2. Earned BSN from an accredited CCNE or ACEN School of Nursing.
  3. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for baccalaureate nursing degree and subsequent graduate work.
  4. Curriculum Vitae.
  5. Completion of application for admission.
  6. Official transcripts to all post-secondary educational institutions. Transcripts should include 8 credits of anatomy & physiology with lab, 3 credits of chemistry (The chemistry can be general, organic, or biochemistry), 3-4 credits of microbiology, and 3-4 credits of pharmacology.
  7. Three letters of recommendation from professional references with current knowledge of professional and/or academic skills. One recommendation must be from the applicant’s immediate supervisor.
  8. Completion of undergraduate or graduate statistics course.
  9. Current AHA Certification: BLS, ACLS, and PALS.
  10. Minimum of one year (two years preferred) current, continuous full time or part-time equivalent, critical care experience* as a registered nurse within two years of application.
  11. Critical care certification (CCRN) is strongly recommended.
  12. Completion of critical care checklist with clinical supervisor signature.
  13. Completion of the Casper situational judgment test (Acuity Insights).
  14. Qualified individuals may be asked for more information and invited for an interview.

*Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a US military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse has developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (e.g., pulmonary artery, central venous pressure, and arterial catheters), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to, surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care, pediatric intensive care, and neonatal intensive care. Those who have experiences in other areas may be considered provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.

Nurse Anesthesiology Program – Academic Standing, Probation, Dismissal

PURPOSE: To provide a mechanism for documentation and communication of information regarding student academic standing, probation or dismissal.

POLICY APPLIES TO: The policy applies to students enrolled in the NAP.

POLICY: Program progression is sequential and new content learned builds on previous semesters learning. Students must successfully complete each semester before progressing to the next. Students who fail to meet the requirements of the Nurse Anesthesiology Program Progression Policy will be identified and placed on academic probation or dismissed from the program.

PROCEDURE: The Nurse Anesthesiology Program students will meet with faculty advisors twice each semester at the midpoint and completion of each semester to discuss program progression, areas of concern, student learning goals, review student time commitment, and progress in clinical practicum.

Requirements for program progression:

1.     A "Pass" grade in all practicum courses.
2.     A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
3.     No less than a “C” in any required DNP core course.
4.     No less than a “B” in any required nurse anesthesiology course.
5.     A grade below a “C” in any course is considered a failing grade.
6.     If a student fails a course, they are dismissed from the program. The student must reapply to seek readmission.
7.     If a student withdraws from a course, they withdraw from the program, and they must reapply to the program to seek readmission.

A student who does not maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in all graduate courses at the end of any semester or receives a grade of “C” in a required nurse anesthesiology course will be placed on academic probation during the following semester. While the student is on academic probation, the student may enroll in all required courses outlined in their course of study. If the student does not achieve a cumulative grade point average above a 3.0 or receives another grade of “C” in a required nurse anesthesiology course, the student may be dismissed from the nurse anesthesiology program. If a student receives a second “C” in a required nurse anesthesiology course they may be dismissed from the Nurse Anesthesiology Program.

A student may be placed on probation or dismissed from the Nurse Anesthesiology Program for reasons not related to poor grades, even if the student is in good academic standing. Dismissal from the Nurse Anesthesiology Program can occur due to, but is not limited to, the falsification of application materials, failure to satisfy stipulations placed upon admissions to the program, failure to maintain academic and ethical standards, academic integrity and failure to follow policies and procedures established by Mary Baldwin University, Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, and the Nurse Anesthesiology Program or failure to satisfy requirements set forth by the program in a timely fashion.

Dismissal from the Nurse Anesthesiology Program as referenced above will occur on a case-by-case basis upon the recommendation of the Nurse Anesthesiology Program Director and the School of Nursing Director, and with the approval of the Dean of MDCHS.

The student must follow the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences General Appeal Policy for appeal of grades or academic misconduct issues.

Progression Policy

PURPOSE: To describe the progression of students through the Nurse Anesthesiology Program (NAP) and the requirements that must be met to progress through the NAP.

POLICY APPLIES TO: Applies to all students enrolled in the NAP.

POLICY: Students must meet all of the progression requirements to progress in the NAP.


1.     Levels of Progression

        a.     Year 1 – From the start of the program to the end of the third (3rd) semester. 

        b.     Year 2 – From the start of the fourth (4th) semester to the end of the sixth (6th) semester.

         c.     Year 3 – From the start of the seventh (7th) semester to the end of the ninth (9th) semester.

2.     Requirements for progression – in order to progress through the Nurse Anesthesiology Program, students must meet, achieve and/or maintain the following:
         a.     A "Pass" grade in all practicum courses
         b.     A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
         c.     No less than a “C” in any required DNP core course
         d.     No less than a “B” in any required nurse anesthesiology course

3.     Nurse Anesthesiology Practicum courses progress as listed: I, II, III, IV, V, VI
         a.     Final course grade for each practicum is “Pass” or “Fail”.
         b.     Final course grade is determined by the students daily clinical evaluations and daily care plans.
         c.     Final course grade is determined by the Program Director, Assistant Program Director and/or practicum course faculty.

4.     Didactic courses are based on the following: 
        a.     Academic credit is assigned based on the Carnegie Unit with 50 minutes per week for classes or 150 minutes for labs per week for each
                semester hour of credit.
             i.     Example: a 3-credit hour course equals 45 contact hours
             ii.     Study time can be estimated to be approximately 2 - 3 hours for every credit hour
            iii.     A course includes class time plus assigned readings and assignments to be completed at home
            iv.     A course may be augmented with additional assignments

Nurse Anesthesiology Program – Criteria for Graduation

PURPOSE: To describe the criteria to graduate from the Nurse Anesthesiology Program (NAP).

POLICY APPLIES TO: Applies to all students enrolled in the NAP.

POLICY: The students must meet the graduation requirements as outlined below to be eligible to graduate.

PROCEDURE: Students enrolled in the Nurse Anesthesiology Program will be recommended for graduation and eligible to take the National Certification Examination administered by the National Board of Certification & Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists when they:

1.     Complete of all course and practicum requirements for the NAP as set forth by the accrediting bodies for licensure and certification.
2.     Complete all course requirements with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
3.     Receive a "Pass" grade in all practicum courses. 
4.     Complete all nurse anesthesiology courses with a grade of “B” or better.
5.     Administer a minimum of 650 anesthetics.
6.     Participate in a minimum of 2,000 clinical hours.
7.     Administer all required numbers of clinical cases and experiences for each category as set forth by the Council on Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).
8.     Possess a current ACLS, BLS, and PALS certifications and an unencumbered VA license.

See DNP Main Page for additional DNP academic policies

Requirements for Nurse Anesthesiology

See DNP Main Page for Additional DNP academic policies.


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