Nurse Anesthesia FAQs

What are the clinical sites that UTHSC uses, and where are they located?
Currently, the clinical sites used by our students include the Methodist Healthcare Systems Hospitals (University, South, North, and Germantown Hospitals and Methodist Le Bonheur Children's Hospital), the Regional Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Baptist Memorial Hospital - Union County. All the sites are in the greater Memphis area with the exception of our rural experience at Baptist Hospital - Union County in New Albany, MS, which is approximately an hour's drive from UTHSC campus (61 miles).

What are the benefits of the clinical sites UT uses?
We are fortunate to use local clinical sites which provide a richness of experience serving a wide variety of patients with high-quality anesthesia care. Specialty anesthesia rotations, which occur during the full-time clinical component, include cardiothoracic, pediatric, pediatric oncology, neurosurgical, OB, trauma, burn, and rural site.

What is the pass rate for the Nurse Anesthesia boards?
Our pass rate is between 95 - 100% every year.

How many students are accepted each year? How many apply?
The number of applicants varies from year to year, but generally there are 3 - 4 applicants for every available seat in the class. The class size has ranged from 15 to 18 in recent years.

What can increase my chances of being accepted?
Priority is given to Tennessee Residents. Students who demonstrate critical thinking are highly ranked.

How much is the tuition for Nurse Anesthesia program?
Please see the Office of Financial Aid for the current in-state and out-of-state rates. As of May 2013, the estimated cost of attendance for the 36-month DNP, WHICH IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE, is approximately $50,000 for Tennessee residents and approximately $115,000 for out-of-state students.

Is financial aid available? If so, how do I apply?
Complete information on need-based financial aid and supplemental loan programs is available from the UTHSC Office of Financial Aid. The Office of Financial Aid can help you apply for need-based financial aid, download applications, search for scholarships, and obtain detailed information about the many options available for meeting graduate school costs. The Office of Financial Aid can also be reached by phone at (901) 448-5568.

Can I work during the program?
Working is strongly discouraged due to the academic rigor and time constraints of the Nurse Anesthesia program.

What certifications do I need?
ACLS, BCLS, PALS, and CCRN certifications are required at application and must be maintained throughout the program. 

Can I get critical care nursing experience in a unit other than ICU?
One year of full-time critical care experience is a national requirement for admission to all Nurse Anesthesia Programs. In this program, we evaluate each applicant on an individual basis to determine the quality as well as quantity of critical care skills. A minimum of one year of professional nursing experience in adult and/or pediatric critical care is required within two years prior to application. Acceptable critical care experience includes high-acuity CCU, CVICU, ICU, SICU, MICU, PICU, NICU, Trauma ICU, or Burn ICU. We do not consider operating room, post-anesthesia recovery (PACU), labor and delivery or emergency room nursing as critical care nursing experiences.

Do I need to have the one year of full-time ICU experience at the time of application, or is it OK if I will have the year completed by the time the program begins in June?
You must have the year of experience at the time of application.

If I took a chemistry course more than five years ago, should I take another one?
Yes, you will want to take an additional chemistry course to prepare you for the program. We suggest taking organic or biochemistry from your local college or online.

How and when do I apply?
Submit a paper packet as directed Please note that all packets must be received or postmarked by September 1 for entry the following summer.

From whom should my three letters of recommendation be? How can I obtain an academic reference if I have been out of my undergraduate program for many years?
Letters of recommendation should be submitted by a clinical supervisor and 2 professors. An academic reference is required, and if you contact your school a reference will be written for you based on your academic record. If a BSN professor who knows you is not available, ask a clinical educator who can attest to your academic aptitude.

Is there a GRE waiver?
No. You must take the GRE.

What are competitive GRE scores? Is there a minimum score required?
There is no minimum GRE score required. However, most competitive applicants will score a 500 on both the verbal and quantitative sections (which are 153 verbal and 144 quantitative on the new scoring scale) and a 4.5 on the analytical writing section. All application information including official GRE scores must be received prior to the deadline for consideration.

English is not my first language. Is the TOEFL required?
Yes, the TOEFL is required for students whose native language is not English or if at any time during the application process there is reason to believe the applicant is not proficient in the English language.

I received my first bachelor's degree in another country. Do I need to send an official transcript?
Yes. You will need to send official transcripts AND they must be evaluated by World Education Service ( For a fee, WES will convert your transcript to American credit units and American semester grades. An official WES report must be sent with your application.

I am an RN with an associate's degree in nursing and a Bachelor of Science degree in another field. Can I apply to your program?
We require a BSN or an MSN degree for admission. UTHSC DNP Nurse Anesthesia Option Is an interview required? Yes, face-to-face interviews are by invitation only and will take place during the month of September.

When and how do I find out if I have been accepted?
Interviews are in mid-September. Offers of admission are sent out the first week of October, and you have 30 days to respond. If you are placed on our alternate list, you may receive a call at any time prior to the program actually starting if a position opens.

What is required once I respond that I will accept your offer of admission?
UTHSC requires a $75 Application Processing Fee. The Nurse Anesthesia program has a $1500 NONREFUNDABLE Guaranteed Enrollment Deposit, which is held in escrow and applied to the first term's tuition. Your prompt response and payment of the GED ensures that slots in our competitive program are filled by students who will attend. In addition, a successful background check and drug screen must be completed before enrollment.

When does the program start?
There is a program introduction for incoming students in late May. The DNP Nurse Anesthesia program typically begins the first Monday of June, though the start date may vary depending on the calendar for that year.

Can I begin taking courses after acceptance but before the program starts?
Students may enroll in select UTHSC College of Nursing courses with permission from the Academic Dean. You might also take an equivalent graduate-level biostatistics or healthcare economics course at another institution if you seek prior approval from the College of Nursing Dean for Academic Affairs by providing the course syllabus. You must then submit supporting transcript documentation to request actual transfer of credit. Be advised that transferring courses may affect your ability to secure student loans; currently, a minimum 5 credits are required to qualify for part-time status.

Do you offer a post-certification DNP in Nurse Anesthesia?
CRNAs certified by the NBCRNA who wish to complete a DNP may do so through the Acute Care Nursing DNP program.


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DNP Nurse Anesthesia
Contact Information

Dwayne Accardo, DNP, CRNA
Assistant Professor and Program Director for DNP Nurse Anesthesia
Department of Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies
920 Madison, #510
Memphis, TN 38163

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