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Nurse Anesthesia

The Post BSN DNP Nurse Anesthesia concentration prepares the graduate to become a CRNA Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). This degree concentration is a pathway for those wishing to obtain initial CRNA certification.

The initial four terms of the nine-term plan of study is dedicated to didactic course work. During the fifth term, the students begin clinical experiences while completing didactic course work. The final four terms are dedicated to clinical coursework. The program is completed on campus and near-by clinical agencies.

Applicants may learn about the role, function, demands and expectations of CRNAs within the health care community. Information may be obtained from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists website and through observation of a CRNA in the clinical setting.


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing Post BSN DNP Nurse Anesthesia Concentration is accredited by Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, 222 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL, 60068, (847) 655-1160, and is included in the current COA List of Accredited Educatonal Programs. In May 2009, the program awarded 10 years of continued accreditation. The next onsite visit will be Spring 2019, for a May 2019 accreditation decision. In addition, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredit the University and College of Nursing. The most recent class of DNP graduates completed the program in May 2018. Attrition was 6%. Employment of graduates within six months of graduation was 100%. Certification examination first-time pass rate was 67% with a second-time pass rate of 100%.

*The Post Master’s DNP Nurse Anesthesia program is no longer admitting students. The program will officially close on May 24, 2019 following the graduation of all currently enrolled students in the Post Master’s DNP option.

 DNP Nurse Anesthesia FAQs

What skills do CRNAs have?
Certified Register Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) take care of patients before, during and after surgical or obstetrical procedures. Nurse anesthetists stay with their patients for the entire procedure, constantly monitoring every important body function and individually modifying the anesthetic to ensure maximum safety and comfort. Specific procedures include (but not limited to) oral and nasal airway management, endotracheal intubation, laryngeal mask airway (LMA) placement and management, anesthesia machine operation, ventilator management, spinal and epidural placement and management, and multiple nerve blocks.
Where can I work after graduation?
CRNAs practice in a variety of settings in the private and public sectors and in the U.S. military, including traditional hospital operating rooms, ambulatory surgery centers, pain clinics, and physicians’ offices. The scope of practice is determined by individual state legislation, but rules and regulations vary. Scope of practice is based on both education and experience. The best place to explore individual scope of practice issues is to look at the State Board of Nursing for guidance and not the physician or office manager in a practice.
What salary can a CRNA expect to earn?
Compensation rates vary regionally but the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that CRNAs have an annual mean salary of $163,000 (2017).
What makes the CRNA program at UTHSC different?
The UTHSC CRNA program is fortunate to have multiple clinical sites in the Memphis and Mid-South area that 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, pain management, burn, and rural site. Along with a dynamic and challenging didactic program, our clinical program requires a minimum of 600 cases and 2000 hours of clinical time in specific areas to take the national certification exam. The UTHSC program has built in 2640 clinical hours to allow for broad experiences encompassing multiple specialties.
How long is the program?
The DNP Nurse Anesthesia program is 36 months.
Can I go part time, full time?
Only full-time study is available for DNP nurse anesthesia students.
Can I work while going to school?
The UTHSC program is a rigorous full-time program. Working is strongly discouraged due to the academic rigor and time constraints of the Nurse Anesthesia program.
How much will this program cost?
Tuition costs are determined by in-state or out-of-state status and may change during the program. Tuition and fee information can be found at UTHSC Cost of Attendance. Additionally, the Educational Common Market may be available for some out-of-state students. Information on this program can be obtained at the Office of Financial Aid. Many employers also offer tuition reimbursement even for part-time employees. Additionally, students will need to make arrangements for travel and hotel accommodations during the on campus experiences. Students should also explore the many private scholarship funds available for graduate study in their communities, region, state and nation. A Google search of graduate nursing scholarships will produce vast opportunities. Many diverse groups offer scholarship programs and some states and organizations also have loan repayment programs for nursing education. There are also federal government grants for nursing students.
What books, equipment and supplies will I need?
Book purchases will vary by semester. Many books specific to the CRNA will be used in multiple semesters. Textbooks are supplemented with electronic media, much of which is available in the library for the students at no cost. Students need adequate computer hardware and Internet access. Students will need basic health assessment equipment including an otoscope, ophthalmic scope and a high quality stethoscope. Students generally do not have clinical their first semester and are encouraged to wait to purchase this equipment closer to their first clinical course. Requirements change as the quality of equipment continually advances. Lab coats will be required for clinical experiences but the specifications periodically change.
Where/when do I do my clinical experiences?
The CRNA program is a front-loaded format with the initial four terms consisting of didactic course work. During the fifth term, the students begin clinical rotations while completing didactic course work. The final four terms are dedicated full-time to supervised clinical education. The program is completed on campus at UTHSC and near-by clinical agencies. Highly-skilled preceptors mentor students in a variety of clinical settings.
Are there specific certifications or work requirements I need before applying?
One year of full-time critical care experience is a national requirement for admission to all Nurse Anesthesia Programs. Applicants are assessed based on a variety of criteria including 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. BCLS, ACLS, and PALS are required prior to application and CCRN certification is strongly recomended.

Last Published: Sep 21, 2018