Programs for nurses seeking advanced training in anesthesia can be found at 4-year colleges and universities. There are a variety of graduate-level programs that prepare aspiring nurse anesthetists for the CNRA exam.
Top Schools with Nurse Anesthetist Programs
These institutions offer training for aspiring nurse anesthetists:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's, Doctoral||$21,260 (in-state), $34,944 (out-of-state)|
|Rush University||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Doctoral||$32,608|
|Duke University||Durham, NC||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Doctoral||$47,590|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$10,710 (in-state), $21,933 (out-of-state)|
|Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences||Bethesda, MD||4-year, Public||Doctoral||$0**|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Doctoral||$31,068|
|University of Maryland||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Public||Doctoral||$12,944 (in-state), $28,328 (out-of-state)|
|Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland, OH||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's, Doctoral||$41,137|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City, IA||4-year, Public||Doctoral||$8,396 (in-state), $25,574 (out-of-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, **U.S. News and World Report
School Selection Criteria
Anesthesiology graduate programs may last from 24 to 36 months, with programs in nursing typically taking longer due to residency periods and general nursing courses.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when seeking a school in this field:
- Search for a program that has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Anesthesiology.
- Look for programs that offer the greatest amount of financial support while still offering the desired coursework - graduate assistantships could offer tuition reduction or stipends to students willing to work under the supervision of professors and faculty members at some schools.
- Seek a school that offers a strong focuses in your specialty area of interest.
- Review a program's curriculum options and clinical opportunities to make sure that it fulfills your educational needs.
Master's Degree in Anesthesiology
Master's programs in anesthesiology prepare students to pass the national CRNA certification exam and become working professionals in the field. Students will most likely be required to complete several clinical practicums and possibly a thesis. Typically offered as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Anesthesiology, these programs offer courses in such areas as pharmacology and pathophysiology.
Master of Nursing in Anesthesiology
An MSN in Anesthesiology is very similar to an M.S. in the field, but includes specialized courses in nursing such as nursing research and health policy in nursing. Clinical residencies are a required part of graduate-level nursing programs and account for the difference in program length between the MSN and the M.S. A master's thesis may also be required of MSN students.
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The DNP in anesthesia option grants students a doctoral degree and qualifies them to take the national CRNA examination. A DNP program may take as long as three years to complete due to advanced coursework, practicums and extended residencies. A capstone project is typically required toward the end of the program.
Experienced nurses who want to direct their careers toward anesthesia can enroll in graduate-level programs that prepare them for the CRNA exam. Master of Nursing and Doctor of Nursing programs take about 2 to 3 years to complete, and both focus on more specialized nursing topics than a Master of Science in Anesthesiology program.