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The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia (NA) program prepares nurses for advanced practice in anesthesia care across the lifespan. The Nurse Anesthesia program provides intensive preparation for comprehensive anesthesia care delivery with a focus on independent practice. The students receive didactic instruction, human patient simulation, and extensive clinical experiences. The didactic phase consists of coursework in the basic and clinical sciences, health care delivery and policy, translational research, leadership, and management culminating in a scholarly project. The clinical or residency phase consists of tertiary, community, and critical access hospitals along with specialty rotations giving students exposure to all practice settings. Faculty arrange the clinical sites in order to provide the best learning opportunities.
Graduates of the NA program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Exam (NCE) from the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
Apply now to the NA program.
Program Option Learning Outcomes
In addition to instruction to meet the Student Learning Outcomes, graduates of the NA program are provided didactic and clinical instruction to meet the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) standards.
The credit hours per semester range from 7 to 12. Students are full-time doctoral students throughout the program.
Applicants to the NA program must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, including English language proficiency, which may be found in the Admission section of this Bulletin.
In addition, to be considered for an interview for the NA program, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from an institution accredited by the National League for Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
- The undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 or above and grades in each required science course in the undergraduate nursing program must be a 3.0 or above. Recent applicants have an average cumulative GPA of 3.5, with an average science GPA of 3.4.
- Satisfactory completion of undergraduate (nursing) courses in physiology, pathophysiology, anatomy, pharmacology, physical assessment, statistics (biostatistics), biology, and chemistry or biochemistry.
- Current unrestricted Registered Nurse license (Oklahoma license required at start of program or multi-state license which includes OK)
- A minimum of one year (2,080 hours) of full-time experience within the two years prior to application in an intensive care unit, or the equivalent hours if working part-time. Clinical experience must be direct patient care that demonstrates independent decision-making (time in orientation or in managerial positions is not applicable). Recent applicants have completed an average of three years of critical care experience.
- Intensive care unit experience must be obtained 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. An intensive care unit 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 are surgical, cardiothoracic, neurotrauma, medical, pediatric, and neonatal intensive care. Those who have experience in other intensive care units may be considered provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.
- Emergency room, recovery room, and step-down units typically do not satisfy the ICU requirement.
- BLS, ACLS and/or PALS certification at the time of application. All three are required before starting the program and must be maintained throughout the program.
- CCRN is not required, but preferred. Recent applicants have all completed CCRN as well as other certifications.
- Professional/academic competency attested by three letters of recommendation submitted directly to us by the recommender.
- Have the online recommendations filled out by an academic reference (e.g., a professor in your BSN program), your current immediate supervisor (charge nurse or nurse manager) in intensive care, and a colleague who is a CRNA, physician, APRN, or RN, and is familiar with your critical care skills.
- For Nurse Managers and Colleague recommendations: We are interested in an assessment of the applicant’s critical care nursing skills, personal characteristics (emotional intelligence, maturity, and readiness for a difficult program of study), and degree of professional development as a Registered Nurse.
- For Nursing School Academic references: We are interested in whether the applicant is recommended for further study as a graduate student.
- The ability to comply with all hospital policies and to carry out the physical aspects of the position.
- Submission of a 250-word personal essay describing the qualities and life-experiences you bring to graduate school and advanced practice nursing and areas of interest for your doctoral project.
- If selected, an interview by the Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Committee.
- The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required.
- Applicants are required to shadow at least one CRNA prior to the application process to learn more about the specialty and help them determine if nurse anesthesia suits them and to gain a greater understanding of the role of a CRNA.
- Once accepted, enrollment is contingent on successfully passing a health and drug screening, a criminal background check, and remaining in a critical care until enrollment.
- Once accepted, documentation of required immunizations.