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, 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 and specialty rotations, providing students exposure to all practice settings. Faculty arranges the clinical sites 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).
Applicants to the NA program must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School 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 3.0 or above.
- The undergraduate cumulative grade point average in all science courses in the undergraduate nursing program must be 3.0 or above. Specific courses to be included in the calculation of the science GPA include Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and all related labs.
- Current unrestricted/unencumbered Registered Nurse license (Oklahoma license required at the start of the 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. Applicants with current certification and licensure as an advanced practice nurse will have their requirements reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Intensive care unit experience must be obtained within the United States, its territories, or a US military hospital outside of the United States. An intensive care unit is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered 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, operating room, recovery room, and step-down units do not satisfy the ICU requirement.
- BLS, ACLS, and PALS certification at the time of application and must be maintained through graduation.
- A current CCRN certification is required.
- Professional and academic competency attested by three letters of recommendation submitted by the recommender directly to the graduate school. The three recommendations required are an academic recommendation, a current immediate supervisor recommendation, and an advanced practice provider recommendation.
- For the academic recommendation (e.g., a professor in your BSN program): We are interested in whether the applicant is recommended for further study as a graduate student.
- For the current immediate supervisor recommendation: 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.
- Advanced practice provider recommendation (e.g., CRNA, physician, AGAC-NP): We are interested in an assessment of the applicant’s critical care knowledge and skills.
- The ability to comply with all hospital policies and carry out the position’s physical aspects.
- Submission of a 250-word personal essay describing the qualities and life experiences you bring to graduate school. Essays over 250 words will not be read, and the application will not be considered.
- Applicants must shadow at least one shift with a CRNA. Documentation of shadow experience with the name and signature of the CRNA must be submitted with the application.
- Although not required, experience as a preceptor, charge nurse, and committee member demonstrates leadership and is strongly encouraged.
- Following the committee review of all applications, selected applicants will be invited to in-person interviews. All interviewees will be sent a link to the Health Science Reasoning Test to be completed 48 hours prior to the scheduled interview. The test will cost the interviewee an estimated $60.
All students must meet didactic and clinical requirements to be eligible for graduation This includes completion and submission of all required classroom work, including the doctoral scholarly project. Specific criteria and terminal performance objectives for the clinical curriculum are described in the Program Handbook. Expectations for didactic and clinical courses are published in their respective syllabi (available in the program offices and online in the Learning Management System). All of these must be met prior to graduation.
Program requirements that must be completed:
- All financial obligations met and no holds of any type on academic record
- Forwarding addresses left with the program (for graduate, and for their employer)
- All terminal objectives met
- Petition to graduate filed with Registrar’s office at TU at the beginning of the last semester of the program
- Current ACLS and PALS certification, and current RN license
- Exit interview completed
- Final case record totals submitted, which show completion of all requirements of the National Board for Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
- Final semester course evaluations completed
- Copy of SEE exam results on file in the Program office
- Any clinical release time taken more than the allotment, or clinical time lost due to a leave of absence, are made up.
- Recommendation from the Program Director, based on results of a terminal evaluation, attesting that the student has met all requirements and is ready to graduate.
The Nurse Anesthesia Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) and meets or exceeds its published clinical and academic requirements. Our next review is scheduled for May 2025. The program works collaboratively with COA on quality assessment and improvement activities.
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906
Rosemont, IL 60018-5603
University of Tulsa Nurse Anesthesia Program Performance Data
- Attrition rate: 12%
- Employment of graduates within six months of graduation: TBD Feb 2024
- Certification examination pass rate for first-time takers: 71%
- Program length: 36 months