Nurse Anesthesia

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Overview

This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) specialty is a full-time, 36-month plan of study that prepares students to provide anesthesia services to a diverse diagnostic and surgical population. The curriculum is offered in a multidisciplinary framework, with the majority of the didactic instruction completed during the first year. Some courses are Web-based. 

During the second and third years of the program, students have the opportunity to attend clinical rotations in several renowned hospitals in the region, including the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the VA Medical Centers in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Clinical rotations in various teaching institutions, community hospitals, and rural sites are also available.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination offered by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. In 2013, 100% of the students who took the certification exam passed within two attempts, with 90% passing on the first attempt. 

University of Maryland School of Nursing’s Nurse Anesthesia Specialty is fully accredited through 2017 by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

Sample Plan of Study

Semester and Course Number/Title Credit/Clinical Hours
Summer Year 1
NURS 616: Chemistry of Nurse Anesthesia 2 Credits
NURS 613: Principles of Nurse Anesthesia I 3 Credits
NURS 617: Technology & Physics of Nurse Anesthesia 2 Credits
Total: 7 Credits
Fall Year 1
NPHY 612: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 Credits
NRSG 603: Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthesia I 3 Credits
NDNP 819: Advanced Health Assessment Across the Life Span 4 Credits
NURS 614: Principles of Nurse Anesthesia II 3 Credits
Total: 13 Credits
Spring Year 1
NRSG 790: Methods for Research and Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
NRSG 795: Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
NPHY 625: Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthesia 3 Credits
NURS 615: Regional Anesthesia 2 Credits
NURS 604: Advanced Pharmacology II 3 Credits
Total: 14 Credits
Summer Year 2
NRSG 780: Health Promotion and Population Health 3 Credits
NRSG 785: Professional Writing 1 Credit
NURS 654: Principles of Nurse Anesthesia III 3 Credits
Total:  7 Credits
Fall Year 2
NDNP 804: Theory for Evidence-based Practice 3 Credits
NRSG 782: Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3 Credits
NURS 672: Principles of Nurse Anesthesia IV 3 Credits
NURS 637: Practicum I 4 Credits
Total:  13 Credits
Spring Year 2
NDNP 807: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care 2 Credits
NDNP 808: Information Systems and Technology Improvement/Transformation Health Care Practicum 1 Credit
NURS 810: Evidence-based Health Policy 3 Credits
NDNP 811: Scholarly Project Development 1 Credit
NURS 657: Practicum II 4 Credits
Total: 11 Credits
Summer Year 3
NURS 834: Translating Evidence to Practice 3 Credits
NURS 673: Practicum III 3 Credits
Total:  6 Credits
Fall Year 3
NDNP 812: Scholarly Project Implementation 1 Credit
NURS 670: Anesthesia Seminar I 2 Credits
NURS 674: Practicum IV 4 Credits
NDNP 814: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems 3 Credits
NDNP 817: Practice Leadership Within Complex Adaptive Health Care Systems Clinical Practicum 2 Credits
Total: 12 Credits
Spring Year 3
NURS 642: Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia 1 Credit
NDNP 813: Scholarly Project Evaluation/Dissemination 1 Credit
NURS 675: Anesthesia Nursing Seminar II 3 Credits
NURS 676: Clinical Practicum V 4 Credits
Total: 9 Credits
 TOTAL:  92 Credits

Faculty

Specialty Director:

Joseph Pellegrini, PhD, CRNA, associate professor

Assistant Specialty Director:

Veronica Amos, PhD, CRNA, assistant professor

Faculty Members:

Meika Boyce, MSN, CRNA, clinical instructor
Michelle Gonzalez, MS, CRNA, clinical instructor
Jacqueline Mitchell, MS, CRNA, director of clinical education

Contact Us:

Email: nurseanesthesia@son.umaryland.edu

FAQs

When is the application deadline for the Nurse Anesthesia specialty?

The priority application deadline is October 15. Your application packet must be complete by that date. The application packet should include all transcripts, letters of recommendation, a CV or résumé, copies of licenses, and the essay.

Do I need a master's degree to apply for the DNP Nurse Anesthesia specialty?

No. The Nurse Anesthesia specialty is part of the BSN to DNP program, which means you only need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an accredited university to apply. 

What are the admission requirements?

Applicants will be evaluated using UMSON's Doctor of Nursing Practice admissions requirements. In addition, at least one year of continuous full-time acute care nursing experience is required. 

After submitting an application, selected applicants will be invited to an on-campus interview with Nurse Anesthesia specialty faculty members.

What should be included in the application essay?

In addition to the basic components found here, the essay for the Nurse Anesthesia specialty should include statements that describe why you want to receive a Doctor in Nursing Practice degree with a Nurse Anesthesia specialty, what motivated you to seek Nurse Anesthesia as a specialty, and what your plans are following your education.

What type of work experience is required to be eligible to apply?

At least one year of continuous full-time acute care nursing experience is required at the time of application. We prefer experience in large, busy surgical or cardio-thoracic intensive care units. Nursing experience in ER, OR, PACU, NICU, step-down, or telemetry units do not meet this acute care experience requirement. In the past, the average work experience of our accepted applicants was five years.

What can I expect during the interview process?

During the interview process, you will interact with our faculty members and current students and take a tour of our simulation lab. You can expect to be at UMSON for approximately four hours. The interview will be in a panel format with Nurse Anesthesia specialty faculty members and/or clinical site coordinators.

Who should I ask to complete my reference letters?

At least one recommendation should be from your acute care unit manager or supervisor. This recommendation should address your overall work performance, team member activities, and experience with various critically-ill patients and techniques such as, but not limited to, central line monitoring, ventilator care, and infusion therapy. Candidates may submit a separate word document with the narrative of the recommendation.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?

No. The GRE is not a requirement.

Do you require a Maryland nursing license to apply for the specialty?

No, Maryland licensure is not required to complete the application process. Applicants will be required to submit a RN license from the state in which they are currently working. Once applicants are accepted into the Nurse Anesthesia specialty, they must maintain an active Maryland or compact state license.

Do you require CCRN certification for application or admission?

We do not require CCRN certification for admission. However, we strongly recommend certification.

How competitive is the application process?

The selection process is very competitive. The admissions committee evaluates applicants’ past academic performance, work experience, and letters of recommendation.  The number of applicants varies each year. 

How many students are accepted each year?

We generally accept up to 25 students each year.

Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my application?

We highly recommend that you spend several hours shadowing a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in your current workplace. Most anesthesia departments are happy to assist you with this experience.

Many applicants have found it helpful to take a graduate-level physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, or research course before entering the program. You may take these courses at a university of your preference.  The University of Maryland School of Nursing allows you to transfer in two courses.  We recommend that you take NPHY 612 and NRSG 795.

Can I work while I’m enrolled in this program?

The nurse anesthesia program is a rigorous and demanding full-time program. Students are enrolled in approximately 15 graduate credits per semester during the first year.  The clinical education phase begins the second summer and is full-time, requiring 40-50 hours per week.

How can I get additional information?

You can get additional information about the specialty by emailing nurseanesthesia@son.umaryland.edu, or calling 410-706-1995. For more information about the roles and responsibilities of nurse anesthests, visit the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists websites.