DNP, Nurse Anesthesia Program
The DNP, Nurse Anesthesia Program is a 36-month (9 semester), 88-credit hour, full-time program. Graduates earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a specialty in nurse anesthesia. This is a new program; the first program will enroll in August 2017. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Approval is pending from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).
Nurse anesthesia students are educated for the full scope of practice. The Health Systems Leadership focus of our established DNP program provides students with a foundation of business, leadership, and practice skills to expand their practice on graduation.
Up to $40,000 in scholarships may be available for highly-qualified students accepted to the nurse anesthesia program.
- Georgia has 25 percent fewer certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) than the national average.
- A shortage of CRNAs is anticipated by 2022 as approximately 50 percent of current CRNAs will retire.
- CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in medically underserved areas to offer anesthesia services.
- By 2022, all students admitted to anesthesia programs will be required to graduate with a doctoral degree.
- Emory University holds a reputation as a leader in nursing education. Emory’s School of Nursing is ranked No. 4 in the nation. It is also the top nursing school in Georgia and the No. 2 ranked nursing school in the Southeast.
When are application materials due? The nurse anesthesia program has two deadlines for applications. The first deadline, June 1st, is given priority. The second deadline is September 1st. For questions or concerns about the application process, please contact the School of Nursing's Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs at 404.727.7980
Is there a specific format that you would like reference letters to be in? Once you supply the names and emails of references a rating form with a comment section will be sent directly to them.
Is there a format you would like for documentation of shadowing experiences? At the time of interview we will ask you about your shadowing experiences. We strongly recommend a minimum of 16 hours.
Does the website provide us with all the information on the application requirements including where to send the documents? Yes see the “Admission Requirements” tab and the “Applying” tab below. Please note, the DNP application will need to be completed and submitted first, followed by the nurse anesthesia application.
Do you prefer certain ICU experiences (for example, CVICU vs SICU)? We have no preference for specific types of ICU experience. A minimum of 1-year and preferably 2-3 years of current full-time critical care experience is required (orientation is not part of the 1 year requirement). Note: the following are NOT considered as critical care experience: Telemetry, Cardiac Cath Lab, Operating Room, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU or RR), Interventional Radiology or Emergency Department. Critical care experience is defined as: Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a U.S. 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. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (such as pulmonary artery catheter, CVP, arterial); cardiac assist devices; mechanical ventilation; and vasoactive infusions.
Will you accept GMAT test in place of GRE? We will accept the GMAT if it was taken within 5 years of the application deadline.
How will GRE scores impact the admission decisions in contrast to types of courses the applicant has taken, professional credentials, and other factors? Candidates need to meet all admissions requirements. The GRE is part of the package and gives an idea as to how a candidate will do with testing, especially on standardized examinations. With this being a doctoral program, it requires the full range of academic skills. The GRE gives us an additional piece of information to evaluate the quality of a candidate.
I have attended multiple schools. Do you require all transcripts? We require all transcripts be reported. We focus on science grades across your academic experience. We recognize that students beginning college may have an adjustment period and grades may be lower early on. If you wish to explain a low score, please include that information with your application.
Are there any tips for preparing for the interview? We have provided some “Interview Tips” under the interview tab below. There are recommended readings and general considerations for interviewing for an anesthesia program. If you have specific questions please contact us.
Will you have an Open House on campus, or just virtual sessions? Because our applicants represent a national geographic scope, we will continue to hold information sessions on line.
Interview and Acceptance Questions
Are applicants being invited for interviews yet? Applications will be reviewed after the June 1st and September 1st deadlines. Only completed applications will be considered. The Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Committee will review the applications and a decision will be made whether to schedule an interview with each candidate. There are times that further information may be requested before a decision about offering an interview is made. Applicants will be notified by email of the Committee’s decision.
When will interviews take place? Applicants applying by June 1st should anticipate interviews will be held in July/August. Applicants applying by September 1st should anticipate interviews will be held in October/November.
Is there a limited number of interview spots? No, all qualified applicants will be offered an interview. Applicants will not be admitted without an interview. Admission into any graduate program is granted on a competitive basis and students meeting minimum requirements may be denied admission based on such factors as program capacity or academic discretion.
When will you notify candidates of their acceptance? Students will be notified via email of their acceptance within three weeks of the interview. A $1,000 deposit to be applied to tuition and a signed letter of confirmation are required to hold the spot.
May we wait to apply for a Georgia license if we get accepted or do we need to do so now? You will have time to apply for a Georgia license after your acceptance. Please be advised the licensing process can take up to 4 months.
Do you offer a pre-requisite statistics class? Yes. We offer a fully online, graduate level statistics course focused on research literacy and the type of foundational statistics you will need when beginning your DNP program. Applicants accepted to the program are strongly encouraged to consider taking this course.
How many students will make up each class? The number of students accepted each year may vary based. We anticipate accepting between 10-15 students annually.
Are you looking for a certain amount of in-state vs out of state students? We are looking for qualified candidates with proven academic and clinical success as critical care nurses who demonstrate the drive to enter a challenging career that involves not just a new field, but a doctoral degree as well.
Course Work Questions
What is the format for the online classes? Are they Power Point or interactive in format? The DNP courses are offered in an executive format with online presentations, discussions (synchronous/asynchronous), group assignments, and two required Saturday sessions per semester. During the Saturday sessions students will interact with their DNP classmates from various specialties. Students will have an opportunity to interact with local and national leaders as well as participate in writing workshop sessions. Anesthesia classes will be face-to-face on the Emory campus.
Will simulation be part of this program? Simulation will be integrated throughout your time at Emory, beginning in the second semester and continuing until graduation. During the initial simulation sessions your focus will be on task trainers and developing a readiness to enter the operating suite as a Student Registered Nurse Anesthetist, e.g. anesthesia gas machine checks, case preparation, induction and intubation, and neuraxial anesthesia. The simulations will progress over time to management of disclosed patient complications, and then to undisclosed crises identification and management. Simulation may also be used to verify competence and for enhanced learning opportunities for students.
Clinical Placement Questions
Could you tell us which facilities will be used for clinical? A wide array of clinical sites have been established to prepare students for the full scope of practice. Clinical sites include in-patient and out-patient settings, urban and rural facilities, and both anesthesia care team and CRNA solo practice.
When we are doing clinical, will we be required to take call? Experiences during your second and third year may include call.
How will you help students preserve a positive work/life balance while in your program? Students are assigned both a nurse anesthesia faculty advisor and a DNP advisor. This team then works with the student as the lead to ensure their academic goals are being achieved. In addition, wellness content is included throughout the curriculum.
It may be hard to tell now with the program being very new; however, do you foresee your DNP graduates receiving jobs after completing the program and passing the board certification? Yes, to both. CRNAs are in demand not only in Georgia but across the nation. In the dozens of conversations we have conducted with hospitals, clinics, and anesthesia practices in the region, we have consistently heard the demand for CRNA graduates. Already, Georgia has 25% fewer CRNAs than the national average. National figures further emphasize the need for graduates, in that a shortage of CRNA’s is predicted by 2022 due to retirements. Also, the new requirement that CRNA programs to migrate to doctoral programs could decrease the number of programs available nationally, and/or the number of annual graduates from anesthesia programs, further driving up demand.
We expect our students will be well prepared to sit for the national certification exam. Our curriculum aligns with Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs requirements for educating nurse anesthetists. During the program, testing opportunities will be built into the curriculum to prepare the student for boards. In the final semester, students will take a board review course as well as have a facilitated review of previous course materials.
Program Overview Questions
Is the Emory program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs? Unlike starting a nursing program where accreditation is sought prior to the first graduating student, new anesthesia program accreditation is required prior to launching the program. The accreditation status of Emory’s Nurse Anesthesia Program will be determined at the May 2017 Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) meeting. Following a very successful on-site visit by the COA in January 2017, we anticipate a positive accreditation outcome.
Semester 1 (Fall)
|NRSG531||Chemistry & Physics||(3)|
|NRSG592D||Analysis of Complex Health Systems for Organizations||(2)|
|NRSG610D||Analyzing, Evaluating, and Translating Health Systems Evidence||(3)|
|Semester Credit Hours – 14|
Semester 2 (Spring)
|NRSG532||Basic Principles Nurse Anesthesia||(5)|
|NRSG526||Advanced Pharmacology for Anesthesia||(3)|
|NRSG544||Advanced Health Assessment||(3)|
|Semester Credit Hours - 11|
Semester 3 (Summer)
|NRSG563||Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia I||(6)|
|NRSG529||Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology Anesthesia I||(3)|
|NRSG589D||Leadership for Health Professions||(2)|
|Semester Credit Hours - 11|
Semester 4 (Fall)
|NRSG707D||Transforming Health Care: A systems approach to improve Quality and Safety||(3)|
|NRSG715D||DNP Project Development I||(2)|
|NRSG564||Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia II||(5)|
|NRSG530||Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology Anesthesia II||(3)|
|Semester Credit Hours - 13|
Semester 5 (Spring)
|NRSG716D||DNP Project Development II||(1)|
|NRSG594D||Analytic Tools for Evidence Based Decision Making||(3)|
|NRSG687||Nurse Anesthesia Application I||(3)|
|Semester Credit Hours – 9|
Semester 6 (Summer)
|NRSG717D||DNP Project Development III||(1)|
|NRSG593D||Leading People to Transform Organizations||(3)|
|NRSG688||Nurse Anesthesia Application II||(4)|
|Semester Credit Hours - 8|
Semester 7 (Fall)
|NRSG723D||Health Policy, Ethics and Law||(3)|
|NRSG548||Professional Role: Nurse Anesthesia Practice||(2)|
|NRSG689||Nurse Anesthesia Application III||(4)|
|Semester Credit Hours - 10|
Semester 8 (Spring)
|NRSG690||Nurse Anesthesia Application IV||(4)|
|NRSG714D||Pathways to Practice||(4)|
|Semester Credit Hours – 8-9|
Semester 9 (Summer)
|NRSG691||Nurse Anesthesia Application V||(4)|
|Semester Credit Hours – 4-5|
|TOTAL PROGRAM HOURS – 88-90 CREDITS|
|*Students not completing the DNP Project in semester 7 must maintain enrollment of 1 credit hour in 721D DNP Project until all project requirements are met.|
Students will train in a variety of clinical settings amassing a wide range of clinical experiences. Students will complete more than 2,500 supervised clinical hours in addition to simulated experiences in our state-of-the-art laboratory. Clinical sites include in-patient and out-patient settings in the greater Atlanta and surrounding areas with experiences at major medical centers and at rural sites.
There will be two admission deadlines annually: June 1st and September 1st.
Applicants applying to the June 1st deadline will be given priority for acceptance. Interviews for competitive candidates will be scheduled July/August.
Applicants applying to the September 1st deadline will be interviewed in October/November.
Qualified applicants must have:
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited nursing program (CCNE, NLNAC);
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
- Completed a graduate level statistics course*
- A competitive GRE score (Recommended score in the 50th percentile or above on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE and 4.0 on the analytical writing section). GRE scores are valid for five years;
- Hold an unencumbered RN license or if out of state, be eligible for licensure in the State of Georgia;
- A minimum of 1-year, and preferably 2-3 years, of current full-time critical care experience in (orientation is not part of the 1 year requirement). Note: the following are NOT considered as critical care experience: Telemetry, Cardiac Cath Lab, Operating Room, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU or RR), Interventional Radiology and Emergency Department;
- Certified in basic, advanced cardiac, and pediatric advanced life support.
*The graduate statistics course may be taken after admission into the nurse anesthesia program but prior to start of the program. Emory Nursing offers an online graduate level statistics course specifically tailored to DNP students and those admitted are strongly encouraged to consider taking this course.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from all degree programs attended, a curriculum vitae/resume, 3 letters of recommendations (Professor/Faculty Member, Supervisor/Employer responsible for your annual performance review, and a professional colleague, physician or CRNA), and an application fee ($75) by the specified deadline. It is also strongly recommended that students shadow a CRNA/Anesthesiologist for a minimum of 16 hours prior to applying to the program.
Competitive applicants will be invited for an on-campus interview. Applicants will not be admitted without an interview. Admission into any graduate program is granted on a competitive basis and students meeting minimum requirements may be denied admission based on such factors as program capacity or academic discretion.
Post admission requirements include:
- Documentation of all required immunizations, titers, and health information required by agencies for clinical placement. All requirements must be current at all times;
- Current BLS, ACLS and PALS certifications as well as unencumbered Georgia license;
- Pass an independently conducted state and federal criminal background investigation;
- Pass a urine drug screen.
The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is now accepting applications to its DNP Nurse Anesthesia program. Admission decisions will be based upon candidate competitiveness and space availability.
Please note, the DNP application will need to be completed and submitted first, followed by completing the nurse anesthesia application.
- June 1st with interviews scheduled for July/August
- September 1st with interviews scheduled for October/November
For questions or concerns about the application process, please contact the School of Nursing's Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs at 404.727.7980.
Preparing for the Interview
Nurses have administered anesthesia for more than 100 years and nurse anesthetists were the first advanced practice nurses. The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) is mandating a transition in the level of education required for entry into practice from the master’s degree to the doctoral degree. Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs are required to be no less than 36-months in length and graduates then become eligible to take a national certification examination. When the national certification exam is successfully completed, the individual becomes a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
Because of the high level of responsibility in providing anesthesia care, the academic and clinical preparation is rigorous. Selecting from a pool of qualified individuals to enter a nurse anesthesia educational program is challenging and highly competitive. Therefore, it is important to be well prepared for an interview.
The following information is a recommended guide when preparing for a successful interview.
- Study the ACLS manual with particular emphasis on:
- Drug therapies and invasive monitoring
- Commonalities and differences between the various vasoactive medications including the pharmacological actions and the specific receptor sites affected
- Invasive technologies, their correct usage and normal values, when appropriate
- Read the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists to learn more about the practice of nurse anesthesia. It is free online at: http://www.aana.com/newsandjournal/Pages/aanajournalonline.aspx
- Prepare for and earn CCRN certification. Continue to review and expand your critical care knowledge, focusing on both breadth and depths of topics, not focusing solely on your clinical area of practice expertise.
As you begin your journey to become a CRNA there are many practical ways you can study for the interview while you are working. For example, ask:
- Why is a particular therapy being prescribed (rationale)? What alternative therapies could be proposed? What are the underlying mechanism(s) of action that should be considered?
- For medication therapies, what side effects should you anticipate and what actions should be taken if these side effects occur?
- Review laboratory values including: why they are used, normal ranges, implications for out of range values, the units of measurement, and factors that can alter these values and affect their validity.
- After a code situation review your BLS, ACLS, PALS, etc. What went right? Were there any deviations from the standard algorithms – what was the rationale for deviation and the outcome?
- What are the hemodynamic parameters frequently monitored, normal ranges, and their unit of measurement? How do these parameters change in response to therapy? How do hemodynamic parameters vary with different disease processes and how does the tolerance for parameters change?
Planning for a Successful Interview. There are many internet tips and books related to interviewing. If you have not interviewed lately you may wish to reference a few of these resources to refine your interview skills and how to present yourself. Pay attention to dressing for the interview and dress as if you are attending a very important and conservative business meeting.
Thinking Ahead: Points for Consideration
Finances. As a full-time, rigorous, 36-month program, working is not recommended. Many students in anesthesia programs depend on financial aid and loans. A limited number of scholarships will be available. Again, it is important to evaluate your financial situation carefully, so that you will not have to depend upon working while attending a very rigorous anesthesia program.
Managing Stress. Prepare to concentrate your efforts on working hard while in this 36-month graduate anesthesia program. Try to simplify your life and reduce distractions. Build a support system within your family and others to reduce outside obligations as much as possible. Learn to be flexible and find ways to manage stress effectively. Plan to make your commute to the anesthesia program as short as possible. Commuting in Atlanta can be challenging! Your time will be better spent meeting the requirements of the program.
Preparing to Study. If you have not taken any course work within the last few years, taking some graduate course work may help you develop the discipline needed to study. If your undergraduate grades are lower, it may demonstrate to the admissions committee your current abilities. Similarly, we encourage students who are accepted to the program to consider taking a few of the core courses prior to the start of the program to allow for a more measured workload in the first few semesters. Once accepted, students are encouraged to speak with the Program Director if interested in this option.
We require a graduate level statistics course of all students admitted to the program, prior to the first day of classes in August. Emory Nursing offers a fully online, graduate level statistics course focused on research literacy and the type of foundational statistics you will need when beginning your DNP program. Applicants accepted to the program are strongly encouraged to consider taking this course. Graduate level statistics courses however, may be taken at other universities.
A Successful Interview. If you are chosen to be admitted to the program you will need to complete the following requirements:
- Provide documentation for required immunizations, titers, and health information required by agencies for clinical placement. All requirements must be current at all times.
- Maintain current BLS, ACLS and PALS certifications.
- Hold an unencumbered Georgia license; If you do not yet hold a Georgia nursing license it is important to immediately apply to the Board as this process may take up to 4 months. The application may be obtained by beginning the online process at this site http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/online_licensure_applications.
- Pass an independently conducted state and federal criminal background investigation.
- Pass a urine drug screen.
- Complete your graduate statistics course prior to the program start date if you have not already done so.
Not Selected for Admission. Due to the highly competitive process of selecting applicants for admission, an interviewee may not be selected for admission. The interview committee may offer suggestions for future preparation to qualified candidates. An additional year of preparation and possibly taking course work in the plan of study prior to formal admission to the anesthesia program may make a significant difference. Note, taking core courses does not guarantee admission in a subsequent interview cycle.
There will be a wait list of 2-3 additional applicants. Should a selected student decline admission, a student on the waitlist will be offered the position. A wait listed student who is not selected for the cohort for which they interviewed will be required to reapply. Being on the wait list does not guarantee admission for the subsequent year. Applicants will be limited to two interviews.
We strongly recommend shadowing a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) for a minimum of 16 hours to identify the role and responsibilities of the CRNA, and to identify different types of anesthesia used during surgical procedures.
Shadowing is an observational experience that may be done in a hospital or outpatient setting. Permission to observe must be obtained prior to the shadowing experience whether outside of your institution or within your institution. You may choose to shadow for a full day or break the time into multiple short contacts. Reading about anesthesia in general before the experience and looking up medications and planned procedures can help you better understand the role of the nurse anesthetist. Some questions you may consider after shadowing are:
- What is the “typical day” of a CRNA?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of the CRNA?
- What procedures were observed and what was the type of anesthesia administered (general, regional, monitored anesthesia care)?
- What medications were used during induction/emergence?
- What type of information was communicated in the hand-off to the PACU nurse?
- Was the CRNA experience I saw generalizable to most practice settings? Why or why not?
The expectation for shadowing is to observe the role and responsibilities of the CRNA, not to become an expert in the various types of anesthesia or to have an in depth understanding of all machines, gases and medications. This experience provides an opportunity to reinforce your decision of which direction to take on your career path. For some, the shadowing experience may reinforce the plan to pursue a career as a CRNA. For others, the shadowing experience may demonstrate that this career path is not the best choice for your career goals. Either way, shadowing offers the opportunity to clarify your career aspirations.
Welcome to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and congratulations on taking the next big step in your educational career to becoming a CRNA! We know the decision to pursue your nursing education at a private institution is an important one. Our Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs is committed to helping students find the resources necessary to pursue their personal and professional goals. More than 92% of the students in the School of Nursing receive some type of financial assistance.
The School of Nursing will also be offering up to $40,000 in scholarships for highly-qualified students accepted to the nurse anesthesia program.
How to Apply
Graduate students who already have an undergraduate degree in nursing, and are pursuing a career as an advanced practice nurse (nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife), may be eligible for student loans through federal or private sources.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Students will need to complete the 2016-2107 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)to determine their eligibility for federal and state-specific scholarships. Use the IRS retrieval feature, if possible, to save yourself some time. You will need Emory University’s Federal School Code – 001564 - to complete the form.
- In the "Degree/Certificate" field, type "Graduate Degree."
- In the "Current Grade Level" field, type "5th year undergraduate."
- When asked whether you will be working on a master’s or doctorate program at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, type “Yes”
- Please note that parental information is not required for the FAFSA.
FAFSA Dates and Deadlines
Graduate students will need to update their FAFSA information after their first year in the program to continue to be eligible for federal aid. In between their spring and summer terms of 2017, students will file their 2016 Taxes and use those documents to file a 2017-18 FAFSA.
The availability and submission dates for the FAFSA are outlined below.
Tax Return Year
SON Submission Deadline
Fall 2017-Summer 2018
October 2016- June 2018
November 15, 2016
October 2017- June 2019
May 1, 2017
Types of Aid Available
A wide range of scholarships and fellowship opportunities are available to help students reduce the cost of their nursing education. Scholarships are funds that do not have to be repaid. All admitted students are evaluated for merit scholarships. To learn more about available scholarship opportunities, visit the School of Nursing’s web site.
Federal Student Loans
Federal Stafford Loans student loans are available for graduate students, but the lifetime limit is based on your total time as a graduate student in any discipline or degree. Those limits do not increase for additional graduate degrees. The current lifetime loan limit is $138,500 for graduate students. If a student already borrowed this amount for a prior graduate degree, he or she would not be able to borrow more for a second graduate degree through the Stafford program. Because these funds must be repaid, exhaust all other sources of aid first and borrow only what is absolutely necessary.
Types of Federal Loans
Unsubsidized Direct Loan
Unsubsidized loan interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Interest may be paid while students are enrolled in school or allowed to accrue. Accrued interest will be capitalized; meaning it will be added to the principal amount of the loan when it enters repayment. Repayment of principal and interest begins six months after you are no longer enrolled at least half-time.
Loan Terms and Loan Limits for Each Program
Loan Origination Fees2
Unsubsidized Direct Loan
Interest accrues while enrolled
Up to $20,500
$138,000 including $65,000 in previous subsidized loans
Direct Graduate Plus Loan
Interest accrues while enrolled
Up to cost of attendance, less other aid received
Annual loan limits cap the total amount of Federal Direct Loans a student can receive during one academic year (generally fall/spring/summer). Students who have received full-time Pell Grants or Stafford Loans in the fall and spring, will not have federal student loans available to them for the summer session. Students needing assistance can pursue private supplemental loans to offset the difference in their financial aid. Student and professional nursing organizations, the Georgia Student Finance Commission, as well Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Nurse Corps programs have scholarships available for all nursing programs. Companies such as CVS MinuteClinic and Johnson & Johnson and Tylenol also offer generous scholarships for all levels of nursing students. Other opportunities are listed on the School of Nursing web site.
To further discuss your financial aid needs please contact:
For questions or to submit questions/topics for the Q&A, contact Emily Weil: Emily.Weil@emory.edu.