Students in the Nurse Anesthesia program

M.S. in Nurse Anesthesia

Preparing Registered Nurses, academically and clinically, to deliver safe anesthesia care.

The Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program is for qualified Registered Nurses who wish to earn a Master of Science degree while pursuing education as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. The objective of the program is to prepare nurses in the art and science of anesthesia to meet the need for safe and competent anesthesia care.

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Program Goals

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota believes in building and developing on the baccalaureate base with emphasis on a strong scientific and technical background. With a focus on meeting the needs of adult learners, the program's goal is to provide a positive and supportive learning environment, preparing the professional nurse in the art and science of anesthesia and meeting the societal need for safe and competent anesthesia care. Graduates will be prepared to practice in a wide variety of settings and will learn diverse methods of administering a safe anesthetic.

The program provides the student with a curriculum that includes instruction in scientific principles and clinical practice with professional growth opportunities. Core values upheld by all members of this community include academic excellence, professionalism, personal integrity, responsibility, and compassion.

Exam Preparation

Graduates of this Saint Mary's program are eligible to take the Certification Examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists. Upon successful completion of the exam, graduates are known as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

Additional Program

Saint Mary's also offers an M.S. in Nurse Anesthesia degree in conjunction with the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, offering students an alternative learning site and the opportunity to receive anesthesia instruction where classes and clinicals are offered simultaneously. Both programs feature curricula that are highly regarded in the industry and offer clinical instruction from professionals in the field.

Accreditation

The Nurse Anesthesia Program enjoys full accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize the Council.

From Start to Finish

  • The M.S. in Nurse Anesthesia degree is a 28-month academically front-loaded curriculum.
  • Classes start in May. 

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Applicants to the program are expected to submit the following application materials:

Students seeking admission to the M.S. in Nurse Anesthesia program must also:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in an area of nursing, biophysical, biological, or behavioral sciences, with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Demonstrate current licensure as a Professional Registered Nurse in the State of Minnesota, or eligible for reciprocity
  • Possess a minimum of one year of full-time experience in a critical care setting
  • Have completed a college-level chemistry course within 5 years of the application deadline with a grade of “B” or better (junior or community college courses are not accepted)
  • Demonstrate the English language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework

Locations

This program is offered at our Twin Cities location.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students earn a minimum of 64 semester credits in a 28-month (seven semester) program by integrating clinical and academic experiences.


First Year: Semester I (Summer)

NA606 Research Design and Statistical Analysis (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of research methods and statistical procedures commonly used in health care research, with particular focus on research related to practice as a nurse anesthetist.  The course emphasizes analysis of research studies and applied statistical procedures as the foundation for evidence based practice.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Discuss the role of research and evidence based practice in contemporary health care.
  2. Utilize qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to evaluate commonly used research designs including randomized clinical trials, crossover designs, quasi experimental designs, and case control studies.
  3. Describe the normal curve, standardized scores, and basis for inferential statistics.
  4. Interpret the results of common statistical procedures including t-tests, chi-square tests, correlation and regression, analysis of variance, effect sizes, survival analysis, odds ratios, and meta-analysis.
  5. Analyze the reliability and validity of measures, interpret graphs and charts, and interpret confidence intervals.
  6. Evaluate research according to internal and external validity, appropriateness of statistics used, methodologies paradigm, and generalizability of results.

NA630 Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (3 cr.)

This course provides the graduate nurse anesthesia student an opportunity to focus on a variety of professional practice components. Reading and discussion topics include the evolution of the professional inclusive of regulation, policy, and credentialing; ethical and legal implications associated with practice; delivery systems, informatics, and reimbursement. Professional resources and maintaining wellness are also discussed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1.  Analyze how the changes in the healthcare system influence patient care.
  2.  Investigate the strategies used by the  AANA and individual CRNA's who have been able to influence state and federal legislation of practice.
  3.  Determine the process and methods used by individual states, state boards of nursing, and healthcare organizations to regulate CRNA practice and credential providers.
  4.  Analyze current issues facing nurse anesthesia practice and determine strategies on how to address these issues.
  5.  Identify federal and state law, regulatory agencies, and institutional policies that are applicable to the definition of practice, the assignment of liability, and the definition of malpractice.
  6.  Apply the essential elements of patient care documentation in relation to the AANA scope and standards of practice.
  7.  Discuss strategies to both promote wellness and address the CRNA who is impaired.
  8.  Apply the Code of Ethics for the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia to the Code of Ethics for Nurses and relate both to the concepts of beneficence, non-maleficence, and social justice.

NA635 Professional Communication (3 cr.)

This course introduces the student to the expectations and conventions of graduate writing and research in the medical field. Topics include: modes of professional communication, AMA standards and conventions, essential elements of medically related reports such as clinical case studies, insurance and quality assurance reports, professional correspondence, integrative and systematic reviews, library research tools and methods, and meta-analysis. The ethical and legal ramifications of professional communication are addressed.

NA640 Chemistry and Physics for Nurse Anesthesia (4 cr.)

This course examines the principles of inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics as they apply to the practice of anesthesia and anesthetic pharmacology. Topics include anesthesia delivery systems, delivery of inhalation anesthetics, fluid and gas mechanics, laser technology, radiology and nuclear medicine, ultrasonography, electricity, and magnetism among others.

Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply principles of inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics to anesthetic pharmacology.
  2. Apply principles of inorganic chemistry and physics to anesthesia delivery systems and monitoring.
  3. Apply principles of fluid and gas mechanics to anesthesia delivery and anesthetic pharmacology.
  4. Apply concepts of laser technology to safe patient care.
  5. Apply theories related to radiology, nuclear medicine, and magnetism to the interpretation of diagnostic data and the provision of safe patient care.
  6. Apply principles of ultrasonography to the safe administration of regional anesthetics and intravenous access.
  7. Discuss the ramifications of electrical safety and their applications to anesthesia and surgery.
     

First Year: Semester II (Fall)

NA614 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthesia (2 cr.)

This course builds upon health assessment skills of the practicing critical care nurse and focuses on health assessment across the human lifespan. Skills for efficiently obtaining a patient's history with regard to psychosocial and cultural differences are discussed. Performing a focused history and physical assessment, incorporating diagnostic information, assessing ongoing patient status using relevant monitoring techniques, and determining appropriate and timely intervention during the anesthetic continuum are emphasized.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

1. Determine physiological differences found throughout the lifespan.
2. Perform a logically sequenced patient interview and physical assessment.
3. Describe the use of monitoring technology and its application to planning care and ongoing patient assessment.
4. Formulate an anesthetic management plan based on evaluation of a patient's interview, physical assessment, and the anticipated surgical procedure.
 

NA618 Principles of Anesthesia I (4 cr.)

This course begins an in-depth study of the introductory principles of anesthesia including the basic tenants of care for the anesthetized patient. The safe use of anesthesia delivery systems and related equipment is emphasized and applied to individual patient care. Anesthetic techniques are demonstrated with their application to surgical procedures.


Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply the professional standards of practice for the certified registered nurse anesthetist with emphasis on patient safety, documentation, and legal aspects of care.
  2. Discuss the technology and equipment required for safe anesthesia delivery using a variety of anesthesia delivery systems, regional anesthesia, and analgesia equipment.
  3. Plan care for the challenges and complications associated with various physiological states including age, health status, structural abnormalities, and anesthesia-related complications.
  4. Formulate an anesthetic management plan that includes preoperative, perioperative and postoperative assessment findings, anesthetic techniques, procedural implications, and individual patient reactions to anesthesia and surgery.
     

NA645 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 1 (6 cr.)

This course builds on the Registered Nurses prior baccalaureate curriculum in anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology to provide an advanced study in physiology and pathophysiology.  This course is the first in a series of two courses. Topics covered in this course include airway anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, cytology, hematology, immunology, endocrinology, oncology, central and peripheral neurology (including sympathetic and parasympathetic physiology and pathophysiology), osteology, and myology.


Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Interpret the implications of pathophysiology within cellular function and excitable tissues for anesthetic care.
  2. Apply knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the airway to determine appropriate airway management.
  3. Examine the normal and abnormal functioning of all components of the a) central and peripheral nervous systems, b) sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, c) immune system, d) endocrine organs and system, and e) musculoskeletal system.
  4. Interpret the implications of pathophysiology within the blood cells including anemias, polycythemias, hemostasis and coagulation.
  5. Formulate an anesthetic plan for patients with oncological diseases.
  6. Differentiate the abnormal from normal functioning of the skeletal and cardiac smooth muscles.

NA651 Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists (3 cr.)

This course introduces basic principles of pharmacology and focuses on those drugs most often used in the practice of anesthesia. The course provides an overview of drug actions, interactions, metabolism, methods of administration, dosages, side effects, precautions, and contraindications.

First Year: Semester III (Spring)

NA620 Principles of Anesthesia Practice II (6 cr.)

This course is a continuance of NA614 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthesia and NA618 Principles of Anesthesia Practice I. Differing patient populations with acute and chronic conditions or disease states are explored in depth resulting in a comprehensive surgical care plan. This care plan is based on the perioperative patient assessment and application of general and regional anesthesia techniques. The application of general principles to individual patients is emphasized.


Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to do the following:


1. Formulate an anesthetic management plan that includes preoperative, perioperative and postoperative assessment findings, anesthetic techniques, procedural implications, and individual patient reactions to anesthesia and surgery for the following conditions:
            a. neuromuscular diseases
            b. autoimmune diseases
            c. endocrine disorders
            d. renal diseases
            e. liver diseases
             f. cardiovascular disorders
            g. pulmonary diseases
            h. organ transplantation
2. Integrate the implications of physiologic changes and risk factors to plan anesthetic care for mothers in vaginal and C-section deliveries including general, spinal, and epidural anesthesia.
3. Plan anesthetic care for the pediatric patient considering anatomy, physiology, psychosocial needs in the preoperative preparation of the child and family, selection of anesthetic agents, techniques for delivery, and response to complications.
4. Integrate knowledge of complications in the care of patients with various forms traumatic injury and shock.
5. Create plan of care to manage acute and chronic pain.

NA650 Physiology and Pathophysiology II (5 cr.)

This course is a continuation of Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology I. The focus is on the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. Concepts in immunology are also addressed.

NA661 Pharmacology (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of major drug classifications. Their interactions with anesthetic agents are discussed.

NA770 Clinical Practicum I (2 cr.)

Clinical Practicum I provides the student with opportunities to apply the didactic principles of anesthesia to patient care. Students must master the basic skills and routines associated with anesthesia practice and spend time observing anesthesia and surgery in an urban medical center.

Second Year: Semester IV (Summer)

NA771 is 480 hrs.

NA771 Clinical Practicum (2 cr.)

Clinical practicum provides the student with the opportunity to apply the principles of anesthesia to direct patient care. Students provide supervised care in a variety of settings and specialty rotations to demonstrate proficiency in advanced anesthetic techniques to challenge specialty rotations.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Conduct a thorough and accurate preoperative assessment on all assigned patients.
  2. Derive a complete anesthetic care plan for all assigned patients using pertinent data gathered from the medical record and the patient interview.
  3. Prepare and organize all pertinent anesthesia-related equipment and pharmacologic agents.
  4. Demonstrate proper care and use of all anesthesia-related equipment.
  5. Practice in a manner that is protective of self, the patient, and the environment.
  6. Safely and completely prepare all assigned patients for anesthesia and surgery.
  7. Manage all aspects of the anesthetic care, from the preoperative area to the recovery area.
  8. Demonstrate professional behavior and appropriate interpersonal skills while engaged in clinical practice.
  9. Meet the individual site and specialty objectives.
  10. Participate in planned simulation exercises, designed to demonstrate familiarity with the pediatric anesthesia reactions in various case scenarios, fiberoptic bronchoscopy, and the placement of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC).
  11. Demonstrate cultural competence when working with patients and members of the health care community.

NA780 Clinical Integration (3 cr.)

In this course, the student integrates theory with practice by analyzing the anesthetic management of selected cases. Patient care plans are reviewed, compared, and contrasted in light of actual or anticipated outcomes. Current research is used to support patient care decisions. In addition, students have the opportunity to explore current topics and trends in anesthesia, facilitated by guest lecturers.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Develop, present, and defend an anesthetic evidence based care plan based on the actual patient care.
  2. Analyze patient care outcomes in terms of planned or actual care delivered.
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills while evaluating actual patient care.

a. Identify and articulate the indications, contraindications, selected equipment and medications (including drug dose ranges), patient positioning, and potential complications involved in fiberoptic airway management, obtaining central venous access, and performing ultrasound guided regional anesthesia and peripheral nerve blocks.

b.  Develop and execute an anesthesia care plan for a simulated patient care experience.

c.  Reflects upon, assess and evaluate the simulated delivery of patient care in relation to professional development.

d.  Prepare a proposal for a synthesis paper.

  1. Work effectively on a project that requires collaboration.

NA787 Portfolio I (3 cr.)

In this course students document their preparation to assume the role of a CRNA through the creation of a professional portfolio over a period of time.  The purpose of the portfolio is to provide evidence and analysis of personal and professional growth, reflect on achievement in relation to learning needs, critically address contemporary clinical and professional issues and demonstrate progress towards the program outcome objectives.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate progress achievement towards the program outcome objectives.

Second Year: Semester V (Fall)

NA772 is 600 hrs. 

NA772 Clinical Practicum (3 cr.)

Clinical practicum provides the student with the opportunity to apply the principles of anesthesia to direct patient care. Students provide supervised care in a variety of settings and specialty rotations to demonstrate proficiency in advanced anesthetic techniques.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Provides a safe patient care environment at all times.
  2. Demonstrate vigilance while delivering patient care.
  3. Perform a comprehensive history and physical assessment, creates a relevant care plan, and discusses it with the anesthesia care team.
  4. Demonstrate dexterity while performing procedures.
  5. Safely administer anesthesia to patients of all ages and physical conditions for a variety of surgical and medically-related procedures.
  6. Monitors patients efficiently and accurately.
  7. Recognize and appropriately respond to changes in the patient's condition in a timely way.
  8. Provide nurse anesthesia care based on sound principles and research evidence for all phases of the anesthetic process.
  9. Communicate effectively with all members of the patient care team, the patient, and their family members.
  10. Act with regard to cultural differences.
  11. Function within appropriate standards, policies, and legal requirements.
  12. Accept responsibility with accountability and  integrity in all matters.
  13. Demonstrate professional behavior appropriate to at all times.

Second Year: Semester VI (Spring)

NA773 is 600 hrs.

NA773 Clinical Practicum (3 cr.)

Clinical practicum provides the student with the opportunity to apply the principles of anesthesia to direct patient care. Students provide supervised care in a variety of settings and specialty rotations to demonstrate proficiency in advanced anesthetic techniques to challenge specialty rotations..

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Conduct a thorough and accurate preoperative assessment on all assigned patients.
  2. Derive a complete anesthetic care plan for all assigned patients using pertinent data gathered from the medical record and the patient interview.
  3. Prepare and organize all pertinent anesthesia related equipment and pharmacologic agents.
  4. Demonstrate proper care and use of all anesthesia related equipment.
  5. Practice in a manner that is protective of self, the patient and the environment.
  6. Safely and completely prepare all assigned patients for anesthesia and surgery.
  7. Manage all aspects of the anesthetic care, from the preoperative area to the recovery area.
  8. Demonstrate professional behavior and appropriate interpersonal skills while engaged in clinical practice.
  9. Meet the individual site and specialty objectives.
  10. Participate in planned simulation exercises, designed to demonstrate familiarity with the pediatric anesthesia reactions in various case scenarios, fiberoptic bronchoscopy, and the placement of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC).
  11. Demonstrate cultural competence when working with patients and members of the health care community.

Third Year: Semester VII (Summer)

NA774 is 600 hrs. 

NA774 Clinical Practicum 5 (2 cr.)

Clinical practicum provides the student with the opportunity to apply the principles of anesthesia to direct patient care. Students provide supervised care in a variety of settings and specialty rotations to demonstrate proficiency in advanced anesthetic techniques to challenge specialty rotations..

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Conduct a thorough and accurate preoperative assessment on all assigned patients.
  2. Derive a complete anesthetic care plan for all assigned patients using pertinent data gathered from the medical record and the patient interview.
  3. Prepare and organize all pertinent anesthesia related equipment and pharmacologic agents.
  4. Demonstrate proper care and use of all anesthesia related equipment.
  5. Practice in a manner that is protective of self, the patient and the environment.
  6. Safely and completely prepare all assigned patients for anesthesia and surgery.
  7. Manage all aspects of the anesthetic care, from the preoperative area to the recovery area.
  8. Demonstrate professional behavior and appropriate interpersonal skills while engaged in clinical practice.
  9. Meet the individual site and specialty objectives.
  10. Participate in planned simulation exercises, designed to demonstrate familiarity with the pediatric anesthesia reactions in various case scenarios, fiberoptic bronchoscopy, and the placement of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC).
  11. Demonstrate cultural competence when working with patients and members of the health care community.

NA782 Program Comprehensive Exams (1 cr.)

The student's mastery of their anesthesia knowledge base is assessed via a series of comprehensive examinations. Examination topics include basic and advanced principles of anesthesia practice, basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics), professional aspects of anesthesia practice, pharmacology, advanced monitoring, technology, and equipment. There are five examinations in this series.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate a mastery of their anesthesia knowledge base by obtaining at least seventy percent achievement level on each comprehensive examination.

NA788 Portfolio II (3 cr.)

This course is a continuation of NA787 Portfolio I. In this course the student completes the assembly of required documents. The capstone paper or project is presented and defended to a group of faculty members and the community of interest.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate progress achievement towards the program outcome objectives.

Total: 64 cr.




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SGPP Admission - Enrollment Counselor Graduate School of Health and Human Services

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dlawren@smumn.edu

Daniel Lawrence