Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia (DNP)

Preparing nurses to become CRNAs, delivering safe anesthesia care in diverse care settings.

GNA handbook

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia is designed to prepare qualified registered nurses who wish to continue their education to become doctorally-prepared Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).* Our program thoroughly prepares you for the certification exam. Successful completion of the examination will entitle you to be known as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.*

As a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) you will be a critical member of a healthcare team. Our program prepares you to demonstrate leadership skills, advocate for improved patient care, provide compassionate safe care, and apply well-developed interpersonal and communication skills with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals.

“It has become even more apparent that frontline health workers are vital, especially nurses. We need more well-trained nurses to help during the pandemic and in the future with the trends we are seeing. I think Saint Mary’s does an outstanding job of providing well-prepared healthcare professionals for these challenges. I felt fully prepared and supported to be a licensed CRNA, ready for the workforce.”
— Alex Funk M’20, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

*CRNAs in Minnesota are required to be licensed by the Minnesota Board of Nursing as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in order to practice. The Minnesota Board of Nursing has approved the Graduate program in Nurse Anesthesia for the purpose of meeting educational requirements for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse.

Many other states require CRNAs to obtain APRN licensure from their state board in order to practice. At this time, Saint Mary’s is unable to verify whether its graduate program in Nurse Anesthesia will meet educational requirements for CRNA certification or APRN licensure in any jurisdiction outside of Minnesota. Students should check with their state board of nursing to verify eligibility for certification or licensure in their state.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurse anesthetists is expected to grow by 45% between 2019 and 2029.

The demand is growing for more nurse anesthetists, whether to provide pain management services at an outpatient care facility, or to provide emergency anesthesia care at a level-1 trauma hospital. The Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia at Saint Mary’s prepares graduates to provide every type of anesthesia-related service, practice in every type of setting, and administer anesthesia in every type of procedure where anesthesia is required.

Because of the extensive knowledge base and robust clinical experience provided at Saint Mary’s, our graduates are well-equipped to have an immediate impact as healthcare professionals upon graduation.

“Since I love the sciences and enjoy working with people, healthcare was a natural fit. Saint Mary’s helped prepare me for a career in anesthesia by having the best clinical sites of any program I looked at, providing so many opportunities because of the number of sites we have. I have recommended several of my friends to apply to Saint Mary’s, and I would choose it again.”
— Dave Johnson M’19, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and Adjunct Faculty

Program Goals and Studies

This full-time program has the adult learner in mind, offering classes online, blended, and traditional face-to-face. You will develop further skills as a nurse in a positive and supportive learning environment, gaining knowledge in scientific principles and clinical practice. Core values upheld by all members of this community include academic excellence, professionalism, personal integrity, responsibility, and compassion.

The curriculum of the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia program is divided into four areas:

  • Scientific core
  • Leadership core
  • Scholarly project core
  • Clinical scholarship core

Exam Preparation

Graduates of this 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 (CRNA).


The Nurse Anesthesia Program at Saint Mary’s is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), 222 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL 60068; (847) 655-1160, ( The program's next review by the COA is scheduled for May/October 2029.

Specific academic program information: To review a complete description of the program including admission process and requirements, curriculum design, academic and clinical course descriptions and objectives, and policies and procedures please refer to the following link: Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia Program Handbook and Administrative Manual (PDF).

For additional information about Saint Mary’s graduate program in Nurse Anesthesia and professional licensure, visit our Professional Licensure page.

Transition of the Master of Science Program to a Practice-Oriented Doctoral Degree Program

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) requires that all students matriculating into a nurse anesthesia educational program on Jan. 1, 2022, or thereafter be enrolled in a program approved by the COA to award a practice doctoral degree.

  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Amery Hospital & Clinic, Amery, WI.
  • Gunderson St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Wabasha, Minn.
  • Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital, Rhinelander, WI.
  • Cambridge Medical Center, Cambridge, Minn.
  • Carris Health - Rice Memorial Hospital, Willmar, Minn.
  • CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud, Minn.
  • CentraCare - Plaza Surgery Center, St. Cloud, Minn.
  • Essentia Health-Duluth (Miller-Dwan Building), Duluth, Minn.
  • Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center (Duluth), Duluth, Minn.
  • Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Glencoe Regional Health, Glencoe, Minn.
  • Hayward Area Memorial Hospital, Hayward, WI.
  • HealthPartners Regions Hospital, Saint Paul, Minn.
  • HealthPartners Same Day Surgery Center, Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Lakewood Health System, Staples, Minn.
  • Marshfield ASC Eau Claire Center, WI.
  • Marshfield ASC Marshfield Center, WI.
  • Marshfield ASC Minocqua Center, WI.
  • Marshfield ASC Wausau Center, WI.
  • Marshfield Medical Center-Marshfield, Marshfield, WI.
  • Marshfield Medical Center-Neillsville, Neillsville, WI.
  • Marshfield Medical Center-Rice Lake, Rice Lake, WI.
  • Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, Cannon Falls, Minn.
  • Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague, New Prague, Minn.
  • Mercy Hospital (Mercy & Unity Campuses), Coon Rapids, Minn.
  • Northfield Hospital, Northfield, Minn.
  • Owatonna Hospital, Owatonna, Minn.
  • Phillips Eye Institute, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Ridgeview Medical Center, Waconia, Minn.
  • River Falls Area Hospital, River Falls, WI.
  • Riverwood Healthcare Center, Aitkin, Minn.
  • St. Croix Regional Medical Center, St. Croix Falls, WI.
  • St Cloud Surgical Center, St. Cloud, Minn.
  • St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Little Falls, Minn.
  • St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth, Minn.
  • ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, Shawano, WI.
  • HSHS St. Vincent's Hospital
  • Hennepin Healthcare

Connect With Us

Daniel Lawrence

Enrollment Counselor

Admission - SGPP

LaSalle Hall - TC Campus, LSH 116

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4529

Connect with Daniel for programs offered by the School of Health and Human Services.

Daniel Lawrence
Karen Chapple

Enrollment Counselor

Admission - SGPP

LaSalle Hall - TC Campus, LSH 120

(612) 728-5197