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Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesiology (DNP)

Expand your impact as a nurse. Become a CRNA.

At the heart of patient care lies the crucial role of delivering safe anesthesia. Are you ready to embark on a rewarding journey in Nurse Anesthesiology? Our fully accredited program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is designed to empower qualified registered nurses to elevate their education and become doctorally-prepared Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)*.

The demand for nurse anesthetists is poised to soar by a staggering 40% until 2031, reflecting the vital need for skilled professionals in this specialized field. A career as a CRNA has a promising future, one with opportunities for advancement and mobility throughout your career. CRNAs have a high level of job satisfaction, which is attributed to greater autonomy in delivery of anesthesia, high levels of compensation, and their ability to provide one-on-one patient care.2

Our comprehensive DNP program leaves no stone unturned in preparing you for the certification exam, setting you on the path to becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. We equip you with the knowledge, skills, and ethical leadership qualities to advocate for improved patient care, provide safe and compassionate anesthesia services, and effectively collaborate with fellow healthcare professionals.

With our program’s emphasis on cohort instruction, you’ll experience a supportive and engaging learning environment, primarily through in-person classes supplemented by occasional online and hybrid sessions. This full-time program allows you to develop advanced nursing skills while immersing yourself in scientific principles and gaining invaluable clinical practice experience. We offer robust small-group simulation experiences throughout your first year to help you gain the skills and training you need before entering an operating room.

Academic excellence, professionalism, personal integrity, responsibility, and compassion are the core values cherished by our close-knit community. As a member of this community, you’ll contribute to the betterment of patient care, ensuring that every individual receives the safe and compassionate attention they deserve. Seize this opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of patients and become a highly respected healthcare professional.

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86

credits

$1030

per credit

Sept

start date

3 year

completion time

On-Campus

86

credits

$1030

per credit

Sept

start date

3 year

completion time

On-Campus

Program Highlights

  • Our faculty is dedicated to ensuring every student completes the program and successfully passes the National Certificate Exam to obtain the CRNA credential. This is demonstrated by our 0% attrition rate since 2019.
  • Our program is affiliated with 35+ clinical site options, ranging from small community facilities to large hospitals, allowing you to find a clinical site closest to you or where you work.
  • Are you a nurse preparing to apply to a nurse anesthesiology program? Our fully-online course, Foundations in Nurse Anesthesiology, offers the academic and professional preparation you need, including a broad chemistry review covered on the National Certification Exam (NCE). Learn more here.

Accreditation

The Nurse Anesthesia Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). 

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to Council on Accreditation: 

10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906 Rosemont, IL 60018-5603
Phone: 224-275-9130
Web: www.coacrna.org 

The program’s next review by the COA is scheduled for May/October 2029.

 

What is the certification pass rate for first time takers?

The pass rate for the class of 2023 was 86%.

What is the attrition rate for the most recent graduating classes?

The attrition rate is 0% and has been for the last five years.

What is the employment rate of graduates within six months of graduation?

100% of our graduates have been employed upon graduation and successful completion of the National Certification Exam (NCE). This has been true for the past 10 years.

What You'll Learn

  • Advanced knowledge, skills, and judgment around human communication
  • Leadership skills to influence healthcare policy and implement changes in care systems
  • Professional, ethical values guided by nursing scientific underpinnings
  • Analytical methods for evidence-based practice within the framework of health
  • Selection, use, and evaluation of healthcare information systems
  • Clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability to improve patient outcomes

Foundations in Nurse Anesthesiology

Are you a nurse preparing to apply to a nurse anesthesiology program? Our fully-online course, Foundations in Nurse Anesthesiology, offers the academic and professional preparation you need, including a broad chemistry review covered on the National Certification Exam (NCE).

Pairing quality experience with student success

When interviewing with the director and associate director of the nursing anesthesiology program, Tenzin Lobsang remembers being impressed by the quality of the education offered at Saint Mary’s and how dedicated the faculty was to student success. Through the didactic education provided in classrooms and clinical hands-on experience in labs, she feels that Saint Mary’s is preparing its students to become the best clinicians they can be.

Admissions

Ready to apply? Learn about taking the next steps.

  • Applicants seeking admission to this program must meet the admission requirements for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs and for the Doctor of Nurse Practice in Nurse Anesthesiology Program. In addition to University admission requirements, applicants must have: 

    • Completed an appropriate baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Degrees must be completed and final transcripts must be submitted by the September 15 deadline. Appropriate degrees include the areas of nursing, biophysical, biological or behavioral sciences.
    • Overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale or higher.
    • A calculated Science and Math GPA of 3.0 or higher (this is explained and determined as a part of the application process). * Current unencumbered licensure as a Professional Registered Nurse in the State of Minnesota, or eligible for reciprocity.
    • A minimum of one year of experience as a Registered Nurse in a critical care setting at the time of application. Critical care employment must be ongoing until 90 days before the program is started. Critical care as defined by this program includes cardiac ICU, neuro ICU, neonatal ICU, and pediatric ICU. The cardiac cath lab, PACU, long term acute care, and emergency room care do not meet the program definition of critical care. Flight nursing will be considered on a case by case basis.
    • A completed application submitted by the September 15 deadline.
    • A completed Health Status Form must be submitted prior to matriculation. Documented immunity is required for rubella, rubeola, varicella, Hepatitis B, and mumps. Vaccinations will be required in non-immune students. Proof of receiving the Tdap vaccine (protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) that extends to the date of the student’s graduation from the program is required. 
    • Additional annual health-related documents are required later in the program including proof of a negative 2-StepTB TEST test, QuantiFERON®-TB Gold-in-Tube test (QFT-GIT), or a T-SPOT® TB (or completion of the Positive TB Test Protocol) and proof of annual vaccination against influenza. Students that are positive for TB must follow the Nurse Anesthesia Student Protocol. This includes proof of a negative chest x-ray within the last year that must be submitted to the Clinical Director for all students who have positive TB tests. In addition, the student must have an annual exam with their primary care provider indicating that there has been no change in their lung health.
    • Documented proof of COVID vaccine(s) is required by most hospitals/ same-day surgery centers. Students must comply with the facility policy and, in most cases, be fully vaccinated. Students must be aware that the school cannot guarantee clinical experiences (e.g. pediatrics, cardiac, major medical anesthesiology) in the event that a student decides to not be vaccinated. This could result in a delay of program completion, or, the inability to complete the program.
    • These requirements meet or exceed the Standards and Guidelines set by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

  • Students with transcripts from universities outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada (except for the Quebec Province) must take and pass English proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a minimum score of 74%
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo with a minimum score of 100.

  • Your application must include the following items:

    1. A completed application form
    2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution.)
    3. An official transcript(s) for the applicant’s nursing degree, and for any coursework represented on the Academic Evaluation Form completed as part of the application process, if separate from the Bachelor’s degree transcript.
    4. An official transcript for a college-level chemistry or pre-anesthesia course completed with a letter grade of “B” or better in the last five years. The course should have some element of inorganic, organic, and/ or biochemistry. All prerequisite courses must be taken at an accredited college/ university. Classes may be taken at an accredited two- year college. In progress coursework will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may affect application ranking.
      • Saint Mary’s is able to order transcripts on behalf of applicants from institutions that allow third-party requests. Contact your enrollment counselor for more details.
      • Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission
        • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
          2500 Park Avenue
          Minneapolis, MN 55404
        • Or electronically: tcadmission@smumn.edu
    5. A personal statement that includes the following:
      • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
      • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
      • description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
      • personal information the applicant wishes to share. Please do not state any personal identifying information within the essay, as the essays are blinded for the readers to ensure a fair process.
    6. Two professional references, one of which must be from a current supervisor, as requested by the program by the admission deadline of September 15;
    7. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

  • Fall 2025: September 15, 2024

  • Fall: September 2, 2025

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make your education affordable.

Course Catalog

You’ll take courses such as:

  • Applied Chemistry and Physics for Nurse Anesthesia
  • Applied Epidemiology in Evidence-Based Practice 
  • Advanced Principles of Anesthesia Practice 

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Career Outlook

The intense demand for nurse anesthetists is expected to skyrocket by 40% between now and 2031.3 The DNP in Nurse Anesthesiology at Saint Mary’s prepares you 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.

Nurse Anesthetist

$235,000 per year*

Related Programs

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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 Anesthesiology for the purpose of meeting educational requirements for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse.  

    Many other states require CRNAs to obtain designated licensure from their state nursing board in order to practice; students should check with their state to verify requirements. For additional information about Saint Mary’s graduate program in Nurse Anesthesiology and professional licensure, visit our Professional Licensure page.

    • Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minn.
    • Amery Hospital & Clinic, Amery, WI.
    • Gunderson St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Wabasha, Minn.
    • Aspirus St. Mary’s Hospital, Rhinelander, WI.
    • Cambridge Medical Center, Cambridge, Minn.
    • CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud, Minn.
    • CentraCare – Plaza Surgery Center, St. Cloud, Minn.
    • Children’s Minnesota Hospital, Minneapolis, Minn.
    • Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Crosby, Minn.
    • Allina District One Hospital, Faribault, 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.
    • Health Partners Lakeview Hospital, Stillwater, Minn.
    • Lakewood Health System, Staples, Minn.
    • Lakewalk Surgery Center Duluth, Minn.
    • M Health Fairview East Bank, Minneapoois, 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 New Prague, New Prague, Minn.
    • Mercy Hospital (Mercy & Unity Campuses), Coon Rapids, Minn.
    • Northfield Hospital, Northfield, Minn.
    • Owatonna Hospital, Owatonna, 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. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth, Minn.
    • Surgical Specialty Center of Minnesota, St. Louis Park, Minn.
    • HSHS St. Vincent’s Hospital, Green Bay, WI.
    • Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis, Minn.

  • Applicants must submit a transcript for a college-level chemistry course completed with a letter grade of “B” or better in the last five years. The course should have some element of inorganic, organic, and/ or biochemistry. All prerequisite courses must be taken at an accredited college/ university. Classes may be taken at an accredited two-year college. In progress coursework will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may affect application ranking.

  • Applicants must meet the chemistry requirement within five years of the applicant anticipating starting the program. For example, if a student is planning to apply for a fall 2025 start, they must demonstrate they have completed a Chemistry course that meets the stated requirements and ended in summer 2020 or after.

  • Yes, the course can be in-progress at the time of application, however, it may affect the applicant’s application ranking, meaning a candidate with a completed chemistry course may be selected over someone who has not completed the chemistry requirement for matriculation into the program.

  • Nurse Anesthesiology curriculum is very science dense. It is important for the program to evaluate the candidate’s recent science experiences as part of the application process. It is also important for students to take a recent science course to confirm they are ready for the rigor of a nurse anesthesiology program.

  • Yes, the course does meet the chemistry requirement for matriculation into the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesiology. The candidate must contact other nurse anesthesiology programs to determine if they will also accept the course as a chemistry prerequisite. Please share the DNP800 course website if they have questions or concerns. Learn more here.

  • At this time Saint Mary’s does accept the Barry pre-anesthesia course (ANE 695) as a chemistry prerequisite, in addition to our own pre-anesthesia course (DNP800). Otherwise, Saint Mary’s Nurse Anesthesiology program does require applicants to take a college-level chemistry course as described above. The best thing an applicant can do is KEEP THE COURSE SYLLABUS, just in case Saint Mary’s admissions department should have any questions.

  • The DNP application process is lengthy, as is the file review process. The deadline for applications each year is September 15. It then takes 5 weeks to ensure all documents are present and ready for the Nurse Anesthesiology department to review the files. All Essays are blinded and evaluated by CRNA instructors and faculty to ensure fairness. The complete file is then taken into consideration, and the most qualified individuals are offered an interview to determine if they are a good fit for Saint Mary’s, and, for the candidate to determine if Saint Mary’s is a good fit for them! Nurse Anesthesiology plans to conduct remote or in-person interviews in December through January. Acceptance letters are sent out in February for a fall start in the program.

  • Yes, Saint Mary’s does keep a very short wait list. It does not roll over from year to year. For example, if a student was on the waitlist to start the program in fall of 2022, and they did not matriculate into the program, then they must reapply and go through the process again for the fall of 2023 and so-on.

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Sources and Disclaimer

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm (visited July 31, 2023).
  2. Science Direct, Work patterns, socio-demographic characteristics and job satisfaction of the CRNA workforce – Findings from the 2019 AANA survey of CRNAs at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0029655420307193 (Visited July 31, 2023).
  3. American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology, 2021 CRNA Compensation & Benefits Survey at https://store.aana.com/Products/ProductDetails/S-ANA-001/2021-CRNA-Compensation-!26-Benefits-Survey (visited July 31, 2023).