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Program overview

The first 12 months of this 36-month program begin with building a foundational knowledge in the sciences. Academic knowledge is then integrated with clinical experiences during the last 24 months through completion of anesthesia courses, simulation, and clinical training. Experienced anesthesia providers guide student learning in every setting. The low student-to-faculty ratio promotes student success in the clinical and classroom setting. Like clinical progression, Doctoral coursework progresses throughout the program culminating in a scholarly project. These exceptional experiences will prepare you in planning and managing general and regional anesthetic care for patients across the lifespan.

Simulation

Students spend over 100 hours in simulation. The human patient simulator provides opportunities for students and clinicians to experience critical anesthesia events that infrequently occur in clinical practice. Our program is unique in that it includes a comprehensive course on anesthesia crisis resource management (ACRM).

In addition to high-fidelity simulation, nurse anesthesia students utilize a variety of training modules to learn complex and invasive procedures such as advanced airway devices, central lines, spinals, epidurals, peripheral nerve blocks, ultrasound, and more.

Application

The deadline for application admission is September 1 preceding the summer in which you would start your Doctorate education. Access the Admissions Information for details on the application process and admission requirements.

The Admissions Committee will invite for interview those applicants whom they consider to be capable of the greatest success in Doctoral studies and the anesthesia program. Academic achievement, evidence of sound physical and emotional health, ethical and moral character, and motivation to undertake serious study are essential for graduate school success. Average class size is 18-20 students.

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Program FAQs

What qualifies as critical care experience?

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) defines critical care as “where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (e.g., pulmonary artery, central venous pressure, and arterial catheters), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive infusions.”

I practice nursing in an Emergency Department (ED) or Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), do I meet the critical care nursing requirement?

While ED and PACU nursing is complex and important, it does not meet the program’s definition of critical care. The program defines critical care nursing as the regular and consistent delivery of high acuity professional registered nursing care to patients with complex pathology who may require mechanical ventilation, vasoactive infusions, and advanced hemodynamic monitoring. Critical care populations include neonate, pediatric, adult, and geriatric.

Is a Missouri Registered Nurse (RN) license required to apply to the program?

No. Upon acceptance and throughout the program, students must maintain an unencumbered Missouri registered nurse (RN) license. Prior to the second-year of the program, students must also obtain RN licensure for Kansas and Oklahoma.

Is shadowing a CRNA required for application?

No, shadowing is not required, but is strongly recommended.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required for application?

In previous years, the GRE has been a requirement for admission. As of March 2022, the GRE is no longer a requirement for admission.

Do I need to be certified in critical care nursing for my application to be considered?

Yes, as of 2022, all applicants must be CCRN, or equivalent, certified.

Can I submit a program application with outstanding prerequisites?

Yes, provided you are enrolled or plan to enroll into the outstanding course(s). All outstanding prerequisites must be completed by January 1 of the program enrollment year. Admission offers are contingent on successful completion of all prerequisite coursework.

If I previously applied to the UHTMC School of Nurse Anesthesia and wish to reapply, what are the requirements?

In order to be reconsidered, all application materials must be resubmitted through NursingCAS.

Do students get personal leave?

The program prioritizes student health and wellness. First-year students follow the UMKC academic calendar with observed holidays and breaks. Second-year students are allotted 10 days of personal leave and third-year students are allotted an additional 10 days of personal leave for time away from the program (mental health, vacation, sick time, and study time). Students may not carry over personal leave days from year two to three. In addition, students are allowed up to 5 professional days to attend national professional meetings, medical missions, and other pre-approved professional activities throughout the program.

Can a student be granted a leave of absence?

Leave of absence is granted only under exceptional circumstances.

Are holidays observed during the clinical practicums?

The University Health Truman Medical Center (UHTMC) School of Nurse Anesthesia observes eight national holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Students scheduled to work on a holiday will receive an extra personal day off in lieu of the holiday worked.

Is health insurance available?

UHTMC provides health insurance for the individual student at no cost to the student. Family plans are also available for purchase.

Is malpractice insurance provided?

Professional liability insurance coverage is provided by UHTMC for all students during the program.

Is housing or transportation provided?

Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the student. Students will be required to travel to clinical sites outside the Kansas City area. For clinical affiliate rotations greater than 60 miles from UHTMC School of Nurse Anesthesia, housing is provided for the student. Currently, there is no cost to the student for housing at distant educational sites.

Is financial assistance available?

Financial assistance information is available through UMKC Financial Aid and Scholarships Department.

What time commitment should I expect?

Students will not be required to commit more than 64 hours per week. This time commitment includes the sum of the hours spent in the classroom and clinical setting. This does not include time spent studying for course work which is dependent on the student.

Will I take call?

Students are assigned to take call with a CRNA Instructor only following the completion of basic orientation. Students do not have clinical commitments on the day following call. Students are, however, required to attend any scheduled classes on their day off after call.

Can I work while I’m in nurse anesthesia school?

No student anesthetist, by position or responsibility, may be employed at any time to administer anesthesia, at any location, during the program. Part-time employment is strongly advised against and should not interfere with academic and clinical commitments. Students who have academic or clinical problems should not seek part-time employment as a nurse until such problems are resolved.

Do you accept transfer students?

UHTMC School of Nurse Anesthesia does not accept transfer students from other anesthesia programs. Should a UHTMC student wish to transfer to another program, all necessary records will be remitted upon proper request.

Is it possible that graduation may be deferred?

Deferred graduation will be considered whenever the student has not successfully completed the minimum clinical and didactic anesthesia requirements as defined by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

Why a DNP?

Completion of the DNP program encompasses the vision of the Institute of Medicine recommendations for future healthcare providers and advanced practice nurses. The degree is guided by the essential requirements set forth by the AACN, CCNE, and COA as essential for doctoral level education in advanced practice nurse anesthesia.

What is the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists?

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional association representing over 50,000 nurse anesthetists.

Is there a state association for nurse anesthetists?

Yes, each state has a professional association. Information can be found on the Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists website.

How is the job market?

CRNA job search.

Where can I find out more about Kansas City?