Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia (DNP-NA) Program Requirements

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  • Sheryl Steadman, Dean
  • Daniel Bunker, Associate Professor, Program Director
  • Ted Morris, Assistant Professor
  • Art Shimata, Professor
  • James Stimpson, Professor
  • Chris Torman, Associate Professor, Assistant Program Director



The mission of the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia program at Westminster University is to provide an academic environment which allows nurse anesthesia students to master the intellectual and technical skills required to become competent in the safe administration of anesthesia. The program accomplishes this by admitting a select group of experienced, graduate level nurses and then providing them with the highest level of didactic instruction, anesthesia simulation, and clinical site experiences. Our nurse anesthesia graduates develop life-long critical thinking skills and the professionalism needed to become compassionate, patient-centered anesthesia providers. We are committed to upholding the standards set forth by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) and the Council on Accreditation (COA) to produce skilled nurse anesthetists who are qualified to sit for the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) Examination. By this educational endeavor, it is the mission of the DNP-NA program at Westminster University to contribute to filling the urban and rural community needs for anesthesia providers.

Program Outcomes

A graduate of the DNP-NA program:

  • Evaluates delivery of a safe anesthetic with vigilant protection of the patient and prevention of complications.
  • Develops individualized perianesthetic care throughout anesthetic continuum to patients of all ages and physical conditions.
  • Integrates skill and knowledge necessary to function as a resource person for airway and ventilator management of patients in a variety of settings.
  • Utilizes critical thinking, decision making, and the application of sound principles and evidence-based research in practice.
  • Applies mastery of anesthesia concepts and skills by passing the NBCRNA certification examination.
  • Develops verbal, nonverbal, and written communication necessary to influence patient care.
  • Integrates professional attributes necessary to accept responsibility and accountability of a new anesthesia practice.
  • Proposes politically active advancements in nurse anesthesia.

Progression in the Program

The student must:

  • Receive a grade of 82% or higher in all DNP-NA courses.
  • Maintain a current, unencumbered RN license.
  • Complete the program within four years of initial admission date.
  • Complete doctoral level project by the deadline assigned by course faculty.
  • Maintain a background check free of arrest and/or criminal history. Report any criminal arrests and/or criminal incidents within 24 hours to the Program Director.
  • Maintain a negative drug screen. Report any change or prescribed use of mind-altering substances, including narcotics, within 24 hours to the Program Director.
  • Remain in good standing at clinical sites.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for a doctoral degree, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.
  • Be enrolled at Westminster University during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
  • Earn a grade of 82% or higher in all DNP-NA courses.
  • Earn an average clinical score greater than 3.0 on daily and term evaluations.

Note: Only upper-level coursework may be applied toward degree requirements. Please note that the program requires that students must earn a grade of B (82%) or higher in all program courses to qualify for graduation, regardless of their cumulative GPA. The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual. Continued communication with the faculty advisor is recommended.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 90 credit hours is required for graduation. Clinical cases must include all minimum numbers as directed by the Council on Accreditation. Please see the DNP-NA Student Handbook for specific information regarding clinical cases.

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 90  
DNPNA 710 Epidemiology/Population Health 3  
DNPNA 715 Healthcare Policy & Economics 3  
DNPNA 720 Evidence-Based Practice 3  
DNPNA 725 Leadership & Role Development 3  
DNPNA 730 Advanced Statistics for Clinical Practice  3  
DNPNA 731 Advanced Health Assessment 3  
DNPNA 732 Gross Anatomy 3  
DNPNA 733 Research Methods 2  
DNPNA 734 Chemistry & Physics 2  
DNPNA 740 Advanced Theory & Ethical Issues 3  
DNPNA 745 Informatics in Health Care Systems 3  
DNPNA 750 Quality and Safety 3  
DNPNA 760 Legal Concerns 2  
DNPNA 811 Advanced Physiology 4  
DNPNA 812 Advanced Pharmacology I 4  
DNPNA 813 Anesthesia Principles I 2  
DNPNA 814 Anesthesia Simulation I 2  
DNPNA 821 Advanced Pathophysiology 4  
DNPNA 822 Advanced Pharmacology II 3  
DNPNA 823 Anesthesia Principles II 3  
DNPNA 824 Anesthesia Simulation II 2  
DNPNA 831 Anesthesia Seminar I 1  
DNPNA 832 Advanced Anesthesia Principles I 2  
DNPNA 833 Clinical Practicum I 4  
DNPNA 911 Anesthesia Seminar II 1  
DNPNA 912 Advanced Principles of Anesthesia II 2  
DNPNA 913 Research Practicum I 1  
DNPNA 914 Clinical Practicum II 4  
DNPNA 921 Anesthesia Seminar III 1  
DNPNA 922 Advanced  Anesthesia Principles III 1  
DNPNA 923 Research Practicum II 2  
DNPNA 924 Clinical Research Practicum III 4  
DNPNA 931 Anesthesia Seminar IV 1  
DNPNA 932 Advanced Anesthesia Principles IV 1  
DNPNA 933 NCE Review 1  
DNPNA 934 Clinical Practicum IV 4  
Total Hours for the Program 90  

Recommended Plan of Study