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Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Program

The Drexel MSN in Nurse Anesthesia is a 28-month, 90-quarter credit, full-time integrated program that begins each January. Upon successful completion of the program's outcomes the student is awarded an MSN and is eligible to take the national certification examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), the Council on certification of nurse anesthetists.

The MSN core and research courses are provided in an online format with some blended virtual class requirements. All anesthesia core and science coursework is offered at Drexel University's Center City campus in Philadelphia or via video conferencing for students enrolled in the distance program located in central Pennsylvania.

Graduates of this program are able to provide safe, compassionate, culturally competent anesthesia care in rapidly changing practice environments. The MSN educational experience will facilitate your professional growth and development into a competent, knowledgeable and vigilant nurse anesthesia practitioner.

What you'll learn

The Nurse Anesthesia program is an advanced-practice nursing specialty track providing challenging learning experiences. You'll be engaged to think critically and make evidence-based decisions to expand your nursing knowledge and enhance patient outcomes.

Students take part in nurse anesthesia clinical practicum under direct supervision of certified registered nurse anesthetists and/or anesthesiologists to learn how to administer a variety of anesthetics including sedation during monitored anesthesia care, general anesthesia, and regional anesthesia. Additional clinical subspecialty rotations provide anesthesia management experience for the obstetrical, pediatric, cardiac, and neurosurgical patients.

The program curriculum currently offers:

  • 19 theoretical nursing and research quarter credits.
  • 15 quarter credit science component.
  • 31 quarter credit didactic anesthesia component integrated with a 25-credit clinical practicum. 

Those applicants who already have an MS in nursing follow the same curriculum as MSN students but only complete 72-quarter credits in the post master's certificate (PMC) program.

What makes the Drexel Nurse Anesthesia program unique?

  • Premiere clinical sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware providing comprehensive anesthesia case experience.
  • Smart classroom technology with archived lectures online to use for examination preparation.
  • Personalized plan of part-time study to complete MSN core courses online prior to full-time enrollment.
  • You are part of the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions with access to clinical practice environments and interprofessional simulated health care scenarios.

The Nurse Anesthesia Program’s attrition rate is 15%.

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Admission Requirements

Technical Standards - Anesthesia

Note: The priority deadline to submit an application for the January 2017 cohort is April 15, 2015. Applications received after the April 15, 2015 deadline will be considered on a space-available, case by case basis until September 15, 2015.  The Nurse Anesthesia Program receives approximately 130 complete applications per year and accepts 20 students per class.

An on-campus interview is required for admission and will be held after the application deadlines.  Selection of qualified candidates for interview is based upon meeting the admissions criteria as well as the quality of the application materials. Therefore every applicant who meets the admission criteria is not offered an interview. 

Selected candidates who complete the personal interview with the program’s admissions committee will be notified of the committee's decision approximately four weeks after the interview. Candidates who accept the offer of admission will receive a part-time plan of study outlining the M.S.N. core courses to complete online prior to beginning the program full-time. 

Accepted candidates can request a deferral of admission for one year prior to their full-time start date. A request of deferral is granted only once and must be made in writing to the Chair of the Nurse Anesthesia Program.

Degree:
A bachelor's degree with a major in nursing (BSN) from a CCNE or NLN accredited program. A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in both BSN and general science coursework.

Standardized Tests:
Acceptable GRE/MAT scores required and taken within five years of application. Waived for GPA 3.5 or higher and science GPA > 3.25.

Transcripts:

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
  • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions

Prerequisites:
N/A

References:
Three references required from the following who can attest to applicant's clinical knowledge, skill, and potential aptitude for graduate study:

  • Nurse manager,
  • Physician, or clinical supervisor,
  • Clinical Educator, or professor.
  • References will not be accepted from colleagues or family members.
  • You may use our electronic letter of recommendation service
  • If a recommender prefers to submit an original, hard copy letter, please remind them that it must include an ink signature and be submitted in a sealed envelope.

Personal Statement/ Essay:
Describe past professional and educational accomplishments and future goals for graduate nurse anesthesia education.

Interview/Portfolio:
An on-campus interview is required for admission and will be held after the application deadlines. Selection of qualified candidates for interview is based upon meeting the admissions criteria as well as the quality of the application materials. Therefore every applicant who meets the admission criteria is not offered an interview. Selected candidates who complete the personal interview with the program’s admissions committee will be notified of the committee's decision approximately four weeks after the interview. Candidates who accept the offer of admission will receive a part-time plan of study outlining the M.S.N. core courses to complete online prior to beginning the program full-time.

CV/Resume:
Required.

Licenses:
Unencumbered licensed or eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware

Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience:
A minimum of two years recent full-time critical care experience where the registered professional nurse has direct patient care and manages invasive hemodynamic monitors (such as pulmonary artery catheter; CVP; arterial), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive drips (such as norepinephrine, epinephrine; dobutamine; nicardipine; nitroglycerine). Preferred areas include: SICU (Surgical Intensive Care), MICU (Medical Intensive Care), CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care), Coronary Intensive Care, PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and a Level I Emergency/Trauma Unit are also acceptable. Other areas may be considered provided competence can be demonstrated with invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.

International Students:
International applicants, as well as immigrants to the United States and U.S. permanent residents whose native language is not English and who have not received a bachelor's degree or higher in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, must show proficiency in English speaking as well as listening, writing and reading. American citizens born on U.S. military bases abroad may be waived from the TOEFL requirement after providing documentation of this status. Otherwise, applicants must meet one of the following requirements: 

If you take the TOEFLiBT exam, you must have:

  • a minimum combined score for listening, writing, and reading sections of 79 plus a speaking section score of 26 or higher.
  • a minimum score of 550 or higher and a Test of Spoken English score (TSE) of 55 or higher.

Tuition and Fee Rates:
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central

Application Link (if outside organization):
N/A

Candidates who meet the admission criteria are invited for a personal interview with the program’s admission committee. The above criteria and personal interview will serve as the basis to accept/reject each candidate. Candidates will be notified of the committee’s decision approximately two to four weeks after the interview. Candidates who are accepted into the program are eligible to take MSN core courses prior to beginning the program full time.

The Nurse Anesthesia Program’s attrition rate is 10%

Curriculum

Nurse Anesthesia Didactic Curriculum

The anesthesia core curriculum exceeds the requirements of the AANA Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The basic principles of nurse anesthesia practice and perioperative patient management introduce the student to the scope of the profession.

The overview of nurse anesthesia course offered in the first quarter is complemented by a 9 week simulated clinical experience in which small student groups practice basic anesthesia skills, including:

Pre-operative anesthesia preparation utilizing pharmacological agents and anesthesia equipment.
Interaction with standardized patient actors to practice a pre-operative anesthesia interview and health assessment
Hands-on experience with airway management and regional anesthesia techniques.
Participation in the anesthesia process of induction, maintenance and emergence
An overview of professional aspects of nurse anesthesia practice is integrated throughout the curriculum.

A separate chemistry and physics course related to nurse anesthesia practice is offered in the spring quarter of the first year.

Pharmacology I and II for nurse anesthetists provide a comprehensive study of anesthetic agents and pharmacologic adjuncts related to anesthesia.

Advanced principles of nurse anesthesia practice I, II and III, which provide theoretical and evidence based concepts, facilitate the student’s ability to modify the anesthetic management based upon the patient's physiological and pathophysiological state.

The anesthesia seminar course enhances research and writing skills, offers experience with Peer Review and promotes student scholarship on campus and at the state and national level.

In the final quarter, the clinical correlative seminar course encompasses an extensive curricular review to prepare for the program's comprehensive exam and national certification exam.

Nurse Anesthesia Clinical Practicum

The nurse anesthesia clinical practicum is offered at one of several sites located in the tri-state area.

  • Under direct supervision of certified registered nurse anesthetists and/or anesthesiologists, students administer a variety of anesthetics including sedation during monitored anesthesia care, general anesthesia, and regional anesthesia.
  • Administration of over 650 anesthetics and an average of 1,500 clinical hours by providing anesthesia for a variety of clinical cases including procedures out of the operating room. Students also gain skill in inserting invasive monitoring lines and performing alternative airway techniques.
  • Additional clinical subspecialty rotations provide anesthesia management experience for the obstetrical, cardiac, and neurosurgical patients. A three month pediatric rotation is completed at either AI DuPont Hospital or St. Christopher for Children. Those students contemplating specializing in pediatric anesthesia may request to participate in an additional one month general or cardiac anesthesia rotation at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Accreditation

The Nurse Anesthesia program is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). In 2010, the program received the maximum accreditation status of ten years from the COA. home.coa.us.com/

Outcomes

The integrated didactic and clinical curriculum of the Drexel University Nurse Anesthesia Program is designed so that each graduate has the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to enter into practice. In addition, the graduate needs to be capable of demonstrating the following clinical, professional, research and didactic outcomes:

  • Perform a preanesthetic assessment and formulate a comprehensive anesthetic care plan tailored to the patient’s medical, cultural and surgical needs
  • Demonstrate autonomy in the safe administration and management of an anesthetic technique tailored to the patient’s medical, cultural and surgical needs
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and decision-making skills throughout the perioperative experience
  • Integrate sound theoretical nurse anesthesia knowledge into clinical practice
  • Practice within the legal and ethical framework of a registered professional nurse, accepting responsibility and demonstrating accountability for personal and professional behaviors
  • Evaluate and modify the quality and effectiveness of clinical practice based on current research findings, standards of care and patient outcomes
  • Contribute to the advancement of nurse anesthesia practice, health care and humanity through leadership, collaboration and education
  • Attainment of Council of Accreditation requirements as specified by the NBCRNA Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetist’s (CCNA) that prepares the graduate for certification eligibility/Graduates are eligible to take the Certification Examination for Nurse Anesthetists offered by the Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Drexel University’s Nurse Anesthesia Department's class of 2015 had a 100% pass rate on the NBCRNA National Certification Exam.