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Technical Standards for Nurse Anesthesia


The Nurse Anesthesia Program strives to educate students who are competent, vigilant, caring nurse anesthetists, able to think critically, and incorporate the newly acquired knowledge and evidence to provide safe anesthesia care across the lifespan in rapidly changing healthcare environments. As such, the program faculty has determined that certain technical standards are requisite for admission, progression and graduation from the program.

An individual must be able to independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, meet the following technical standards of general abilities and those specifically of observation; communication; motor; intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; as well as essential behavioral and social attributes. Individuals unable to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, are counseled to pursue alternate careers.

General abilities: The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, taste, and smell so that data received by the senses may be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. A student must also possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, position equilibrium, and movement that are important to the student’s ability to gather significant information needed to effectively evaluate patients.

Observational Ability: The student must have sufficient capacity to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of laboratory studies and patient care activities.

Communication Ability: The student must communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, posture; and perceive non-verbal communications from patients and others. Each student must have the ability to read and write, comprehend and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, their family members, and other professionals in health care settings where written medical records, verbal presentations, and patient counseling and instruction are integral to effective medical practice and patient care. The student must communicate effectively verbally and in writing with instructors and other students in the classroom setting, as well.

Motor Ability: The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to perform complete physical examinations utilizing the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student must develop the psychomotor skills reasonably needed to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment utilized in the general and emergent care of patients required in practice as a nurse anesthetist. The student must be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium; have sufficient levels of postural control, neuromuscular control, and eye-to-hand coordination; and to possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving, and physical exertion required for satisfactory and safe performance in the clinical and classroom settings.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: The student must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are crucial to practice as a nurse anesthetist. Problem solving involves the abilities to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures; to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize objective and subjective data; and to make decisions that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. A student must have the capacity to read and comprehend medical literature. Each student must demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature to formulate sound judgment in patient assessment and diagnostic and therapeutic planning.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, effective interpersonal skills, and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in nurse anesthesia practice. Personal comfort and acceptance of the role of a dependent practitioner functioning under supervision is essential for training and practice as a student nurse anesthetist. The student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of the student’s intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom setting, as well as those in the clinical setting, attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team. Each student must have the emotional stability required to exercise stable, sound judgment and to complete assessment and interventional activities. The ability to establish rapport and maintain sensitive, interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds is critical for practice as a nurse anesthetist. The student must be able to function effectively under stress; adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings, effectively interact in the clinical setting with other members of the healthcare team; and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice.

Ability to Manage Stressful Situations: The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively to stressful situations in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations. Students will encounter multiple stressors while in the nurse anesthesia program. These stressors may be (but are not limited to) personal, patient care/family, faculty/peer, and or program related.

In accordance with law and Drexel University policy, no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of that disability, be excluded from participation in Drexel University programs or activities. Drexel University will provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability.

To obtain accommodations, individuals must request them from the Office of Student Disability Services that can be contacted at the following address:

Office of Disability Services
3201 Arch Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Mailing Address:
3141 Chestnut Street, 81-210, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215.895.1401
TTY 215.895.2299 (Reserved for those who are deaf or hard of hearing)
Fax: 215.895.1402

News & Events



Trevon Friar, MSN, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, graduated in June 2020 from Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions.Trevon Friar, MSN '20, was on his way to being a physician. He was in a pre-med program with a plan mapped out until his grandmother needed help caring for his grandfather, who had fallen ill. In his heart, he knew he had to do it. Friar may have left school, but he did not leave his dream of being a health professional behind. He lovingly cared for his grandfather for three years while working as a certified nurse assistant. As he was about to restart his education in earnest, his mentor, a psychiatrist, explained advances in psychiatric care, putting an alternative path in motion.

Instead of returning to pre-med, Friar went to nursing school before coming to Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions for its nurse practitioner program. He chose psychiatry as his specialty because he understood the lack of experience and awareness of mental illness from a young age when his uncle was tragically shot during a psychotic break. "People are illiterate when it comes to mental illness, and often those with challenges are stigmatized. And because of what happened to my uncle, I wanted to understand schizophrenia and how the brain worked," Friar shared.

His curiosity and compassion grew while at Drexel. He admits that an online program gave him pause—he likes getting questions answered in real-time and having the professor in front of him—but quickly became enthusiastic. Friar shared that his professors never showed any irritation with the volume of questions he would ask. "Dr. Garcia knew how intrigued I was by psychiatry. She understood my desire to know the 'why' behind everything specifically from someone who's practicing," he remembers. Friar was frustrated after failing the first exam in his specialty, and when he emailed Garcia asking if they could set up a one-on-one, she responded within ten minutes. The two talked the next day about one particular scenario on the test, and it is one lesson that sticks with him to this day. "A patient presented with depression, so I started with the standard SSRI treatment. I neglected the patients the other symptoms that indicated bipolar disorder," he said. Friar remains very grateful to Garcia because, if this were real, "I could have harmed the patient because I wasn't listening. I've never told her that, but I will now."

That example, being included in treatment decision-making and receiving compliments about his understanding of mental illness, reaffirms his choice to attend Drexel. The psychiatrists Friar works with will frequently tell him that his knowledge is beyond what they'd expect from an NP, and other psychiatric nurse practitioners often ask him where he went to school because they weren't taught many of the things he knew. All this preparation helps him explain 'why' and process the things causing his patients to want to end their lives or hurt others. His personal mission is to be a highly responsive, kind psychiatric care provider, so his patients know they have someone who genuinely cares about them in their corner. "I want to know I helped someone feel better about themselves today and that I gave them hope and the motivation to continue forward so they can be their best—for their family, their friends, their children," Friar stated.

He also is determined to educate others, health professionals in particular, and to destigmatize mental illness. It is this lack of awareness that perpetuates ignorance, like in the situation with his uncle. When hospital colleagues say he deals with "crazy people," Friar is quick to correct them. "I point out that the illness my people have is of the brain just like pulmonology is lungs and cardiology, the heart. Then I ask them not to speak about my patients like that again," he asserted.

These are just a couple of instances demonstrating the uniqueness of CNHP's Master of Science in Nursing and its psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specialty. Friar readily shares advice with anyone contemplating a similar path. He will say to pursue what they love in nursing—nurse leadership, women's health, pediatrics, gerontology, etc.—because doing what they love will make them extraordinary clinicians in their specialty. "Of course, I'm biased. Psychiatry is the best specialty with too few practitioners, and Drexel has the most exceptional program. It made me the clinician I am today and a champion of psychiatric care for my patients," he concluded.

Trevon Friar, MSN, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, graduated in June 2020 and works at HCA Physician Services Group, Psychiatry in Tampa, Florida, providing in- and outpatient psychiatric–mental health services.U.S. News & World Report ranks the College of Nursing and Health Professions #3 in Nurse Practitioner – Psychiatric Mental Health.


Written by Roberta S. Perry


Building and serving our communities are at the heart of Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions core values and mission. One of the ways we, faculty, students and professional staff, are encouraged to do this is through civic engagement, and there are many of us that help advance health equity and social justice by volunteering.

Graphic with statistics about volunteerism in PA

In Pennsylvania, 3.5M volunteers annually contribute 341 million hours of service, according to a 2018 Volunteering in America report. These PA volunteers spread their time across religious organizations, cultural and arts events, educational and youth services, political, professional or international groups, and environmental or animal care endeavors. For National Volunteer Week, we are highlighting individuals at the college who dedicate their time and talent to causes that are important to them.

Ann MaddenAnnie Madden, MHS, Assistant Clinical Professor, Physician Assistant Department

What: Madden has been baking desserts for 70 Meals on Wheels recipients for the last year.
Why: I provide support to those in my community.
Benefit: I bake with my sons and husband, so it is a time to be together and give back on a monthly basis.

Michele Rattigan, MA, Clinical Associate Professor, Creative Arts Therapies and DHSc Student at Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions

Michele Rattigan, MA, Clinical Associate Professor, Creative Arts Therapies and DHSc Student

What: Rattigan currently is the Gateway Region Officials coordinator for Odyssey of the Mind: NJ and has served as a board member for ten years.
Why: I have the opportunity to support children's creativity in STEM fields, or more appropriately, STEAM!
Benefit: I enjoy the comradery of like-minded individuals who believe, like me, that supporting children's creativity can lead to their future innovations and discoveries to make this world a better place.

Leon Vinci, DHA, Adjunct Faculty, Health AdministrationLeon Vinci, DHA, Adjunct Faculty in the Health Administration department, Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions

What: Vinci is the vice president of the Virginia Environmental Health Association board of directors and oversee the statewide scholarship program and assist with the professional development of our membership and other environmental health practitioners across the Commonwealth. He is also the chair the scholarship committee and sits on the corporation board of Faculty for the Knights of Columbus in Roanoke, VA.
Why: I provide guidance and lend my expertise to this statewide professional organization's services and activities. My volunteering enhances the professionalism of our membership, provides scholarship opportunities for students studying in this field, and moves the agenda forward for statewide environmental health initiatives.
Benefit: Seeing students benefited by our scholarships move-on to their future careers in Public Health is very rewarding. Often, these emerging health professionals become leaders throughout the field. Giving my time and talent is a great way "to give back" and to assist the goals and services of our group: helping people and improving our community. Providing college scholarship funds to students helps them in many ways. Further, in emphasizing the importance of education, these efforts improve the quality of life and our community.

Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions' Roberta S. Perry, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications volunteering at ThyCa conference

Roberta Perry, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications

What: Perry serves at ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association’s as the newsletter editor, content writer and international conference presenter and mental health and provider/patient relationship advocate.
Why: My experience as a thyroid cancer patient was fraught with missteps, incomplete information and a false sense of security. I did not know about this organization early enough to make more informed decisions and to know that it's common for doctors to minimize our experiences by calling thyroid cancer the "good cancer." As a survivor, ThyCa has helped me so much in coping with the challenges I continue to face. I want to help others avoid the pitfalls I experienced and to be a sounding board for those who just need to talk to someone who has been in their shoes.
Benefit: I have met the most incredible people—strong, generous, intelligent and compassionate. It gives me the opportunity to create or strengthen relationships with care providers and learn about the disease and about resilience.

Joanne Serembus

Joanne Serembus, EdD, Associate Clinical Professor, Advanced Role Nursing

What: Serembus is a volunteer for the Chester County Public Health Department dispensing COVID-19 vaccinations.
Why: We need to get as many vaccinations in arms as possible and I thought this was the least that I could do!
Benefit: Defeating this virus and helping all of us to be together again as a community.

Constance Perry, PhD, Drexel University Health Administration dept. volunteering in Friends of High School Park (FHSP)

Constance Perry, PhD, Associate Professor, Health Administration

What: Perry is a volunteer at Keystone State Boychoir (KSB)/Friends of High School Park (FHSP) and was elected as a board member January 2021. She is part of the wardrobe committee and fills in as a group manager as needed.
Why: I began volunteering with yard work at the park, pulling weeds, sawing fallen limbs, raking, etc. Now, as a board member, I also help organize fund raising events to preserve and manage the park's eco-system and support neighborhood programs. I believe in the mission of both organizations. My son successfully auditioned for KSB when he was eight years old; they support the development of boys through joyful music making. KSB even provides music opportunities for schools that have lost their arts programs. This organization warms my heart. FHSP is a chance for me to give back directly to my local community. The park provides so much to me as a place of solace, peace, neighborly fun during Arts in the Park, shade in the summer, etc. I walk the dog there to see flowers, birds, snakes, foxes, butterflies, etc. The park gives so much to me. I want to work to support it.
Benefit: When you volunteer, you become part of improving the world and meet other kindhearted people. You find joy in the oddest places, like sewing a button or weeding out invasive plants.

Vaccination Clinic at Mercer County Community College. From left to right: Ellen Giarelli, RN EdD, Drexel University, Stephanie Mendelsonn, Medical Reserve Corps Chris Sntoro, NJ Department of Health

Ellen Giarelli, EdD, Associate Professor, Graduate Nursing and Nursing PhD

What: Giarelli has been volunteering at FEMA Medical Reserve Corps of Mercer County New Jersey administering COVID-19 vaccinations and preparing syringes for a year.
Why: To provide a service to my community. Caption for picture: Vaccination Clinic at Mercer County Community College. From left to right: Ellen Giarelli, EdD, Drexel University, Stephanie Mendelsonn, Medical Reserve Corps, Chris Sntoro, NJ Department of Health
Benefit: Camaraderie with other health care providers, supporting the emotional needs of vaccine recipients, facilitate distribution of the vaccine.

Drexel University's Tara Cherwony, BS `18, College of Nursing and Health Professions Recruitment Coordinator, Student Services Department

Tara Cherwony, BS `18, Recruitment Coordinator, Student Services Department

What: Cherwony’s volunteering is twofold. She serves on the Jewish Relief Agency (JRA) board of directors and chair their Leadership Academy Program. She also serves as a Yellow Capper and since the pandemic has been in the warehouse several times a month to sort, pack and deliver monthly food boxes to those who are facing food insecurity in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
Why: I volunteer because I want to be able to give back to the community. I know that regardless of what role I am doing, I am helping get an individual or family food that will take a huge burden off their shoulders every month. Food insecurity (especially since the pandemic) is on the rise, and you never know who may be struggling. With being so hands-on with JRA during the pandemic, I have been able to see the direct impact we make in our client lives.
Benefit: There are so many but being able to connect with our clients and know the difference we are making in their lives is the biggest reward. It has been so hard over the past year, but seeing the community come together although not physically (pre-pandemic we could have upwards of 1,200 volunteers in the warehouse for our monthly food distribution, but now we can only have 25 at a time) to support JRA’s work as we continue to add new clients each month goes to show just how important volunteering is. It feels great being part of a community of people who do so much good for others.

Julie Kinzel, MEd, PA-C

Julie Kinzel, MEd, Interim Department Chair and Program Director, Physician Assistant

What: For the last 20 years, Kinzel has lead Baptism classes, assisted minister, and done committee work, food donations, code blue homeless shelter work at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Why: It feels good to give of my time and talents to various endeavors that I care about and to help others.
Benefit: Volunteering, whether small or large, gives one a sense of pride and overall well-being.

Jessica Moschette, Drexel University's College on Nursing and Health Professions Health Sciences Student

Jessica Moschette, Student, Health Sciences

What: Moschette is a student representative for the Exercise is Medicine-On Campus (EIM-OC) program at Drexel University whose responsibilities include being the voice of the student population. This includes contributing her thoughts, ideas and current news as an undergraduate student during their meetings. She also runs EIM-OC’s social media platforms creating and posting content.
Why: I volunteer because this program is very important. I am proud to support and dedicate my time to a cause that I find to be a crucial element to foster/promote on Drexel’s campus. The initiative to encourage exercise and movement for the community is part of my values and goal in life. As I plan to become a physical therapist, I want to encourage the use of exercise as medicine.
Benefit: From volunteering, I can provide input from the perspective of a student and personal experiences at Drexel. This allows initiatives to reach more students or be more convenient for them. I am also able to make connections with members of Drexel University that are a part of EIM-OC. I get the opportunity to hear their ideas/ thoughts to help reach our goals to unite the different elements of exercise and health on our campus.

Anna Pohuly, Executive Assistant for the senior associate dean of Nursing & Student Affairs and chief academic nursing officer at Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions

Anna Pohuly, Executive Assistant for the senior associate dean of Nursing & Student Affairs

What: Pohuly started volunteering in Drexel’s vaccination clinic this year. She directs people to their appointments and keeps the waiting lines orderly. Prior to working in the clinic, she assisted students with making their appointments.
Why: I enjoy helping people, and love seeing people happy. I have really missed human connection over the last year, so it was nice to see others.
Benefit: Everyone is so happy and grateful to be there, and I was fortunate to be part of it.


March 2021

Six cement trucks lined up to pour the concrete floors.

Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

Cement trucks ready to start pouring concrete floors of the new building.

Click images to magnify

January 2021

Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction 

Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction 

Photo of Drexel Academic Tower construction

December 2020

When the announcement about a new home for the College of Nursing and Health Professions was made in May 2019, no one could have imagined that construction would be delayed by a global pandemic. It was expected that groundbreaking would be in spring 2020 with a substantial completion delivery of mid-2022. Beginning in late July, it is still the hope to maintain the same timeline.

Google Earth screenshot of the location of the Drexel Academic Tower

With CNHP being the first occupants of the new facility, some of the College of Medicine’s administrative functions, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies and its first- and second-year medical program will join the College in phases. President Fry, in a message to the University in late 2019, said “at the new academic building, many of Drexel’s health-related programs will be under one roof, enhancing opportunities for interdisciplinary education in a facility that affords health sciences students, faculty and professional staff the best possible environment for continued development and growth.”


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