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DNP-Nurse Anesthesia


State restrictions may apply to some programs

The Drexel DNP-NA is a clinically focused practice doctoral degree that combines the scientific and theoretical underpinnings with an extensive clinical experience that culminates in the DNP Scholarly Project. The DNP-NA was developed in accord with the DNP Standards as mandated by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, as well as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. The DNP-NA is a 39-month, 135-quarter credit, full-time integrated program that begins each Spring. The first three quarters of the program (Spring, Summer & Fall) are full time and offered entirely online. After the first nine months, students complete the remaining 30 months onsite at Drexel University's campus in Philadelphia. Upon successful completion of the program, the student is awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and is eligible to take the national certification examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions DNP-NA program is fully approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

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

What you will learn

  • The Nurse Anesthesia program is an advanced-practice nursing specialty track providing challenging learning experiences. You will 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 physician 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.

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.
  • 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 for the MSN class that graduated in May 2024 is 5%.

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Admissions Requirements

Completed online application
Applications for Spring 2026 are due March 31, 2025.

Degree Prerequisite:

  • For post-BSN applicants: A baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing (BSN) from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program.
  • For post-MSN applicants: A master’s degree with a major in nursing (MSN) from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program..

Minimum GPA Requirement:
Applicants to the DNP-NA program who completed their education in the United States, with a BSN or MSN, must have a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale in BOTH their last earned/completed degree, AND in their calculated science GPA on our science GPA form.

Certification and Transcripts:

  • Specialty Certification: CCRN or population-specific equivalent required.
  • Transcripts: official transcripts from accredited BSN/MSN program and all undergraduate and graduate schools attended (Please note that official transcripts can take up to six weeks to arrive)
  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that the applicant has attended.
  • 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 transcripts are not submitted from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If the school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.

Professional Licensure:

  • Current unencumbered United States Registered Nurse (RN) License with eligibility for licensure in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware
    • Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware RN licensure is required six months prior to the start of your clinical components. While this is not a requirement for admission, we recommend starting the process of obtaining licensure immediately after admission.
  • Current American Heart Association CPR (BLS) certification
  • Current Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification
  • Please provide at least one of the following: PALS or ACLS. If admitted, you will be required to have the other certification by the time you enroll in the program.

Personal Statement/Essay:
Submit a statement of interest detailing your desire to pursue a career in nurse anesthesia practice, your long-term career goals, and identify a current clinical practice problem impacting nurse anesthesia practice.

Please limit your statement of interest to two pages, double spaced, using Times New Roman, 12-point font.

Current CV/Resume:
A current curriculum vitae detailing academic and professional experience.

Three (3) references are required from the following individuals who can attest to the applicant's clinical knowledge, clinical skill, and potential aptitude for graduate-level study:

  • Nurse manager
  • Physician, or clinical supervisor
  • Clinical Educator, or professor

References will not be accepted from colleagues, friends, CRNA/anesthesiologist shadowed by the applicant, or family members

Applicants may use Drexel's 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.

Clinical Critical Care Experience:
The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs defines a critical care setting:
Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a US military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse has developed critical decision-making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. A critical care area is defined as one 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. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to: surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care, pediatric intensive care and neonatal intensive care. Those who have experiences in other areas may be considered provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators and critical care pharmacology.

  • Applicants to the DNP-NA program will possess a minimum of two years (post-orientation) full-time experience working with the most critically ill patients.

Technical Standards:
The Nurse Anesthesia Program requires that all applicants must be able to meet the technical standards for admission, progression and graduation. The technical standards can be found by clicking on this link: Technical Standards-Nurse Anesthesia.

Tuition and Fees:
Cost of Attendance for Graduate Programs

DNP Program and Project Introduction
Advanced Pharmacology
Introduction to Advanced Practice Nursing: Professional and Self Development
Intro to Biostats
Advanced Physiology
Evidence-Based Practice: Processes, Structures and Impact
Health Policy and Politics
Applied Epidemiology
Introduction to Nurse Anesthesia Practice
Advanced Health Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning
Appraising Quantitative Evidence: Research Designs and Methodologies
Clinical Ethics and Health Law
Fundamental Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice
Overview of Nurse Anesthesia
Introduction to Simulation for Nurse Anesthesia Practice
Appraising Qualitative Evidence: Research Designs and Methodologies
Nurse Anesthesia Pharmacology I
Nurse Anesthesia Practice Principles I
Clinical Practicum I
Advanced Pathophysiology
Leadership and Management in Healthcare Delivery Systems
Nurse Anesthesia Pharmacology II
Nurse Anesthesia Practice for Special Populations I
Intraprofessional Communication Simulation
Clinical Practicum II
Advanced Pathophysiology II
Nurse Anesthesia Practice for Special Populations II
Nurse Anesthesia Practice Principles II
Clinical Practicum III
Advanced Physiology III
Health Information Technology and Information Systems
Nurse Anesthesia Practice for Special Populations III
DNP Project I: Practice Problem and Search for Evidence
Clinical Practicum IV
Nurse Anesthesia Practice for Special Patient Populations IV
DNP Project II: Project Planning and Design
Clinical Practicum V
Nurse Anesthesia Practice for Special Patient Populations V
Crisis Management in Anesthesia Practice
Clinical Practicum VI
Anesthesia Practice Correlative Seminar I
Nurse Anesthesia Professional Development
DNP Project III: Project Implementation
Clinical Practicum VII
Nurse Anesthesia Practice Correlative Seminar II
DNP Project IV: Project Evaluation and Dissemination
Clinical Residency I
Anesthesia Practice Curricular Review and Certification Exam Preparation
Clinical Residency II


Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSN) program and Doctor of Nursing Practice program received a maximum 10-year continuous accreditation in 2021 from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). The next scheduled review will be in 2031.

Graduates of accredited programs are eligible to take the National Certification Exam (NCE) administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) to be certified in every state as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). 

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA)
10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906
Rosemont, IL 60018-5603
Main Number: 224-275-9130
Fax: 847-728-8128

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Drexel University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Program Outcomes

  • Evaluate evidence-based processes that address practice standards to promote safe and equitable patient-centered care
  • Implement pertinent evidence-based findings to foster practice guidelines that improve population health and the practice environment to support safe and equitable patient-centered care
  • Integrate technology and information systems with advanced nursing practice to improve patient care
  • Demonstrate expertise in the analysis, formulation and implementation process of health care policy
  • Contribute to the advancement of anesthesia practice, health care and humanity through leadership, education and promotion of intraprofessional and interprofessional collaboration
  • Utilize advanced critical thinking and decision-making skills throughout the perioperative period, during the autonomous administration of anesthesia for patients across the lifespan
  • Demonstrate advanced levels of nursing practice, clinical judgment and accountability to deliver optimal patient care with an emphasis on diverse and vulnerable populations
  • Attainment of Council on Accreditation requirements as specified by the NBCRNA that prepares the graduate for certification eligibility

Upon successful completion of the DNP-NA program's outcomes, as specified by the Council on Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), the student is awarded a DNP and is eligible to take the National Certification Exam (NCE) offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

Drexel University Nurse Anesthesia MSN class of 2024 had an 89% first-time taker pass rate, and a 100% pass rate for repeat takers of the NBCRNA's NCE. The average number of clinical cases for the MSN class of 2024 was 832 with an average number of clinical hours of 1,660. The employment rate within six months of graduation for all of Drexel's 2024 MSN graduates was 100%.

Nursing Program Mission and Values

The Nursing program faculty and staff are committed to educating nurses to embrace both the art and science of nursing, to integrate caring into practice, to think critically and practice competently, compassionately and safely in complex rapidly changing practice environments. The Nursing program supports administrators, faculty, staff and students in developing holistic evidence-based programs, which create healing and caring environments at all levels that reflect innovative education, interdisciplinary practice and research.

The highest goals of the program include demonstrating efficacy, quality and cost-effectiveness of evidence-based nursing interventions in promoting health, preventing disease, preserving human dignity, reducing health disparities and caring for the sick and injured.

All efforts in the Nursing program are designed to build nursing knowledge, enhance nursing practice, foster professional integrity, promote innovation, engage in interdisciplinary collaboration and ultimately improve the health outcomes of patients and families from diverse communities across the continuum of care.

The Nursing program is committed to excellence in nursing education through educational programs that are:

  • Authentic: We value a deep connection to others, appreciation of diverse opinions and respect for the other’s frame of reference. We value going beyond objective assessment to understand the context of the other, creative use of self and engagement in the artistry of the caring-healing process—the essence of Nursing.
  • Complex: We value complexity science by recognizing that our Nursing program is a complex, dynamic, unpredictable, emerging, self-organizing and adaptive system that cannot be reduced to the sum of its members. As such, we seek that administrators, faculty, staff and students develop skills to improvise, build on the innovations of others, develop positive interpersonal interactions, appreciate the reciprocity that our actions have on the larger system and ourselves and embrace surprise as an opportunity to learn, make sense of our dynamic reality and make a positive impact on the health of our clients.
  • Rigorous: We continuously review and redesign programs, courses, technology-infused learning systems and educational products for depth and quality with the learner's experience and background in mind.
  • Relevant: We continuously examine changing market forces, the progression of nursing knowledge and the best practices in health care and education to redesign educational programs. There is a strong commitment to population-focused care practice in diverse communities; therefore, we strive to ensure clinically relevant education and simulation experiences. Our faculty serves as excellent role models for developing clinicians.
  • State of the Art: We value the use of technological innovation and patient simulation scenarios which foster advanced and evidence-based interdisciplinary communication and teamwork, multiple patient management and crisis resource management skills, provision of culturally relevant care, decreased prevalence of errors and adverse events and a higher intellectual standard in both undergraduate and graduate nursing education.
  • Learner-Friendly: In consideration of the demanding, fast-paced lives of our students and nurse consumers, we offer high-quality educational programs in convenient and contemporary formats, including access to academic online courses with attention to user-friendly interfaces as well as resources to enhance academic success. In addition, the College of Nursing and Health Professions is committed to being a challenging and rewarding work environment for faculty, staff and administrators. Information and data on all aspects of the college’s operations are widely shared with faculty, staff and students and all are encouraged to participate in its decisions and activities.