Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Nurse Anesthesia Program is for experienced critical care RNs who hold a bachelor's degree and wish to become certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). It is a 36-month, full-time, front-loaded program that includes a 21-month clinical anesthesia residency.

The first year is devoted to advanced science courses, doctoral core courses, as well as basic principles of anesthesia and structured high-fidelity simulation activities. The intensive clinical residency component begins during the fifth semester with advanced didactic coursework for the nurse anesthesiology role and doctoral seminars. During clinical residencies, increasing responsibility for anesthesiology patient care under guidance is afforded. The application of theoretical knowledge to the realities of clinical practice is a dynamic process that enhances and enriches learning as well as prepares the graduate to function effectively and competently as a professional. The sequential design of the program permits the nurse anesthesiology resident to acquire the skills necessary to move along this continuum, practicing to the full scope of anesthesiology practice upon graduation.  

Clinical sites are available in the tri-state area and beyond. Rotations can be semi-permanent or rotating. Clinical sites vary from large, urban academic medical centers to community hospitals to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist only sites. During the clinical residency, each student is precepted by either CRNAs or physician anesthesiologists. View the list of clinical sites.

Simulation is an integral part of our curriculum, with nurse anesthesia residents accessing low and high-fidelity simulation in our state-of-the-art simulation center and skills labs. Task trainers are utilized for practicing insertion of central, intravenous, and arterial lines; spinals, epidurals, and all types of peripheral nerve blocks; and practice with up-to-date anesthesia machines. Ultrasound imaging is taught both in the didactic and lab setting so our nurse anesthesia residents can become proficient in its use in regional anesthesia, invasive line placement, and POCUS techniques. We utilize standardized patients to enable nurse anesthesia residents to become adept at patient interaction including preoperative interviews, physical evaluation, assessment of coexisting disease, and post-op teaching. Nurse Anesthesia residents have both didactic and lab instruction in advanced airway management, utilizing all airway adjuncts/equipment as well as hands-on practice with pig tracheas to become adept with the tools utilized within the difficult airway algorithm. 

Graduates are eligible to take the National Certification Exam (NCE) administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), a requirement for practice as a nurse anesthetist.

The program is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) through 2028. For more information on accreditation, please contact the COA at 222 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL 60068, 847-655-1160.

Important Notice

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) requires that all students matriculating into a nurse anesthesia educational program on January 1, 2022, or thereafter be enrolled in a program approved by the COA to award a practice doctoral degree. The Columbia Nursing Nurse Anesthesia program has been approved to award the DNP degree. The program is now accepting applications for its first doctoral cohort of students in the May 2022. Information regarding this transition may be obtained by contacting program director Maribeth Massie at mlm52@cumc.columbia.edu.

Accreditation and Performance Data

Number of Matriculating Students

  • 2023: 37
  • 2022: 40
  • 2021: 37

Number of Graduating Students

  • 2021: 37 (Current students)
  • 2020: 40 

Number of Students Who Took LOA Then Matriculated in a Later Year

  • 2022: 0
  • 2021: 1
  • 2020: 1

Attrition Rate (Number of Students That Did Not Complete Program)

  • 2022: 0% currently
  • 2021: 2.6% currently
  • 2020: 2.4%

Five year attrition average: 5.65%

Number of Graduates Who Successfully Passed the NCE

  • 2021: N/A
  • 2020: 40

Number of Graduates Who Passed the NCE on Their First Attempt/National Pass Rate

  • 2021: N/A
  • 2020: 36 (90%/85.2%)
  • 2019: 30 (94%/84.8%)

Number of Graduates Who Passed the NCE on subsequent attempts

  • 2021: N/A
  • 2020: 4 (100%)
  • 2019: 2 (100%)
  • 2018: 2 (100%)
  • 2017: 1 (100%)

Employment Rate of Graduates

  • 2021: N/A
  • 2020: 100%
  • 2019: 100%
  • 2018: 100%
  • 2017: 100%

Curriculum

Nurse anesthesia residents will complete three years of coursework, including clinical residency, to complete degree requirements. Courses will include lecture, clinical, simulation, and residency/practicum.

The curriculum is provided to specify the academic requirements of the program. Please be advised that this program plan is a sample, and individual plans of study may vary and are reviewed and approved by the program director. Progression in the program is contingent upon meeting academic policies.

 

Request a Sample Academic Program Plan

Courses

Course ID
Course Name
Credits
Description
NURS8685N
Advanced Clinical Assessment
3

Utilizing a systems approach and a background in basic physical assessment, advanced physical assessment skills are studied. The identification and interpretation of abnormalities in the physical exam are emphasized in depth. The approach to the development of the differential diagnosis is introduced. The goal of this course is to provide the critical thinking necessary for the beginning advanced practice nursing student to analyze history and physical exam data.

NURS8102N
Advanced Pharmacology
3

The goals of this course are to provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the actions of drugs in order to enable them to use therapeutic agents in a rational and responsible manner in patients. Initially, basic principles of pharmacology will be reviewed (from N5375 course), including absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs by the body. Drug-receptor interactions will also be presented and illustrated with appropriate examples. The focus of these lectures will be case-based whenever possible to demonstrate the therapeutic application of these pharmacologic principles and how this translates into efficacy and potential toxicity.

NURS7001N
Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan I
3

Part one of two. In this course we will examine the normal physiological function of organ systems, the mechanisms for the maintenance of health, and the pathophysiological alterations in body function that lead to disease. Each class will focus on a specific physiologic process or organ system. We will pay particular focus to diseases that commonly occur across the lifespan, examining common etiologies, pathogenic mechanisms, clinical manifestations, and common treatments of each.

NURS7002N
Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan II
3

Part two of two. In this course we will examine the normal physiological function of organ systems, the mechanisms for the maintenance of health, and the pathophysiological alterations in body function that lead to disease. Each class will focus on a specific physiologic process or organ system. We will pay particular focus to diseases that commonly occur across the lifespan, examining common etiologies, pathogenic mechanisms, clinical manifestations, and common treatments of each.

NURS6879N
Anesthesia and Coexisting Disease
3

Discussion regarding pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative management of patients with specific co-existing disease conditions. History and physical examination techniques and specific management methods will be discussed. Students will evaluate information obtained during physical and psychological assessment and synthesize knowledge to formulate individualized perioperative anesthesia management plans.

NURS7005N
Health and Social Policy in the Context of Practice
3

This core course examines contextual contributors to health status and the current social, legal, and political determinants of healthcare systems, emphasizing the U.S. system. Issues are explored to understand their impact on current and future delivery of health care, in particular on advanced practice nursing. The class focuses on how to bring the professional values of nursing to bear in policy debate and how nurses partner in the policy process to improve health outcomes of populations and quality of the healthcare delivery system.

NURS9290N
Incorporating Genetics and Genomics in Advanced Practice Nursing
3

This course is intended to provide a strong foundation in the concepts of genetics and clinical applicability of genomic concepts commonly seen in advance practice nurses’ clinical practice. Both classical Mendelian and molecular genetics will be examined, in order to provide a knowledge base that will enable the advanced practice nurse to integrate genetic and genomic knowledge into clinical practice. Using a case discussion approach, clinical issues of genetics testing, genetic exceptionalism, individualized risk assessments and predictions are explored throughout their life span.

NURS7000N
Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice
3

This course is designed for graduate nurses to provide them with the skills to understand and utilize research evidence in decisions about clinical practice. The course is designed to help graduate nurses articulate relevant practice-based questions, search the literature to identify relevant evidence, evaluate the quality of research on which the evidence is based, and discuss the application of the evidence in clinical practice to improve quality of care.

NURS6106N
Nurse Anesthesia Advanced Airway Lab
1

The third of three laboratory courses.  The focus of this lab is alternate modalities in the management of the difficult airway.  Synthesis of lecture content obtained in Seminar II course.  Laboratory experience provides psychomotor skills and critical thinking inherent to advanced airway techniques.  As a component of the course specific skills must be safely demonstrated.

NURS8870N
Nurse Anesthesia Residency I
2

Clinical experiences provide the opportunity for students to integrate theory within the clinical setting. Students move along a continuum from healthy adults to patients with multi-system failures. The focus is on perioperative theory transfer, development of assessment skills, and the developmental implementation and evaluation of an individualized plan of care. Patient interviews and teaching are integral to the process. Basic principles of decision making are emphasized throughout. Mastery to the specific level of competency is required within a specific time framework. Practice settings include operating rooms, emergency rooms, and diagnostic suites. CRNA or MD preceptors act as facilitators of learning. Clinical conferences and professional meetings help to reinforce and enhance learning.

NURS8871N
Nurse Anesthesia Residency IIA
1

Clinical experiences provide the opportunity for students to integrate theoretical basis of practice within the clinical setting. Students move along a continuum from healthy adults and children to patients with multi-system failures. The focus is on perioperative theory transfer, development of assessment skills, and the implementation and evaluation of a plan of care. Patient interviews and teaching are integral to the process. Basic principles of decision making are emphasized throughout. Mastery to the specific level of competency is required within a specific time framework. Practice settings include operating rooms, emergency rooms, and diagnostic suites. CRNA faculty members act as facilitators of learning. Clinical conferences and professional meetings help to reinforce and evaluate learning. This is the second of four required residencies.

NURS8878N
Nurse Anesthesia Residency IIB
1

Clinical experiences provide the opportunity for students to integrate theoretical basis of practice within the clinical setting. Students move along a continuum from healthy adults and children to patients with multi-system failures. The focus is on perioperative theory transfer, development of assessment skills, and the implementation and evaluation of a plan of care. Patient interviews and teaching are integral to the process. Basic principles of decision making are emphasized throughout. Mastery to the specific level of competency is required within a specific time framework. Practice settings include operating rooms, emergency rooms, and diagnostic suites. CRNA faculty members act as facilitators of learning. Clinical conferences and professional meetings help to reinforce and evaluate learning. This is the second of four required residencies.

NURS8872N
Nurse Anesthesia Residency IIIA
1

Clinical focus is on the delivery of anesthesia care in a broad range of clinical settings to patients with multi-system problems. Emphasis is placed on refinement and perfection of decision-making skills in patient care management and rapid assessment of health status of patients. Collaborative practice within a team structure is emphasized. In addition to direct patient care, participation in journal club, clinical case reports, and in-service presentations to a multidisciplinary audience provide the environment for the student to enact his or her role as a SRNA. CRNA and MD faculty members and preceptors act as guides.

NURS8879N
Nurse Anesthesia Residency IIIB
1

Clinical focus is on the delivery of anesthesia care in a broad range of clinical settings to patients with multi-system problems. Emphasis is placed on refinement and perfection of decision-making skills in patient care management and rapid assessment of health status of patients. Collaborative practice within a team structure is emphasized. In addition to direct patient care, participation in journal club, clinical case reports, and in-service presentations to a multidisciplinary audience provide the environment for the student to enact his or her role as a SRNA. CRNA and MD faculty members and preceptors act as guides.

NURS8873N
Nurse Anesthesia Residency IVa
1

Clinical focus is on the delivery of anesthesia care in a broad range of clinical settings to patients with multi-system problems. Emphasis is placed on refinement and perfection of decision-making skills in patient care management and rapid assessment of health status of patients. Collaborative practice within a team structure is emphasized. In addition to direct patient care, participation in journal club, clinical case reports, and in-service presentations to a multidisciplinary audience provide the environment for the student to enact his or her role as a clinical nurse specialist. Experience includes obstetrics, neurosurgery, cardio-thoracic surgery, pediatrics, post anesthesia care and critical care units. CRNA faculty members and preceptors act as guides.

NURS8880N
Nurse Anesthesia Residency IVB
1

Clinical focus is on the delivery of anesthesia care in a broad range of clinical settings to patients with multi-system problems. Emphasis is placed on refinement and perfection of decision-making skills in patient care management and rapid assessment of health status of patients. Collaborative practice within a team structure is emphasized. In addition to direct patient care, participation in journal club, clinical case reports, and in-service presentations to a multidisciplinary audience provide the environment for the student to enact his or her role as a clinical nurse specialist. Experience includes obstetrics, neurosurgery, cardio-thoracic surgery, pediatrics, post anesthesia care, and critical care units. CRNA faculty members and preceptors act as guides.

NURS8111N
Pharmacology for Anesthesia and Critical Care
4

This course provides an overview of anesthetics, adjuvants, and critical care medications commonly used in anesthesia practice with emphasis on application of theoretical foundations.

NURS6105N
Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia: Lab
2

The second of three laboratory courses. This course focuses on the specialty skills in the management of the patient during the pre-operative, intra-operative and the post-operative period. Synthesis of lecture content obtained in Principles & Practice II course. Laboratory experiences provide psychomotor skills and critical thinking inherent to the practice of nurse anesthesia will be developed, demonstrated and assessed. As a component of the course specific skills must be safely demonstrated.

NURS6864N
Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia I
3

This is the first of four courses that discuss techniques for anesthetic administration and related technologies in the context of various surgical and diagnostic interventions in diverse anesthetizing locations. Focus is monitoring modalities and pre-, intra-, and post-anesthesia (perioperative) management for less complex surgical and diagnostic interventions.

NURS6104N
Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia I: Lab
2

The first of three laboratory courses. Focus is placed upon essential technology and procedures utilized in the management of the patient during the pre-operative, intra-operative and the post-operative period. The course activities promote a synthesis of lecture content obtained in Principles & Practice I course. Laboratory experiences provide psychomotor skills and critical thinking inherent to the practice of nurse anesthesia will be developed. Specific sills must be safely demonstrated.

NURS6865N
Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia II
3

This is the second course of four that discusses the various methods and basic techniques of anesthesia administration, with an emphasis on physiological basis for practice. This course will emphasize the function and maintenance of technologies employed during perianesthetic period. The development of perianesthetic plans for specific surgical procedures as well as the psychomotor skills specific to practice will be evaluated.

NURS6866N
Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia III
3

This is the third course of four that discusses the various methods and techniques of anesthesia administration, with an emphasis on physiological basis for practice. Alterations in homeostatic mechanisms and advanced anesthetic management of obstetric and pediatric populations, and patients undergoing cardiac surgery are emphasized.

NURS6867N
Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia IV
3

This is the last of four courses that discusses various methods and techniques of anesthesia administration, with an emphasis on physiological basis for practice. Advanced surgical procedures and the anesthetic implications in the perianesthetic period will be explored.

NURS8833N
Professional Role of the Nurse Anesthetist I
2

The professional role of the nurse anesthetist will be examined through discussions, writings / presentations and clinical observation. Standards of care, patient safety and legal considerations will be emphasized.

NURS8840N
Professional Role of the Nurse Anesthetist II
2

This course will examine the professional role of the nurse anesthetist through discussions and writings/presentations. Current topics in health care delivery, reimbursement, politics, and policy as they relate to nurse anesthesia will be emphasized.

NURS9672N
Principles of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
3

 

This course addresses the application of epidemiology and environmental approaches to inform the clinical practice of health care of individuals. An understanding of health sciences based on groups of people, including environmental health, occupational health, and some aspects of genetics, can orient the practitioner with an individual patient. These external influences are modified through social, cultural, and behavioral factors. Addressing these factors should help to anticipate and improve patient outcomes.

NURS9910N
Translation and Synthesis of Evidence for Optimal Outcomes
3

This course is designed to provide the tools for the doctorally prepared nurse to evaluate, translate and integrate published research results into clinical practice. During the course, students will learn how to conceptualize clinical practice problems and transform them into answerable clinical research questions, how to search for the best clinical evidence, and how to assess clinical evidence using basic epidemiological, biostatistical and scientific principles. The course will culminate in a systematic review or meta-analysis of a body of research relevant to advanced practice nursing.

NURS9405N
Practice Leadership and Quality
3

This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to serve as a member and lead interdisciplinary groups in organizational assessment to identify systems issues and facilitate organization-wide changes in practice delivery utilizing quality improvement strategies. Course content focusses on understanding systems concepts and thinking to achieve results in complex health care delivery systems. Frameworks, approaches, and tools that foster critical thinking are examined as mechanisms to formulate vital questions, gather and assess relevant information, develop well-reasoned conclusions, test conclusions against relevant standards, compare conclusions with alternative systems of thought, and communicate effectively throughout the process.

NURS9412N
Informatics for Practice
3

This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills regarding the uses of information technology to support evidence-based practice. The course will provide an overview of informatics topics of most relevance to evidence-based practice including: computer systems and system development; standardized clinical terminology; informatics standards; electronic health records; retrieval and critical analysis of digital data, information, and knowledge; clinical decision making; decision support; decision analysis; shared decision making; and computer aided instruction.

NURS9481N
Health Policy and Advocacy
2

The purpose of this course is to critically analyze healthcare policy in the US. Included is a focus on the advanced practice nurse role in shaping and influencing policy through advocacy and leadership to improve patient outcomes.

NURS8894N
DNP Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia Practice I
1

This course is the first in a series of three utilizing lectures, discussion, writings, and presentations to integrate didactic instruction and clinical experiences as NARs progress from novice to advanced beginner nurse anesthesia residents.

NURS8895N
DNP Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia Practice II
1

The second in a series of three courses that provides critical analysis of selected topics in nurse anesthesiology practice. Lecture and discussion facilitate integration of didactic content with clinical experiences, as NARs learn to integrate DNP Competencies into clinical practice.

NURS9150N
Scholarly Writing and Dissemination I
1

This course is the first of two designed to introduce students to scholarly writing and dissemination for clinicians. The course provides students with practical information, exercises, and resources for successful clinical manuscript preparation and clinical conference poster and oral presentation. The course introduces students to fundamental skills for scholarly writing including familiarity with professional journals and conferences, utilization of electronic resources for literature searches and citation management, writing process and organizational skills, identification of predatory journal and conference enterprises, and academic integrity and the continuum of plagiarism. The course culminates in an annotated bibliography on a topic of the student’s choosing that allows for the synthesis and application of the skills and resources developed over the course. In conjunction with part two of the course, students are prepared for a lifelong approach to integrating scholarship into clinical practice.

NURS8896N
DNP Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia Practice III
0 – 1

The third in a series of three DNP Seminar courses. It provides critical analysis of selected advanced topics in nurse anesthesiology practice. Lecture and discussion facilitate integration of didactic content with clinical experiences, as NARs learn to integrate DNP Competencies into clinical practice.The course concludes with poster presentations geared to demonstrate understanding of the literature on selected topics and recommendations for future anesthetic management of these cases. Results of this inquiry will be formally presented to the class and communities of interest as an abstract and presentation. Refinement of the topic will occur in the next semester and poster and/or oral abstracts will be submitted for dissemination at that time.

NURS9151N
Scholarly Writing and Dissemination II
1

Continuation of N9150.

NURS8882N
DNP Anesthesia Residency 5A
1

This final clinical residency is to enable the Nurse Anesthesia Resident (NAR) to transition to practice.The NAR precepted in the clinical area requires supervision appropriate to their level of training. For Nurse Anesthesia Residency V, the NAR’s professional growth, asassessed by the preceptor, will determine the level of supervision by the preceptor, but not to be less than induction, emergence and all key portions of case. Also, the preceptor must be immediately available for consultation. The AANA does not permit the NAR to be supervised by a resident-in-training or anesthesiologist assistant.

Clinical focus is on the delivery of anesthesia care in a broad range of clinical settings to patients with multi-system problems. Emphasis is placed on refinement and perfection of decision-making skills in patient care management and rapid assessment of health status of patients. Collaborative practice within a team structure is emphasized. In addition to direct patient care, participation in journal club, clinical case reports, and in-service presentations to a multidisciplinary audience provide the environment for the NARto enact his or her role as a clinical nurse specialist. Experience includes obstetrics, neurosurgery, cardio-thoracic surgery, pediatrics, post anesthesia care and critical care units. CRNA faculty members and preceptors act as guides.

NURS8883N
DNP Anesthesia Residency 5B
1

This final clinical residency is to enable the Nurse Anesthesia Resident (NAR) to transition to practice.The NAR precepted in the clinical area requires supervision appropriate to their level of training. For Nurse Anesthesia Residency V, the NAR’s professional growth, asassessed by the preceptor, will determine the level of supervision by the preceptor, but not to be less than induction, emergence and all key portions of case. Also, the preceptor must be immediately available for consultation. The AANA does not permit the NAR to be supervised by a resident-in-training or anesthesiologist assistant.

Clinical focus is on the delivery of anesthesia care in a broad range of clinical settings to patients with multi-system problems. Emphasis is placed on refinement and perfection of decision-making skills in patient care management and rapid assessment of health status of patients. Collaborative practice within a team structure is emphasized. In addition to direct patient care, participation in journal club, clinical case reports, and in-service presentations to a multidisciplinary audience provide the environment for the NARto enact his or her role as a clinical nurse specialist. Experience includes obstetrics, neurosurgery, cardio-thoracic surgery, pediatrics, post anesthesia care and critical care units. CRNA faculty members and preceptors act as guides.

NURS8868N
Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (ACRM)
1

This course will be based on the nurse anesthesia resident (NAR) functioning in simulated anesthesia crisis scenarios. The NAR  will complete assignments, which will focus on crisis management in the perioperative setting. A thorough review of crisis resource management and debriefing skills will be discussed. Each NAR will participate in high-fidelity simulation and debriefing exercises to prepare them for independent management in the clinical setting after graduation.  

NURS9735N
DNP Portfolio Advisement
3

The DNP residency and portfolio is designed to demonstrate that the DNP graduate possesses the advanced knowledge of clinical management to provide high quality care. The components of the residency are scholarly activities across settings combined with documented outcomes achieved in multiple sites of care. The DNP resident, in varied settings, assumes an expanded scope of practice for a panel of patients with the principles of continuity based care as paramount. Gaps in clinical experience opportunities are identified at regularly scheduled meetings with the advisor and arrangements are made to enhance the practicum as indicated.

NURS8863N
Regional Anesthesia, Pain Management, & POCUS: Theories and Techniques
4

This course is an advanced course for regional anesthesia. It will cover discussion and demonstration of neuraxial anesthesia, peripheral nerve blocks and pain management theory and techniques. Pharmacology regarding local anesthetics will be reviewed. Practice and demonstration in the Skills and Simulation Labs are an integral part of this course. 

NURS8840N
Professional Role of the Nurse Anesthetist II
2

This course will examine the professional role of the nurse anesthetist through discussions and writings/presentations. Current topics in health care delivery, reimbursement, politics, and policy as they relate to nurse anesthesia will be emphasized.