Masters in Nurse Anesthesia

The Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia Program is for RNs who hold a bachelor's degree and wish to become certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). It is a 27-month, full-time, front-loaded program that includes a clinical anesthesia residency.

The first year is devoted to advanced science courses, graduate nursing core courses, as well as basic principles of anesthesia and structured high-fidelity simulation activities. The compulsory clinical residency component begins during the second year with advanced didactic coursework for the nurse anesthesia role and clinical correlation seminars. During clinical residencies, increasing responsibility for anesthesia 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 anesthesia resident to acquire the skills necessary to move along this continuum, practicing to the full scope of anesthesia practice upon graduation.  

Clinical sites are available in the tri-state area and beyond, and can be 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. Simulation is an integral part of our curriculum, with students accessing low and high fidelity simulation in our state-of-the-art new simulation center and skills labs. During the second through fifth semesters, 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 and invasive line placement. We also use standardized patients to enable students to become adept at patient interaction including preoperative interviews, airway evaluation, assessment of coexisting disease, and post op teaching. In the fifth semester, students have both didactic and lab instruction in advanced airway management, utilizing all airway adjuncts/equipment as well as hands-on practice with pig trachea's to become adept with the tools utilized within the difficult airway algorithm.  View the list of clinical sites. 

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, 847-692-7050.

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 submitted its application to the COA for approval to award the DNP degree. Pending approval by the COA, the program plans to enroll its first doctoral cohort of students in the summer 2021. 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

  • 2021: 37
  • 2020: 41
  • 2019: 35
  • 2018: 38
  • 2017: 32

Number of Graduating Students

  • 2021: 37 (Current students)
  • 2020: 41 (Current students)
  • 2019: 33
  • 2018: 34
  • 2017: 30

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

  • 2021: 1
  • 2020: 1
  • 2019: 1
  • 2018: 0
  • 2017: 0

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

  • 2021: N/A
  • 2020: N/A
  • 2019: 6%
  • 2018: 11%
  • 2017: 6.25%

Number of Graduates Who Successfully Passed the NCE

  • 2021: N/A
  • 2020: N/A
  • 2019: 33
  • 2018: 34
  • 2017: 31

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

  • 2021: N/A
  • 2020: N/A
  • 2019: 30 (94%/--)
  • 2018: 32 (94.1% / 84.3%)
  • 2017: 30 (97% / 82.6%)

Number of Graduates Who Passed the NCE on subsequent attempts

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

Employment Rate of Graduates

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

Curriculum

Students will complete approximately two years of coursework 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.

NURS6863N
Regional Anesthesia: Theories and Techniques
2

This course is an introductory course for regional anesthesia. It includes discussion and demonstration of neuraxial anesthesia, simple peripheral nerve blocks and pain management techniques. Pharmacology regarding local anesthetics will be reviewed.

NURS8874N
Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia Practice I
1

This course is the first in a series of four utilizing lectures, discussion, writings, and presentations to integrate didactic instruction and clinical experiences as students progress from novice to advanced beginner student nurse anesthetists.

NURS8875N
Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia Practice II
1

The second in a series of four courses that provides critical analysis of selected topics in nurse anesthesia practice. Lecture and discussion facilitate integration of didactic content with clinical experiences as students’ progress from advanced beginner to competent student nurse anesthetists.

NURS8876N
Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia Practice III
1

This is the third of four seminar courses. This course represents the capstone of the Nurse Anesthesia master's program. It provides an opportunity for the student to integrate and synthesize didactic and clinical core content with the experiences of the residencies as they progress from competent student nurse anesthetist to proficient student nurse anesthetists. Student and faculty will work collaboratively to identify content areas that are essential to the beginning practice of a master's prepared nurse anesthetist. Results of this inquiry will be formally presented to the class and interested public members as an abstract and a poster presentation.

NURS8877N
Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia Practice IV
1

This course will provide critical analysis of selected topics in nurse anesthesia practice related to Residency IV objectives. Student power point presentation utilizing the TurningPoint format will facilitate and engender discussion in preparation for board examination.