Nurse Anesthesia FAQs

Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia FAQs

What can I expect during the interview process?

Interviews for the NU Nurse Anesthesia Program are held the last 2 weeks of January by the Admissions and Progressions Committee, made up of the Program Director, Assistant Director, Clinical Director, Medical Director and the CRNA Clinical Coordinators of primary sites. The interview includes both personal and professional questions, including clinically based questions and scenarios. Interviews are 30 minutes on average. Successful applicants should be notified by mid-February for admissions to the August class.

When will I know if I am granted a personal interview?

Each year we average 110-115 complete, fully qualified applicants. Of those, the Admissions and Progressions Committee selects 50-55 for interviews. Applicants should be notified by mid-December regarding the interviews, which are typically held the last 2 weeks of January.

What is the pass rate for the Newman University Program Students for the CRNA Certifying exam?

The NU Nurse Anesthesia Program's pass rate is 96%, well above the COA requirement of 85% and the average national pass rate of 91%. The attrition rate for the NU Nurse Anesthesia Program (those students who start the program but do not complete it) is 4%, also well below the national average.

May I apply by the Nov. 15 deadline and be considered for the upcoming class if I will have my 1 year critical care experience prior to starting the program in August?

Due to the competitive nature of the program and the large number of applicants, we do not accept applications from those applicants that do not have the 1 year minimum experience prior to applying in December. Although 1 year is the minimum, the average experience for the successful applicant is 3.7 years and applicants with less than 1 year are not competitive for the January interviews.

May I apply by the Nov. 15 deadline if I meet all other requirements but will not complete my BSN until May of the next year, prior to classes starting in August?

The Admissions and Progression Committee does not grant interviews to those applicants who have not completed their BSN by December. This prevents the program from accepting a prospective student who is unexpectedly unable to complete the requirements for the program prior to starting in August.

Where are the primary clinical sites for the Newman University Nurse Anesthesia Program located?
Can I complete all my classes and clinical rotations at one of the locations outside of Wichita?

All students are required to be on campus each week for didactic classes regardless of where they complete their clinical rotations.

How many students are accepted into the Newman University Nurse Anesthesia Program each year?

We currently accept 22 students (12 for the Wichita, 5 for the OKC, 4 for the Tulsa, 2 for the Joplin , and 2 for the Garden City primary sites) each year.

Newman University's Nurse Anesthesia Program requires a minimum of 1 year ICU experience (although the average experience for the successful applicant is 3.5 yrs and it is rare for an applicant with less than 2 yrs to be accepted). We do not accept OR, ER, or PACU experience for meeting the ICU requirement. There are two goals for the ICU experience. The first is experience and knowledge of invasive monitoring (art lines, swans, ICP, etc), vasoactive drips/medications and ventilator management. The second goal is to develop critical thinking skills (the ability to put together the pharmacology, physiology, and pathophysiology in making decisions for your patients - knowing why not just how). The applicant may be able to gain this experience from any ICU, the most popular are SICU/MICU but we have had successful applicants form any ICU (CCU, Neuro ICU, Burn/Trauma ICU, Mixed ICU, PICU, NICU).

For a new nurse, a larger higher acuity unit may provide the most experience in the shortest amount of time but that may be offset by the variety of a smaller mixed ICU. We encourage all applicants to make the most of whatever ICU experience that they have- ask why things are being ordered, learn the reasons for their actions (not just that's what the standing orders are or that's what the policy is). Utilize any patient care experience as a learning experience. Soak up knowledge from all participants (attending physicians, residents, intensivist, respiratory therapy, experience nurses, etc).

What are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists?

Nurse anesthesia is an advanced clinical nursing specialty. As anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer approximately 65% of the 28 million anesthetics given to patients in the U.S. each year.

How does a nurse become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)?

A nurse attends an accredited Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program to receive an extensive education in anesthesia. Upon graduation, the nurse must pass a national certification examination to become a CRNA.

What is the role of individual CRNAs?

A CRNA takes care of a patient's anesthesia needs before, during and after surgery or the delivery of a baby. CRNAs provide services in conjunction with other health care professionals, such as surgeons, dentists, podiatrists and anesthesiologists.

Where do CRNAs practice?

CRNAs practice in a variety of settings in the private and public sectors and in the U.S. military, including traditional hospital operating rooms, ambulatory surgery centers, pain clinics, and physicians' offices. They practice on a solo basis, in groups and collaboratively.

What employment opportunities exist for CRNAs?

CRNAs are in demand and have many opportunities for general or specialty practice throughout the U.S. Reflecting the level of responsibility, CRNAs are one of the best paid nursing specialties. The reported average annual salary in 2010-2011 was approximately $95,000.

I've completed all my prereqs, is there anything else I can do to prepare for this program?

We have 5 open classes, 3 in the fall and 2 in the spring. Taking one of our classes is NOT a guarantee that an applicant will be accepted into the program. To take one of our open classes, you need permission from your advisor (me) and a signed registration. Students pay for the class when classes start and if they get into the program within 2 yrs of taking the class, they do not have to repeat or repay for the class. If it is longer than 2 years after taking a class that an applicant gets accepted into the program, we do require that they formally audit the class (sit in on class, but not required to take the tests at a much reduced audit fee). There are 5 open classes.