Program accreditation
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

Note: Admission to this program is temporarily suspended.

Program goal

The mission of the Department of Nurse Anesthesia is to provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to work as part of an interprofessional team to serve the public through the delivery of safe, cost-efficient, quality anesthesia services and to develop leaders and scholars who will advance the specialty of nurse anesthesia through research, scholarship and public service. The department achieves this mission by establishing an environment that promotes excellence, values diversity, stimulates creativity and recognizes achievement.

Student learning outcomes

The overall objective of the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree program is to prepare graduates who have acquired knowledge, skills and competencies in patient safety, perianesthetic management, critical thinking and communication to fulfill their professional responsibility as certified nurse anesthetists.

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will:

  1. Plan, organize, deliver and evaluate safe anesthesia care

  2. Design, implement and evaluate perianesthetic care

  3. Incorporate critical thinking into ongoing professional practice

  4. Evaluate the postoperative course of a patient

  5. Assimilate into practice effective and culturally competent written, verbal and nonverbal communication with patients and families, other individuals involved in patient care, and the public

  6. Assume responsibility for professional behavior

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

A student handbook will be made available to all admitted students in their cohort organizations in Blackboard.

Note: Admission to this program is temporarily suspended.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.S.N.A. Fall only Oct 1 GRE within five years of application

Note: Review of applications is ongoing. Preference is given to applications received prior to Jan. 1 for fall entry.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Baccalaureate degree in nursing or related science

  2. Current licensure as a registered professional nurse in Virginia (by completion of the first semester)

  3. Cumulative minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (preferred)

  4. Upper-division undergraduate organic chemistry course or a Web-based medicinal chemistry prep course offered through VCU’s Department of Chemistry [Contact (804) 828-9808 to register.]

  5. A minimum of one year’s experience in an area of acute/critical care nursing (recent)

  6. Personal interview with members of the admissions committee (by invitation)

  7. Three professional references (One must be from the immediate supervisor who is responsible for applicant’s performance evaluations with contact phone number attached.)

Contact the department (804) 828-9808 for specific admission requirements.

Note: Admission to this program is temporarily suspended.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, candidates for the M.S.N.A. degree must be recommended by the faculty and:

  1. Complete all requirements for the prescribed curriculum

  2. Earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all NRSA courses

  3. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all work presented for graduation

  4. Meet all clinical requirements as specified by the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists

  5. Successfully complete the Self Evaluation Examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists and a two-part (didactic/research) written comprehensive examination

Curriculum requirements

MEDC 532Medicinal Chemistry for Nurse Anesthetists3
NRSA 601Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia I3
NRSA 602Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia II3
NRSA 603Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia III3
NRSA 604Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia IV2
NRSA 605Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia V2
NRSA 620Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthetists I1
NRSA 621Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthetists II1
NRSA 622Clinical Practicum I-II1
NRSA 623Clinical Practicum I-II3
NRSA 624Clinical Practicum III6
NRSA 625Clinical Practicum IV6
NRSA 626Clinical Practicum V6
NRSA 627Clinical Practicum VI6
NRSA 633Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists3
NRSA 642Professional Aspects of Anesthesia Practice I1
NRSA 645Professional Aspects of Anesthesia Practice II1
NRSA 647Professional Aspects of Anesthesia Practice III1
NRSA 683Research Methods in Nurse Anesthesia Practice3
NRSA 684Evidence-based Decision Making in Nurse Anesthesia3
NRSA/DNAP 701Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists3
NRSZ 601Laboratory in Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia I1
PHIS 501Mammalian Physiology5
PHTX 515Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists I3
PHTX 516Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists II3
Total Hours73

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 73

Sample plan of study

Year one
Fall semesterHours
NRSA 601 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia I 3
NRSA 620 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthetists I 1
NRSZ 601 Laboratory in Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia I 1
PHIS 501 Mammalian Physiology 5
PHTX 515 Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists I 3
 Term Hours: 13
Spring semester
MEDC 532 Medicinal Chemistry for Nurse Anesthetists 3
NRSA 603 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia III 3
NRSA 621 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthetists II 1
NRSA 622 Clinical Practicum I-II 1
NRSA 683 Research Methods in Nurse Anesthesia Practice 3
PHTX 516 Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists II 3
 Term Hours: 14
Summer semester
NRSA 602 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia II 3
NRSA 623 Clinical Practicum I-II 3
NRSA 633 Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists 3
NRSA 642 Professional Aspects of Anesthesia Practice I 1
 Term Hours: 10
Year two
Fall semester
NRSA 604 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia IV 2
NRSA 624 Clinical Practicum III 6
NRSA 645 Professional Aspects of Anesthesia Practice II 1
 Term Hours: 9
Spring semester
NRSA 605 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia V 2
NRSA 625 Clinical Practicum IV 6
NRSA 647 Professional Aspects of Anesthesia Practice III 1
 Term Hours: 9
Summer semester
NRSA 626 Clinical Practicum V 6
NRSA 684 Evidence-based Decision Making in Nurse Anesthesia 3
 Term Hours: 9
Year three
Fall semester
NRSA 627 Clinical Practicum VI 6
NRSA 701 Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists (crosslisted as DNAP 701) 3
 Term Hours: 9
 Total Hours: 73

Graduate program director
Michael D. Fallacaro, D.N.S., CRNA, FAAN
Professor and chair, Department of Nurse Anesthesia
Email: mdfallac@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-9808

Additional contact
Suzanne M. Wright, Ph.D., CRNA
Associate professor and assistant program director
Email: smwright@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-9808

Program website: sahp.vcu.edu/nrsa