Program accreditation
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

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 values excellence, stimulates creativity and recognizes achievement.

The department offers an entry-to-practice option to earn the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree. This 36-month, 93-credit-hour B.S. to D.N.A.P. option will include both traditional and hybrid (blended learning) course offerings preparing advanced practice registered nurses with the D.N.A.P. degree while also meeting all requirements for national certification as certified registered nurse anesthetists. 

Student learning outcomes

The overall objective of the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice 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. Apply physiological, safety and organizational theories to promote patient safety, enhance quality care and improve nurse anesthesia practice
  2. Analyze and synthesize relevant scientific literature and apply results to improve nurse anesthesia practice and patient care outcomes in a culturally sensitive manner
  3. Communicate effectively with patients, families, the public and other health professionals
  4. Develop effective strategies for managing ethical dilemmas inherent in anesthesia patient care and the workplace
  5. Employ teaching and learning principles for the nurse anesthetist in educating and counseling individuals, families, students-in-training and groups
  6. Demonstrate leadership skills to meet the challenges of complex health care and educational environments
  7. Demonstrate nurse anesthesia scholarship through presentations, publications, leadership activities and collaboration with other disciplines
  8. Utilize technology and information systems to analyze, manage and present data

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.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
D.N.A.P.Spring onlyMar 1GRE within five years of application

Note: Review of applications is ongoing. Preference is given to those received prior to March 1 for spring entry.

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

  1. Baccalaureate degree in nursing or related science
  2. Current, unencumbered licensure as a registered professional nurse in the United States and eligibility to obtain a registered professional nursing license in Virginia (prior to completion of the third semester)
  3. Minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (preferred)
  4. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination within five years of application
  5. A minimum of one year full-time work experience, or its part-time equivalent, as a registered nurse in a critical-care setting
  6. Personal interview with members of the Admissions Committee (by invitation)
  7. Three professional references (one of which must be from the immediate supervisor responsible for performance evaluations, including his or her contact number)

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, candidates for the degree of Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice 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 DNAP 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 Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists
  5. Successfully complete both the Self-Evaluation Examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists and a written comprehensive examination

Curriculum requirements

ALHP   708Ethics and Health Care3
DNAP   701Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists3
DNAP   702Nurse Anesthesia Patient Safety Seminar3
DNAP   703Health Services Delivery Systems for the Nurse Anesthetist3
DNAP   704Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists I3
DNAP   705Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists II3
DNAP   706Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists I3
DNAP   707Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists II3
DNAP   711Policy and Practice for Nurse Anesthetists3
DNAP   712Leadership in Nurse Anesthesia Education3
DNAP   716Advanced Chemistry and Physics Concepts for Nurse Anesthetists1
DNAP   717Advanced Physiological Concepts for Nurse Anesthetists2
DNAP   718Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthetists3
DNAP   721Clinical Practicum I3
DNAP   722Clinical Practicum II4
DNAP   723Clinical Practicum III5
DNAP   724Clinical Practicum IV5
DNAP   725Clinical Practicum V5
DNAP   731Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice3
DNAP   733Evidence-based Decision-making in Nurse Anesthesia3
DNAP   734Research Methods and Statistical Measures in Nurse Anesthesia Practice3
DNAP   735Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia Practice I4
DNAP   736Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia II3
DNAP   737Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia III3
DNAP   738Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia IV2
DNAP   739Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia V2
DNAP   789Nurse Anesthesia Professional Practice6
DNAP   799Nurse Anesthesia Capstone Project6
Total Hours93

Planned course of study

Year one
Spring semesterHours
DNAP   703 Health Services Delivery Systems for the Nurse Anesthetist 3
DNAP   731 Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice 3
DNAP   733 Evidence-based Decision-making in Nurse Anesthesia 3
 Term Hours: 9
Summer semester
DNAP   716 Advanced Chemistry and Physics Concepts for Nurse Anesthetists 1
DNAP   717 Advanced Physiological Concepts for Nurse Anesthetists 2
DNAP   718 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthetists 3
 Term Hours: 6
Fall semester
DNAP   704 Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists I 3
DNAP   706 Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists I 3
DNAP   735 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia Practice I 4
 Term Hours: 10
Year two
Spring semester
DNAP   705 Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists II 3
DNAP   707 Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists II 3
DNAP   721 Clinical Practicum I 3
DNAP   736 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia II 3
 Term Hours: 12
Summer semester
DNAP   722 Clinical Practicum II 4
DNAP   734 Research Methods and Statistical Measures in Nurse Anesthesia Practice 3
DNAP   737 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia III 3
 Term Hours: 10
Fall semester
ALHP   708 Ethics and Health Care 3
DNAP   712 Leadership in Nurse Anesthesia Education 3
DNAP   723 Clinical Practicum III 5
DNAP   738 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia IV 2
 Term Hours: 13
Year three
Spring semester
DNAP   702 Nurse Anesthesia Patient Safety Seminar 3
DNAP   711 Policy and Practice for Nurse Anesthetists 3
DNAP   724 Clinical Practicum IV 5
DNAP   739 Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia V 2
 Term Hours: 13
Summer semester
DNAP   725 Clinical Practicum V 5
DNAP   799 Nurse Anesthesia Capstone Project 6
 Term Hours: 11
Fall semester
DNAP   701 Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists 3
DNAP   789 Nurse Anesthesia Professional Practice 6
 Term Hours: 9
 Total Hours: 93

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