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 promotes excellence, values diversity, stimulates creativity and recognizes achievement.

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. Demonstrate leadership skills to meet the challenges of increasingly complex health care and educational environments impacting nurse anesthetists

  5. Develop effective strategies for managing ethical dilemmas inherent in anesthesia patient care and the workplace

  6. Employ teaching and learning principles for the nurse anesthetist in educating and counseling individuals, families, students-in-training and groups

  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.

Other information

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

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

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

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

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

  1. A graduate degree from an accredited university

  2. Graduation from a nurse anesthesia educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

  3. Certification by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists

  4. Recertification by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (if applicable)

  5. Current licensure as a registered nurse and advanced practice nurse (as applicable)

  6. A minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

  7. Graduate Record Examination General Test within five years of application

  8. Personal statement including:

    1. Reasons for seeking this educational opportunity

    2. Career goals and how this degree will aid in that process

    3. Prior lifework experience that will contribute to your success in the program

    4. Potential areas of interest for the capstone project

  9. Completed Graduate School application

  10. Three professional references

  11. Personal interview (by invitation)

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. Complete a capstone project

  3. Earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses

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

Curriculum requirements

ALHP 708Ethics and Health Care3
ALHP 760Biostatistical Methods for Health Related Sciences3
DNAP/NRSA 701Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists3
DNAP 702Nurse Anesthesia Patient Safety Seminar3
DNAP 703Health Services Delivery Systems for the Nurse Anesthetist3
DNAP 711Policy and Practice for Nurse Anesthetists3
DNAP 712Leadership in Nurse Anesthesia Education3
DNAP 789Nurse Anesthesia Professional Practice6
DNAP 799Nurse Anesthesia Capstone Project6
Total Hours33

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 33

Full-time and part-time planned courses of study

Full-time curriculum - one-year program

Fall semesterHours
ALHP 708 Ethics and Health Care 3
ALHP 760 Biostatistical Methods for Health Related Sciences 3
DNAP 701
Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists
or Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists
3
DNAP 789 Nurse Anesthesia Professional Practice 3
 Term Hours: 12
Spring semester
DNAP 702 Nurse Anesthesia Patient Safety Seminar 3
DNAP 703 Health Services Delivery Systems for the Nurse Anesthetist 3
DNAP 711 Policy and Practice for Nurse Anesthetists 3
DNAP 799 Nurse Anesthesia Capstone Project 2
 Term Hours: 11
Summer semester
DNAP 712 Leadership in Nurse Anesthesia Education 3
DNAP 789 Nurse Anesthesia Professional Practice 3
DNAP 799 Nurse Anesthesia Capstone Project 4
 Term Hours: 10
 Total Hours: 33

Part-time curriculum - two-year program

Year one
Fall semesterHours
ALHP 708 Ethics and Health Care 3
DNAP 701
Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists
or Human Factors and Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists
3
 Term Hours: 6
Spring semester
DNAP 702 Nurse Anesthesia Patient Safety Seminar 3
DNAP 703 Health Services Delivery Systems for the Nurse Anesthetist 3
 Term Hours: 6
Summer semester
DNAP 712 Leadership in Nurse Anesthesia Education 3
DNAP 789 Nurse Anesthesia Professional Practice 3
 Term Hours: 6
Year two
Fall semester
ALHP 760 Biostatistical Methods for Health Related Sciences 3
DNAP 799 Nurse Anesthesia Capstone Project 2
 Term Hours: 5
Spring semester
DNAP 711 Policy and Practice for Nurse Anesthetists 3
DNAP 799 Nurse Anesthesia Capstone Project 2
 Term Hours: 5
Summer semester
DNAP 789 Nurse Anesthesia Professional Practice 3
DNAP 799 Nurse Anesthesia Capstone Project 2
 Term Hours: 5
 Total Hours: 33

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