Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) Program Page

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia
Practice (DNAP)

computer icon for 4 week courses

Flexible SCHEDULE

We offer courses online or on-site at locations across California.

calendar icon for year round enrollment

Year-round
enrollment

Our admissions team reviews applications year-round.

graduation cap icon for alumni community

200K+ Alumni Worldwide

Become a member of NU’s global community.

Home » Programs » Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP)

Program Overview

Develop advanced expertise in anesthesia care delivery while preparing to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) program at National University, the first academic institution in the world to pursue and achieve Planetree Recognition. The hybrid program can be completed in as few as three years and includes a 15-month didactic residency at the Fresno campus and some online classes.

In this entry-into-practice clinical doctoral program, you will master the art and science of anesthesia care delivery. Online and on-campus coursework focuses on health organizations and systems analysis, quality assessment and improvement, leadership, policy analysis, and the implementation of evidence-based practice initiatives.

The DNAP program includes a front-loaded didactic model with on-site didactic and high-fidelity simulation courses. The second phase of the program includes clinical courses at an affiliate hospital where you will gain hands-on experience administering anesthesia to patients across the age spectrum and in all surgical specialties under the direct supervision of a CRNA or anesthesiologist mentor.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared to sit for the National Certification Exam (NCE) to become a CRNA.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation icon

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Course Details

Course Listing

Core Requirements

  • 34 courses; 138 quarter units

Students must take all of the DNAP courses in the set sequence. The program utilizes a cohort model.

Course Name

Exploration of study designs, measurement tools, and data collection strategies in research and evidence-based practice data collection. Logic of statistical models used in the evaluation of research designs and measures. Identification of an evidence-based scholarly question pertinent to nurse anesthesia practice.

PrerequisiteAdmission to the Nurse Anesthesia Program or prior approval from Academic Program Director

This course is a comprehensive examination of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutics as well as the clinical application of advanced pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics for the advanced practice nurse managing complex and common disease conditions. The course integrates the pathophysiology of various disease states with underlying biochemical mediators and available drug treatments as well as new drug discovery, neurotransmission, the central nervous system, mediators of pain and inflammation, and renal and cardiovascular agents. Doctoral nurse anesthesia graduate students will learn the treatment of human diseases with pharmacological mediators.

PrerequisiteAdmission to the Nurse Anesthesia Program or approval from Academic Program Director.

Advanced Human Anatomy for Nurse Anesthesia uses an organ system approach for a comprehensive exploration of the normal microscopic and gross structures of the human body, as well as anatomical pathology based on the microscopic and macroscopic examination of organs and tissues. Doctoral nurse anesthesia graduate students will also investigate functions and embryological variations of many structures with special emphasis on how these topics relate to anesthesia management.

PrerequisiteAdmission to the Nurse Anesthesia Program or prior approval from Academic Program Director.

Advanced Human Anatomy for Nurse Anesthesia Lab utilizes a systematic approach to a comprehensive exploration of the normal microscopic and gross structures of the human body, as well as anatomical pathology based on the microscopic and macroscopic examination of organs and tissues. Doctoral nurse anesthesia graduate students will also investigate functions of many structures with special emphasis on how these topics relate to anesthesia management. Three hours of laboratory work per week provide hands on study of scientific models and dissection of biological organs and organisms as well as microscope studies of histology.

This course is a comprehensive examination of cellular, membrane, skeletal muscle and neurological physiology with particular emphasis on how these topics relate to anesthesia management. Doctoral nurse anesthesia graduate students will also investigate the pathophysiology of various disease states and the underlying biochemical mediators involved.

This course presents the fundamental concepts of anesthesia and introduces the student to the procedures and principles of nurse anesthesia practice. Principles presented include monitoring and assessment skills, airway management (including endotracheal intubation), preoperative assessment, documentation, the anesthesia gas machine and related current technology

CorequisiteANE 824 with a minimum grade of B-. minimum passing grade for the nurse anesthesia program is a B-.

Advanced high fidelity simulation is designed to complement didactic learning, mirror clinical environments, and to provide learning through transformation of experience. Advanced high fidelity simulation learning activities are specifically used to enhance critical thinking, problem solving, and skills development appropriate for the doctoral nurse anesthesia student.

CorequisiteANE 824 with a minimum grade of B-. All nurse anesthesia courses must be completed with a B- or greater for continued program matriculation.

The anesthesia pharmacology course examines the unique pharmacologic agents that are specific to anesthesia administration. Focus will be placed on inhalation agents, induction drugs, neuromuscular blocker, adrenergic agents, and local anesthetics. Exploration of current evidence related to pharmacologic therapies will serve as the course underpinning.

Nurse Anesthesia Physiology II is the second of a three course physiology series. In this course a comprehensive examination of cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and gastro-intestinal physiology with particular emphasis on how these topics relate to anesthesia management will occur. Doctoral nurse anesthesia graduate students will also investigate the pathophysiology of various disease states regarding these respective systems and the underlying biochemical mediators involved.

PrerequisiteANE 824 with a minimum grade of B-. Required grade for metriculation minimum passing grade is B-

Exploration of anesthetic delivery to patients with increasing co-morbidities and complex anesthesia needs. Airway management and ultrasound guided regional anesthesia techniques are thoroughly covered, with special attention given to acute and chronic pain management. Anesthetic techniques for the specialty practice of cardiac, thoracic, and vascular anesthesia is analyzed.

Advanced high fidelity simulation is designed to complement didactic learning, mirror clinical environments, and to provide learning through transformation of experience. Advanced high fidelity simulation learning activities are specifically used to enhance critical thinking, problem solving, and skills development appropriate for the doctoral nurse anesthesia student.

The second of a two-course anesthesia pharmacology sequence. Detailed exploration/investigation of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anesthesia specific drugs. Factors modifying anesthetic management of perioperative patients are thoroughly explored.

A detailed investigation of anesthesia care, including preoperative planning, implementation, and perianesthetic management for complex anesthesia delivery. Examination of specialty anesthesia practice, to include an in depth investigation of obstetrical, pediatric/neonatal, and ambulatory surgical populations. Development of a perioperative plan of care for patients undergoing Ear/Nose/Throat, laparoscopic, robotic, obstetrical, and gynecological procedures will be constructed and critiqued.

CorequisiteANE 828 (Lab component of the Principles of Anesthesia III lecture course.)

Advanced high fidelity simulation is designed to complement didactic learning, mirror clinical environments, and to provide learning through transformation of experience. Advanced high fidelity simulation learning activities are specifically used to enhance critical thinking, problem solving, and skills development appropriate for the doctoral nurse anesthesia student.

PrerequisiteANE 821 with a minimum grade of B-. B- grades are required for program progression

Nurse Anesthesia Physiology III is a comprehensive examination of respiratory, renal and reproductive physiology with particular emphasis on how these topics relate to anesthesia management. Doctoral nurse anesthesia graduate students will also investigate the pathophysiology of various disease states regarding these respective systems and the underlying biochemical mediators involved.

Development of advanced clinical reasoning and assessment skills to determine client health status and needs. Application of physiological, pathophysiological, and psychosocial concepts with implications for Nurse Anesthesia.

PrerequisiteANE 824 with a minimum grade of B-. Minimum course grade for any anesthesia course is a B-, Curriculum in a cohort, lock-step model

Detailed study of anesthesia care preoperative planning, implementing, and perianesthetic management for complex anesthesia delivery. Specialty anesthesia practice foci of neuro-cranial and neuro-spine, trauma, critical care, transplant, hepatic, and renal surgery will be covered.

CorequisiteANE 830 with a minimum grade of B-. B- is the minimum allowable grade for matriculation in the program

Advanced high fidelity simulation is designed to complement didactic learning, mirror clinical environments, and to provide learning through transformation of experience. Advanced high fidelity simulation learning activities are specifically used to enhance critical thinking, problem solving, and skills development appropriate for the doctoral nurse anesthesia student.

This course presents topics surrounding professional nurse anesthesia practice. Course topics include: Professional qualifications and capabilities of the Nurse Anesthetist, advanced practices roles and responsibilities, professional involvement and lobbying, governmental and non-governmental regulation of Nurse Anesthesia practice, Standards of Care within anesthesia, professional reimbursement, health care marketplace trends, influencing health care policy, assessing and selecting CRNA practice settings, the American Legal System and its impact on CRNA practice, the anatomy of malpractice litigation, clinical competency, continuous quality improvement, cultural competency, ethical issues and decision making.

Course designed for advanced practice nurses. Topics include descriptive statistics, elementary probability, probability distributions, one- and two-sample normal inference (point estimation, hypothesis testing, and confidence intervals), power and sample size calculations, one- and two-sample binomial inference, underlying assumptions and diagnostic work. Includes primary statistical tools used in epidemiology and health services research; multiple linear regression, logistic regression, and survival analysis.

PrerequisiteSatisfactory completion of the didactic phase of the program.

Provides supervised clinical practicum experience for the student nurse anesthetist to begin administering anesthesia to patients with minimal co-morbidities or complex anesthesia requirements. The student will engage in the entire perioperative course under the direct supervision of a CRNA or Anesthesiologist.

PrerequisiteANE 800 with a minimum grade of B-. Program policy for matriculation

Implementing evidence in nurse anesthesia practice extends knowledge of the basic principles of evidence-based practice. This on-line course examines the use of research in practice. Understanding, appraising and using evidence for practice are addressed. Evaluation of clinical practice guidelines and systematic reviews form the foundation for implementing change in anesthesia practice. Professional advocacy and methods for change are evaluated.

Critique and intensive review of the principles and applications of perioperative nurse anesthesia practice. Scholarly inquiry of specific anesthesia case studies and patient care management techniques. Thorough investigation of current evidence for anesthesia case management, to include critique of the current literature and development of case study review.

This course will delve into the world of healthcare policy and advocacy as it relates to APRNs. We will talk about the process of how policy is created, discuss aspects which drive policy such as interest groups, lobbyists and organizations. We will discuss the IOM report and how it has impacted APRN healthcare related policy and how these impact APRN practice. We will discuss advocacy and the future of CRNA practice and involvement in driving and shaping policy.

A clinical and seminar course that continues to add increasing anesthesia complexity, comorbidities, and autonomous clinical decision making. Scholarly inquiry of complex anesthesia case studies and patient care management techniques. Thorough investigation of current evidence for anesthesia case management, to include critique of the current literature and development of case study review.

This course will analyze healthcare systems and various communication methods as each relates to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Exploration of the communication methods and systems APRNs interact with will drive the course discussions related to professional interactions, healthcare systems and communication including online. The course will evaluate communication methods and their impact on APRN practice as well as professional implications. Application activities related to communication within nurse anesthesia will occur at the practice level.

This course is a critique and intensive review of the principles and applications of evidence-based nurse anesthesia practice. This course requires scholarly inquiry of specific anesthesia case studies and patient care management techniques. A thorough investigation of current evidence for anesthesia case management including critique of the current literature and the development of publishable case study is required. Inquiry in this course builds upon prior clinical rotation/seminar courses, increasing in complexity and depth of review.

PrerequisiteANE 801 with a minimum grade of B-. B- required for matriculation in the program

Emphasizes the concepts and premises of the science of epidemiology. Methods of hypothesis formulation and evaluation are stressed. Techniques for quantifying the amount of disease (or other health indicator) in populations are introduced, followed by discussion of epidemiologic study designs useful for identifying etiologic factors and other relevant correlates of disease. Uses a series of case studies to teach the principles and practice of epidemiology, ranging from surveillance and descriptive epidemiology to outbreak investigations and analytic methods. Focuses on the use of sound epidemiologic judgment

CorequisiteANE 865 with a minimum grade of B-. Minimum allowable grade for metriculation

Critique and intensive review of the principles and applications of perioperative nurse anesthesia practice. Scholarly inquiry of specific anesthesia case studies and patient care management techniques. Thorough investigation of current evidence for anesthesia case management, to include critique of the current literature and development of case study review. Inquiry in this course builds upon prior clinical rotation/seminar courses, increasing in complexity and depth of review.

This course will analyze healthcare economics and finance as it relates to the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). Exploration of the process of economic policy creation and anesthesia practice finances, will drive the course discussions related to interest groups, healthcare models, efficiency and quality. The course will evaluate regulatory policies and their impact on the healthcare economics and APRN practice related policy. Application activities of economics within nurse anesthesia will occur at the practice level and practice models.

PrerequisiteANE 870 with a minimum grade of B-. Minimum required for program progression

Critique and intensive review of the principles and applications of perioperative nurse anesthesia practice with advancing complexity and comorbidities. Scholarly inquiry of specific anesthesia case studies and patient care management techniques. Thorough investigation of current evidence for anesthesia case management, to include critique of the current literature and development of case study review. Inquiry in this course builds upon prior clinical rotation/seminar courses, increasing in complexity, autonomy, of clinical anesthesia case management.

This course emphasizes the synthesis, critique, and application of learning gained in the program to support quality clinical practice and organizational systems. The DNAP candidate, in consultation with their academic advisor, proposes a project that begins with a thorough and scientific evaluation of a current healthcare issue requested by an approved healthcare entity. Following approval of the proposal by the academic chair and project committee, the DNAP candidate will complete the doctoral project within two academic years as evidenced by the rendering of recommendation(s) or design of an innovative clinical practice or program solving an actual healthcare issue.

PrerequisiteANE 870 with a minimum grade of B-. Minimum grade for metriculation

Provides supervised clinical practicum experience for the senior student registered nurse anesthetist in advanced anesthesia clinical disciplines. The student will engage in the entire perioperative course under the direct supervision of a CRNA or Anesthesiologist. Advanced anesthesia specializations in these rotations for this course include: advanced ambulatory anesthesia; advanced thoracic/vascular anesthesia; advanced cardiac anesthesia; advanced neuroanesthesia; advanced obstetrical anesthesia; transplant anesthesia; advanced pediatric anesthesia; advanced regional anesthesia; non-surgical pain management; transition into practice.

Advanced exploration of the Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice role, and contributions graduates are prepared to make in nurse anesthesia practice, leadership, and education. Students explore the history, social context, and philosophical basis of the DNAP role. Students will also develop an understanding of the value of transformative leadership in healthcare through use of critical exploration of the literature. Students engage with leaders in administration, education, policy, and research. The role of individuals, teams, and consultants in leading change will be topics of discussion

Admission Requirements:

  1. Successful admission to National University.
  2. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from a NLNAC or CCNE accredited College or University or Bachelor of Science in a related physical science with licensure as a registered nurse.
  3. Current unrestricted/unencumbered (clear/active) license as a registered nurse in one of the states of the United States, with eligibility for licensure throughout all states in the United States.
  4. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on all undergraduate courses or 3.25 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate courses on a 4.0 scale.
  5. Science GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  6. Successful completion of the following prerequisite courses:
    1. Pharmacology
    2. Anatomy with Lab
    3. Physiology
    4. General Chemistry (with lab)
    5. Undergraduate statistics
  7. A minimum of one full year of critical care experience in an intensive care unit within the past three years as a registered nurse. Emergency department and other experiences will be considered on an individual basis. Operating room, OB, and PACU experience is not accepted as critical care experience.
  8. Three favorable evaluations/recommendations from:
    1. Current clinical supervisor
    2. Fellow critical care nursing peer or anesthesia provider
    3. Academic faculty or clinical educator familiar with your academic performance
  9. Professional certification in any of the following preferred: CCRN, CEN, or CFRN.
  10. Current ACLS and PALS certification
  11. Shadow experience in the OR with a CRNA or Anesthesiologist
  12. Successful personal interview
  13. Ability and willingness to travel for clinical rotation assignments, and to be flexible when required to change clinical sites at short notice.
  14. Ability to meet the didactic and clinical requirements of the curriculum.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze physiologic, safety, and organizational theories to promote patient safety, enhance quality care, and improve nurse anesthesia practice.
  • Synthesize relevant scientific literature and apply results to improve nurse anesthesia practice and patient care outcomes in a culturally sensitive manner.
  • Develop effective communication strategies for working with complex patients, families, administrators, and other health professionals.
  • Develop effective strategies for managing ethical dilemmas inherent in anesthesia patient care and the workplace.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills to meet the challenges of complex health care and educational environments.
  • Demonstrate doctoral level scholarship in nurse anesthesia through presentations, publications, leadership activities, and collaboration with other disciplines.
  • Utilize technology and information systems to analyze, manage, and present data.
  • Analyze complex patient comorbidities to formulate and implement an anesthesia plan of care.

Admissions

Enrolling in a university is a big decision. That’s why our dedicated admissions team is here to guide you through the admissions process and help you find the right program for you and your career goals.

To that end, we’ve simplified and streamlined our application process, so you can get enrolled in your program right away. Because we accept and review applications year round, you can begin class as soon as next month, depending on your program and location of choice.

Learn more about undergraduate, graduate, military, and international student admissions, plus admissions information for transfer students. You can also learn more about our tuition rates and financial aid opportunities.

To speak with our admissions team, call (855) 355-6288 or request information and an advisor will contact you shortly. If you’re ready to apply, simply start your application today

Why Choose National University

  • Four-Week Courses
  • 75+ Degree Programs
  • Online or On-Site
  • Year-Round Enrollment
  • Military Friendly

We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 200,000 alumni worldwide.

Headshot of Francisco R., Class of 2016, a man with short hair and a beard, who wears a polo shirt.

“National University has impacted my career. You can immediately apply what you learn in class to your business.”

-Francisco R., Class of 2016

A mother sits on a couch with a laptop and smiles at her toddler-aged son, who is looking forward.
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE
We know your life may not happen on a 9-5 schedule, so we offer courses online or on-site at locations across California.
white scholarship opportunities icon

Key Grant Scholarship

Do you qualify for 50% tuition reduction? Learn more about the NU Key Grant and other scholarship opportunities to unlock the door to your dreams!

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

Chat with an Advisor
National University
Chat Options