National University Launches Its First Doctoral Degree Program Cohort with the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

La Jolla, CA – January 22, 2019 – The School of Health and Human Services at National University, which is among the largest, private nonprofit universities in California, has expanded its program offerings to include a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP). The launch of the entry-into-practice doctoral program is in response to the growing need for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in California, and throughout the nation. National University’s highly-competitive terminal degree program is the only nurse anesthesia program in Central California.

NU’s intensive DNAP curriculum includes comprehensive didactic study paired with extensive high-fidelity training in a simulation lab.

Among the School of Health and Human Service’s 17 undergraduate and graduate degree programs provided online and/or onsite, the rigorous curriculum of the nurse anesthesia program was designed to meet the accreditation requirements and standards set forward by the only nurse anesthesia accrediting body in the United States, The Council on Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). The nurse anesthesia program at National University maintains a full 10-year accreditation by the COA.

“Changing demands of the country’s complex healthcare environment require the highest level of knowledge and expertise to assure quality patient outcomes,” said National University President Dr. David Andrews. “National University’s Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice expands practice opportunity for healthcare professionals and supports our mission to provide education programs that positively impact students and the communities in which they serve.”

Contributing factors to the nation’s health care challenges include changing policies, an increase in the aging population, increased complexity of healthcare needs in people with multiple chronic conditions. Throughout California and across the nation, a healthcare disparity continues to exist. The National University, Nurse Anesthesia Program is one of only five nurse anesthesia programs in California, training graduates to meet the healthcare needs at the local, state, and national levels.

“Graduates of National University’s nurse anesthesia program have a 100 percent employment rate, and the majority of graduates assume clinical positions with one or more of the program’s clinical affiliates,” said Dr. Gloria McNeal, dean of the School of Health and Human Services. “Placing more advanced practice nurses into the field is a crucial component of improving access to primary care, managing chronic health problems and reducing health care costs.”

In January 2019, students of the first DNAP cohort begin the three-year program at National University’s campus in Fresno, CA. Program candidates will have a background and licensure as a registered nurse with at least two to five years’ experience as a full-time critical care registered nurse, and an average 3.8 GPA in a bachelor’s level physical science or nursing degree program. Dr. Bryan Tune, PhD, DNP, CRNA, director of the nurse anesthesia program since its inception in 2011, suggests that the pre-requisite requirements prepare students for the intensive DNAP curriculum that includes comprehensive didactic study that is paired with extensive high-fidelity simulation training. Students in the second phase of the program are placed in specialized clinical rotations where they engage in the delivery of clinical anesthesia under the supervision of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist or Anesthesiologist. Graduates of the University’s Master of Science nurse anesthesia program currently exceed minimum requirements by 50 percent. Graduates from the most recent master’s degree cohort boasts a 100 percent pass rate of the national board certification exam.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are one of the primary anesthesia providers within the U.S. military. One in four National University students are active duty or Veteran status. In addition to the Vets2BSN program at the University, alumni of the nurse anesthesia program, have deployed into combat, lead anesthesia and forward surgical teams, and have now returned to teach within the program.

Applicants to the to the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) program can apply at any time. However, the next cycle of interviews will take place in June of 2019 for the second cohort scheduled to begin in January 2020.

About National University and The School of Health and Human Services
Founded in 1971, National University is among the largest, private, nonprofit universities in California. National University, the flagship institution of the National University System, offers more than 75 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation and are also available online. The University is comprised of four schools and two colleges including the School of Health and Human Services (SHHS) at National University. SHHS consists of the Departments of Nursing, Community Health, and Health Sciences, with multisite campuses located in Los Angeles, Fresno, San Diego, and Costa Mesa. SHHS offers 17 degree programs and provides online and onsite undergraduate and graduate programs including Nursing, Public Health, Healthcare Administration, Informatics, Allied Health, Nurse Anesthesia, Clinical Lab Sciences, Radiation Therapy, Complementary & Integrative Health, Single Subject Teaching Credential, and Health & Life Sciences Analytics.

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