The School of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Nurse Anesthesia program which is 36 months of full-time study to prepare advanced practice nurses in leadership positions in health-related organizations. The purpose of the Nurse Anesthesia program is to prepare future advanced practice nurses at the highest professional level of nursing practice in the role of nurse anesthesia.
Admission to the DNP program depends upon sufficient enrollment, university resources, and qualifications of applicants. A select number of applicants will be admitted to the program based on the criteria of the Graduate School Admission Requirements and Procedures. In addition, the applicants must also adhere to the requirements of the School of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice:
- Baccalaureate in Nursing (BSN) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from a U.S. institution accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (formerly NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The BSN must already be completed at the time of the application.
- Submitted official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), including a score of 3.0 or higher on the analytical section.
- Must have earned a 3.0 or higher-grade point average (GPA) (based on a 4.0 system) in both undergraduate and graduate nursing courses.
- A current unencumbered license to practice nursing in any state with eligibility for licensure in Mississippi.
- Must currently be working full time with at least one year, preferably two years, of experience in an area of intensive care nursing at the time of application.
- Completed an approved advanced graduate-level statistics course, achieving a grade of B or higher within the past 5 years.
- Proof of current certification of advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS), basic life support (BLS), and critical care nurse certification (CCRN).
- Must submit a current curriculum vitae (CV) (professional resume).
- Supplemental Nursing Application.
- Submission of three (3) letters of reference from individuals (doctoral-level nursing preferred) familiar with the applicant’s academic/professional background and experience in nursing practice, specifying in detail the applicant’s capacity for doctoral study and clinical expertise.
- Submit a cover letter of introduction and a personal statement of scholarly inquiry interests.
- Participate in a personal interview with the Admissions Committee (if invited).
- Proof of recent health examination to include (a) proof of immunization against the Hepatitis B virus, (b) current tuberculosis (TB) skin test or quantiFERON G test, (c) current Tdap immunization, (d) evidence of immunity to varicella, and (e) current MMR immunization.
- Must pass both a criminal background check and drug screening.
Exceptions to the above criteria must be approved by the School Director, the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
Program Requirements and Academic Policies
The program of study includes 114 hours of required coursework, including 12 doctoral project hours. A comprehensive exam, a doctoral project, and a 3.0 GPA are required to graduate.
If a student has a felony conviction, the student may not be able to complete the degree because the student may not be able to perform the required clinical experience.
Advanced standing is not granted to students even if they have attended another nurse anesthesia program. The BSN-DNP program is a uniquely integrated curriculum that builds on past education and experiences and progresses from basic to complex. All students must complete the program in its entirety in the sequence listed.
In addition to the USM graduation criteria, to be eligible for graduation from the Nurse Anesthesia Program, the following criteria must be met:
- Satisfactory completion of all academic courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0. A grade of “B” or higher must be attained in all anesthesia specific courses.
- Satisfactory completion of clinical experiences as required by the Nurse Anesthesia Program and the COA/NBCRNA
- Satisfactory achievement of program terminal objectives.
- Satisfactory completion of all academic and clinical assignments including, but not limited to, care plans, evaluations, DNP project, etc.
- All clinical records must be completed and submitted to the Nurse Anesthesia Program (e.g. Medatrax records).
- Satisfactory clinical performance.
- Satisfactory completion of the DNP Project in Anesthesia.
- Successful completion of the Self Evaluation Examination (SEE) which will serve as the comprehensive examination.
- Satisfactory completion of all requirements of the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists.
- Current BLS/ACLS/PALS, and unencumbered MS RN license on file with the Nurse Anesthesia Program.
Self-Evaluation Examination (SEE)/Comprehensive Examination
Students are required to pass the Self Evaluation Examination (which will serve as the comprehensive examination), given by the NBCRNA, to be eligible for graduation. Students are responsible for scheduling the SEE and paying all associated fees.
In the last semester prior to graduation, all students are required to pass the Comprehensive Examination (SEE) with a minimum score established by the program based on the published national average, demonstrate mastery of the content necessary to enter practice as safe, competent nurse anesthetists, and fulfill degree requirements.
See General Degree Requirements and General Academic Information for other requirements and policies.