Graduate Programs in Nurse Anesthesia: DNAP Mandate
There is a mandate that by 2025 all graduate programs in Nurse Anesthesia will be awarding a Doctorate Of Nursing Practice Degree (DNAP) in-place of the Masters Of Science In Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA). However, starting in 2022, no nurse anesthesia programs will admit students to master’s degree programs. DNAP stands for Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice. The DNAP specializes solely in anesthesia, and is the highest level you can achieve in the nurse anesthesia profession. All Certified Nurse Anesthetists that graduated prior to 2025 will be grandfathered in, and still eligible to work. Some schools have already transitioned to strictly a DNAP program, while others are still offering both DNAP and MSNA. The reason for the mandate is because, healthcare is changing at an extraordinary rate, requiring Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and other providers to keep pace by continually expanding their knowledge and skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to have a DNAP to be a CRNA?
If you are a practicing CRNA prior to 2025, you do not have to have a DNAP and will be grandfathered into the new AANA standards. However, starting in 2022, no nurse anesthesia programs will admit students to master’s degree programs.
What Are The Benefits Of A DNAP Degree?
The DNAP is the highest level you can achieve in the nurse anesthesia profession. Earning a DNAP puts you at the top of your field, and lets you have a direct impact on anesthesia care.
The DNAP degree is perfect for those seeking to improve knowledge of their evidence-based practice, to take on new leadership roles or to become faculty.
The practice doctorate curriculum exposes the nurse anesthetist to areas often not examined in master’s degree programs, including leadership, management, fiscal aspects of healthcare (including practice management) and evidence-based practice.
How does the DNAP degree differ from a PhD?
Doctoral programs fall into two categories: practice-focused / professional degrees and research-focused degrees.
The DNAP is a practice-focused doctoral degree. Practice-focused degrees prepare practitioners for specialized roles within a discipline such as anesthesia. DNAP coursework focuses on the CRNA as a clinical practitioner, educator, and leader who can identify problems, apply evidence based practice, and develop practices that are supported by the best available research.
Does The DNAP Program Cost More Than a Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia?
The DNAP degree will have a higher total cost than the MSNA degree. This is because of the additional classes that are required for graduation. You can expect to pay an average of $10,000-$20,000 more in tuition for the DNAP.
Does A CRNA With A DNAP Make More?
Having a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) does not increase your salary. Both DNAP and MSNA make the same amount of money per year, however a CRNA with a DNAP will be more marketable, and have an advantage when applying for job.
What Additional Classes Does The DNAP Require?
Professional Practice In Anesthesia
Anesthesia and Healthcare Policy
Health and Wellness in the Healthcare Setting
Human Factors and Patient Safety in Healthcare
Leadership, Evidence Based Practice
Deciding Between DNAP And a Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia That Offers the MSNA
It is important to look over both degrees that graduate programs in Nurse Anesthesia offer, and see which one is best for you. You need to compare total cost, length of program, and how each school organizes their curriculum. If teaching is something you want to do in the future, it is important to know that DNAP degrees make it easier to acquire a teaching position in a CRNA program. These are the most important factors to be considered when deciding between the two degrees. Do your research, and make an informed decision.
John Keith | CRNA Career Pro