The Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program (MSNA) is designed for the Registered Nurse wanting to obtain the skills and knowledge needed to pass the National Certification Examination (NCE), and become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
The programs can range from 28-34 months in length and can be front-loaded with an academic then clinical phase or a concurrent didactic/clinical schedule.
MSNA Course Schedule
Note: no two anesthesia programs are identical and will contain slight variations to their course setup.
Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia – Phase I: (12 Months)
Human Patient Simulation
Human patient simulation allows the students to apply didactic course knowledge to the clinical setting. Students will practice intubation techniques, anesthesia machine management, placing spinals/epidurals, fiberoptics, and many more clinically related skills. These simulations reinforce important critical thinking, problem solving, and skill development prior to the RRNA’s entering the clinical anesthesia residency portion of the program..
Professional Aspects of Anesthesia
This course includes topics such as, health & wellness medical ethics, professionalism, and collaboration with the health care team.
Applied Chemistry For The Nurse Anesthetist
Provides an overview of general chemistry principles, gas laws, organic functional groups and biomolecules as it relates to anesthetics.
Specific topics of study include: biological, inorganic, and organic molecules, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, atomic theory, molecular bonding, gases, acid and base balance, and pH, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and catalysis.
Introduces the Registered Nurse (RN) to the administration of anesthesia by teaching the principles of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, uptake and distribution, and selected systemic pharmacology as it applies to CRNAs and the practice of anesthesia.
Advanced Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology I
Study of structure and function of human anatomy and physiology. Topics covered are cell structure, ion channels, receptor types, action potentials, electrolytes, skeletal system, and neurovascular, hepatic, and encdocrine.
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Research Methods in Nurse Anesthesia
Comprehensive overview of the research process including: methodology, experimental research design, qualitative & quantitative approaches to data analysis, and the interpretation and evaluation of research reports.
Advanced Physical and Health Assessment
Students will be taught comprehensive health and physical assessments tools that emphasis on the peri- operative phase of anesthesia care. The course reinforces the knowledge and skills acquired by the registered nurse and builds on the foundation formed during their nurse anesthesia training. RRNAs will build on critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning and communication skills that they acquired while working as a nurse.
Advanced Anesthesia Pharmacology
Introduces CRNA students to the historical foundations of anesthesia and identify key individuals responsible for the practice of anesthesia. Students will evaluate the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of the different classes of anesthesia medications as they apply to patient care. Each student will develop skills to evaluate post-anesthetic recovery of the patient. They will be able to recognize complications arising from the anesthetic management and take appropriate action.
Main topics of study include inhaled anesthetics, induction medications, neuromuscular blocking agents, local anesthetics, opioids, and amnestics. This course shows students how to analyze patient care situations, formulate an anesthetic plan, and apply it to various situations.
Advanced Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology II
Study of structure and function of various human anatomy and physiology. Topics covered are renal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematology, pulmonary, and fluid balance.
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Summer Semester I
Principles of Anesthesia Practice I
Prepares the Registered Nurse (RN) for a role on the anesthesia patient care team and in the administration of anesthesia. RRNA students will be shown how to use various anesthesia equipment in a competent and safe manner. This includes being able to select, assemble, and maintain proper equipment, anesthetic medications, and accessories while preparing/delivering anesthesia.
Summer Semester II
Principles of Anesthesia Practice II
Prepares the Registered Nurse (RN) for the administration of anesthesia by teaching a basic level of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor expertise that will be needed in their clinical portion of the program. Students will be shown correct anesthesia methods for the preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative anesthesia periods.
Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia Phase II: (16 Months)
Course focuses on the professional aspects of the nurse anesthesia profession. Content includes: legal concepts, anesthesia practice settings, malpractice insurance, cultural diversity, billing and reimbursement.
CRNA students will begin to apply the principles of anesthesia care under the supervision of clinical instructors. RRNAs must participate in 650 cases that cover various specialties, types of anesthetics and patient demographics. Clinical rotations are usually one-to-two months long and usually cover the following areas: pediatrics, obstetrics, cardiac (open heart), neuro, regional anesthesia, and and practice.
If a primary clinical hospital does not offer one or more of these things, the RRNA will be assigned a rotation at a facility that provides the needed experience. Even if the primary clinical site has every service, it is beneficial to the student to see the difference in alternate practice settings.
Distance Learning Option
Distance learning is available to CRNA students who are assigned to clinical sites that have provided classrooms and clinical coordinator support. Classes are delivered live using an interactive video stream that also students to ask questions and interact with the main campus during class.
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Requirements While in School
All students are required to have a working computer, internet access, and a printer. Student are responsible for their own computer maintenance. Computer malfunction will not be an acceptable reason to be absent from class or examinations. All laptop computer monitors greater than 10 inches are required to have a privacy screen.
Students must provide their own health insurance. Proof of coverage will be needed from the student, prior to starting the clinical portion of the program. Students who fail to provide proof of health insurance will be removed from the clinical area until proof is provided.
CRNA students are required to maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. No more than two “C” grades are allowed and grades below “C” will not constitute passing. MSNA students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 in Phase I to advance to Phase II. Certain critical anesthesia courses require a course grade of “B” or higher.
Qualified applicants may be accepted into programs offered by the Graduate Programs of Nurse Anesthesia on a provisional basis pending the completion of the admission criteria. These applicants must complete all required items prior to starting the program.
Applicants that do not complete the requirements (i.e unfinished courses, certifications, etc) by the school’s start date will not be admitted into the program and must reapply.
Upon Completion of Program
Abilities demonstrated by graduating students:
Graduating students will demonstrate professional conduct required for the role of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
Administer evidenced based anesthesia based on pathophysiologic principles, asses for changes in patient condition, and make appropriate adjustments to the anesthesia management.
Conduct accurate pre-anesthesia interviews using the patient’s history and physical assessment skills. Obtain informed consent and communicate to the patient the risks, complications, and anesthesia options.
Correctly order needed preoperative tests, and develop a safe anesthetic care plan based on patient’s history and surgery.
Perform a safe and effective induction of anesthesia, maintain proper patient positioning of the patient. Manage the patient’s airway including proper masking techniques, LMA insertion, and intubation.
Perform a safe and effective maintenance of anesthesia. Continuously assess patient response to surgical stimulus and make appropriate changes to the anesthetic during the surgery.
Perform a safe and effective emergence of anesthesia. Monitor patient ensuring that a safe natural airway has been maintained, correctly treat and complications that arise.
Evaluate patients in the post-anesthetic phase. Recognize situations that require intervention and take a course of action for correcting problem. Safely transport the patient and clearly communicate the condition of the patient to the recovery room staff.
Demonstrate responsibility for own actions and for continuing personal and professional growth.
Function within appropriate legal requirements as licensed CRNA.
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