Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia (DNP-NA) Program Requirements

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  • Sheryl Steadman, Dean
  • James Stimpson, Program Director
  • Art Shimata, Assistant Director



The mission of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Westminster College is to provide an academic environment which allows nurse anesthesia students to master the intellectual and technical skills required to become competent in the safe administration of anesthesia. The program accomplishes this by admitting a select group of experienced, graduate level nurses and then providing them with the highest level of didactic instruction, anesthesia simulation, and clinical site experiences. Our nurse anesthesia graduates develop life-long critical thinking skills and the professionalism needed to become compassionate, patient-centered anesthesia providers. We are committed to upholding the standards set forth by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) and the Council on Accreditation (COA) to produce skilled nurse anesthetists who are qualified to sit for the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) Examination. By this educational endeavor, it is the mission of the DNP-NA program at Westminster College to contribute to filling the urban and rural community needs for anesthesia providers.

Program Outcomes

A graduate of the DNP-NA program:

  • Evaluates delivery of a safe anesthetic with vigilant protection of the patient and prevention of complications.
  • Develops individualized perianesthetic care throughout the anesthetic continuum to patients of all ages and physical conditions.
  • Integrates skill and knowledge necessary to function as a resource person for airway and ventilator management of patients in various settings.
  • Utilizes critical thinking, decision making, and the application of sound principles and evidence-based research in practice.
  • Applies mastery of anesthesia concepts and skills by passing the NBCRNA certification examination.
  • Develops verbal, nonverbal, and written communication necessary to influence patient care.
  • Integrates professional attributes necessary to accept responsibility and accountability of new anesthesia practice.
  • Proposes politically active advancements in nurse anesthesia.

Progression in the Program

The student must:

  • Receive a grade of 82% or higher in all DNP-NA courses.
  • Maintain a current, unencumbered RN license.
  • Complete the program within four years of initial admission date.
  • Complete doctoral level project by the deadline assigned by course faculty.
  • Maintain a background check free of arrest and/or criminal Report any of criminal arrests and/or criminal incidents within 24 hours to the Program Director.
  • Maintain a negative drug Report any change or prescribed use of mind-altering substances, including narcotics, within 24 hours to the Program Director.
  • Remain in good standing at clinical sites.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for a doctoral degree, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.
  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
  • Earn a grade of 82% or higher in all DNP-NA courses.
  • Earn an average clinical score greater than 3.0 on daily and term evaluations.

Note:Only upper-level coursework may be applied toward degree requirements. Please note that the program requires that students must earn a grade of B (82%) or higher in all program courses to qualify for graduation, regardless of their cumulative GPA. The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual. Continued communication with the faculty advisor is recommended.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 90 credit hours is required for graduation. Clinical cases must include all minimum numbers as directed by the Council on Accreditation. Please see the DNP-NA Student Handbook for specific information regarding clinical cases.

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 90  
DNP 711 Biological Systems, Homeostasis, & Pathogenesis 3  
DNP 712 Professional Role 4  
DNP 713 Healthcare Improvement 4  
DNP 714 Practice Inquiry 3  
DNP 721 Technology & Informatics 3  
DNP 722 Public & Social Policy 3  
DNP 723 Health System Management 2  
DNP 724 Ethics in Healthcare 2  
DNP 727 Legal Concerns 2  
DNP 731 Advanced Health Assessment 3  
DNP 732 Gross Anatomy 3  
DNP 733 Research Methods 2  
DNP 734 Chemistry and Physics 2  
DNP 811 Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology 4  
DNP 812

Advanced Pharmacology I

DNP 813 Anesthesia Principles I 2  
DNP 814 Anesthesia Simulation I 2  
DNP 821 Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology II 4  
DNP 822 Advanced Pharmacology II 3  
DNP 823 Anesthesia Principles II 3  
DNP 824 Advanced Anesthesia Simulation 2  
DNP 831 Anesthesia Seminar I 1  
DNP 832 Advanced Anesthesia Principles I 2  
DNP 833 Clinical Practicum I 4  
DNP 911 Anesthesia Seminar II 1  
DNP 912 Advanced Anesthesia Principles II 2  
DNP 913 Research Practicum I 1  
DNP 914 Clinical Practicum II 4  
DNP 921 Anesthesia Seminar III 1  
DNP 922 Advanced  Anesthesia Principles III 1  
DNP 923 Research Practicum II 2  
DNP 924 Clinical Practicum III 2  
DNP 931 Anesthesia Seminar IV 1  
DNP 932 Advanced Anesthesia Principles IV 3  
DNP 933 NCE Review 1  
DNP 934 Clinical Practicum IV 4  
Total Hours for the Program 90  

Recommended Plan of Study