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Nurse Anesthesia - FAQs

  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
  • Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU)
  • Cardiac Care Unit (CCU)

The purpose of this requirement is for the applicant to have experience with long duration of care for critically ill patients. With acute care experience, an RN has developed as an independent decision-maker capable of using and interpreting advanced monitoring techniques based on knowledge of physiological and pharmacological principles. Emergency Room experience, OR experience, and post-anesthesia care unit experience is not considered "critical care" due to the relatively short duration of individual patient care.

Our program is accredited to grant a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree to a BSN-prepared nurse. Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree in the area of nursing (BSN or BAN). RNs who have an Associate degree in nursing must complete a BSN completion program (RN-BSN) prior to the start of the program.

If you are working on attaining your bachelor's degree in nursing and will have it completed before the start of the program (i.e., Summer semester), you may apply to the program prior to the deadline of June 1.

If you are interested in learning more about the University of Iowa RN-BSN program, visit the program website.

On average, we receive between 10-20 inquiries to the program per month. The number of inquiries which lead to application varies from year to year. As the job market remains very strong for CRNAs, we look to continue receiving many applications for each new class of students

No. Admission into our program is very competitive. All submitted applications are reviewed by our Admissions Subcommittee. All aspects of the application are thoroughly evaluated by the committee, including overall GPA, basic science GPA, clinical experience, reference letters, and the personal statement. Interviews are extended to the applicants the committee feels will be most successful in completing the program of study.

All interviews are held on campus at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Applicants will meet with the program Director, Associate Director, Clinical Coordinator, and other faculty. Applicants will also meet with current students and have the opportunity to ask questions of anyone they meet. Applicants will have lunch with current students. The interviews are typically scheduled from mid-July to early August.

We currently admit twelve (12) students per academic year to the program, two of which will be based in either Des Moines or Spencer. Our class size is small due to the limited number of clinical experiences available in the state of Iowa. By remaining a small program we ensure exceptional clinical and case experiences for each student.

No, due to the limited space in classes, once you have been admitted into the DNP program, you must take the coursework according to the plan of study.

Descriptions of qualifying course criteria for statistics classes can be found on the "Prerequisite Course Criteria" sheet.

"Upper level" means it is a collegiate level course that contains descriptive and inferential statistical analyses. If you have questions about the suitability of a stats course, please contact the program office.

Statistics generally proves to be a fairly "use it or lose it" subject. The College of Nursing's requirement of this course to be taken "recently" is meant to assist the student in staying competitive with other students in the DNP program.

Different institutions incorporate many of these topics in differing ways. At the University of Iowa, General Chemistry I (CHEM:1070) covers inorganic chemistry and General Chemistry II (CHEM:1080) covers organic chemistry and biochemistry. If you have had experience with the topics listed in the overview of the "Prerequisite Course Criteria" in other courses which you've taken, you will need to supply the program office with a course description and/or course syllabus of that class for evaluation. If we feel you've had adequate exposure to the topic, we will count that course. If not, you would be required to retake the course.

As a general rule, science courses at other institutions that meet pre-professional (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-vet, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-engineering) admission requirements are preferred.

The prerequisite courses required are chosen to facilitate your success in the program and allow the program to build on previous knowledge and experience. You should not have more than 1 or 2 pre-requisite courses left to finish at the time of your application. More than that will reduce your competitiveness in the applicant pool.

If you are close to having one year of full-time critical care nursing experience by June 1 (for example, you have 10 to 11 months experience), you may still apply but you may not be as competitive. The average experience for admitted students is 2+ years. The program may grant admission on a contingent basis, pending completion of necessary requirement(s). As long as all requirements for admission (see "Requirements") are complete by the opening day of classes, your admission status will be the same as all other students. You will be expected to continue working in critical care from application time until admission.

If, however, you do not complete all admission requirement(s) by the start of classes, you will not be admitted to the program and you would need to reapply for the next start date, repeating the entire process. As admission is very competitive and is based upon the applicant pool, there would be no guarantee that you will be readmitted.

Historically, our program has had a very low attrition rate of about 4-5%. Since converting to a DNP curriculum in 2010, our attrition rate has remained low at 3.2% (2/62). We believe our selection process leads us to choose students that are well prepared to complete the plan of study for their DNP in Nurse Anesthesia.

Since inception the program has a 97% first time pass rate and a 100% overall pass rate for the National Certification Exam.

Since inception 100% of the program's graduates have received jobs as CRNAs upon completion and passing their boards. Many of the program graduates work in Iowa or other rural states and a large number work in rural practices.

Admitted students typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or greater, 24-30 months of critical care nursing experience, and have completed all prerequisite coursework.