The mission of the Iowa Anesthesia Nursing Program is to educate registered nurses through didactic and clinical experiences needed to successfully enter into practice as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Since Iowa and other rural environments have a shortage of anesthesia practitioners, students participate in mandatory clinical rotations in rural and critical access hospitals. University of Iowa DNP-CRNA graduates are prepared to be leaders within the profession and U.S. health care system.

Program Design

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum is designed to provide a BSN or BAN prepared Registered Nurse with graduate level education and clinical experience to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Successful students will graduate with a DNP degree with a specialization in nurse anesthesia and be eligible to sit for the NBCRNA National Certification Exam.

Benefits of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) has recommended the DNP as the graduate degree of choice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) including CRNAs. The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) has set 2022 as the deadline all CRNA educational programs to be educating at the doctoral level. The University of Iowa College of Nursing was one of the first in the nation to receive approval for the DNP from the CCNE in 2009. The Iowa anesthesia nursing program was one of the earliest programs to be approved for a DNP-CRNA educational program by the COA in October 2010. 

The DNP degree will allow CRNAs to be full partners in the developing health care system of the future and provide the high quality, cost-efficient care for which they are known. 

Online Completion DNP Degree Program for Practicing CRNAs
The College of Nursing also offers a number of post-graduate certificate programs that might be of interest to a CRNA. Please click here to see the plans of study for those degree options. These programs are available to any CRNA with a Master’s or Doctoral degree. 

CRNAs with questions about this program should contact kara-avis@uiowa.edu.

Clinical Experience Obtained during UI DNP Program of Nurse Anesthesia

Table 1

Totals COA Required Class of 2017 Class of 2018 Class of 2019
  Total Number of Cases 600 [700] 1260 1228 1173
  Hours of Mentored Anesthesia   2572 2717 2741
  Patient Physical Status  
    Class I & II   778 760 632
    Class III, IV, V, VI   482 469 540
Special Cases  
  Geriatric 50 [100] 345 390 355
  Pediatric 2-12 years 25 [75] 119 131 115
  Emergency 30 [50] 96 102 110
Anatomic Categories  
  Intracranial 5 [20] 34 54 65
  Intrathoracic 15 [40] 24 22 27
  Obstetrics 30 [40] 48 42 55
Methods of Anesthesia  
General anesthesia 350 830 853 818
    Endotracheal intubation 175 468 490 468
Regional techniques  
    Administration 25 298 360 360
    Arterial puncture/catheter insertion 25 72 81 82
    CVP  Placement 5 [10] 16 12 12
(  ) Minimum Required Cases,   [  ] Preferred Number of Cases