Post-Master's DNP: Nurse Anesthesia

Program Contact: Judy Thompson 203-582-8875

The curriculum of the Nurse Anesthesia program offers entry-level post-bachelor’s to DNP and post-master’s CRNA to DNP degree options. The curricula and policies were developed in accordance with The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN) and the Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). Core DNP courses taught by experienced nursing faculty and members of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Health Sciences will be shared collaboratively with the other advanced practice DNP candidates. Nurse Anesthesia students receive a strong science foundation as well as course content including patient safety and human factors as outlined in the standards.

The program’s goal—to develop knowledgeable, caring and compassionate nurse anesthetists who are committed to excellence in health care, preserving the dignity and rights of patients and advancing the profession—is congruent with the Quinnipiac University mission statement. The Nurse Anesthesia specialty is organized within the context of the DNP program in the School of Nursing. The DNP program builds on the generalist preparation of the bachelor’s-prepared nurse in the entrance-level DNP and the post-master’s level for the CRNA. The DNP prepares leaders in advanced practice roles who can synthesize knowledge from nursing and relevant fields of study as a basis for practice. The graduate curriculum provides both didactic and clinical experiences that facilitate critical thinking skills so that graduates are able to provide quality, cost-effective health services to individual clients, families and communities.

Course Listing

Post-Master's DNP: Nurse Anesthesia Program (30 credits)

HM 600Foundations of Health Care Management3
HM 664Financial Management in Health Care Organizations3
NUR 500Biostatistics1
NUR 514Epidemiology & Evidence-Based Practice3
NUR 516Health Policy and Organizational Systems3
NUR 602Principles of Ethical Theory in Nursing1
NUR 610Clinical Scholarship and Inquiry in Nursing2
NUR 610PBLDNP Project I2
NUR 612Leadership and Collaboration for Change in Health Care2
NUR 612PBLDNP Project II2
NUR 678Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice III1
NUR 688Human Factors and Patient Safety3
NUR 692Clinical Case Study Presentation1
STC 517Strategic Communication for Health Professionals3
Total Credits30

NUR 514 and NUR 516 are offered online or on campus (space-available basis).

Curriculum Note:

A one-day, on-campus residency is required prior to graduation.

The semester-by-semester Learning Pathway for this program is available in the School of Nursing.

The curriculum for this program is subject to modification as deemed necessary by the nursing faculty to provide students with the most meaningful educational experience and to remain current with professional standards and guidelines.

Admission Requirements

An applicant to the doctor of nursing practice/nurse anesthesia program must be a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and have a bachelor's degree in nursing or another field. The desired candidate will have obtained a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.

A complete application consists of the following:

  • an application form
  • application fee
  • two professional or academic recommendations:

– one from an official or the director of your nurse anesthesia program and 

– one from someone who is a current supervisor or is able to judge your current professional position and practice

  • proof of an active registered nurse (RN) license/or APRN if you are in a state that requires the APRN to practice
  • a current resume or curriculum vitae
  • transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • personal statement – The personal statement allows you the opportunity to provide us with information about yourself that does not appear on your resume. Please describe your professional goals and motivations.
  • verification from your prior master's nurse anesthesia program indicating the total number of supervised clinical hours that you completed as a part of that program. Download the form (PDF)
  • master's degree must fulfill core science requirements in the following areas:
    • Anatomy
    • Physiology
    • Pathophysiology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Statistics
    • Research
    • Pharmacology
    • Physical Assessment (A waiver may be granted if taken as part of the master's level coursework in the nurse anesthesia program. This can be verified by an official letter from the program director of your nurse anesthesia program identifying the course work where physical assessment was included in the coursework. If Physical Assessment has not been taken prior to application, it can be taken as part of the doctoral program.)
  • an official NBCRNA transcript showing graduation from an accredited nurse anesthesia program and listing the hours and clinical work performed in that program. (Contact NBCRNA and have the transcript sent directly.)
  • certifications:
    • Current certification/recertification as a CRNA
    • Current BCLS and ACLS certifications

Applications are considered on a rolling basis and students may apply to enter during the fall semester. Candidates are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible to ensure consideration for the semester desired. Applications are evaluated once all materials are received by Quinnipiac. A personal interview with the directors is required. An in-person interview is preferred for in state candidates, but the interview may be completed in person, via Skype or phone. Acceptance is offered to qualified applicants in the next available start term. Please note that admission is competitive and that meeting the minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission.

All accepted students also will be required to complete a background check and urine drug screen following acceptance and before the start of classes. Acceptances will be conditional until satisfactory completion of both.

Progression Requirements

Students are expected to take courses in the order they are presented on the curriculum pathways. Any student wishing to take a course out of sequence must seek permission from the graduate program chair.

According to Quinnipiac University policy, all graduate students are expected to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Full-time graduate students are required to achieve a 3.0 GPA each semester. Part-time graduate students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 upon completion of 9 credits and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 thereafter. The grading scale of the graduate nursing program is consistent with that of the university.

A student who earns less than a B minus grade in any nursing course will not progress into the next semester. The student is allowed to repeat the course once at Quinnipiac University provided that the course and the subsequent curriculum sequence are offered and must achieve a B minus or better. The student must achieve a minimum grade of a B minus in all subsequent nursing courses. Failure to meet this requirement will result in dismissal from the program. A student who earns unsatisfactory grades (grade of less than B minus) in two or more nursing courses in any semester is not eligible to repeat the courses and will be required to withdraw from the program.

A student who receives a grade of Incomplete (I) in any nursing course must meet all course requirements for conversion to a grade before the start of the subsequent semester.

For post-master’s students, transfer students, or students returning from an elective leave of absence during their course of study, selected courses must have been completed within five years.

At the end of each semester, the chair of the graduate nursing programs reviews the cumulative GPA and academic record of graduate nursing students. The graduate nursing program chair will notify both the associate dean and the student in writing, of the student’s failure to meet the academic requirements. Students who are performing at an unsatisfactory level will be: a) placed on probation; b) suspended; or c) dismissed. Students placed on academic probation remain in their program but must take specified corrective action to meet program performance standards. Students should meet with their advisers to identify learning strategies to help them accomplish these goals and the student should draft a list or narrative of these strategies, which will serve as a learning contract. A copy of this contract will be placed in the student’s folder and should be reviewed periodically with their adviser. Students must demonstrate a significantly increased GPA at the end of that semester to continue in the program. Students placed on suspension may also need to take specified actions as directed by the academic dean, graduate nursing program chair or academic adviser.

Appeal Process

  1. A student wishing to appeal a progression decision must write a letter to the chair of the graduate nursing program within one week of receiving notice of his/her inability to progress.
  2. Appeals will be considered by a Faculty Appeals Committee and results will be communicated in writing to the student.
  3. A student wishing to appeal a course grade should follow the grade appeal process.

HM 600. Foundations of Health Care Management.3 Credits.

This course expands the student's understanding of: 1) the organization and functions of various health services organizations/systems and their interrelationships; 2) basic concepts of management planning, organizing, leading, staffing and controlling as they relate to issues critical to the mission and strategic positioning of the organization/system; and 3) the utilization of scarce resources to deliver optimum health care at reasonable cost.

Offered: Every year, Fall

HM 664. Financial Management in Health Care Organizations.3 Credits.

This course equips the student with a basic understanding of financial management techniques as well as the application of financial theory to the practice of health care administration. Unique problems of financing health care organizations are covered, with special attention paid to using allocation decisions to develop structured financial management systems.

Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 500. Biostatistics.1 Credit.

This biostatistics course is an introduction to probability concepts and statistical tests currently used in the biological and health sciences. The course covers the application of statistics to data analysis. An emphasis is placed on inferential statistics, which includes estimation, confidence intervals, means, variances and proportions.

Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 514. Epidemiology & Evidence-Based Practice.3 Credits.

This course introduces epidemiologic principles, methods and data used in advanced nursing practice. Population health concepts are coupled with risk analysis statistics to critique evidence for holistic public health approaches. The use of data to assess acute and chronic population health problems, to implement effective interventions addressing these problems, and to examine outcomes is emphasized.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 500
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 516. Health Policy and Organizational Systems.3 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to various social and political policy environments impacting advanced nursing practice and health care systems. Students examine issues that inform health care policy, organization and financing. Nursing's advocacy role in shaping policy in organizational, social and political venues is emphasized.

Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 602. Principles of Ethical Theory in Nursing.1 Credit.

This course facilitates the student's formulation of a theoretical basis for ethical judgment at an advanced level of practice. Students analyze ethical theory and debate responses to ethical problems in advanced nursing practice.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Summer Online

NUR 610. Clinical Scholarship and Inquiry in Nursing.2 Credits.

This course focuses on improvement methods used to identify organizational systems' process problems affecting practice (direct and indirect care). Building on prior knowledge of evidence-based practice, students learn how to critically appraise scientific evidence, evaluate additional relevant information, and consider cost implications to create sustainable innovations intended to improve systems.

Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 610PBL. DNP Project I.2 Credits.

This seminar provides an opportunity for students to identify a health organization or system's opportunity for process improvement based on available aggregate data. Students develop a substantial and meaningful scholarly DNP Project Proposal that is innovative and evidence-based, reflects the application of credible research findings, financially sound, feasible, sustainable and demonstrates value to the organization and population(s) served. There is a minimum of 120 fieldwork hours associated with this course. The course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Corequisites: Take NUR 610
Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 612. Leadership and Collaboration for Change in Health Care.2 Credits.

This course focuses on developing advanced practice nursing leaders who are able to generate pragmatic responses to health care policy, systems and practice inquiry problems through a collaborative approach.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 610
Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 612PBL. DNP Project II.2 Credits.

Students continue experiential learning to create and sustain change through implementation of the approved, scholarly DNP Project Proposal using appropriate leadership concepts, interdisciplinary team collaboration, and change theory. Post-implementation and evaluation of Project outcomes are disseminated to applicable fieldwork site stakeholders, peers in a professional forum, and in a digital repository. There are 120 fieldwork hours associated with this course. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 610 NUR 610PBL
Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 678. Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice III.1 Credit.

This course discusses educational leadership as it pertains to the role of clinical preceptor and educator. Topics include curriculum development, evaluation and the role of the clinical educator. At the completion of this course, students will present their scholarly projects at a final assembly.

Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 688. Human Factors and Patient Safety.3 Credits.

This course examines issues related to human error and patient safety with an emphasis on crisis management. Students explore the theoretical basis of human error, patient safety and quality assurance in health care. This course introduces a systems approach to error investigation and analysis, and integrates concepts of teamwork, crisis management, simulation and monitoring systems in medical practice. Prerequisites apply to post-bachelor's program only.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 675; No prerequisites for Post Masters;
Offered: Every year, Spring Online

NUR 692. Clinical Case Study Presentation.1 Credit.

This course gives the students an opportunity to present clinical case study. Peer review and faculty review are used for assessment.

Offered: Every year, Spring

STC 517. Strategic Communication for Health Professionals.3 Credits.

In this course, graduate students will be exposed to the field of strategic health communication. In particular, students will be asked to consider the role of health communication messages in internal, organizational settings, as well as outward facing messages. Unique to this graduate-level strategic communication course, the students are expected to have minimal to no experience in the field of strategic communication. Instead, the overview of the field provided through this course seeks to encourage understanding of how the theories, practices, and evaluations of health communication should be incorporated within their areas of health expertise.

Offered: Every year, Spring