Post-Bachelor'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-Bachelor’s to DNP: Nurse Anesthesia Program (76 credits)

BMS 518Pathophysiology3
NUR 500Biostatistics1
NUR 514Epidemiology & Evidence-Based Practice3
NUR 516Health Policy and Organizational Systems3
NUR 517Anatomy for the Nurse Anesthetist2
NUR 517LAnatomy for the Nurse Anesthetist Lab1
NUR 520Advanced Health Assessment I3
NUR 520LAdvanced Health Assessment I Lab2
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 670Basic Principles of Anesthesia II3
NUR 671Clinical Practicum I1
NUR 672Advanced Pharmacology II3
NUR 673Clinical Practicum II1
NUR 674Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice I1
NUR 675Clinical Practicum III2
NUR 676Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice II1
NUR 677Clinical Practicum IV2
NUR 678Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice III1
NUR 679Clinical Practicum V2
NUR 680Physics, Chemistry, Equipment and Technology for Nurse Anesthetists4
NUR 681Clinical Practicum VI2
NUR 682Advanced Principles of Anesthesia I3
NUR 683Clinical Practicum VII2
NUR 684Advanced Principles of Anesthesia II3
NUR 686Advanced Principles of Anesthesia III2
NUR 688Human Factors and Patient Safety3
NUR 690Advanced Principles of Anesthesia IV2
NUR 694Oral Comprehensive Exams2
NUR 696Advanced Pharmacology and Basic Principles of Anesthesia I4
NUR 698Human Physiology Seminar1
PY 501Human Physiology4
Total Credits76

Prerequisites for entrance: undergraduate anatomy and physiology with labs (8 credits); chemistry: inorganic and organic (8 credits); microbiology (3–4 credits); pharmacology (3–4 credits); and statistics (3 credits).

Oral comprehensives: pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and advanced principles of anesthesia.

Clinical practicum—5 semesters—approximate hours: 2000.

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

Curriculum Note:

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 DNP program must be a registered nurse or NCLEX eligible nurse and have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or another field. Applicants to the Nurse Anesthesia program must be registered nurses with two years of recent (within the past five years) critical care experience.

An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is required. Applicants should submit the following to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. A completed admissions application including a resume and a personal statement addressing the following:
    1. professional goals and motivations
    2. a nursing experience that has influenced or shaped your practice
    3. a health care problem that interests you for potential doctoral study
  2. Official transcripts from all schools previously attended.
  3. Official recent results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or (IELTS) International English Language Testing System for international applicants.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from persons with authority to evaluate your professional ability. Nurse Anesthesia candidates can see the requirements on the website.
  5. Proof of current licensure or eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse in the state of Connecticut.
  6. Core sciences courses required: Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry (two semesters total, of which one should be a general/inorganic chemistry), Statistics, Microbiology and Pharmacology. Core science courses must have been completed within the past 10 years. Refresher courses in Anatomy and Physiology (one semester) and Chemistry (one semester) must be taken for course work greater than 10 years old in these subjects.

Candidates applying for full-time admission must submit a completed application by October 15 for the Post-Bachelor's Nurse Anesthesia program. Candidates may be placed on a wait list in the event a space becomes available. However, acceptances are not deferred and wait-listed candidates need to reapply for the following year. Exceptions may be made in rare circumstances by the chair of the graduate nursing program.

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.

Nurse Anesthesia Progression Requirements

In all of the academic anesthesia courses (NUR 517/NUR 517L, PY 501, NUR 696, NUR 670, NUR 672, NUR 674, NUR 680, BMS 518, NUR 676, NUR 682, NUR 684, NUR 688, NUR 686, NUR 690, NUR 678, NUR 694, NUR 698) a minimum grade of B (83) in each anesthesia course independent of cumulative GPA is required to progress in the program.  If a student earns a grade below a B (83) in one anesthesia course, but has a semester GPA of at least 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation and will be required to retake the course when it is offered again at Quinnipiac University. Any grade below a C (73-76) in an anesthesia course will result in dismissal from the anesthesia program without probation and without the opportunity to repeat the deficient course.

Since anesthesia courses are in sequence and no anesthesia course may be taken ahead of any of its prerequisites, a student with a grade below a B (83) in an anesthesia course will not be allowed to 1) take any academic anesthesia courses for which the deficient course is a prerequisite and 2) participate in the clinical practicum until the deficient course is successfully completed with a minimum grade of B (83). Thus the student will be placed in another student cohort and the student’s program completion date will be delayed.

Only one period of probation is permitted. The student must achieve a minimum grade of B (83) in all subsequent anesthesia and non-anesthesia courses, health assessments, and practicums. Failure to meet this requirement will result in dismissal from the program without option to repeat or continue. 

A student who earns unsatisfactory grades (grade of less than B) in two or more anesthesia and/or non-anesthesia nursing courses in any semester is not eligible for probation and will be dismissed from the program. Any student who does not earn the required minimum 3.0 semester GPA will be dismissed from the program.

If student believes her/his final grade was determined in an arbitrary, capricious or prejudicial manner, the student may appeal the sanction of probation or dismissal by following the procedure to appeal a final grade that is stated in the Quinnipiac University Catalog. Only final grades can be appealed. If the grade appeal process results in a recalculated grade of B (83) or higher and the student does not have any other academic deficiencies, then the sanction of probation or dismissal is removed and the student may continue to progress in the program in the semester following the conclusion of the grade appeal process.

If a dismissed student believes there are errors in the facts considered by the nurse anesthesia program or extenuating circumstances, the student may appeal the dismissal according to policies in the Quinnipiac University Catalog.

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.

BMS 518. Pathophysiology.3 Credits.

Disease processes are studied as they relate to normal physiological and homeostatic mechanisms, basic pathology, pathogenesis, and defense/repair mechanisms. Where appropriate, the course includes some clinical correlations of disease states with signs, symptoms and lab findings. This course also is offered online in the spring.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Summer

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 517. Anatomy for the Nurse Anesthetist.2 Credits.

This course emphasizes the fundamentals of anatomy for the cardiac, respiratory and nervous system. Anatomy as it pertains to regional administration is stressed, as well as pain management. Throughout this course, students utilize dissections of specific organs and the use of computer and anatomic models. Airway anatomy is covered extensively through multiple modalities. Renal and hepatic anatomy are reviewed.

Offered: Every year, Summer

NUR 517L. Anatomy for the Nurse Anesthetist Lab.1 Credit.

This course features dissections of specific organs and the use of computer and anatomic models. Course includes an extensive study of airway anatomy through multiple modalities. Anatomy lab is utilized.

Offered: Every year, Summer

NUR 520. Advanced Health Assessment I.3 Credits.

This course presents the principles of performing a comprehensive health assessment and reporting the findings in a professional format. Attention is given to assessment and physical examination across the lifespan within diverse communities. The processes underlying diagnostic decision making are introduced. A laboratory component enables the student to master the techniques of performing a holistic health assessment.

Corequisites: Take NUR 520L
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 520L. Advanced Health Assessment I Lab.2 Credits.

This lab must be taken with NUR 520. (2 lab hrs.)

Corequisites: Take NUR 520
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 670. Basic Principles of Anesthesia II.3 Credits.

The course continues the basic principles of anesthesia and covers a variety of basic concepts needed to begin to assess patients pre-operatively for an anesthetic, care for them intra-operatively and safely deliver them to the post-operative care unit. This continuation of the basic principles introductory course is offered in conjunction with the beginning of the clinical practicum. Topics in anesthesia that students will be exposed to in the clinical area during their introduction will be covered and discussed. Time in the simulation lab will be included.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 696
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 671. Clinical Practicum I.1 Credit.

Individual clinical practice arranged with clinical coordinator. All day clinical practice, 3 days per week. The student will follow the hours of CRNA practice at each clinical site.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 696
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 672. Advanced Pharmacology II.3 Credits.

This course is a continuation of Advanced Pharmacology and Basic Principles of Anesthesia I (NUR 696) and expands on the administration of many of the drugs used in the practice of anesthesia. Students practice the administration of blocks used in anesthesia using patient simulators before administration to patients in clinical practice. Students are introduced to the pharmacology and corresponding physiology pertinent to the delivery of anesthetic care for many adjuvant drugs. Drugs used in the treatment of many comorbid conditions and their effects on and with those used in anesthesia are covered. Additional adjunct drugs used for cardiopulmonary support and pain control also are covered.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 696
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 673. Clinical Practicum II.1 Credit.

Individual clinical practice is arranged with the clinical coordinator. All-day clinical practice continues three to four days per week. The student follows the hours of CRNA practice at each clinical site. A clinical conference is held once per week.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 671
Offered: Every year, Summer

NUR 674. Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice I.1 Credit.

This course covers practice issues that pertain to the nurse anesthetist. Topics include legal aspects and scope of practice, our national association and the structure and functions of the autonomous councils, quality assurance and the business of anesthesia. Students explore their role in the political arena, and have an opportunity in a seminar format to discuss the issues concerning health care policy and the role of the CRNA. Attendance at the AANA Midyear Assembly is required for the nurse anesthesia student to provide an opportunity to visit with legislators and lobby on Capitol Hill.

Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 675. Clinical Practicum III.2 Credits.

Individual clinical practice is arranged with the clinical coordinators at each clinical site. Students participate in full-day clinical practice, and follow the hours of CRNA practice at each clinical site. A clinical conference is held once per week.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 673
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 676. Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice II.1 Credit.

The class will cover the importance of personal wellness and stress management for the nurse anesthesia student and the practicing CRNA. The student will become familiar with integrated therapies and behaviors used to create wellness and balance. Multiple factors related to chemical dependence and substance abuse will be studied. In this course we will also discuss the importance of cultural sensitivity and diversity in healthcare.

Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 677. Clinical Practicum IV.2 Credits.

Individual clinical practice is arranged with the clinical coordinator. All-day clinical practice continues four days per week. The student follows the hours of CRNA practice at each clinical site. A call component is included in the semester. A clinical conference is held once a week.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 675
Offered: Every year, Spring

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 679. Clinical Practicum V.2 Credits.

Individual clinical practice is arranged with the clinical coordinator. All-day clinical practice continues four days per week. The student follows the hours of CRNA practice at each clinical site. A call component is included in the semester. A clinical conference is held once a week.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 677
Offered: Every year, Summer

NUR 680. Physics, Chemistry, Equipment and Technology for Nurse Anesthetists.4 Credits.

This course includes an extensive study of key concepts pertaining to organic, biochemistry and physics as they relate to anesthesia. Topics include medical mathematics and conversion factors, the gas laws, biochemistry of fluids and electrolytes, acid-base and buffers systems, electrical circuits, reviews of organic chemistry including the functional groups and physical principles that are relevant. Equipment and technology used in anesthetic practice also are studied in this course. Students have an opportunity to utilize common anesthetic equipment in the laboratory setting.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 696 NUR 670 NUR 672
Offered: Every year, Summer

NUR 681. Clinical Practicum VI.2 Credits.

This course is a continuation of the advanced clinical practicum. A clinical conference is held each week.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 679
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 682. Advanced Principles of Anesthesia I.3 Credits.

The administration and management of anesthesia to patients regarding special considerations will be covered. Anatomy and physiology that relate to the practice of anesthesia will be discussed as well as other important areas requiring knowledge in the administration of anesthesia to the covered topics.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 696 NUR 670 NUR 672
Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 683. Clinical Practicum VII.2 Credits.

This course is a continuation of the advanced clinical practicum. A clinical conference is held each week. Students present their scholarly projects at an assembly at the end of the semester.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 681
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 684. Advanced Principles of Anesthesia II.3 Credits.

This course covers the fundamental concepts essential to clinical anesthesia practice in the obstetric and pediatric populations.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 682 or NUR 692
Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 686. Advanced Principles of Anesthesia III.2 Credits.

The administration and management of cardiac anesthesia will be covered in this course. Anatomy and physiology that relates to the practice of anesthesia for this specialty will be studied as well as emergency events relating to cardiac anesthesia, its considerations and disease processes.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 682 NUR 684 NUR 670
Offered: Every year, Summer

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 690. Advanced Principles of Anesthesia IV.2 Credits.

This course covers more advanced practices in anesthesia and expands on previous advanced principles course work.

Prerequisites: Take NUR 686
Offered: Every year, Summer

NUR 694. Oral Comprehensive Exams.2 Credits.

This course is designed to test the student's knowledge in preparation for the NCE. Oral exams are given in pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and basic/advanced principles of anesthesia. Students take the SEE exam at the start of this semester. Prerequisite: completion of all anesthesia core courses.

Offered: Every year, Spring

NUR 696. Advanced Pharmacology and Basic Principles of Anesthesia I.4 Credits.

The course precedes the anesthesia clinical practicum and covers a variety of basic concepts needed to begin to assess patients pre-operatively for an anesthetic, care for them intra-operatively and safely deliver them to the post-operative care unit. An introduction to the principles of advanced pharmacology and the primary classes of agents utilized in anesthetic practice is included.

Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 698. Human Physiology Seminar.1 Credit.

Students select a topic in human physiology for presentation to the group. The topic is selected from one of the systems studied in the Human Physiology course and must be approved by the professor. This provides the students with an opportunity to improve their public speaking skills and also to gather valuable information on physiology from other presenters.

Corequisites: Take PY 501
Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 501. Human Physiology.4 Credits.

This course takes a system approach to the physiologic and biochemical functions of the human body, including relevant anatomical correlations. Laboratory sessions emphasize clinical application to systemic function.

Offered: Every year, Summer