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College of Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program

Do I need to have a BSN?

Yes, in order to apply to the program you will need to have completed a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing (BSN) from a NLN or CCNE accredited nursing program. The nursing school must also be regionally accredited from one of the eight regional accreditation entities recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Many applicants complete their Associate Degree in Nursing as an entry level degree and obtain their BSN while working in the critical care area.


Do you have to be a Registered Nurse (RN) to apply for the program?

Yes, you have to be Registered Nurse with a BSN. At the time of application you must have a current non-restricted license as an RN in the state in which you currently practice. If you are accepted to the program you will be required to have/maintain an current non-restricted license as a RN in North Carolina .


Is the GRE required?

Yes, GRE (taken within the last five years ) scores are required and considered in the admissions process, This requirement is not waived if you already have a master's degree. We do not accept the MAT. We prefer applicants to have a GRE score over 300 for the combined quantitative and verbal score. While these measures assist us in predicting your ability to be successful in our graduate program of study, we also consider all your collegiate course work which may balance the impact of your standardized scores.


Are ACLS and PALS certifications required for application/admission to the program?

You must have current certification in ACLS (either provider or instructor level) to apply to the program. You may apply for the program without PALS certification but must have current PALS certification prior to admission. Both certifications must be maintained throughout the program


IS CCRN Certification required for application/admission to the program?

No, CCRN certification is NOT required, but is encouraged, for application or admission.


When is the application deadline?

We accept applications all year, but the completed application for the DNP program must be received by October 31st (six months prior to the May start date). Interviews takes place with the Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Committee in fall, which is six months prior to the May start of the program.


Who do I contact if I have questions about the admissions Process?

Please feel free to call the Nurse Anesthesia Program office at 252-744-6373 and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can.


How much and what type of Critical Care experience is required?

You will need to have at least one year of full-time employment in an adult critical care (ICU) setting prior to interviewing with the Admissions Committee. The purpose of this is to become proficient with  invasive patient monitoring, as well as managing patients who require ventilator support and/or vasoactive intravenous medications. The minimum of one full year (2080 hours) of adult critical care experience can include Medical, Surgical, Cardiac, Neuro, and/or Trauma ICU. We do not consider experience in Step Down Units (SDU), Post-Anesthesia Care Units (PACU), or Emergency Room (ER) in fulfilling this requirement.


Time Commitment:

The Nurse Anesthesia Program is a nine semester, 36 month program of study. The student's time commitment is approximately 40-64 hours per week. This time commitment includes study time. One hour of classroom time generates two or more hours of study time. Part-time employment is not encouraged while enrolled in the campus based nurse anesthesia courses.


Where does clinical take place? Will I have to travel?

There are no travel requirement outside of area.  However, there are two two-week electives that are within 60 minutes travel time from the ECU College of Nursing (see Clinical Curriculum).


Where can I find information about financial aid?

Financial assistance is available through: 

  1. Scholarships awarded by the university
  2. Federal loans
  3. Private Scholarships
  4. NC Nurse Scholars Program
  5. Scholarships Available through the AANA

Tell me more about the Program?

We take one class each year and it begins in May. Our class size is 12-14. We have a 95% graduation rate (since inception of the program in 2003) and a 94% first time pass rate on the National Certification Examination (since inception of the program in 2003). 100% of our graduates are working as nurse anesthetists within a short period after graduation. Most of our graduates begin their professional careers as nurse anesthetists in North Carolina.


What are the employment opportunities?

Since inception of the program 100% of graduates have been employed as nurse anesthetists within 6 months of graduation.