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Plan of Study

Year 1:


Pharmacology of Anesthetics and Accessory Drugs I

This course explores the various routes of anesthetic administration addressing the potential benefits and risk of each. Special emphasis is placed on specific anesthetic agents and their appropriate use. The responses and common complications associated with these agents are discussed.

Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology

This course will integrate advanced physiology with pathophysiology and clinical implications across the lifespan for advanced nursing practice. Organ systems function and dysfunction from the level of the cell through integrated organ levels will be presented, and the genetic basis of disease will be discussed. Recent scientific advances will be discussed with application to new approaches to disease and symptom management. The interrelationships between basic physiology, clinical pathophysiology, and genetics are emphasized through lecture and case studies.

Basic Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice


Advanced Physical Assessment and Clinical Decision Making

This is a laboratory/clinical course designed to help prospective nurse practitioners develop advanced clinical assessment skills. Provider-patient interaction, data collection, and hypothesis formulation are emphasized. All participants engage in actual practice with fellow students, and/or models, and consenting patients.

Applied Physiology for Nurse Anesthesia I

This course provides an in-depth analysis of the anatomy, physiology and patho-physiology of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and related anesthesia implications. The concepts of ventilation and perfusion as they relate to oxygen and anesthetic delivery and metabolism are examined. The effects of compromised cardiac and pulmonary function and their implications for the patient and anesthesia plan are reviewed. The impact of anesthesia on the structure and function of the heart as a pump as well as the characteristics of systemic circulation will be explored. The effect of surgery and anesthesia on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems will be emphasized.


Basic Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice II


Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Nursing Practice

Advanced principles of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics are applied to the nursing care of individuals across the life-stage spectrum. It focuses on the content and knowledge employed by the advanced practice registered nurse in the management of various conditions and disease states. The course builds on the pharmacology knowledge base acquired in the baccalaureate nursing program. The advanced pharmacology and therapeutics of several common diseases or conditions found in the acute care and primary care setting is presented. This is supplemented with pharmacotherapy modules to meet program specific needs.

Applied Physiology for Nurse Anesthesia II

This course provides an in-depth analysis of the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the hepatic, renal, nervous, hormonal, immunologic and hematological systems and related anesthesia implications. The focus of discussion will be on the special considerations when delivering anesthetic agents to patients. Emphasis will be placed on the assessment of the patient with common disorders of these systems. Nurse anesthesia care related to patients undergoing surgeries involving each system will be discussed.

Clinical Fieldwork for Nurse Anesthesia Practice I

This course provides students the opportunity to integrate theory into practice within the clinical setting. The focus is on the development of diagnostic, therapeutic, ethical, and cultural judgments with the perioperative patient. Students’ progress from the care of healthy patients undergoing minimally invasive surgical procedures to the more complex patient with multiple health issues. Clinical preceptors are experienced CRNAs or anesthesiologists who act as mentors to facilitate the learning process. Students’ progress along the learning continuum as they integrate theory into practice and assume the role of the advanced practice nurse. The student begins to develop an advanced practice nursing role that integrates role theory, nursing theory, and research knowledge through clinical practice.

Principles of Patient Safety & Quality Improvement in Healthcare

This course integrates principles of systems thinking with foundational concepts in patient safety. Utilizing complexity theories, students assess healthcare practices and identify factors that contribute to medical errors and impact patient safety. Lessons learned from the science of safety are utilized in developing strategies to enhance safe system redesign. Students review the significance of inter-professional teamwork and a “just” culture, and the importance of high reliability organizations on safe and high quality healthcare delivery. Through the review of basic tools, and examination of frameworks in healthcare quality improvement, students develop approaches to inform a comprehensive view of systems issues. Various process improvement tools, and evaluation methods are explored in the context of innovative methods for improving healthcare quality.


Current Issues In Health and Social Policy

Analysis of key contemporary issues in health and social policy that will provide students with a deeper understanding of the design and structure of the U.S. health care system, the policy initiatives that have shaped it, and the roles of the government, the private sector, and consumers and advocacy groups in setting the policy agenda. Seminars will examine the origins of each issue, the policies enacted and their effects, both intended and unintended, and will propose and debate the merits of alternative policy solutions. The role of health services and policy research in informing the policy debate and directions will be highlighted.

Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice: Obstetrics, Pediatrics, & Women of Childbearing Age


Introduction to Research Methods and Design

The relationships among nursing theory, research and practice will be examined. An emphasis will be placed on research competencies for advanced practice nurses (APNs), including understanding nursing research methods and strategies in order to evaluate research results for applicability to practice and to design projects for evaluating outcomes of practice. An understanding of statistical techniques will be integrated into the course and build on the required undergraduate statistics course. Published nursing research studies will be evaluated for scientific merit and clinical feasibility, with a focus on evidence-based practice.

Applied Physiology for Anesthesia III

This course is an in-depth analysis of the chemical and physical principles as they apply to nurse anesthesia practice. Aspects of organic and biochemistry including the chemical structures of compounds and its significance in pharmacology will be explored. Applications of the laws of physics as they pertain to nurse anesthesia practice will be reviewed with specific examples. Emphasis on the dynamics of the anesthesia delivery system and related equipment will be presented.

Clinical Fieldwork for Nurse Anesthesia Practice II


Year 2:


Introduction to Principles and Methods of Epidemiology

This course provides an introduction to epidemiologic methods and overview of the role of epidemiology in studies of disease etiology and in the planning, delivery and evaluation of health services. The population-based approach to the collection and analysis of health data will be emphasized throughout the course. Through textbook reading, problems sets, class discussion and review of the recent literature, students will become acquainted with the basic designs of epidemiologic studies in theory and in practice. Students will develop the basic skills necessary to use epidemiologic knowledge and methods as the basis for scientific public health practice. Please note, the online version of this course has a synchronous component (live online class sessions). The day/time will be listed in the course register.

Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice: Cardiac, Vascular, & Thoracic Surgery


Clinical Fieldwork for Nurse Anesthesia Practice III


Translating Research & Evidence into Practice (DNP Project #1)

This course focuses on the translation of research into practice (TRIP) to achieve sustainable improvements in clinical, patient and systems outcomes. Course content builds on the foundational principles of evidence-based practice (EBP) and the critical scientific appraisal of evidence to guide advanced evidence-based reasoning and decision-making for translation and application to practice.


Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice: Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pain Management, & Trauma


Data Analytics

This course approaches statistics from an applied as well as theoretical point of view. Focus is given to learning the appropriate application and interpretation of statistical analyses. The course addresses data transformation, effect size and power analysis for determining sample sizes, confidence intervals, and parametric and non-parametric statistical tests including t-tests, analysis of variance, chi square, correlations, multiple and logistic regression and other methods of analyses for continuous and categorical data. Emphasis is placed on conducting statistical analyses using existing software programs.

Nurse Anesthesia Residency I


Translating Evidence into Practice: DNP Project Planning II

This course provides an overview of the concepts, procedures and fundamental processes of project management for Doctor of Nursing Practice students. Principles, tools and techniques of project management within an integrative framework are reviewed and applied to the chosen project. Students develop a proposal for an evidence-based project that addresses a health promotion and community health concern, clinical problem, integration of technology/informatics in care or a policy-related issue. Students will finalize a project management plan. Students will continue to meet with key stakeholders and members within healthcare agency and/or communities of interest where the project is being implemented.


Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice: Special Surgery


Leadership Development in Healthcare

This course provides a conceptual and theoretical framework for examining the concepts of leadership, planned change and power/empowerment within selected environments; namely, health systems, health and public policy arenas, and professional and civil societies. Content focuses on characteristics of personal and professional leadership, places and types of leadership, theories of leadership and planned change processes and specific tools and practical experiences in leadership development.

Nurse Anesthesia Residence II


Translating Evidence into Practice III: DNP Project Implementation

This course requires DNP students to implement their project and determine how the results can be used to improve processes and procedures within the healthcare agency or community of interest. Students are expected integrate evidence-based practice paradigm and process principles into the development of a final report and present the findings to each other for peer critique. Barriers from people, places and policies will be addressed and strategies developed to negotiate solutions. Principles of sustainable evidence-based practice change across disciplines and within various healthcare settings will be discussed. Students will assume the role of leader in the interprofessional collaboration, consultation, and partnership with the healthcare organization or communities of interest.

Year 3:


Healthcare Informatics

This course is designed to introduce the student to fundamental concepts and issues surrounding technology and information management in today’s rapidly changing health care environment. Emphasis will be placed on defining informatics and the models and theories used in its development. To prepare the student to take a leadership role in information system design and selection the class will study the process of information systems analysis, implementation and evaluation involving functional, organizational and human aspects.

Nurse Anesthesia Residency III


DNP Project IV: Dissemination of Project

This course is designed to assist students in the completion of their DNP project. This final step in the project includes dissemination of evidence and the consideration of factors to promote sustainability. The project report will be finalized and submitted to the agency or community of interest. The project trajectory is evaluated against the originally planned project to identify areas of success, need for improvements and for areas of scope creep. Students will be mentored in creation of professional presentations and manuscript development for publication.

Professional Aspects & Leadership for Nurse Anesthesia Practice

This course will provide students with an opportunity to explore professional issues which affect the practice of nurse anesthesia and the healthcare delivery system. Discussion of professional issues which impact nurse anesthetist practice will include professionalism, scope of practice, patient safety from a systems perspective, medical legal concerns, ethical decision making, reimbursement and other financial issues which impact healthcare delivery. Students will be afforded the opportunity to develop their own sense of professionalism as they explore these issues and develop a professional presentation.


Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice: Problem-Based Learning

Exploration of the conceptual-theoretical basis of nursing. Analysis and evaluation of conceptual models of nursing and nursing theories with emphasis on implications for nursing practice.

Nurse Anesthesia Residency IV


The Business of Healthcare: Principles of Finance, Accounting and Economics

In this course, students will focus on the business of health care and the financial competencies needed to manage complex health care organizations. This course integrates the basic principles of accounting, finance, and health care economics with business planning. It is designed to facilitate the student’s knowledge and application of financial principles in the health care setting. Course content includes an overview of the health care landscape, basics of health insurers, introduction to budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, an overview of the financial planning cycle, operating budget development and labor variance analysis. The course culminates with an opportunity for students to apply their skill sets in performing an environmental scan and developing a business case.


Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice
Nurse Anesthesia Residency V

This course is the fourth and final residency that will provide the nurse anesthetist student the opportunity to attain competencies within the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) scope of practice. Throughout the residency, the nurse anesthesia resident will utilize appropriate clinical judgment to manage the complex medical, physical and psychosocial needs of clients in the perioperative phases.  Further refinement of the patient assessment, anesthesia administration, and critical thinking skills is emphasized. Students’ progress by providing anesthesia care for patients throughout the continuum of health care services. The guidance of CRNA faculty preceptors contributes to the development of the independence of the CRNA student. Collaborative practice within a care team model is emphasized and the student assumes more overall responsibility for the quality of care for the patients throughout the perioperative experience, with clinical support as required.