What Are the Top Schools for Nurse Anesthetists?

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who provide anesthesia. Learn about programs and rankings for three top schools with nurse anesthesia programs. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Nurse Anesthetist School?

Candidates for nurse anesthesia degrees are advanced nursing professionals who already have an undergraduate science degree or a bachelor's degree in nursing. In choosing a program, you may want to consider a school that's nationally ranked. The availability of high-quality hospitals and clinic facilities for training and clinical practice can also be an important factor in your decision. You'd probably want to check for program accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). You'll also probably want a school that has a high pass rate on the certification examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Each of the following schools has a COA-accredited program that may help you become a certified and registered nurse anesthetist.

What Are Three Top Nurse Anesthetist Schools?

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, TX

Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, the flagship hospital of the Baylor health care system, was one of numerous U.S. hospitals to be nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.

The College of Medicine's Department of Anesthesiology offers a graduate program for nurse anesthesia. Your program will include 18 months of coursework followed by 18 months in a clinical practicum. You should be prepared to take the national certification examination by the end of this program. If you're already a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), you could be admitted with advanced standing to the college's flexible, mostly online, doctoral program.

In the course of the program, you'll have clinical opportunities in general operating, obstetrical, pain management, pediatric and cardiovascular anesthesiology at seven hospital or clinic sites. This degree is available through Baylor's program in nurse anesthesia:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH

CWRU tied for 16th in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 evaluation of its graduate nursing: master's program. The university's nurse anesthesia program also tied for 36th in the nation that same year.

The Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing (FPB) was the first school to offer a practice doctorate in nursing and an acute care nurse practitioner program. The school offers a nurse anesthesia master's degree program. The 28-month program requires 40 credits. You'll spend hundreds of hours in clinical settings, administering anesthesia to patients under the supervision of expert anesthesiologists. After finishing the program, you'll be eligible to take the COA certification exam.

You'll have clinical opportunities with the Cleveland Clinic, the CWRU School of Medicine's own University Hospitals Case Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and the MetroHealth Medical Center. If you enter a doctoral program, the school's Center for Research and Scholarship may help you with research proposals. FPB offers the DNP, an executive doctoral program that can be completed partially online. FPB offers the following programs in nurse anesthesia:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Post-Master's Certificate in Nurse Anesthesia

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond

VCU's master's nursing program tied for 53rd, while its nurse anesthetist graduate program ranked number one in 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings. VCU offers an annual Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management Course attended by graduate nurse anesthesia candidates from schools around the country.

The School of Allied Health Professions hosts the Department of Nurse Anesthesia that offers the nation's first doctorate specific to nurse anesthesia, a master's degree and a combined degree program. In the master's degree program, you'll have three semesters of coursework followed by a 6-semester experiential curriculum, in which you'll be involved in patient care. You might work at the VCU Medical Center or another of the multiple VCU clinical partner facilities in Virginia during the clinical phase of your training. You can earn the following degrees at VCU in nurse anesthesia:

  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA)
  • Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP)
  • MSNA-DNAP

Ten Additional Schools with Nurse Anesthetist Schools

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of Pittsburgh Public, 4-year Pittsburgh, PA$23,000
Rush University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Chicago, IL$37,000
Duke University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Durham, NC$55,000
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Public-Governmental, 4-year Bethesda, MDN/A
University of Pennsylvania Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Philadelphia, PA$39,000
University of Maryland-Baltimore Public, 4-year Baltimore, MD$16,500
University of Iowa Public, 4-year Iowa City, IA$11,000
Texas Wesleyan University Private, not-for-profit, 4-year Fort Worth, TX$18,000
University of Cincinnati Public, 4-year Cincinnati, OH$14,000
Arkansas State University Public, 4-year Jonesboro, AR$6,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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