Nurse Anesthesia (Doctorate)

Degree

Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia
WCHP
School of Nurse Anesthesia

Contact

Office of Graduate Admissions
gradadmissions@une.edu
1 (800) 477-4863

For additional curriculum and program information contact the School of Nurse Anesthesia at (207) 221-4516.

Mission

The mission of the School of Nurse Anesthesia is to provide an academic environment that allows students to master the intellectual and technical skills necessary to become competent in the safe conduct of anesthesia. This is accomplished by providing a select group of experienced, graduate-level critical care nurses with the highest level of didactic, simulation lab, and clinical site experiences. UNE's graduate nurse anesthetists develop life-long scholarship, critical thinking skills, technical skills, and professionalism needed to become compassionate, patient-centered Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) in independent practice or within a collaborative anesthesia environment.

Program Description

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, have been providing anesthesia care in the United States of America for over 150 years. Currently, there are approximately 60,000 CRNAs in the country with more than 2,800 students graduating per year.

CRNAs are anesthesia specialists who safely administer approximately 50 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year. As advanced practice nurses, they can serve in a variety of capacities in daily practice, such as a clinician, educator, administrator, manager, and researcher. CRNAs work in the administrative positions of hospitals, academic institutions, and other health care facilities.

  • CRNAs administer anesthesia to patients across the lifespan for all types of surgical cases, using all anesthetic techniques. CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered, from university-based medical centers to free-standing surgical facilities and offices. CRNAs deliver anesthesia in traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; ketamine clinics; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and in U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities.
  • CRNAs are the primary anesthesia providers in almost 100% of rural hospitals in the United States, affording access to anesthesia care where it would otherwise not be available. CRNAs also provide anesthesia in inner cities, as well as urban areas including teaching institutions.
  • CRNAs are qualified and permitted by state law or regulations to practice in every state in the nation. They provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, podiatrists, dentists, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Nurses first provided anesthesia on the battlefields of the American Civil War. During World War I, nurse anesthetists became the predominant providers of anesthesia care to wounded soldiers on the front lines. Today, CRNAs have full practice authority in every branch of the military and are the primary providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on front lines, navy ships, and aircraft evacuation teams around the globe.
  • The School of Nurse Anesthesia at the University of New England has been involved in nurse anesthesia education since 1970, serving as an academic affiliate for hospital-based certificate nurse anesthesia programs. In 1988, we initiated a program leading to the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia. In 1993, the UNE MSNA program became the sole authority of the education of nurse anesthesia students when the last hospital-based program in Maine closed.
  • In 2021, the DNP program was approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs. The first class will matriculate in August 2022 and graduate in August 2025.
     

Three-phase program

The University of New England's doctoral program is a front-loaded 36-month three-phase program. On-campus classes are conducted on the historic Westbrook College of Health Professions campus located in the coastal city of Portland.

  • Phase I comprises two hybrid didactic semesters that are completed online with two on-campus weekends per semester. Courses in these semesters encompass the topics of informatics, leadership, epidemiology, and economics.
  • Phase II encompasses two on-campus semesters of didactic instruction in basic sciences and anesthesia taught by our CRNA and science faculty. During these semesters, state-of-the-art task trainers and simulation labs are utilized to prepare students for the clinical experience. The simulation lab is housed in a multi-million-dollar, high fidelity center in Innovation Hall on the Portland campus, increasing the quality and number of simulation experiences provided. Students are prepared for the clinical phase of instruction in courses such as Physical Assessment, Pain Theory and Management, and Airway Management.
  • Phase III of the program comprises clinical training at our hospital affiliates for a period of 19 months. Didactic instruction continues during the clinical phase through hybrid and on-campus courses in advanced principles of anesthesia and research, culminating in a scholarly project. Anesthesia crisis resource management is taught in both lecture and simulation modalities. The School has contractual relationships with over 38 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and offices located in New England and throughout the country, offering our students a varied and diverse clinical education experience. Students are trained in collaborative anesthesia environments as well as in non-medically directed, CRNA-only sites. Each student spends one to two months in a CRNA-only rotation. Students gain experience in all facets and types of anesthesia management, including ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, pain management, invasive monitoring, and pre and post-anesthesia patient assessment. The average number of clinical hours in the most recent graduating class was 2690, well above the COA minimum of 2000 hours. Our average number of cases is 928, exceeding the 650 cases required by the COA.

We encourage professional activities through both didactic courses and required student attendance at state and national meetings. Participation on state association boards and student associations is also highly encouraged. Business concepts are taught, advocacy experiences are encouraged, and all students are members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) from the first month in school.

Research is required with courses occurring over four semesters, culminating in a doctoral scholarly project with posters exhibited at Research Day. Manuscripts are submitted to the UNE digital library available to researchers worldwide, and may be submitted for publication to peer-reviewed journals.

With successful completion of the 36-month program, students are awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia (DNP). The graduate is then qualified to take the National Certifying Examination. Upon successful completion of the exam, the graduate becomes a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist qualified to practice in all 50 states. To date, 100 percent of our students have passed the certifying examination in their first- year post-graduation and 100 percent have successfully obtained employment.

Accredidation

The School of Nurse Anesthesia is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. The School of Nurse Anesthesia is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs through the fall of 2031. The program received the maximum 10-year accreditation length in the fall of 2021. 

Contact information for the Council on Accreditation:
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
222 South Prospect Avenue
Park Ridge, IL. 60068-4001 
Phone: (847) 655-1160
http://coacrna.org

View the department performance data sheet (PDF).

Curricular Requirements

  • The first two semesters are conducted hybrid with course work online. Students will come to campus two weekends per semester for in-person classes.
  • During the second two semesters, students will attend classes full time on the Portland campus. The majority of the basic science and anesthesia didactic courses are offered during this period. The remaining 19 months of the program are clinically based, with an emphasis on advanced coursework, clinical training, simulation lab experiences, and completion of a senior research project. All students are required to complete the entire curriculum with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

First year

Fall Course Requirements Credits
ANE 720 - Leadership in Advanced Practice Nursing and the Evolving Healthcare System 3
ANE 722 - Epidemiology, Population Health, and Prevention 3
ANE 719 - Economics, Ethics, and Healthcare Policy 3
Total 9
Spring Course Requirements Credits
ANE 726 - Translational Research and Evidence Based Practice 3
ANE 723 - Using Informatics to Improve Healthcare Quality and Safety 3
ANE 701 - Fundamentals of Anesthesia 3
Total 9
Summer Course Requirements Credits
ANE 704 - Advanced Pharmacology I 3
ANE 702 - Basic Principles of Anesthesia I 3
ANE 706 - Advanced Anatomy and Physiology I 3
ANE 708 - Advanced Pathophysiology I 3
ANE 710 - Airway Management 2
ANE 712 - Professional and Role Development of the CRNA 3
Total 17

Second Year

Fall Course Requirements Credits
ANE 705 - Advanced Pharmacology II 3
ANE 703 - Basic Principles of Anesthesia II 3
ANE 707 - Advanced Anatomy and Physiology II 3
ANE 709 - Advanced Pathophysiology II 3
ANE 717 - Pain Theory and Management in Clinical Practice 4
ANE 714 - Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan 3
Total 19
Spring Course Requirements Credits
ANE 732 - Clinical Practicum I 2
ANE 715 - Advanced Principles of Anesthesia I 3
Total 5
Summer Course Requirements Credits
ANE 734 - Clinical Practicum II 2
ANE 716 - Advanced Principles of Anesthesia 3
ANE 727 - Introduction to Scholarly Project 2
Total 7

third year

Fall Course Requirements Credits
ANE 736 - Clinical Practicum III 2
ANE 729 - DNP Scholarly Project II 2
Total 4
Spring Course Requirements Credits
ANE 738 - Clinical Practicum IV 2
ANE 718 - Pathophysiology and Management of the Patient with Chronic Pain 2
ANE 724 - Senior Symposium I 1
ANE 730 - DNP Scholarly Project III 1
Total 6
Summer Course Requirements Credits
ANE 740 - Clinical Practicum V 2
ANE 742 - Anesthesia Disaster and Crisis Resource Management 1
ANE 725 - Senior Symposium II 1
Total 4
Total Program Required Credits 80

Clinical training

Upon completion of the didactic portion of the program, the students move on to the 19-month clinical portion of the curriculum. The primary focus is clinical experiential anesthesia education. The clinical experience obtained encompasses all areas for the student to achieve clinical competency in anesthesia. This is accomplished through affiliations at various clinical sites. The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs has set minimum standards for clinical experience that each student must achieve prior to graduation from the program to qualify for the National Certifying Examination. Each student is required to administer a specific number of anesthetics including all techniques, agents, and patients across the lifespan.

All types of anesthesia techniques and the latest agents are available for student learning. Students are able to obtain experience in general anesthetics, intravenous agents, invasive line placement, and regional anesthesia including spinal, epidural, and peripheral nerve blocks including the use of ultrasound. More than the required minimum case numbers and clinical hours are obtained during the clinical phase. All of the surgical specialties are included, and specialty experiences such as neurosurgery, open-heart surgery, and obstetrics are obtained through clinical rotations. Each student spends one to two months in a CRNA only clinical site.

Clinical Affiliates

Please refer to the clinical education website for a list of clinical sites currently utilized by the School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Graduation Requirements

The following criteria must be met to qualify for graduation:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all didactic and clinical courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Satisfactory completion of clinical experience in case types, numbers, and clinical hours as required by the School of Nurse Anesthesia and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
  3. Satisfactory completion and fulfillment of stated UNE School of Nurse Anesthesia Student Learning Outcomes.
  4. Completion of twenty-seven actual months in the program, exclusive of probationary time.
  5. All evaluations must be completed and signed, including University and Program evaluations.
  6. All clinical cases recorded and logged in Medatrax
  7. Successful completion of the capstone project.
  8. All missed clinical days must be made up.
  9. Submitted proof of professional meeting attendance to include 1 national and 2 state or regional meetings during the time in the program.
  10. All fees must be paid in full.
  11. All library books must be returned.
  12. Complete a meeting with financial aid.
  13. Participate in the exit interviews
  14. Submission of all required program evaluations
  15. A current RN license and ACLS, PALS, BLS Certifications must be on file.
  16. Successful completion of the Self-Evaluation Exam (SEE) from the NBCRNA. Students are required to obtain a SEE score of 425 or higher or three attempts before they can complete the program. The program will pay for the first attempt and the student is responsible for subsequent SEE payments. If the benchmark score is not attained on the third attempt, the student will take an extra comprehensive exam and pass with an 80% score. Failure to meet this benchmark may cause a delay in program completion.

Academic and Technical Standards

WCHP Academic Policy

The Department of Nurse Anesthesia, the Westbrook College of Health Professions and the University of New England are committed to offering a quality Nurse Anesthesia Education program that complies with the evaluative criteria of the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). The program provides learning experiences and didactic knowledge to enable graduates to take the National Certifying Exam and become providers of high quality anesthesia. Please refer to the WCHP Graduate Program Progression Policies and Procedures (PDF) for detailed description of academic standards.

Academic Policy

Program Completion Timeline

Students are expected to complete 36 actual months in the program.

Rules of Conduct while on affiliation at clinical sites

Success in the Nurse Anesthesia profession requires certain behavioral attributes including but not limited to personal commitment and hardiness, self-awareness, resilience, perseverance, empathy, discipline, honesty, integrity, personal regard for others, the ability to work effectively with others in a team environment, and the ability to address a crisis or emergency situation in a composed manner. Adherence to these attributes requires a high level of maturity and self-control, even in highly stressful situations. During the clinical phase, students must conduct themselves in a highly professional manner consistent with the patient care responsibilities with which they will be entrusted. Failure to adhere to these standards, as noted below, or comply with the Clinical Rotation Policies will result in disciplinary action ranging from a written warning to dismissal from the program (depending upon the violation and the circumstances surrounding the offense).

  1. Creating or contributing to situations that jeopardize patient safety.
  2. Students are expected to follow all policies in the Student Code of Conduct section of the University of New England Handbook. Unethical behavior such as academic dishonesty, falsifying case logs, or medical records is considered a violation of the Program’s standards of conduct.
  3. Respect the confidentiality of patients and fellow students. One is not permitted to discuss any patients by name outside the clinical encounter situation. Students should not discuss other students with preceptors. For academic presentations, all identifying data, including name, initials, date of birth, and facility where seen will be omitted.
  4. Unauthorized possession, use, copying, or distribution of hospital records or disclosure of information contained in such records to unauthorized persons.
  5. Use, distribution, or unauthorized possession of intoxicating beverages or drugs on hospital premises or reporting to work under the influence of intoxicants.
  6. Unauthorized absence from the Anesthesia Department during regularly scheduled clinical hours.
  7. Failure or refusal to follow instructions of a duly assigned preceptor including refusal to accept clinical assignment.
  8. Use of vile, intemperate or abusive language, or acting in a disrespectful manner to any employee, supervisor, patient, or visitor.
  9. Any disorderly conduct on hospital premises.
  10. Creating or contributing to unsanitary conditions.
  11. Theft, fraud, or unauthorized use of property belonging to the hospital, patient, or visitor.

Clinical Practicum Course Expectations

To successfully complete each clinical practicum course, students must achieve a grade of A or B. Details regarding clinical practicum expectations will be detailed in the Student Clinical Practicum Handbook and course syllabus. Clinical progression will be monitored during each clinical practicum. If students are not meeting clinical objectives, they will be placed on probation. If a student is placed on a 30-day Probationary Status, they will continue with the clinical objectives scheduled for that level. The student will communicate with program faculty and clinical faculty to develop a plan based on their clinical evaluations, clinical faculty feedback and/or program faculty findings. The plan will include strategies for the improvement of clinical performance.

At the end of the 30-day Probationary Status, the student’s performance will be re-evaluated by the clinical and program faculty. If they are successful, they will resume their clinical practicum at the same level their peers are at and return to good standing. Being placed on probationary status will delay the student's graduation date accordingly. If progress continues to be unsatisfactory, the student will receive an 'F' for the course and be dismissed from the program.

Students may be placed on a second 30-day probationary period for additional (unresolved or newly identified) performance issues. The process described above would apply to this as well. Students are granted a maximum of two (2) probationary periods not to exceed 60 days total. If additional (newly identified) performance issues continue to occur after a student has been granted (2) probationary periods, the student would be immediately dismissed.

Essential Technical Standards

Principles

Nurse anesthesia education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of specific skills and professional attitudes and behavior. Nurse Anesthesia faculty have a responsibility to society to matriculate and graduate the best-prepared nurse anesthetists, and thus admission to this program has been offered to those who present the highest qualifications. The essential technical standards presented in this document include pre-requisites for matriculation, subsequent promotion from year to year, and ultimately graduation from the University of New England School of Nurse Anesthesia. These standards pertain to all matriculated students. All required courses in the curriculum are necessary in a progressive order to develop the essential skills and knowledge required to become a competent nurse anesthetist.

The faculty is committed to fostering relationships with its students that encourage human and professional growth. Its policies and procedures attempt to reflect this commitment to proactive and supportive communication.

It is imperative that all students recognize that the primary responsibility for a successful nurse anesthesia education, both in and outside the classroom, rests with the individual. Students, including students with disabilities, must have the capacity to manage their lives and anticipate their own needs. The School has incomplete influence in helping students achieve these personal adaptations. Situations can arise in which a student’s behavior and attitudes resulting from a disability or other personal circumstances represent a secondary problem that impairs the student’s ability to meet the School’s standards, even after implementation of all reasonable accommodations have been made by the School.

Recommendations
  1. No otherwise qualified individual will be denied admission to the School of Nurse Anesthesia based solely upon a disabling condition.
  2. Candidates with disabilities applying to the School of Nurse Anesthesia will be expected to have achieved the same requirements as their non-disabled peers.
  3. Matriculation into the School of Nurse Anesthesia assumes certain levels of cognitive, emotional, and technical skills. Nurse anesthetist candidates with disabilities will be held to the same fundamental standards as their non-disabled peers. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to assist the candidates in learning, performing, and satisfying the fundamental standards, so long as the candidate provides timely, comprehensive documentation establishing the candidate’s disability status and need for reasonable accommodation.
  4. Reasonable accommodations that facilitate candidate progress will be provided but only to the extent that such accommodation does not significantly interfere with the essential functions of the School of Nurse Anesthesia, fundamentally alter the program, significantly affect the rights of other candidates, or pose a health or safety risk to any individual including patients.
  5. The School, under the law, is obligated to provide all reasonable accommodations that will eliminate or minimize the barriers disabled candidates may face in the process of successfully completing the requirements for graduation from the University of New England’s School of Nurse Anesthesia.
Abilities and skills

A candidate for this program must have abilities and skills of five varieties including observational skills; communication skills; fine and gross motor skills; intellectual skills: conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and behavioral and social/emotional attributes.

  1. Observational Skills
    The candidate must be able to acquire a defined level of required information as presented through demonstration and experiences in the basic sciences and anesthesia courses including, but not limited to, information conveyed through labs and simulated anesthesia exercises. Furthermore, a candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately, both at a distance and close at hand, acquire information from written documents and visualize information as presented in radiographic images and patient monitors. The candidate must have visual and hearing acuity, including use of depth perception and peripheral vision; hearing normal and faint body sounds (blood pressure and heart sounds), and hearing auditory alarms on monitors and anesthesia delivery systems. Such observation and information acquisition necessitate the functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensation while being enhanced by the functional use of other sensory modalities.
    In any case, where a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information through these sensory modalities is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to acquire and demonstrate the essential information without reliance upon another person’s interpretation of the information. The university will provide appropriate reasonable accommodations to foster the student’s ability to meet these standards, so long as the student registers with UNE Disability Services.
  2. Communication Skills
    The candidate must be able to effectively and efficiently communicate using verbal, written, and reading skills, in a manner that demonstrates sensitivity to patients, their families, and all members of the health care team. A candidate must be able to accurately elicit information, describe a patient’s change in mood, thought, activity, and status. He or she must also demonstrate established communication skills using traditional or alternative reasonable means that do not substantially modify the standard.
  3. Fine and Gross Motor Skills
    The candidate must be able to, with or without the use of assistive devices, but without reliance on another person, interpret x-ray and other graphic images and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomenon (such as EKGs).
    The ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures (e.g. palpation, auscultation) is required. It is also essential for a candidate to possess the gross motor skills sufficient to provide a full range of safe and effective care to patients. These include the ability to move within confined spaces, reach above shoulders, bend, stoop, squat, stretch, and reach below the waist. Fine motor skills are necessary to perform psychomotor skills such as picking up objects, grasping, pinching with fingers (intubations, manipulating a syringe, starting IVs), twisting, and squeezing.
    Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. In addition, physical endurance and strength are requirements in order to tolerate training during an entire shift (including overtime or call), standing for long periods of time, and sustaining repetitive movements (performing CPR, positive pressure ventilation, etc). Candidates must be able to provide hands-on patient care such as lifting, pushing, and pulling excessive weight to position patients, pick up and carry children, ambulate patients, and transfer anesthetized patients from stretchers and beds. When transporting patients to patient recovery areas, the candidate is required to move not only the patient's weight but also the heavy bed.
    The candidate is required to carry heavy equipment and supplies, sit for long periods of time on stools with and without any back support, twist and turn to visualize monitors and the surgical field, and possess the strength and flexibility to assist in the restraint of combative patients. In addition, the candidate must be able to move quickly to respond to emergencies. At all times the ability to administer care to patients in a safe manner is paramount.
  4. Intellectual Skills - Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities
    The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize information in a timely fashion. In addition, the candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structure. Problem-solving, the critical skill demanded of nurse anesthetists, requires all of these intellectual abilities. These problem-solving skills must be able to be performed in a precisely limited time demanded by a given clinical setting. In addition, the candidate must be able to adapt readily to changing environments and deal with unexpected activities.
  5. Behavioral and Social/Emotional Attributes
    Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients.
    Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients. They must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize information effectively in a precisely limited time demanded by a given clinical setting, while under stress, and in an environment in which other distractions may be present.
    Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, self-reflection, emotional intelligence, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this educational program, the student shall demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the faculty, specific competencies expected of graduates. These competencies identify the knowledge and skills necessary for the competent entry-level practice of nurse anesthesia. Upon completion of the program, the graduate will:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the peri-anesthetic management of patients based on theory and research evidence learned in the basic sciences, basic principles, and advanced principles of anesthesia practice during the didactic phase of the program.
  2. Apply theoretical and evidence-based knowledge learned during the didactic phase of the program and demonstrate mastery in the peri-anesthetic management of the patient in the clinical setting to provide individualized, patient-centered, culturally competent, safe care across the lifespan.
  3. Communicate effectively with all health care professionals, patients, and families in the delivery of culturally competent, ethical, and peri-anesthetic care throughout the anesthesia experience while maintaining patient confidentiality and dignity.
  4. Demonstrate vigilance and adherence to patient safety principles throughout the anesthetic experience.
  5. Demonstrate professional responsibility, integrity, and accountability to peers, interprofessional colleagues, and other health care stakeholders throughout the program and peri-anesthetic clinical experiences.
  6. Demonstrate the ability and understanding to administer anesthesia utilizing all techniques to all physical classes of patients across the lifespan.
  7. Demonstrate the integration of critical and reflective thinking in the leadership approach while fostering interprofessional collaboration.
  8. Apply analytical processes in the areas of advocacy, health policy, quality improvement of patient care outcomes, information systems, and business practices to support and improve healthcare delivery systems.

Transfer Credits

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits are not awarded.

Advanced Standing

No advanced standing placement is available.

Experiential Learning

No credit awarded for experiential learning.

Admissions

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) requires that all students matriculating into a nurse anesthesia educational program on January 1, 2022 or thereafter be enrolled in a program approved by the COA to award a doctoral degree.

The University of New England is approved for the DNP in Nurse Anesthesia by The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). We are only accepting applications for the doctoral program.

application process

  • All applicants should submit an application through the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS).
  • All verified applications received on or before the application deadline will receive full admission consideration.
  • All verified applications undergo a preliminary review for minimum admissions requirements and documentation.
  • Qualified applicants will move on to full admission review with the faculty admissions committee.
  • Highly qualified applicants will be invited to interview. Interviews are by invitation only.
  • UNE communicates all status updates, notifications, and admission decisions via email.

For specific academic dates, please view the UNE academic calendar.

Application Requirements

Items to submit to NursingCAS:

  • Application with application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Proof of current unencumbered RN license
  • Copies of required certifications/score reports: ACLS or ALS
  • Proof of satisfactory completion of Biochemistry Prerequisite*

*If you are unsure whether or not a specific biochemistry course will count towards our pre-requisite requirement, please submit the UNE Biochemistry Pre-Requisite Equivalency Form. Your submission will be reviewed and a reply will be sent to you via email within 5-7 business days.

Degree Requirement

Completion of Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) in Nursing or completion of an Associate’s Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science degree in a science-related field of study.

All degrees must have been completed at a U.S. regionally accredited college/university or international equivalent, and all nursing degrees must have been completed at an accredited nursing program, prior to starting the Nurse Anesthesia program.

Licensure and Certifications

  • Proof of current unencumbered RN licensure in your home state at the time of application; licensure in the state where clinical experience occurs is obtained after enrollment.
  • Upload copies of all licenses and certifications in NursingCAS.
  • Certifications Required-
    • Current Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification
  • Certifications highly recommended-
    • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Certification - if working in pediatrics
    • CCRN and/or other specialty certification (i.e., CEN)
      • Upload copy of certification in NursingCAS
      • Upload score report in NursingCAS

GPA Requirement

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is highly recommended, specifically in the sciences.
  • Coursework in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology are all highly recommended and will be reviewed closely.
  • Due to the competitive nature of the program, meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee an interview or acceptance.

Experience Hours/Clinical Experience

All applicants are encouraged to shadow a nurse anesthetist for at least one (1) day in the operating room prior to application to more fully understand the commitment involved in studying to become a nurse anesthetist.

  • Minimum of at least 18 months (2 or more years is recommended) of current experience as a critical care nurse.
  • All experience hours must be completed prior to application submission.
  • All experience hours must be completed in the United States.
  • Acceptable areas: ICU, CCU, CVICU, SICU, MICU, NICU, PICU and Neuro ICU*

    * Important Note: Emergency Room, Critical Care Transport, Cath Lab, PACU, and OR experiences do not fulfill the critical care experience required to apply.


Prerequisite coursework requirement

Biochemistry (3-4 semester credits):

  • Must be an upper-division course (300 level+).
  • Community College courses are not acceptable.
  • Biochemistry must be completed with a grade of “B” or better (“B minus” grade is not acceptable).
  • Pass/Fail courses will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility.
  • The biochemistry course must have been completed no more than five (5) years prior to the application deadline for the UNE Nurse Anesthesia program, with an official transcript submitted to the UNE Office of Graduate Admissions prior to matriculation.
  • Alternate chemistry and/or biology courses are not acceptable substitutions for this prerequisite.

UNE's Online Science Prerequisites offers an online, accelerated Biochemistry course than can be used to fulfill this prerequisite requirement.

Letters of Evaluation

Three (3) letters of evaluation are required*, submitted via NursingCAS:

  • One letter must be from the immediate acute care nursing supervisor or manager attesting to the total length of time, in years and months that an applicant has worked in the acute care setting as a registered nurse.
  • It is recommended that the remaining two letters come from those that can attest to the clinical and professional skills of the applicant.

*Letters from friends or family members are not acceptable.

Interviews

Interviews are a required part of the application and admission process.

  • Qualified applicants will be contacted and invited to interview during the winter/spring semester, prior to the fall start of the Nurse Anesthesia program.
  • Interviews are by invitation only.
  • Alternate interviewing modalities (including virtual interviews) may be instituted as necessary to address ongoing public health concerns with COVID-19. The Office of Graduate Admissions will be in touch with any updates, as needed.
     

International Applications

International applicants and those with foreign degrees and coursework are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

  • Official credential evaluation by World Education Service (WES), confirming degree and grade equivalency to that of a U.S. Bachelor's Degree. Please refer to the International Admissions section of the UNE website for more information on the type of credential evaluation required for admission review.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate written and spoken fluency through the successful completion of a UNE-approved English language proficiency test.
  • Applicants should refer to the English Language Proficiency page on the UNE website for specific information and minimum score requirements.
  • All supporting documents must be submitted directly to the UNE Office of Graduate Admissions or NursingCAS when applicable.
  • Minimum eighteen (18) months of Critical Care experience must be completed in the United States. Experience gained outside the United States will not be considered when calculating this requirement.


Other Requirements

Prior to matriculation, accepted and deposited students will be required to complete the following compliance requirements:

  • Completion of physical examination with proof of up-to-date immunization status. Please refer to UNE’s Student Health Center for detailed information.
  • Satisfactory completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen prior to matriculation, as well as periodically throughout the program (as required by clinical affiliations).
  • All students must have the ability to meet the Academic and Technical Standards of the Nurse Anesthesia profession.
  • Admissions decisions are non-rolling and made by the program Admissions Committee after all interviews are completed.

All materials submitted as part of the application become the property of UNE and will not be returned or released to anyone, including the applicant. This policy includes letters of reference, primary and secondary applications, personal statements, transcripts, and other supporting materials.

Due to continuing developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, some application requirements and processes may change during the cycle for the health and safety of the university, its employees, and prospective students/applicants. We appreciate your flexibility and consideration.

policy exceptions

Policies have been established to ensure fair and consistent admissions practice for all applicants

All criteria presented in this summary are subject to change per professional accreditation requirements, changes in curriculum or other institutional standards, and clinical affiliation requirements

Exceptions to existing admission policies are rare and made on a case by case basis, only when it is deemed necessary and appropriate to maintain fair and consistent practice for all candidates, not individual candidates

Financial Information

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Miscellaneous fees that students should plan for in the program include but may not be limited to the following (approximate amounts):

Fee Cost
Castlebranch/Certified Background $250
Precordial Stethoscope Ear Mold $90
Required Texts $1,500
Nurse Anesthesia Review Course (optional, not required) $800-$900
Self-Evaluation Exam (SSE) fee per attempt $250
Drug screening per facility (clinical rotations) $60
RN license per state of rotation (varies by state) Ranges from $75-$275
Background Check per state (NH, MA) $25
National Certification Exam fee (per attempt) $1,000

Financial Aid

Detailed information and applications are available on request from the Financial Aid Office at the Biddeford Campus. Call (207) 283-0170, ext. 2342 or by visiting the Financial Aid website.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2022–2023 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication May 2, 2022.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.

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