A private comprehensive liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, UT, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in liberal arts and professional programs. Website

Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia

The mission of the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) program at Westminster College is to provide an academic environment, which allows nurse anesthesia students to master the intellectual and technical skills required to become competent in the safe administration of anesthesia.

  • 28 month program, beginning each year in August, with clinical rotations beginning the first week of September the following year.

  • 64 credit hours,18 students selected annually. The fall 2017 application deadline is Friday, September 30, 2016. Applicants with completed applications may be invited to participate in interviews on October 13th, 27th & November 10th, 2016.


The MSNA program has received full accreditation from the Council on Accreditation (COA). The MSNA program underwent an accreditation visit by the COA on October 10-12, 2011. The MSNA program received the following letter from the Council on Accreditation:

"The directors of the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) are pleased to inform the Westminster College School of Nursing and Health Sciences Master's of Science in Nurse Anesthesia, Salt Lake City, UT, that continued accreditation has been granted. This decision recognizes the program for providing a graduate level curriculum leading to the award of a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree. A certificate designating this accreditation that is effective May 23, 2012 will be mailed under separate cover. Given this action of the COA, the program will be scheduled for its next consideration of continued accreditation in Spring 2022."

"Finally, the COA would like the program to know that very few programs are granted accreditation with no progress report required. Even fewer programs have achieved the maximum accreditation of ten years. Therefore, the directors of the COA are particularly pleased to offer their congratulations to everyone at the program who has demonstrated their commitment to meeting the requirements for continued accreditation."

The Westminster MSNA (CRNA) program has set a tentative date of August 24, 2020, to transition to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This transition will not affect students in the MSNA program during the transition period. The cohort beginning classes in August of 2020, will be admitted into a 36-month long program, culminating in a DNP degree.

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) can be contacted by the following means:

222 S. Prospect Avenue
Park Ridge, Ill. 60068-4001
Main Number: 847-655-1160
Fax: 847-692-7137


The Westminster MSNA Program is beginning the process of applying for accreditation to transition from a Master's Program (Master's of Science in Nurse Anesthesia) to a Doctorate Program (Doctorate of Nursing Practice). Tentative starting date for the first cohort of DNP students is January, 2020. The DNP program will be 9 semesters over three years and will be approximately 94 credits.


Program Goals

  • Demonstrates delivery of safe anesthetic with vigilant protection of patient and prevention of complications.

  • Delivers individualized perianesthetic care throughout anesthetic continuum to patients of all ages and physical conditions.

  • Possesses skill and knowledge necessary to function as resource person for airway and ventilatory management of patients in a variety of settings.

  • Demonstrates critical thinking during decision making and application of sound principle and research evidence to practice.

  • Demonstrates mastery of anesthesia concepts and skills by passing the NBCRNA exam in accordance with Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs (COA) policies.

  • Possess verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills needed to effectively communicate with all individuals influencing patient care.

  • Demonstrates professional attributes and integrity necessary to accept responsibility and accountability of new anesthesia practice.

Why Choose Westminster's Program?

  • The Westminster CRNA program was recently named as one of the "Top 30 Most Affordable CRNA Programs for 2015."

  • The Westminster CRNA program also received a ranking of "12" (15th overall) from all-crna-schools.com for its high board pass rates, low attrition, and number of clinical hours (May 26, 2016)
  • >90% first time pass rate for all graduates since 2008.

  • 100% of Graduates have full-time job offers within 3 months of passing their board examinations.

  • Our clinical sites provide a wide variety of cases and experiences. Students enjoy rural, urban, and specialty rotations including OB, trauma, and regional anesthesia blocks.

  • Nurse Anesthetist and Anesthesiologist clinical coordinators who are devoted to your education and who are experts in their field.

  • Small class size provides a more individualized learning model. Personal mentoring assures faculty availability and personal relationships throughout the program from the moment an appicant is accepted and continueing on into their professional careers.

  • Extensive service-learning experiences in a variety of urban and rural academic/healthcare settings, including a semester capstone role immersion experience.

  • Anesthesia simulation with full operating room setup. All anesthesia skills are performed in the simulation lab at one of two stations. Students have full access to the simulation room and are encouraged to use it as much as possible.

  • Clinical and didactic faculty are fully committed to seeing our students succeed. It is our expectation that every student who begins the MSNA program, finishes the program.

What Else?

  • 35 Clinical sites in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Texas, Kansas, Washington, and Colorado. Students submit a request as to which clinical sites they'd like to go to. On average, students will go to four or five different clinical sites, ranging from 1-6 months each.

  • State of the art classrooms, two anesthesia simulation rooms complete with anesthesia machine, drug cart, ultrasound machine and mannequins, advanced airway tools (fiber optics and Glidescope), all major regional blocks, arterial line and central line placement, and gross anatomy cadaver lab

  • Westminster CRNA faculty practice in the clinical setting to remain current in their skills. Program faculty have all been board members for the Utah Association of Nurse Anesthetits (UANA), including one current, and one past, UANA President.

  • 85 applications were received in 2014 and 18 applicants were selected for admission

    • Selected students for the class of 2017 had an average GPA of 3.56 with an average GRE score of 151 (V) and 149 (Q).

    • Average years of experience: 3.5 years (1-14 years)

    • Student makeup is:
      Male: 9
      Female: 9
      Average age: 30
      Age range: 24-42

  • 2008 attrition rate 0%. 1st time NCE pass rate was 91% (10/11). 2nd time pass rate was 100% (1/1).

  • 2009 attrition rate: 7% (1/15). 1st time NCE pass rate was 80% (12/15). 2nd time pass rate was 100% (3/3).

  • 2010 attrition rate: 0%. 1st time NCE pass rate was 100% (14/14).

  • 2011 attrition rate: 5.6% (1/15). 1st time NCE pass rate was 85% (11/13). 2nd time pass rate was 50% (1/2). 3rd time pass rate was 100% (1/1).

  • 2012 attrition rate: 5.6% (1/15). 1st time NCE pass rate was 87% (13/15). 2nd time pass rate was 50% (1/2). 3rd time pass rate was 0% (0/1)

  • 2013 attrition rate was 11.2% (2/18). 1st time NCE pass rate was 89% (16/18). 2nd time pass rate was 100% (2/2)

  • 2014 attrition rate is 0% (18/18). 1st time NCE pass rate: 16/18, 89%. 2nd time pass rate was 100% (2/2)

  • Class of 2014 1st time NCE pass rate, 16/18, 89%. 2nd time pass rate was 94% and 3rd time pass rate was 100% (1/1)

  • Class of 2015 had a 94% (16/17) first time pass rate (85.6% national average) and 100% (1/1) 2nd time pass rate (81% national average).