2007–2008 Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA)

Program Goals | Admission | Progression in the Program | Probation and Dismissal | Graduation | Program Requirements | Plan of Study | Course Descriptions

Jean Dyer, Dean
James Stimpson, Program Director
Renee Sale, Assistant Director


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. The program accomplishes this by admitting a select group of experienced, graduate level nurses and then providing them with the highest level of didactic, simulation lab and clinical site experiences. Our nurse anesthesia graduates develop life-long critical thinking skills and the professionalism needed to become compassionate, patient-centered anesthesia providers in solo practice or within anesthesia care teams.

We are committed to uphold the standards set forth by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) and the Council on Accreditation (COA) to produce skilled nurse anesthetists who are qualified to sit for the National Certification Examination.

By this educational endeavor, it is the mission of the MSNA program at Westminster College to contribute to filling the urban and rural community needs for anesthesia providers in our city, state, region, and nation.

Program Goals

A graduate of the MSNA program will be prepared to:

  1. Demonstrate delivery of safe anesthetic with vigilant protection of patient and prevention of complications.
  2. Deliver individualized perianesthetic care throughout anesthetic continuum to patients of all ages and physical conditions.
  3. Possess skill and knowledge necessary to function as a resource person for airway and ventilatory management of patients in a variety of settings.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking during decision making and apply sound principles and evidence-based research to practice.
  5. Demonstrate mastery of anesthesia concepts and skills by passing Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists (CCNA) certification examination in accordance with CCNA policies and procedures.
  6. Possess verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills needed to effectively communicate with all individuals influencing patient care.
  7. Demonstrate professional attributes necessary to accept responsibility and accountability of a new anesthesia practice.

Admission to the MSNA Program

Application deadline is the last day of January each year. Late applications may be considered on a space available basis. Applicants must have the following items completed in order to be eligible for an interview for the MSNA program:

  1. BS/BSN in nursing or related field from an accredited program
  2. Minimum of 2 years of critical care (ICU, CCU, NICU, SICU, MICU preferred) as an RN. Applicants with experience in ER or with less than 2 years of critical experience may apply, but may not be selected for an interview at the MSNA Director’s discretion. Critical care experience within the last 3 years is preferred. OR and PACU do not count as critical care.
  3. Minimum 3.0 GPA, including a minimum 3.0 GPA in core sciences
  4. GRE scores on file from within the last 5 years
  5. All college transcripts
  6. Three letters of reference
  7. Current résumé
  8. Current RN license in good standing
  9. Proof of state and federal background checks. Students will be required to provide these at time of application. Both state and federal background checks must be free of criminal arrest history.
  10. Negative drug testing results from an approved laboratory, due at time of application.
  11. Current PALS certification
  12. Current ACLS certification
  13. Successful completion of an undergraduate organic chemistry or
    biochemistry course with a C or better
  14. Proof of current immunizations
  15. Physical and Mental Health Certificate
  16. Philosophy statement on advanced practice nursing and personal goals as an advanced practice nurse.

Progression in the MSNA Program

The student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  2. Receive a grade of B or higher in all courses.
  3. Maintain current Utah RN license in good standing.
  4. Complete the program within three years of admission date.
  5. Complete all project proposal and defense work by the appropriate deadline date assigned by course instructors.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a clinical/classroom warning of probationary status at any time during a clinical or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student’s performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the identified course requirements. Students who do not meet the recommendations will be placed on probation for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, re-evaluation will take place. If the student has satisfactorily met the above responsibilities at this time, he/she will be removed from probationary status. If the conditions for which the student was placed on probationary status are not met at the end of the 30 days, the student may be dismissed from the program. If subsequent issues arise, the student will be placed directly on probation, if at the end of the 30 day period satisfactory progress has not been achieved, the student will be dismissed. Students will not be on probation more than 2 times during the program or they will be dismissed.

A student may be dismissed from the MSNA program for any of the following reasons:

  1. Failed attempts at redirection as mentioned above.
  2. Violations of the academic honesty policies.
  3. Violation of the American Nurses Association “Code for Nurses” guidelines for ethical practice or the National Student Nurses’ Association “Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct.”
  4. Failure to maintain a grade of B or higher in each MSNA class.
  5. A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.
  6. Unsafe practice in the clinical area.

Appeals for Readmission

The student has the right to appeal this action. Please see the Program Director for the procedure.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar’s Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.

To be eligible for a master’s degree or graduate certificate, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.
  2. Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  3. Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
  4. Maintain good academic standing.
  5. Earn a grade of B or higher in all graduate courses.

Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual. Continued communication with the faculty advisor is advised.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 50 credit hours is required for graduation. Clinical cases must include all minimum numbers as directed by the Council on Accreditation. Please see the Program Director for specifics.

MSNA Program Plan of Study

The MSNA program is designed as a full-time curriculum consisting of 7 semesters.




Year 1 Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

MSNA 500 Physiology I (5)

MSNA 510 Chemistry/Physics (3)

MSNA 520 Pharmacology I (3)

MSNA 530 Anatomy Review (3)

MSNA 501 Physiology II (5)

MSNA 521 Pharmacology II (4)

MSNA 570 Research Methods (3)

MSNA 540 Professional Aspects (3)

MSNA 550 Anesthesia Principles I (3)

MSNA 560 Simulator Lab (1)

Year 2 Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

MSNA 551 Anesthesia Principles II (3)

MSNA 580 Anesthesia Seminar I (1)

MSNA 552 Anesthesia Principles III (3)

MSNA 581 Anesthesia Seminar II (1)

MSNA 553 Anesthesia Principles IV (3)

MSNA 582 Anesthesia Seminar III (1)

Year 3 Term 7


MSNA 571 Research Practicum (3)

MSNA 590 Special Topics in Anesthesia (2)