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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.

  • 29 month program, beginning each year in the last full week of August (August 19, 2015), with clinical rotations beginning the first week of September the following year (Sept. 1, 2016). Graduation for the Class of 2015 will be on December 14, 2015.

  • 64 credit hours,18 students selected annually, application deadline is Wednesday, September 30, 2015. Applicants with completed applications may be invited to participate in interviews on October 22, 29th, November 5, and if necessary, November 12th, 2015. Applicants selections will be finalized by November 16, 2015.


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 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


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?

  • 90% first time pass rate for all graduates since 2008, (44/49).

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

  • Long tradition of excellence in higher education.

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

  • Nurse Anesthetist and Anesthesiologist clinical coordinators who are devoted to your education and who also practice in the clinical setting.

  • Small class size provides a more individualized learning model.

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

  • SimMan anesthesia simulation with operating room setup. All anesthesia skills are performed in the simulation lab on a variety of simulation models.

  • 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?

  • Clinical sites in Utah (Ogden, American Fork, Layton, Murray, Payson, Salt Lake City, Orem, Vernal), Idaho (Montpelier, Soda Springs, Boise, Blackfoot, Driggs, Rexburg), Wyoming (Cheyenne, Evanston), Nevada (Elko), Arizona (Sun City, West Sun City, & Phoenix), Texas (El Paso), California (Fresno), Kansas (Garden City), Illinois (Decatur) and Colorado (Alamosa, Canon City, Sterling)

  • State of the art classrooms, anesthesia simulation room 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 on their skills

  • 83 applications were received in 2012 and 18 applicants were selected for admission

    • Selected students for the class of 2012 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: 10
      Female: 8 
      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: 7% (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: 7% (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% (2/18). 1st time NCE pass rate was 89% (16/18). 2nd time pass rate was 100% (2/2)

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

  • Class of 2014 1st time NCE pass rate as of January 5, 2015, 12/12, 100%. Four students will test at a future date.