Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia

Nursing student standing against a wall in a hallway

Graduate Degree
School of Nursing and Health Sciences
9 Semesters


Westminster College’s Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program allows students to master the intellectual and technical skills required to become competent in the safe administration of anesthesia. Graduates develop life-long critical thinking skills and the professionalism needed to become compassionate, patient-centered anesthesia providers, filling the urban and rural community needs for anesthesia providers.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program is built upon the historical success of Westminster’s Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program, priding itself in doing everything possible to help you succeed in the program and realize your goal of being able to sit for national boards.

The first 2 semesters of this program are fully online and can be completed remotely. See program structure for more details.

Application for First Cohort Opens: July 1, 2021
Summer 2022 Application Deadline: Sept. 30, 2021

Who It's For

Experienced, baccalaureate and graduate level nurses with the highest level of didactic instruction, anesthesia simulation, and clinical site experiences will thrive in this program.

Key Benefits

  • Mentoring is Westminster’s top priority. Every faculty member is personally responsible for the success of 6 students.
  • Westminster remains committed to your success long after graduation. Your mentors lend support and friendship as you navigate your career.
  • Faculty mentors are personally responsible for assuring student success from the time the student is admitted into the program to well after graduation.
  • Students have full access to the anesthesia simulation lab, 7 days a week.
  • Students request clinical site rotations at approximately 3–5 varied hospitals and surgery centers from Westminster’s 35+ affiliated clinical sites.
  • 100% of program faculty have held office in the Utah Association of Nurse Anesthetists (75% of which have served as president).
  • 75% of program faculty have served in the U.S. Military.
  • Faculty support and mentor military students and work to accommodate any required military training during the program.

How Long It Takes

You can complete the program in 9 semesters over 3 years.

Accreditation Employers Trust

Westminster is committed to upholding the standards set forth by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) and the Council on Accreditation (COA). These standards help produce skilled nurse anesthetists who are qualified to sit for the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) Examination.

Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia to Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia Program Transition

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) requires that all students matriculating into a nurse anesthesia educational program on or after January 1, 2022, be enrolled in a program approved by the COA to award a practice doctoral degree. In April 2021, Westminster’s Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program submitted its application to the COA for approval to award the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Upon approval by the COA (decision to be made at the October 2021 COA meeting), Westminster will enroll its first doctoral cohort in the new Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program in May 2022.

The cohort beginning classes in May of 2022 will be admitted into a 36-month long program, culminating in a doctor of nursing practice degree. Students must pass the SEE exam with a minimum score of 450 before being eligible to sit for the National Certifying Exam after graduation.

Further information regarding this transition may be obtained by emailing Josh Fisher at


Richard and Alison Leeflang with a dog

"Westminster is the cream of all programs. We have many friends in so many different MSNA/DNP programs, and we always conclude that we made the best decision. Where else can you run up the mountain and ski after lecture? Have your faculty cook you up breakfast and occasionally take you out to lunch? Accept both you and your spouse?"

Richard and Alison Leeflang (married), former registered nurses in the Surgical Trauma ICU at Parkland Hospital
Nurse reading something while walking down a hallway
Two students sitting at a table and working on something in a classroom

About the Program

The Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program’s extensive hands-on experience, small class sizes, and engaging learning environment are a recipe for success in any operating room. From your first interview in the admissions process, every moment sets you up for success. You’ll receive ongoing support from faculty and senior peers, and you’ll connect with local CRNA preceptors for mentoring in a clinical setting. By the time you graduate, you will have the required cases and experiences to be a complete anesthesia provider.

1 to 6

faculty to student ratio


of graduates meet all COA and NBCRNA requirements



Data applies to each academic year from 2016–21.


What You'll Learn


  • Evaluates delivery of a safe anesthetic with vigilant protection of the patient and prevention of complications
  • Develops individualized perianesthetic care throughout the anesthetic continuum to patients of all ages and physical conditions
  • Integrates skill and knowledge necessary to function as a resource person for airway and ventilator management of patients in various settings
  • Utilizes critical thinking, decision making, and the application of sound principles and evidence-based research in practice
  • Applies mastery of anesthesia concepts and skills by passing the NBCRNA certification examination
  • Develops verbal, nonverbal, and written communication necessary to influence patient care
  • Integrates professional attributes necessary to accept responsibility and accountability of new anesthesia practice
  • Proposes politically active advancements in nurse anesthesia

Plan of Study

Over the course of the program, you will master the ability to develop individualized perianesthetic care through the anesthetic continuum, becoming prepared to excel as a CRNA immediately upon graduation.

Program Structure

  • The didactic portion of the program starts with your first summer semester and is 5 semesters long. The first 2 semesters are fully online and can be completed remotely. The next 3 semesters are on-campus instruction.
  • Clinical rotations begin after the completion of on-campus courses. Students routinely average 900 cases over 4 rotations, while the required amount is 650.
Clinical Site Locations
  • Arizona: Phoenix, Sun City, Sun City West, Tucson
  • California: Fresno, Kern
  • Colorado: Alamosa
  • Idaho: Blackfoot, Boise, Driggs, Montpelier, Pocatello
  • Illinois: Huntley
  • Nevada: Henderson, Las Vegas (2)
  • New Mexico: Albuquerque (2), Las Cruces, Roswell
  • Oklahoma: Tulsa
  • Texas: Austin (3), El Paso (2)
  • Utah: American Fork (3), Delta, Draper, Fillmore, Nephi, Ogden, Orem, Payson, Salt Lake City, Timpanogos, Vernal
  • Washington: Moses Lake

Sample Courses

Simulator Lab

This course will give you hands-on interaction in a simulated operating room environment that includes an operating room table, intubatable mannequin, fully functioning anesthesia machine (old and new models), and a fully stocked anesthesia cart. This course takes you through the chronological steps of giving an anesthetic. You will manage a series of simulated adverse events in a variety of patient care settings. Simulated events will primarily focus on topics relevant to the practice of nurse anesthesia.

Anesthesia Seminar

This course will expose you to various topics such as the difficult airway and cultural differences that may impact the delivery of anesthesia care. You will also have the opportunity to hone clinical and critical thinking skills by managing clinical case scenarios in the simulator laboratory.

Want to learn more about the Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program?

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Career Opportunities

Completion of this program is the beginning of a rewarding lifelong career. Westminster’s healthcare industry connections help facilitate your job search. Over the last 5 years, 100% of Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program alumni (now the Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program) became employed within 3 months of graduation (with many having jobs locked in before commencement).


National average salary offer graduates receive
(applies to the last 5 years, as of 2021)

Potential Careers

After passing the National Certifying Exam, Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program graduates can work as certified registered nurse anesthetists in various settings like hospital operating rooms, surgery centers, doctors’ offices, and academic institutions.

Student Success

Graduates have made amazing career accomplishments including:

  • Chief CRNA of an all-CRNA group practicing in Moses Lake, WA
  • Practicing in the only level 1 trauma center in the country run by CRNAs
  • 12 Westminster alumni are serving, or have served, as clinical coordinators for the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program (now the Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program).
  • Many Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program (now the Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program) alumni worked in the clinical setting with current program students.
Nykol Bailey

"I am currently doing what I love with my degree. I work at the hospital and provide anesthesia in a variety of hospital settings and across all patient populations. The most important thing I learned from Westminster was how to function as a competent, efficient, and independent practitioner. I was comfortable running my own cases from the start. I knew I had the skill set the job required and it was an easy transition into my role at the hospital."

Nykol Bailey ’14, CRNA for Anesthesia Associates of Boise at St Luke’s Hospital, owner of Boise Ketamine Clinic, PLLC
Nurse with a patient in a medical room
Nurse standing outside, smiling

There's No Better Investment Than You

Tuition and Fees

At Westminster, we are committed to making your education affordable.

View Current Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid

Westminster works with all students to determine the financial aid opportunities available to them. Federal financial aid is available and will be awarded on an individual basis to students who have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some federal financial aid programs require students to maintain the equivalent of full- or part-time enrollment.


Graduate students are eligible for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct (grad) PLUS loans through the U.S. Department of Education’s federal student loan program.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study is a federally funded program that provides job opportunities for students to earn money to help pay for college. Westminster employs hundreds of students each year in different areas.

Important Dates

Application Opens (First Cohort)

July 1, 2021

Summer 2022 Application Deadline

Sept. 30, 2021

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