Main Content

Admission

We are glad you are considering the Texas Christian University School of Nurse Anesthesia, Doctor of Nursing Practice-Anesthesia program. Below are application instructions and admission criteria.

The application deadline is May 15 for class beginning in January of the following year. Early submission and completion of application is strongly encouraged. Interviews will be conducted late July and/or early August. Candidates will be notified of admission status by August 31.

Apply Now

 

Ph.D. in Health Sciences

 

 

The TCU School of Nurse Anesthesia program participates in the Nursing Centralized Application Services (NursingCas). An application fee will be collected by NursingCas.

Applicants meeting the following criteria will be considered for admission:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or an appropriate Bachelor degree from a regionally accredited school or college in the United States.
  • Unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
    • All applicants must submit GRE test scores taken within the last 5 years
    • Applicants must request GRE scores from the test center to be sent directly to NursingCAS
    • Scores must be received by NursingCAS before the program application deadline May 15
    • The minimum GRE scores are
      • Quantitative reasoning 150
      • Verbal reasoning 150
      • Analytic writing 3.5
    • Applicants with a master’s degree must submit official GRE scores of tests taken within the last 5 years
  • The score report code for the TCU School of Nurse Anesthesia is 4373.
  • Overall weighted GPA ≥ 3.0, math and science courses GPA ≥ 3.0, and last 60 hours of coursework GPA ≥ 3.0.
  • A minimum of one-year experience in adult critical care, or equivalent; two years recommended. Applicants must be currently employed in a critical care unit.
  • Certification in BCLS, ACLS, PALS
  • CCRN exam score sheet
  • Answer 3 questions with short-answer essays
  • CV / Resume
  • Three professional recommendations (one must be from a current supervisor)
  • If English is not the first language, a score of at least 94 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

All documents, transcripts, test results, and references will be submitted to and verified by NursingCas.

The documents below are part of the TCU DNP-A graduate application. These two forms must be uploaded to NursingCas upon completion.

Anesthesia Shadowing Experience Form
Work History Verification Form

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All applications and required materials, including letters of recommendation and the application fee, must be received by May 15 for the class beginning the following January. Candidates will be notified of admission status by August 31.

Tuition and fees are packaged for the entire program and are not subject to increase. Charges are incrementally paid throughout the student’s enrollment.

Class of 2022

Spring 2020 $9,660.00
Summer 2020 $9,660.00
Fall 2020 $24,570.00
Spring 2021 $24,570.00
Summer 2021 $11,550.00
Fall 2021 $5,633.25
Spring 2022 $5,633.25
Summer 2022 $5,633.25
Fall 2022 $5,633.25
Total $102,543.00

The following approximate amounts are in addition to TCU’s tuition/fees and are subject to change without written notice:

University health insurance $1,048/semester
Textbooks Approximately $2,000
Vehicle registration $75
Housing at Primary Clinical Site Student responsibility
Housing at required clinical rotations Student is reimbursed up to $1,000 per month
Custom molded earpiece $55
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Associate membership fee $200
Initial certification fee $950
Professional liability insurance (included) $0

We are glad you are considering the TCU School of Nurse Anesthesia/AANA Advanced Pain Management Fellowship program.  Submit the application and all required documents through the NursingCAS portal,

Note:  Only complete applications will be reviewed.  All applications and required materials including letters of recommendation and application must be received by April 1st for the class beginning in August.  Candidates will be notified of admission status by June 1st.

    1. Nurse anesthetists must be certified as a CRNA by the NBCRNA and requirements for licensure, e.g. APRN recognition, set by boards of nursing within their state of practice.  There is no APRN license specific to the practice of pain management. The Advanced Pain Management Fellowship Program is not an educational prerequisite for an advanced practice nursing license.
    2. Graduates from the Advanced Pain Management Fellowship Program who meet all of the NBCRNA eligibility criteria may take the nonsurgical pain management sub-specialty certification exam.  Passing the NSPM exam grants a sub-specialty certification in non-surgical pain management (NSPM-C) for CRNAs.
    3. CRNA pain management practice varies state-by-state across the US.  Before beginning the program, CRNAs interested in practicing pain management are strongly encouraged to research the scope of practice for pain management CRNAs in the state they intend to practice.

Resources include:  state nurse anesthesia associations, AANA Practice Management, and state boards of nursing.

Criteria for admission

  • Graduate degree in nursing or an appropriate graduate degree from an accredited school or college in the United States.
  • Unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse
  • Certification or recertification as a nurse anesthetist by the NBCRNA
  • AANA membership
  • Completion of a basic assessed non-surgical pain management cadaver course.
    1. Applicants enrolled in a late spring or summer assessed non-surgical pain management cadaver course may submit an application for the August cohort.
    2. See the Advanced Pain Management Fellowship page for more details.
  • If English is a secondary language, a minimum score of 94 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) within the last 2 years

Candidates who satisfactorily meet these criteria will be invited for an interview. The application deadline is April 1st for the class beginning the following August.  Candidates will be notified of admission status by June 1stFor more information regarding the Graduate Programs, please visit the General Graduate Studies website.

Checklist for Applicants

Deadline for fall fellowship: April 1st.

1. Follow directions in NursingCAS to submit OFFICIAL transcripts from all universities and colleges attended, both graduate and undergraduate.

2. The following items are required for application to the advanced pain management fellowship.  Gather all documents and have available on your computer for uploading into the NursingCAS application software.  Accepted file types are .pdf, .doc, or .docx.

  1. CV/Resume.
  2. An essay (500-700 words) addressing
    (1) specific personal, academic, and/or professional strengths or accomplishments and how these qualify you as a strong candidate for the TCU Advanced Pain Management Fellowship and
    (2) your interest in pain management and how the fellowship will help you achieve your goals.
  3. RN license verification.
  4. APRN license verification.
  5. Current NBCRNA certification.
  6. Current ACLS certification.
  7. Current BLS certification.
  8. Current PALS certification (optional).
  9. Certificate of completion of an assessed NSPM cadaver course.
    a. Applicants enrolled in a late spring or summer assessed NSPM cadaver course may submit an application for the August cohort.
    b. Submit confirmation of enrollment in a basic NSPM course.
  10. Health insurance card.
  11. Malpractice insurance COI or face sheet with $1 mil/$3 mil limits.
  12. AANA membership card.
  13. Current influenza vaccination.
  14. Tdap vaccination within last 10 years.
  15. Tuberculosis testing within last year. Negative 2-step (preferred), negative QuantiFERON gold blood test (preferred), or negative 1-step test (accepted).
  16. Quantitative titers (numerical value results) for measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and hepatitis B.

 

2019-2020

  Semester I
(fall)
Semester II
(spring)
Semester III
(summer)
 
Credit Hours 7 credit hours 8 credit hours 4 credit hours 19 credit hours
Tuition $11,970 $13,680 $6,840 $32,490
Clinical Fee $4,500 $4,500 $9,000
Other Expenses
Intermediate
NSPM Workshop
$3,250 $3,250*
NSPM Certification $1,500 $1,500**
Total Cost $15,220 $18,180 $12,840 $46,240***

*An intermediate assessed NSPRM cadaver workshop is required during the fall semester if not completed prior to beginning the fellowship. Fee is paid directly to the vender.
**Paid directly to the NBCRNA
***Additional costs include books, travel, lodging, professional liability insurance, and state licensure at assigned clinical sites.

A documented health examination is required prior to the beginning of classes. Each student must be in good physical and mental health, free of communicable disease when involved in patient care, and have a medical questionnaire and physician’s certificate on file at TCU prior to enrollment with proof of tuberculin testing (negative) and immunization against the diseases noted in the Graduate Catalog under Nurse Anesthesia Medical Requirements.

A student who contracts a communicable disease shall notify the director or associate director as soon as possible and shall be suspended immediately and indefinitely until the student is free from infection.

For more information, see www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/ or call the Texas Department of State Health Services, Immunization Division, 1.800.252. 9152.

 

Environmental Exposure

Providers in anesthesia are advised that several studies find an increase in congenital abnormalities in children of parents exposed to inhalation agents. Results of these studies are questionable. Students of childbearing age are advised to use caution and limit their exposure to inhalation agents.

Dorsch, J.A. & Dorsch, S.E. (2008). Understanding anesthesia equipment (5th ed.). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.

 

Health Insurance

Students must carry health insurance throughout the program. Although TCU offers a major medical insurance plan for students to purchase, students are advised to evaluate several plans before selection. Proof of coverage is required. Students are not hospital employees and are not covered by Worker’s Compensation.

 

Nurse Anesthesia Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statement

The following policy is in accordance with the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs’ Statement on admissions inquiries regarding drug and alcohol use.

  • Applicants will be asked if they are currently using illegal drugs, abusing prescription drugs or engaging in intemperate alcohol use at the time of application. An affirmative answer is grounds for denial of admission.
  • After acceptance into the School of Nurse Anesthesia, but prior to enrollment, the student will be asked about prior illegal drug usage, abuse of prescription drugs and prior intemperate alcohol use. Past users will be monitored, including, but not limited to, drug testing. Failure to comply with this policy or failure of a drug screen will result in dismissal from the program. The University or clinical training facility pays for the drug testing.
  • All students are required to submit to random or scheduled drug testing at any point in their training based on the decision of the University or clinical training site. Failure to comply with this policy or failure of a drug screen will result in immediate dismissal from the program. The University or clinical training facility pays for the drug testing.
  • In the event of a failed drug screen, the University or clinical training site will provide information about rehabilitation. The University or the clinical training site will not incur any expense in this matter. In Texas, referrals are made to:

Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses (T-PAPN)
7600 Burnet Road, Suite 440
Austin, Texas 78757-1292
1-800-288-5528

  • Following successful completion of a drug rehabilitation program, students may apply for reinstatement in the program. Readmission is not automatic; cases are individually considered.

Criminal background checks are required for insurance coverage and facility credentialing prior to entering the clinical residency. Students with concerns or questions should contact the director before beginning the program. Prior conviction(s) may result in denial of admission to the clinical residency.

Q: When is your deadline for applications?
A: Interviews for the class enrolling in January will be held during the fall semester each year. The deadline for applications and all supporting materials is May 15th. Complete the application with all supporting documentation and pay the associated fees in NursingCAS prior to the May 15th deadline.

Q: Who do I contact for questions regarding my application process?
A: Please contact the following for application process questions: crna@tcu.edu

Q: How much time should I allow for GRE scores to reach NursingCAS?
A: Allow at least 30-45 days prior to the May 15th deadline for NursingCAS to receive the official GRE scores.

Q: Do program required materials need to be submitted all at once?
A: No.  Documents can be uploaded to the appropriate fields in NursingCAS at any time prior to submission of your application. Once all materials are uploaded, pay the application fee and submit prior to the May 15th deadline.  After you have paid the application fee and submitted, you will no longer be able to upload or make changes to any of the TCU required documents.

Q: Is TCU’s School of Nursing authorized to deliver distance learning to me if I reside outside of Texas?
A: Because TCU offers distance/online education, including clinical experiences, TCU must comply with applicable Texas laws regarding distance education, including rules and regulations of the Texas Board of Nursing, and TCU may also have to comply with the laws of the state where a distance/online student resides or engages in a clinical experience, including that state’s board of nursing rules and regulations.  While state higher education requirements and boards of nursing rules and regulations vary greatly, TCU is pursuing program approval by boards of nursing in most states.  As of January 2019, TCU graduate nursing programs are not authorized to participate in any distance education, including clinical placements, in the following states or jurisdictions: District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Please refer to the State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) here:  SARA

Q: If I complete TCU’s graduate nursing program, will I be eligible to practice as a Nurse Anesthetist outside of Texas?
A: TCU’s DNP-A program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. Graduating from this program meets the educational requirements to take the National Certifying Examination (NCE) administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). To practice as a Nurse Anesthetist also requires additional professional licensure or other recognition by the state board of nursing where   you intend to practice. In some states, for example, you must be licensed as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. As of January   1, 2019, graduating from the program and passing the NCE meet the educational requirements for the additional licensure or recognition necessary to practice as a Nurse Anesthetist in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. State licensure requirements to practice as a Nurse Anesthetist may change and states may have conditions for licensure or recognition in addition to the educational requirements described above. If you would like additional information about TCU’s program and/or the educational requirements for professional licensure to practice as a Nurse Anesthetist in another state, please contact the program director at: r.ward@tcu.edu. Before beginning the program, prospective students should consult the appropriate licensing agency in the state where they intend to practice to request information and additional guidance to ensure the TCU nurse anesthesia program will satisfy all of the requirements to practice as a Nurse Anesthetist

Q: What degree plan does the TCU Schoolof Nurse Anesthesia (SOA) offer?
A: The SOA offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Anesthesia (DNP-A). The DNP-A is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Certifying Examination administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Prospective students should contact individual state boards of nursing (BON) regarding requirements to practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in their respective state. The DNP-A degree is for post baccalaureate registered nurses. This program is an innovative, solutions focused program designed to prepare nurse anesthesia students to lead efforts in solving complex health care issues and developing new health care opportunities, specifically in the context of nurse anesthesia practice. The program builds on TCU’s mission: “Learning to Change the World” and will charge DNP students with “Making a Difference in Health Care”. This solution focused program incorporates the essentials established by the American Academy of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) and the standards for specialty education in nurse anesthesia established by the COA. The
DNP-A for post baccalaureate registered nurses provides the terminal academic preparation for nurse anesthesia practice with advanced, specialized knowledge and skills to meet the health needs of diverse populations. The purpose of this track is to prepare nurse anesthetists who are equipped to assume clinical leadership positions in a variety of health care, business, government, and educational organizations.

Q: Which bachelor’s degrees do you accept in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing?
A:  A bachelor’s degree in a natural science may be accepted. Examples are chemistry, biology, microbiology, etc. If you have another degree, your past academic background is individually considered for admission to the School. Items considered include a strong science background and good performance history

Q: Are there any prerequisite courses that I must take prior to admission?
A: There are no prerequisite courses. The curriculum entails applied chemistry in anesthesia concepts and common anesthetic drugs. It is highly recommended that you take a general/basic chemistry course at a regionally accredited university or college within 5 years of starting the program.

Q: I will not have my bachelor’s degree before the deadline. Can I still be accepted for an interview?
A: If you are a registered nurse with the appropriate critical care experience and in the last semester of your BSN program, it is possible to be granted an interview and be provisionally accepted on completion of the degree.

Q: How recent do my undergraduate science courses have to be?
A: There is no time limit for undergraduate courses and no required prerequisite courses. We look at grades in chemistry, organic chemistry or biochemistry, biology, microbiology, mathematics, and anatomy and physiology. If you have less than a 3.0 in these courses you may repeat to achieve a better grade. We highly recommend those courses be taken in a face-to-face format at a regionally accredited university or college. We understand that many times undergraduate grades do not necessarily reflect students’ current ability and maturity.

Q: Is there a substitution for the CCRN?
A: The CCRN is a requirement and cannot be substituted by CEN, RN-C, etc. CCRN content scores (cardiovascular, pulmonary, etc.), should be submitted for verification of CCRN certification.

Q: What types of critical care experience are accepted? Which are preferred?
A: Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories, or a U.S. military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse has developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (such as pulmonary artery catheter, CVP, arterial), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care, pediatric intensive care, and neonatal intensive care. We do not accept experience in PACU, emergency department, step-down units, cath lab, or surgery. Anesthesia practice most closely mirrors the types of skills and knowledge you use as an ICU nurse. Statistics from the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) validate that graduates with a non-ICU background have a lower pass rate on the certification exam.  Individuals with earlier experience in these areas, followed by at least 2 years of recent ICU experience would demonstrate a strong diversified work experience.

Q: I’ve only been in the ICU three months, am I eligible for an interview?
A: No, you must have obtained the CCRN certification prior to being granted an interview and that certification requires a minimum of 1,750 hours of critical care experience to become eligible. The admissions committee highly recommends 2 years of critical care experience.

Q: Can I work the first two semesters?
A: Yes, you are expected to continue to work in your critical care unit. The online classes are designed for RNs who work.

Q: What is the minimum score required for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?
A: The minimum scores for the GRE are quantitative reasoning 150, verbal reasoning 150, and analytic writing 3.5.  The GRE is one of many criteria that we use to evaluate eligibility for admission into the Nurse Anesthesia program. The personal interview, grades, recommendations, and experience are all evaluated individually. GREs must be taken within the last 5 years for all applicants. The analytical writing test of the GRE is required.

Q: How do I spend time with a CRNA observing cases?
A: It is highly recommended that you contact a CRNA in your facility regarding observation. Some facilities are reticent to allow outside individuals to observe due to HIPAA regulations; however, it is typically easier to observe in the facility where you are an employee than another facility.

Q: How many students are accepted each year?
A: The number accepted each year depends upon the number of qualified applicants interviewed and the number of clinical opportunities available. This number varies from year to year. Typically, 65-75 students are accepted each year.

Q: I was not accepted and wish to reapply. What is the process?
A: Visit the NursingCAS sign in page.  Click on ‘reapplying to NursingCAS?’ for more information.

Q: How are clinical sites assigned?
A: At the time of interview you will be asked to rank your preference for clinical sites. We attempt to place students in primary clinical facilities according to their ranking.

Q: What is the difference between a primary clinical and an enrichment clinical site?
A: The primary clinical site is where the majority of your anesthetic cases are obtained and where you will spend a large portion of your 16-month clinical residency. Most clinical sites do not have all types of cases required for program completion; therefore, students may need to rotate to other clinical sites for specialty cases (OB, Pediatrics, etc.). Time at those sites varies from 4 to 8 weeks in length.

Q: What can I expect once I start classes on-campus?
A: Once you start the face-to-face part of the program, classes are typically taught Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with laboratory and simulation experiences Tuesdays or Thursdays. Face-to-face classes in the School of Nurse Anesthesia are frequently team-taught by full-time nurse anesthesia faculty. Laboratory experiences include small-group immersion in the human patient simulation lab and group activities in a human cadaver lab.

Q: Where do I get answers to my questions?
A: Please email your questions to crna@tcu.edu.