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    March 4, 2020

    CRNAs Will Need A Doctorate Degree By 2025

    By Mariam Yazdi

    Over the past few decades, the CRNA, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, role has evolved into a popular career choice for nurses who are interested in critical care patient management and are wanting to grow their scope of practice. 

    Historically, CRNA certification required the successful completion of a master's degree. However, the landscape for CRNA entry requirements is changing, just as it has for RNs. If your goal is to become a nurse anesthetist, this changing landscape is something you must consider. 

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    Why Are The Requirements Changing?

    In the world of healthcare, more and more complex needs arise, which calls for more refined education. Many different healthcare practices — including Pharmacy and Physical Therapy — have recognized this, and have permanently moved toward a doctorate-level degree as the entry requirements to the profession.

    The COA (Council on Accreditation) — the credentialing body for nurse anesthetists — is in support of raising the degree standard for CRNAs. Because of this, all schools are required to graduate only clinical doctorate educated CRNAs starting in the year 2025.

    >>Related: What is a DNP and is it worth it?

    Who Will This Affect? 

    This will affect all nurses applying to CRNA schools through the year 2022. Because doctorate nurse anesthetist programs are typically 3 years, this timeline will allow for the first graduating class to meet the new requirement of having a doctorate by 2025.

    What If I’m Already Enrolled In A Master’s CRNA Program? Will I Need To Get A Doctorate Degree? 

    If you are already enrolled in a master’s CRNA program, it will NOT be required of you to return to school and obtain a doctorate degree. It is important, however, to measure the benefits of continuing your education to obtain a doctorate degree.  

    Questions to ask yourself include:

    • Where do I want to work when I graduate?
    • What are the typical credentials of the other applicants I will be competing with for the positions I want? 
    • Will a doctorate  make me a more competitive candidate for these positions? 
    • How do I see my career evolving? Will a doctorate help me achieve the career advances I hope to accomplish one day?

    Many schools offer a post-masters DNP, which works as a bridge program for those nurses who already have their masters and wish to obtain a terminal degree in nurse anesthesia. See below for a breakdown of the schools and what they offer. 

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    I’m Already A CRNA, Will I Have To Obtain A Doctorate Next?

    For licensure, current practicing CRNAs who obtained their license through a masters program will NOT have to complete a doctorate degree in order to have an active license. However, facility requirements may differ from institution to institution. It is possible that some facilities may require all their nurse anesthetists to have a doctorate  in order to be considered for the position. 

    To keep up with degree requirements changes for CRNAs, follow the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) or the Council on Accreditation (COA). 

    Here is a comparative list of CRNA schools in the United States and what type of degree they offer. 

    Information obtained from All-CRNA Schools State-by-State Listing

    School Doctorate Masters Length of Program Class Size
    The University of Arizona x   36 months 8-13
    Midwestern University x   27 months 34
    Stamford - Alabama x   36 months 24
    The University of Alabama at Birmingham x   36 months 50-55
    Cal State Fullerton x (and post-masters)   3 years (9 semesters) 35-40
    LLU School of Nursing x   39 months 16
    USC Medical Center x   36 months 16-20
    Fairfield University Ct. and Bridgeport Hospital x   36 months 12-15
    Quinnipiac University x (and post-masters)   36 months 12-15
    Yale-New Haven Hospital x (and post-masters)   36 months 15-20
    Integrated Anesthesia Associates CRNA Program x   36 months 10
    Barry University Florida x (and post-masters)   36 months 64-78
    Florida International University Miami x (and post-masters)   36 months 45
    University of Miami Florida x (and post-masters)   36 months


    University of North Florida x (and post-masters)   36 months 25-30
    University of South Florida x   3 years 50 students
    Augusta University x   36 months Varies
    Emory University x   36 months 10-15
    North Shore University School of Nurse Anesthesia & DePaul University x   36 months 25
    Decatur Memorial Hospital with Milikin University x (and post-masters)   36 months 14-16
    Rush University x (and post-masters)   40 months 24-28
    Southern Illinois University Edwardsville x (and post-masters)      
    Marian University x   36 months 24
    University of Saint Francis x   36 months  
    University of Iowa x (and post-masters)   36 months 10-12
    Newman University Wichita   x 24 months 10-12
    University of Kansas Medical Center x   36 months 24
    Baptist Health & Murray State University x (and post-masters)   36 17
    Northern Kentucky University x (and post-masters)   36 16
    Louisiana State University x (and post-masters)   36 45
    Our Lady of the Lake College x   36 30-35
    University of New England   x 27 Varies
    Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences x   36  
    University of Maryland x   36 25
    Boston College Post masters x 27 Varies
    Northeastern University   x 3 years Varies
    Michigan State University   x 28 12
    Oakland University x (and post-masters)   36 20
    University of Detroit Mercy (UDM)   x 27 months 22
    University of Michigan Flint x (and post-masters)   36 months 15-20
    Wayne State University x x 24 months 18-20
    Mayo Clinic Minnesota CRNA School x   42 months 26
    Minneapolis School of Anesthesia   x (will transition to doctorate. in 2020) 27 months Small
    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota   x 28 months Small
    University of Minnesota Twin Cities x (and post-masters)   36 months 12
    University of Southern Mississippi x   36 months 20
    Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College   x 28 months 6-8
    Missouri State University School of Anesthesia x (and post-masters)   36 months 15-20
    Webster University St. Louis MO x   36 months 20
    Truman Medical Center School of Nurse Anesthesia University of Missouri Kansas City x   36 months 15-18
    School of Nurse Anesthesia Bryan College of Health Sciences x   36 months 17
    Clarkson College Nurse Anesthesia Program x   30 months 15
    Bryan College of Health Sciences x   36 months 17
    Clarkson College x   30 months 15
    Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and Drexel University   x 27 months 15-25
    Rutgers School of Nursing Graduate Program x   36 months 22
    New York
    Albany Medical College First class to begin 2021 x 28 months 25-30
    Columbia University Post-masters DNP x 27 months Varies
    State University of New York - Buffalo x   36 months 18-20
    North Carolina
    Duke University School of Nursing x (and post-masters)   36 months 25
    East Carolina University College of Nursing x (and post-masters)   36 months 12-14
    Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia x (and post-masters)   36 months 36
    The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Post-masters through main branch x 27 months 24
    Wake Forest School of Medicine Nurse Anesthesia Program   x 24 months 24
    Western Carolina University x   36 months 14-16
    North Dakota 
    University of North Dakota  x (and post-masters)   36 months 12-15
    Cleveland Clinic Foundation    x 28 months Varies
    France Payne Bolton School of Nursing Program of Nurse Anesthesia  Post-masters x 30 months Varies
    Lourdes University Nurse Anesthesia School    x 28 months 12-16
    Otterbein University Nurse Anesthetist School  x (and post-masters)   28 months 15-20
     St. Elizabeth Health Center School for Nurse Anestetist, Inc. x   27 months 26
    University of Akron Ohio College of Nursing Graduate Anesthesia Program Post-masters x 27 months 32-36
    University of Cincinnati Ohio x   36 months 25-30
    Oregon Health and Science University’s CRNA Program x   27 months 14-16
    Allegheny Valley Hospital La Roche College   x 24 months



    Geisinger Health System With Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania   x 33 months  
    University of Scranton  Post-masters x 28 months Varies
    Drexel University PA Nurse Anesthesia Program
    Post-masters x 28 months 20
    Excela Health School of Anesthesia   x 27.5 months 30
    Frank J Tornetta School of Anesthesia x   51 months 22
    Jefferson College of Nursing x   36 months 25
    Pennsylvania University School of Nursing x   36 months 25
    University of Pittsburgh x   36 months 45
    UPMC Hamot School of Anesthesia Post-masters x 28 months 20
    Crozer Chester Medical Center Villanova University x   36 months 24
    York College of Pennsylvania & WellSpan Health x (and post-masters)   36 months 12-14
    Rhode Island
    St. Joseph Hospital   x 30 months 10
    South Carolina
    Medical University of South Carolina x (and post-masters)   36 months 27-32
    University of South Carolina Columbia & Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital   x 27 months 40
    South Dakota
    Mount Marty College Graduate Program x (and post-masters)   36 months 32
    Lincoln Memorial University August 2020 x 28 months Varies
    Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia x (and post-masters)   36 months 72
    Union University DNP Nurse Anesthesia School V   5 semesters 13
    University of Tennessee Chattanooga Post-masters x 27 months 20
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) x (and post-masters)   36 months 15-22
    University of Tennessee Knoxville Post-masters x 31 months 15
    US Army Nursing CRNA Program x (through Northeastern University School of Nursing)   36 months 35-50
    Baylor College of Medicine Houston x (post-masters)   36 months 16
    Texas Christian University x   36 months 55-65
    Texas Wesleyan University x   36 months 127-139
    University of Texas Houston x   36 months 20
    Westminster College Utah   x 29 months 18
    Old Dominion University Nurse Anesthesia School x   36 months 10-15
    Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health Professions Post-masters   36 months 5-24 (depending on branch)
    Sacred Heart Medical Center Spokane Nurse Anesthesia School x   36 months 10
    Georgetown University School of Nursing x   36 months 20-25
    West Virginia
    Charleston Area Medical Center x   36 months 25-29
    The Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia x   36 months 10
    Marquette University x   36 months  
    University of Wisconsin Oshkosh x   36 months  Varies

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