CRNAs Will Need A Doctorate Degree By 2025
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.
Why Are The CRNA 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: MSN vs DNP -- Which is Better?
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.
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|
|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|
|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|
|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
|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|
|St. Joseph Hospital||x||30 months||10|
|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|
|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|
|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|