Program Director: Alescia L. DeVasher Bethea
Faculty: Manuel Tolosa, Steve Fowler, Sarah Snell, Martin Rivera
In congruence with, and in addition to, the stated mission of AdventHealth University, the mission of the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program is to:
- Prepare graduates for nurse anesthesia practice in culturally diverse populations across the lifespan and a variety of practice settings.
- Provide a curriculum for doctoral study.
- Maintain a quality program which meets accreditation standards.
- Prepare graduates to attain certification in nurse anesthesia.
- Promote professional socialization.
- Help graduates integrate research findings into their practice.
- Develop leaders who will practice healthcare as ministry and live the healing values of Christ.
The Nurse Anesthesia program (NAP) consists of 127 graduate semester hours, leading to the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree. The curriculum integrates health sciences with nursing sciences to prepare students as advanced practitioners in nurse anesthesia who can integrate research findings into their practice. Students are prepared to assume leadership roles in anesthesia and provide anesthesia care to patients across the ifespan, in a variety of settings including medically under-served areas. Graduates are eligible for certification as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and state licensure as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), where required.
The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree program is a 36-month course of continuous study. Students do not follow the traditional AHU trimester format upon entering the anesthesia clinical practicum sessions of the curriculum. To provide students with necessary hours to accomplish course and clinical objectives and comply with the required numbers and types of anesthesia cases designated by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational programs (COA), each trimester session is continuous with the next trimester session (block format), without traditional academic/trimester breaks. Thus, didactic and clinical assignments are scheduled almost continuously throughout the calendar year. Vacation time is pre-scheduled by the NAP, typically in one-week increments approximately each trimester, and usually during a portion of the AHU trimester break periods, to be dispersed throughout the program. Dates for registration, dropping courses without academic penalty, and student health requirements are contained in the AHU Academic Catalog.
The policies and procedures for the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree are contained in the DNAP Student Handbook Supplement. By accepting admission as a student in the NAP, each applicant agrees to abide by the policies as outlined in the DNAP Student Handbook Supplement. The policies which are most pertinent to applicants are also included here.
All students who will participate in a clinical environment are required to carry health insurance upon admission into the program and must maintain this insurance for the duration of the program.
Transfer of Graduate Credit
No advanced standing or transfer credit from other institutions will be accepted toward the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia (DNAP) program of study. Additionally, no auditing of graduate coursework is permitted.
No transfer credit from other institutions will be accepted toward the DNAP program of study. Individuals who have previously been enrolled in another regionally accredited and COA-accredited nurse anesthesia educational program may be considered for initial application to the AHU DNAP program, but will not be considered for transfer admission. Applicants desiring admission to the AHU DNAP program must meet admission requirements published in the current AHU Academic Catalog, to include the pre-admission interview during the routine annual applicant interview cycle.
Individuals who were previously enrolled in the AHU Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) program and were dismissed for academic failure are not eligible to reapply for consideration to join an ongoing DNAP cohort. The MSNA program and the DNAP program are different programs at different academic levels, and courses taken as part of the MSNA program are not transferrable to the DNAP program. These individuals may submit an application for admission to AHU’s DNAP program for consideration for acceptance to begin the DNAP program, as with other applicants to the DNAP program.
The nurse anesthesia program treats all individuals, including applicants, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability, consistent with law.
Although an applicant should not be required to provide information regarding any protected characteristics, he or she can provide such information on a voluntary basis. An applicant may be asked if he or she can perform the essential tasks or functions of a nurse anesthetist.
The DNAP Non-Discriminatory Policy is adapted from the Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational programs - Practice Doctorate (2015, Revised 10/2018), Glossary (p. 37), by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational programs (COA), which is available here.
Nurse anesthesia students are to adhere to the AHU policy on academic integrity that is contained in the AHU Academic Catalog. Students are expected to exhibit high levels of integrity in all activities. AHU reserves the right to deny admission to or remove students from the University and/or any academic program if they have a record of misconduct or demonstrate behavior that would jeopardize their professional performance. Students are responsible for being familiar with this policy and abiding by it.
At their own cost, students are required to purchase a laptop computer that supports internet access, e-mail capabilities, Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and Adobe Acrobat, and complies with the required AHU specifications. Course syllabi, schedules, clinical assignments, and other important course materials will be housed in the Canvas learning platform and/or sent electronically. The laptop must contain required software and WiFi so that students may obtain access to the internet (and hence, email communications from the NAP, Canvas learning platform, ExamSoft testing platform, and Typhon records) while away from the main campus. Additionally, students will be issued software that includes Typhon. (The content of the software bundle is subject to change.)
Checking AHU email and electronic communications at least daily, is the student’s responsibility. Students should immediately report problems with their laptop, student email account, Canvas learning platform, ExamSoft testing platform, or Typhon record-keeping system to the NAP.
Students must bring their laptops to all didactic classes, as instructional units such as quizzes, tests, and class activities require computer access. It is the student’s responsibility to know how to operate and to maintain his/her computer in functioning order. Test, quiz, or assignment schedules and scores will not be adjusted due to computers not brought to the class site or maintained in working condition.
Working Outside of the Program
Students must be prepared to devote full-time energies to their nurse anesthesia studies. Personal responsibilities must be managed to minimize distractions and stress so that the student may concentrate on the demanding responsibilities in the NAP. Part‑time work as an RN is extremely difficult to maintain while attempting to meet the demands of the program. Thus, students are strongly discouraged from seeking outside employment. If a student chooses to work, he or she may work only as long as:
- The student’s academic and clinical performance is satisfactory, and
- The student is not employed during the 10 hours prior to any class or clinical assignment.
At no time may a student work as a nurse anesthetist or represent him/herself as a nurse anesthetist. (Violation of this segment of the policy will lead to dismissal from the NAP.)
An applicant’s file should be complete and contain the official required documents by the June 1 deadline to be eligible for consideration for an invitation to interview for a position in the cohort to begin the program in May of the following year. Completed application files are reviewed by the CRNA faculty, which then extends invitations for an interview to the most qualified individuals. Due to the competitive nature of the NAP admission process, applicants should understand that submitting a complete file or meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee an invitation to interview or acceptance/admission to the NAP.
The program enrolls only students who by academic and experiential achievement are of the quality appropriate for the profession and who have the ability to benefit from their education.
(The ability to benefit refers to the integrity of a college/university or education program to enroll only those individuals with the capacity to succeed and gain value from the education.)
Prior to an admission interview, applicants to the DNAP program must:
1. Submit an application through the Nursing’s Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS), www.nursingcas.org, which is only applicable for the annual application cycle in which it is submitted. The online application cycle opens December 1.
2. Submit a non-refundable $100 supplemental application fee, which is only applicable for the annual application cycle in which it is submitted. The supplemental application fee may be paid online, by check, or over the phone at (407) 303-1631.
3. Submit a current, unencumbered license to practice as a professional registered nurse (RN) and/or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) issued through one of the states of the United States or its territories or protectorates. If that RN and/or APRN license is not issued through Florida, the applicant must be eligible for Florida licensure at the time of application.
4. Submit evidence of at least one of the following degrees from a regionally accredited institution:
- Bachelor of Science degree (or higher) in Nursing (BSN, MSN, DNP, etc.)
- Bachelor of Science degree (or higher) in another appropriate related major (i.e. Biology, Chemistry, etc.)
- While a BSN is preferred, the AHU DNAP program also considers applicants who have a BS in a related field and an AS in Nursing. Related fields may include biology, chemistry, exercise physiology, or respiratory therapy. Degrees must have been obtained from regionally accredited institutions.
(If an applicant is currently enrolled at a regionally accredited institution and is scheduled to complete a degree prior to the anticipated enrollment at AHU’s DNAP program, he or she must provide a current transcript prior to an admission interview, and then provide a final official transcript upon completion of the degree and prior to enrollment.)
5. Submit evidence of completion of all pre-requisite courses. All pre-requisite courses must be at least three credits and completed with a grade of B or better within ten years prior to the application deadline (unless noted otherwise).
- Pre-requisites for 2020-2023 DNAP Cohort (application deadline 6/1/2019):
STAT 215 Elementary Statistics (or equivalent; at least 3 credits), with a grade of B or better, within 10 years prior to application deadline
Chemistry - a Chemistry course (at least 3 credits), with a grade of B or better, within 10 years prior to application deadline, and subsequently completion of
ANES 500 - Chemistry and Physics for Nurse Anesthesia (online through AHU) by December 31 of the year prior to enrollment in the DNAP program
6. Submit current official transcripts from all undergraduate and/or graduate institutions attended, in accordance with the guidelines in the current AHU Academic Catalog. Admission GPAs will be calculated based on credits and grades from regionally accredited institutions only. Failure to disclose all colleges or universities previously attended could result in denial or dismissal. Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by WES (refer to AHU Academic Catalog). (If an applicant is currently enrolled in any course at a regionally accredited institution at which he or she has previously taken any other courses, he or she must provide an updated transcript prior to an admission interview and then provide an official transcript upon completion of the course and prior to enrollment.)
7. Present a minimum cumulative grade point average, inclusive of both undergraduate and graduate coursework, of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
8. Submit an official copy of a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last 5 years. GRE scores on college transcripts are also acceptable. The program requires that one official copy of the GRE scores be sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to AHU’s NursingCAS code - 1951. The GRE requirement may be waived for applicants who have earned a prior graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. The MAT is not accepted.
9. Complete a minimum of one year of recent (within the last 3 years) critical care nursing experience, prior to program enrollment. The time during orientation to the critical care area cannot be considered toward the one year minimum. Two or more years of recent intensive critical care nursing experience is preferred. It is also preferred that at least a portion of this experience is with the adult patient population. Critical care experience is defined by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational programs (COA) as follows:
Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories, or a US military hospital outside of the US. 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 [such as norepinephrine, epinephrine, vasopressin, dobutamine, nicardipine, nitroglycerin]. 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. Those who have experiences in other areas may be considered, provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.
10. Submit current Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification through the American Heart Association.
11. Meet the mental and physical requirements for the DNAP program, as follows:
- Have sufficient visual acuity to observe and assess a patient, discriminate color and depth, read and accurately complete reports, and visualize diagnostic/monitoring equipment in dim light.
- Have sufficient hearing to monitor and assess patient health needs, to monitor various equipment and background sounds, and to communicate by telephone.
- Be able to speak English in a clear and concise manner.
- Have English communication abilities sufficient to interact professionally with others in verbal and written form, and have reading skills appropriate to understand patient charts, reports, and orders.
- Be able to lift patients to accomplish bed/chair/stretcher transfer.
- Be able to stand and walk without difficulty and be able to push a gurney or wheelchair.
- Be able to stand and/or sit for an extended period of time.
- Be able to perform fine and gross motor skills with both hands.
- Possess critical thinking skills sufficient to think clearly and act appropriately in stressful situations.
- Possess interpersonal skills sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
- Have mobility sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces.
- Have tactile ability sufficient to perform palpation functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention.
12. Submit a current professional resume. (Resumes are only effective for the annual application cycle in which they are submitted. Re-applicants must submit updated current resumes.)
13. Submit the completed AHU DNAP Practice Survey form. (DNAP Practice Survey forms are only effective for the annual application cycle in which they are submitted. Re-applicants must submit new, current DNAP Practice Survey forms.)
14. Submit an essay outlining reasons for choosing to become a nurse anesthetist, for choosing to attend a Christian faith-based institution, and for choosing AdventHealth University, specifically.
15. Submit at least three letters of recommendation through NursingCAS.org. One recommendation must be from a licensed CRNA that the applicant has shadowed; one recommendation should be from the immediate supervisor, and one recommendation should be from a current RN/APRN co-worker. Recommendations from friends or family members are not accepted. (Recommendation forms are only effective for the annual application cycle in which they are submitted. Re-applicants must submit new, current reference letters.)
16. Provide evidence of English language proficiency for applicants whose native/primary language is not English (see English Language Proficiency section in the current AHU Academic Catalog).
It is assumed that the applicant is computer literate and familiar with the use of computers at home, on the job, or in school.
After submission of all application documentation, the CRNA faculty will review all completed application files to determine which applicants to invite to interview. Interviews are by invitation only. Any applicants who are invited to enroll in the DNAP program must successfully complete the interview process.
Note: Due to the competitive nature of the admission process, applicants should understand that meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee an invitation to interview for admission into the program. Applicants will be screened by the CRNA faculty, and the most qualified individuals will be invited for an interview. Also, meeting the minimum admission criteria and receiving an invitation to interview do not guarantee admission into the program.
Admission Interview (by invitation only)
All applicants who are invited for an Admission Interview will be required to complete the Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT) at AHU on the day of the interview. The online assessment takes up to 50 minutes and will be administered at the AHU campus in a standardized proctored setting, on the same day the applicant’s interview is scheduled. The HSRT is specifically designed to assess the critical thinking skills of health science students and professionals, to include measurement of high-stakes reasoning and decision-making processes.
Prior to a determination regarding acceptance, there will be a brief (10-15 minute) personal interview with the DNAP Admission Committee (6-10 members). The personal interview helps to provide a realistic evaluation of eligibility for admission into the program, as it may assess oral communication skills, professional behaviors and attitudes, ability to interact in a group, knowledge of the profession, ability to solve problems, and motivation to pursue a career in nurse anesthesia. The Admission Committee membership may consist of CRNA faculty, clinical anesthesia providers (Physician Anesthesiologist and CRNA), AHU didactic faculty, an SRNA representative, and a public member. The primary requirement for admission into the DNAP program is the applicant’s ability to benefit, as appraised by the DNAP Admission Committee, to successfully complete the 36-month curriculum. Applicants should have strong academic records as evidenced by their cumulative grade point average and GRE scores, demonstrated consistency of academic performance, and strong clinical experience. The committee is interested in determining the candidates’ base knowledge of physiology, invasive monitors, care of ventilated patients, and their knowledge of the drugs they commonly administer in ICU. A firm and clear commitment to the nurse anesthesia profession and to fulfilling the missions of AHU and the NAP are additional criteria which are assessed through the interview process and the personal essay. Qualities such as maturity and effective interpersonal relationships, as determined from the letters of recommendation and the interview, are also important admission criteria. Each member of the DNAP Admission Committee is given the responsibility to score conscientiously after each applicant’s interview. Scores are collected immediately following the interview. Justification by the DNAP Admission Committee for acceptance or denial of a candidate is not required nor noted in the applicant’s file. All applicants should dress in professional attire for the interview with the DNAP Admission Committee. All applicants who are offered letters of acceptance must successfully complete the interview process. (Interviews are by invitation only.)
Non-refundable Deposit (applicable to ALL accepted applicants)
After an admission interview and upon notification of acceptance to the DNAP, each applicant accepted to the DNAP program must pay a non-refundable deposit of $500.00 to reserve his or her place in the program. The applicant’s written acceptance notification will contain a deposit amount and deadline indicating when the deposit must be received by the University. Once the applicant enrolls in the program, this deposit will be applied toward the student’s account. Applicants who have paid the deposit, but decide not to enroll in the DNAP program, will forfeit the deposit. If that applicant is admitted to the DNAP program at a later date, he or she will be required to pay the full deposit amount again.
Admitted NAP Student Requirements
After applicants have interviewed, been accepted, and reserved their positions in the DNAP program, and prior to enrollment, all accepted applicants must:
- Continue to meet the mental and physical requirements as listed in the DNAP Application Admission Requirements.
- Submit evidence of at least one of the following degrees from a regionally accredited institution:
- Bachelor of Science degree (or higher) in Nursing (BSN, MSN, DNP, etc.)
- Bachelor of Science degree (or higher) in another appropriate related science major (i.e. Biology, Chemistry, etc.)
(If an applicant is currently enrolled at a regionally accredited institution and is scheduled to complete the degree prior to the anticipated enrollment at AHU’s DNAP program, he or she must provide a current transcript prior to an admission interview, and then provide a final official transcript upon completion of the degree and prior to enrollment.)
- Submit current official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, in accordance with the guidelines in the current AHU Academic Catalog, if final official transcript had not been previously available, due to the rationale noted here in italics. Admission GPAs will be calculated, based on credits and grades from regionally accredited institutions only. Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by WES (refer to AHU Academic Catalog).
(If an applicant is currently enrolled in any course at a regionally accredited institution at which he or she has previously taken any other courses, he or she must provide an official transcript to date prior to an admission interview, and then provide another official transcript upon completion of the course and prior to enrollment at AHU’s DNAP.)
- Submit a current, unencumbered Florida license to practice as a professional registered nurse (RN) and/or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). (This requirement specifically for an RN and/or APRN license through the state of Florida may be deferred until notification of acceptance to the DNAP program, but it must be fulfilled before enrollment to the DNAP program.)
- Pass satisfactory criminal background checks, as required by AHU and the DNAP program.
A student may encounter potential problems with clinical education placement and/or licensure as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP, in Florida and some other states) or as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) if he or she has a criminal record. For specific information, contact the Florida Board of Nursing, and the Board of Nursing in the state in which the student intends to practice. If a student has a criminal record, it is the responsibility of the student to inquire with the Florida Board of Nursing, or the Board of Nursing and the state in which the student intends to practice, as to whether a criminal record may limit a graduate’s ability to obtain licensure as an APRN in that state.
- Provide evidence of satisfactory result from mandatory drug test(s)/screen(s), as required or requested by AHU and the DNAP program.
- Provide evidence of satisfactory health and immunization requirements. AHU and many clinical sites require students to be currently immunized prior to entry into the clinical area. In accordance with the AHU policy on “Health and Immunizations,” students are required to present verification of vaccinations or immunity titers as follows:
Proof of immunity to Hepatitis B or documentation that the Hepatitis B vaccine immunization series has begun is also required prior to registration.
- Influenza (annually)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (adequate titer, 2 vaccines, laboratory proof, letter from diagnosing physician, or medical record history of having chicken pox)
- Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap) immunization (within 10 years)
- Tuberculosis (TB) screening test (within 60 days of enrollment & at least annually)
If a test is positive, refer to the guidelines provided in the “Communicable Disease Policy” in the AHU Student Handbook.
These are not performed by AHU and must be performed by a private provider. Furthermore, AHU or clinical affiliate sites mandate additional or more frequent health tests or immunizations, students are also required to comply with these.
- Each applicant who is accepted into the program must demonstrate proof of health insurance via the AHU Verification of Insurance Form, prior to entry into the program and must maintain health insurance throughoutout enrollment. Health insurance is required of all students in the DNAP program.
The DNAP program reserves the right to rescind an acceptance offer if the above are not completed prior to the start of program classes.
The DNAP program is a continuous course of study, 36-month “block” program. Students may progress toward the DNAP degree when they have:
- Completed all scheduled DNAP-labeled courses thus far, with a grade of 3.0 or better on a 4.00 grade point scale.
- Completed all scheduled non-DNAP-labeled program courses thus far with an average grade of 3.00 or better on a 4.00 grade point scale, including no more than one non-DNAP-labeled course with a grade between 2.00 and 3.00 on a 4.00 grade point scale.
- Complete all scheduled clinical practicum courses, thus far, with a grade of “Pass.”
Academic failure occurs when a student:
a) does not achieve the requisite minimum grade of “B” in any didactic DNAP-labeled course, and/or
b) does not achieve a minimum of an overall GPA of 3.0 in all program courses, and/or
c) earns more than one “C” in one non-DNAP-labeled course, and/or
d) earns a course grade lower than a “C” in any non-DNAP-labeled course.
Retake or make-up tests for failing grades in non-DNAP-labeled courses will be at the discretion of the course coordinator. However, retake or make-up tests for failures in DNAP-labeled nurse anesthesia courses are not allowed. Students experiencing academic failure are required to withdraw from all courses in the nurse anesthesia program (NAP) and complete out-processing paperwork, and are dismissed from the NAP.
Readmission after Academic Failure/Dismissal
If an individual who has previously been dismissed from the AHU DNAP program due to academic failure desires to return to the DNAP program, he or she must re-apply during the normal application cycle for the next available class. Should a vacancy occur in the DNAP program which is compatible with matriculation of the academically failed/dismissed student, the NAP may extend an invitation for reapplication to the DNAP program. Individuals/ applicants must submit required admission paperwork and fees. An invitation for application does not signify acceptance into the DNAP program. Academically/didactically failed/dismissed individuals desiring to be considered to reapplication should submit a letter of intent to the NAP program Admission Manager. If an individual is accepted into the DNAP program again, at the time of readmission, NAP faculty will design an individualized course of study for the readmitted student, which may include repeating coursework successfully completed previously and directed study classes.
Students will be recommended for graduation from AHU and eligibility for the National Certification Examination (through the National Board on Certification and Recertification of CRNAs (NBCRNA)) when they:
- Meet all the requirements of AHU and the NAP for the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree, including completion of any extended time due to schedule changes in conjunction with a Performance Improvement Contract or penalties incurred in the program, as assigned by the NAP.
- Meet all the requirements of the accrediting/approval bodies to be eligible for licensure and certification.
- Complete all DNAP-labeled program courses with a grade of 3.0 (“B”) or better.
- Complete the overall sequence of courses with a grade point average of 3.00 or better.
- Complete non-DNAP-labeled courses with a grade of 3.00 (“B”) or better, with the exception of no more than one such course with a grade of 2.00 (“C”).
- Complete all clinical practicum courses with a grade of “Pass”.
- Administer all required numbers for each category of cases and clinical experiences.
- Complete the requirements of the DNAP Scholarly Project and professional Portfolio.
- Possess current BLS, ACLS, and PALS certification.
- Possess current, unencumbered Florida RN licensure.
- Complete all required coursework within 72 months from the first date of entrance into the DNAP program.