DNP Nurse Anesthesia Frequently Asked Questions
Do Kaiser Permanente employees get a preference for admission into the program?
No. The program is funded through community benefit monies. We are obligated to consider all qualified candidates from all hospitals. Our mission is to educate registered nurses to become board certified nurse anesthetists after program completion.
How do I make myself a competitive candidate for the program?
Every year admission to the anesthesia program becomes more competitive. Hundreds of qualified applicants compete for 30-35 positions. To be considered, a candidate should possess a BSN and/or MSN degree with a last 60 semester unit grade point average greater than a 3.5 on a 4 point scale, have 2-3 years of current adult ICU experience in a large metropolitan teaching facility, have earned grades of A in many science courses, have professional certifications in addition to CCRN, served on unit-based or hospital-wide committees or task forces, and demonstrated leadership skills in research, management, or education.
My GPA is below 3.2, but I am otherwise a strong candidate. What can I do?
We understand that your GPA may not reflect your academic ability so much as the combination of your commitments at the time. However, because we receive many applications each year and only have between 30 and 35 positions, we will only consider applicants who meet or exceed our minimum requirements. Since we use a last 60 semester unit GPA for admission, you can continue to take courses to raise your GPA. To highlight your current academic abilities, we recommend taking additional upper division science courses and/or graduate nursing classes.
What satisfies your “Adult ICU” experience requirement?
You can satisfy the adult ICU requirement by working in any kind of Adult ICU environment, such as a Medical ICU, Surgical ICU, Coronary Care Unit, Trauma ICU, Cardiovascular ICU, Neuro ICU, Burn ICU, and CT ICU.
How many hours can I expect to spend in class and the clinic each week?
Class and clinical requirements are scheduled Monday through Friday. There are also occasional weekend clinical academic commitments. Generally, the academic classes are scheduled from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Clinical hours vary at each facility.
Am I able to work as an RN while in the program?
Outside work is strongly discouraged while a matriculated student in the program. The academic and clinical coursework is a 36 month, intense, lock-step full time process. Students are enrolled for 9 full time semesters at CSUF. There are breaks between each semester of approximately 10 days in length.
Will I get a job as a nurse anesthetist after graduation?
All students have obtained employment after graduation. Many students have multiple job offers in the months before graduation. You will be highly recruited by the Kaiser Permanente anesthesia departments as you rotate through the many facilities. There is no obligation to work for Kaiser Permanente after graduation.
I am an RN without a BSN or MSN, can I apply?
No. To be considered for admission, you must have earned a BSN or MSN prior to the application deadline.
How many clinical facilities will I rotate through during the program?
During the training program all students rotate through approximately 15 clinical sites. Since clinical sites are widely distributed throughout southern California, extensive traveling is required. All students use a car for transportation.
What is the difference between preparation as a CRNA in a master’s program and a CRNA in a doctoral program?
The DNP Nurse Anesthesia program is 3 years in length while the MSN program was 2 years. The additional 12 months of preparation in the DNP program includes nursing course work in the areas of evidence-based practice, measurement metrics, epidemiology, quality improvement, leadership, and advocacy. The DNP includes a three-semester sequence for developing, implementing and evaluating a scholarly project aimed at improving patient care and/or patient care outcomes.
The DNP program allows students time to integrate the clinical practice of nurse anesthesia with the scholarship of doctoral study. The advanced clinical curriculum not only prepares the DNP Nurse Anesthesia student for successful completion of the national certifying exam, but also adds to the already robust anesthesia clinical education that prepares the graduate for safe and competent anesthesia practice. DNP Nurse Anesthesia students obtain experiences in nurse anesthesia leadership, including administration and education, enhancing the core anesthesia clinical curriculum beyond the MSN level.
Core nursing and anesthesia courses are clustered early in the program, and scholarly project work occurs in year two and early year three, along with anesthesia clinical practice. In year three, the program culminates with a comprehensive theoretical anesthesia review, along with expansive clinical experiences to ensure national certification achievement and successful entry to CRNA practice.