MSN Nurse Anesthesia Curriculum

The curriculum of the MSN Nurse Anesthesia concentration provides the student with scientific, clinical, and professional foundations upon which to build a sound and safe clinical practice. This two year (6 semester), full-time program offers concentrated courses in anatomy/physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, basic and advanced principles of anesthesia, and professional roles. Courses in anesthesia practice provide clinical practicum encompassing all anesthetic techniques to diverse patient populations. The supervised clinical residency provides students the opportunity to incorporate didactic anesthesia education into clinical practice.  During the clinical experience, students are supervised by anesthesiologists/nurse anesthetists who provide instruction in the safe administration and monitoring of a variety of techniques including both general and regional anesthesia.

This advanced practice nursing option includes client-oriented practice as well as foundation in core courses, which include research critique and proposal writing; theory application, testing, and refinement; and, making sound decisions within legal and ethical frameworks in a complex health care and policy-making system.  Additional skills addressed in the program include information competence, critical thinking, problem solving within an interdisciplinary framework, research application, advocacy, health promotion and disease prevention, and an understanding of the unique needs of vulnerable populations.

All nurse anesthesia concentration courses are held at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, CA and affiliated clinical sites utilizing state-of-the-art facilities. This concentration requires 71 units of full-time study including a research directed study. Clinical hours are based on competency guidelines from KPSA.

Course Descriptions

MSN Core Didactic Classes

NURS 501 Theoretical Perspectives for Nursing Practice (3)
Prerequisite: graduate status or consent of instructor. Study and critique of the organization and development of nursing knowledge.

NURS 505A Nursing Research and Evaluation for Practice (3)
Prerequisite: graduate standing. Overview of research methodology, research problems, interpretation and utilization of research results, with emphasis on critique of qualitative and quantitative nursing research. 

NURS 505B Seminar in Nursing Research (3)
Prerequisites: NURS 501 and NURS 505A; or admission to DNP program. Concepts and issues related to evidence based-practice. Develop and refine the directed project/research proposal. Proposal includes problem/purpose statements, literature review, measurement tools, work plan, timeline, method and evaluation (analysis/synthesis) plan.

MSN Core Clinical Classes

NURS 542 Advanced Health Assessment (2)
Prerequisite: graduate standing. Application of theoretical concepts related to comprehensive health assessment of patients across the lifespan. Analyzing, synthesizing and applying comprehensive health assessment data, including the bio-psychosocial, development and environmental needs of patients and families.

NURS 542L Advanced Health Assessment Laboratory (1)
Corequisite: NURS 542. Clinical application of advanced health assessment skills and strategies necessary for advanced practice nursing role in a particular area of specialization. Credit/No Credit only. (3 hours practicum per week)

Nurse Anesthesia Concentration courses

NURS 580 Advanced Pharmacology for Anesthesia I (3)
Prerequisite: admission to the nurse anesthetist concentration. Scientific foundations of anesthesia practice. Advanced pharmacology content, integrated with principles of neuro-anatomy, biology, physiology, chemistry and physics serves as a basis for assessing and managing the patient undergoing anesthesia.

NURS 581 Anesthesia Basic Principles and Health Assessment (3)
Prerequisite: admission to the nurse anesthetist concentration. Basic anesthesia theories and applications prior to entry into clinical practice. Perioperative patient health assessment, airway management, anesthesia monitoring and treatment modalities.

NURS 582 Anesthesia Advanced Principles (4)
Prerequisite: NURS 580. Corequisite: NURS 584. Pre- or corequisite: NURS 505A. Selected scientific foundations of anesthesia practice, focusing on cardiopulmonary and renal systems.

NURS 584 Advanced Pharmacology for Anesthesia II (3)
Prerequisite: NURS 581. Corequisite: NURS 585L. Pre- or corequisite: NURS 505A. Scientific foundations of anesthesia practice. Advanced pharmacology content, integrated with principles of cardiopulmonary and renal anatomical, biological and physical principles serve as a basis for assessing and managing the patient undergoing anesthesia.

NURS 585L Nurse Anesthesia Practicum I (2)
Prerequisite: NURS 581. Corequisite: NURS 584. Preceptored clinical experience designed to provide clinical application of the foundational principles of anesthesia. Credit/No Credit only. (6 hours practicum per week)

NURS 586 Pediatric and Obstetric Anesthesia (3)
Prerequisites: NURS 584. Corequisite: NURS 587L. Advanced theory of anesthesia management for specialized patient populations, specifically, pediatrics and obstetrics. Emphasizes anesthesia principles that underlie competent operative planning, decision making and case management.

NURS 587L Nurse Anesthesia Practicum II (5)
Prerequisite: NURS 585L. Corequisite: NURS 586. Preceptored clinical experience provides clinical application of increasingly complex clinical situations. Credit/No Credit only. (15 hours practicum per week)

NURS 588 Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology for Anesthesia I (4)
Incorporates pathophysiologic basis for anesthesia case management, including pulmonary and cardiothoracic care. Principles of regional anesthesia. Application of current scientific literature is reviewed and emphasized.

NURS 589L Nurse Anesthesia Practicum III (7)
Continuing preceptored clinical experience provides clinical application of increasingly complex clinical situations and clinical decision-making in the practice of anesthesia. Credit/No Credit only. (21 hours practicum per week)

NURS 590 Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology for Anesthesia II (4)
Prerequisite: NURS 588. Corequisite: NURS 591L. Pathophysiologic basis for anesthesia management, including neurologic, endocrine and gastro-intestinal care. Integrates concepts of pharmacology related to anesthesia and application of current scientific research findings in these populations.

NURS 591L Nurse Anesthesia Practicum IV (7)
Prerequisite: NURS 589L. Corequisite: NURS 590. Preceptored clinical experience provides clinical application of increasingly complex clinical situations. Credit/No Credit only. (21 hours practicum per week)

NURS 592 Professional Nurse Anesthesia Role (3)
Prerequisite: second year standing in Nurse Anesthesia Program. Analyzes the professional component of nurse anesthesia practice emphasizing ethical, medical and legal responsibilities of the practitioner; emphasizes various aspects that impact the profession of nurse anesthesia. Review of anesthesia certification topics.

NURS 593L Nurse Anesthesia Practicum V (7)
Prerequisite: NURS 591L. Corequisite: NURS 592. Culminating preceptored clinical experience provides clinical practice in all areas of anesthesia management. Credit/No Credit only. (21 hours practicum per week)

MSN Culminating Experience Courses

NURS 596A, B Comprehensive Clinical Practicum (2, 2)
Prerequisites: NURS 505A,B and consent of instructor. Prerequisite for 596B is 596A. Low- to high-risk patient assessment and management through case study and skills lab competency. Outcome includes simulated patient evaluation/management and comprehensive examination demonstrating student’s application of knowledge and skills. A full-year course over two semesters. (Minimum 3 hours per week per semester)