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CRNA graduates

Nurse Anesthesia

The nurse anesthesia concentration will permit the graduate an opportunity to take his or her place among the ranks of the highly respected CRNAs who will be molding the health care history of the next century.

Visit the Nurse Anesthesia website for more information. 

If you are a highly capable and motivated professional who is comfortable with the physical sciences and seeking increased education, autonomy, and the beginning of a lifelong period of challenge and continued learning, this program may be of interest to you.

The DNP Nurse Anesthesia Concentration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Nursing is a 36-month program, culminating in the awarding of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia to successful candidates. Students who successfully meet the clinical and didactic requirements of the program officially complete the program in August, 36 months after they begin their studies and are then eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination (NCE). Typically graduates of the Nurse Anesthesia Concentration are employed less than 6 months after graduation. The Nurse Anesthesia Concentration is no longer offering admission to the MSN or post-master’s certificate program.

The curriculum contains didactic classes in the principles and practices of anesthesia (both general and regional) for all types of patients undergoing surgical and diagnostic procedures in all general surgery and specialty areas, including neuro, cardiovascular/thoracic, OB/Gyn, and pediatrics. Considerable course work is devoted to pathophysiology and pharmacology. Courses also cover the theoretical considerations of practice, professional issues, and research.

The goal of the nurse anesthesia concentration is to prepare qualified registered nurses to become anesthesia practitioners with an advanced scientific knowledge base and a comprehensive array of clinical skills.

Graduates should be able to:

  • Competently prepare and deliver nurse anesthesia services throughout the spectrum of practice settings in order to meet the health care needs of the public
  • Conduct independent study and research in support of advancement of the profession
  • Participate in the clinical and didactic components of nurse anesthesia educational programs
  • Assume professional leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels

The nurse anesthesia concentration is a blended curriculum. Specifically, some classes include both on campus and online activities.

As is the case with all graduate programs of nurse anesthesia education, the curriculum is very demanding and academically rigorous. Due to the intensity and workload of the graduate curriculum and practicum, students are discouraged from working. If students elect to work part time, they may do so as long as academic and clinical performance are not compromised.

Clinical Sites

The primary clinical site for the program is the University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) in Knoxville, a 640-bed academic medical center, Magnet recognized and Level-I adult and pediatric trauma center. UTMC offers a wide range of clinical experiences to student registered nurse anesthetists. Additionally, the following clinical facilities are utilized for curricular enrichment and supplementation:

  • Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center (Knoxville, TN)
  • LeBonheur Children’s Hospital (Memphis, TN)
  • Parkwest Medical Center (Knoxville, TN)
  • Pending final approval: 2 rural, all-CRNA clinical sites within driving distance of Knoxville

Please note: the program continues to seek out new clinical sites which may involve travel and lodging outside of the Knoxville area. Students are responsible for all travel and other expenses related to clinical rotations.

Human Anesthesia Simulation Laboratory

In preparation for the clinical anesthesia practicum that begins fall semester of the first year of study and continues throughout the remainder of the program, students are exposed to numerous simulation exercises in the Human Anesthesia Simulation Laboratory (HASL). Students begin to administer anesthesia in the clinical area under constant supervision. A supervised call experience begins in October of the third semester.

Applications for the 2022 admissions cycle will open in August of 2022 with a priority application deadline of October 15, 2022. Clinical Graduate Certificates (FNP, PMHNP, Acute Care and Primary Care PNP) admit only for the summer, and DNP and PhD Programs admit only for the fall each year. Applications for the Non-clinical Graduate Certificates (Health Policy, Health Informatics, Nurse Education) are accepted on a rolling basis. The priority application deadline must be met for the BSN-DNP, Nurse Anesthesia Program, the Clinical Graduate Certificates and for consideration for any scholarships or fellowships offered by the University or College.

All prospective College of Nursing students must apply online through UT Graduate Admissions. All application materials including transcripts must be submitted directly to Graduate Admissions prior to the application deadline. Please check with UT Graduate Admissions for information about when applications will open for the next recruiting cycle.

ICU experience: To be considered for admission, applicants must have completed at least one year of current, full-time adult critical care nursing experience prior to the start of the program. Applicants must be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills and feel comfortable working with ventilators and with numerous vasoactive drugs such as nitroglycerin, nitroprusside, dopamine, and amiodarone. In addition, applicants must possess a thorough understanding of EKG interpretation and be able to apply hemodynamic values to patient care. Examples of adult critical care areas that meet this requirement include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Surgical ICU
  • Trauma ICU
  • Cardiovascular ICU
  • Medical ICU
  • Coronary Care Unit

NOTE: Nursing experience in the ER, ICN, Pediatric ICU, or PAR does not fulfill this requirement.

Experience in other intensive care units: While experience in adult critical care is required, employment time in neonatal and/or pediatric ICU is considered to be very advantageous and may count toward the minimum one-year critical care criterion. Other work history may be considered on a case-by-case basis but must include experience in units where nurses care for high acuity critically ill patients on a 1:1 ratio who require invasive monitoring and the administration of vasoactive drugs. For example, while it cannot supersede the critical care (ICU) requirement, flight nursing is considered highly complementary experience for applicants to the concentration.

CCRN certification: While the concentration does not require applicants to have CCRN certification prior to application, admission will be contingent upon achieving this or similar professional milestone before matriculation. Other acceptable certifications include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR)
  • Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN)
  • Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia (CAPN)
  • Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
  • Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN)

Fees: All nursing anesthesia courses are assessed a fee of $575.


CRNA Coordinator Graduate Programs Advisor CRNA Admin Support Specialist

Julie Bonom
Clinical Associate Professor

Alisa Canupp
Admin Support Specialist, Nurse Anesthesia Program