Nurse Anesthesia

FAQs

When is your deadline for applications?

Interviews for the class enrolling in January will be held during the fall semester each year. The deadline for applications and all supporting materials is the preceding July 1 st . We suggest you fill out your application form and submit your application fee early as possible. Once the application fee has been paid, a folder is made with your name and materials required are then placed in your folder as they are received. Without the fee, all materials are placed in a miscellaneous folder and we will not be able to inform you what has been received until the application fee has been submitted.
NOTE: The Program welcomes applications or inquiries twelve months a year. Interviews are held once a year. Completed early applications will be given preference for interviews.


Who do I contact for questions regarding my application process?

Please contact the following for application process questions:

crna@tcu.edu


May I submit my transcripts directly?

Transcripts must be official.  You may submit them directly only if they are in a sealed envelope from the university.


How do I know all my transcripts were received by the school?

The best practice is to request that transcripts from colleges and universities be sent to you. Leave the transcripts in sealed envelopes, and then once all have been received mail the transcripts via priority mail to TCU School of Nurse Anesthesia, TCU Box 298626, Fort Worth, Texas 76129.


How much time should I allow for GRE scores to reach TCU?

It is probably wise to allow a full month.


Must I hold application materials and submit all at once?

No, materials may be submitted as available. We strongly encourage you to fill out the application and submit your application fee first. Once the application form and fee are submitted a folder for your materials is created so that we can keep up with all application documents (transcripts, references, work verifications, etc.). In addition, early applications are given priority for determining interviews.


What degree plan does the TCU School of Nurse Anesthesia (SOA) offer?

The SOA offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Anesthesia (DNP-A). The DNP-A is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Certifying Examination administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Prospective students should contact individual state boards of nursing (BON) regarding requirements to practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in their respective state. The DNP-A degree is for post baccalaureate registered nurses. This program is an innovative, solutions focused program designed to prepare nurse anesthesia students to lead efforts in solving complex health care issues and developing new health care opportunities, specifically in the context of nurse anesthesia practice. The program builds on TCU’s mission: “Learning to Change the World” and will charge DNP students with “Making a Difference in Health Care”. This solution focused program incorporates the essentials established by the American Academy of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) and the standards for specialty education in nurse anesthesia established by the COA. The DNP-A for post baccalaureate registered nurses provides the terminal academic preparation for nurse anesthesia practice with advanced, specialized knowledge and skills to meet the health needs of diverse populations. The purpose of this track is to prepare nurse anesthetists who are equipped to assume clinical leadership positions in a variety of health care, business, government, and educational organizations.


Which bachelor’s degrees do you accept in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing?

A bachelor’s degree in a natural science is accepted. Examples are Chemistry, Biology, Microbiology, etc. If you have another degree, your past academic background is individually considered for predictors of success in our School. Predictors include a strong science background and good performance history.


Are there any prerequisite courses that I must take prior to admission?

There are no prerequisite courses. There is quite a bit of applied chemistry in anesthesia concepts, primarily when it concerns common anesthetic drugs. It is highly recommended that you take a General/Basic Chemistry course within 5 years of starting the program.


I will not have my bachelor’s degree before the deadline. Can I still be accepted for an interview?

If you are a registered nurse with the appropriate critical care experience and in the last semester of your BSN program, it is possible to be granted an interview and be provisionally accepted on completion of the degree.


How recent do my undergraduate science courses have to be?

There is no time limit for undergraduate courses and no required prerequistite courses.

We look at grades in Chemistry, Organic chemistry (or Biochemistry), Biology, Microbiology, Mathematics, and Anatomy and Physiology if taken. If you have less than a 3.0 in these courses you may repeat your sciences to achieve a better grade. We understand that many times undergraduate grades do not necessarily reflect current ability and maturity.


Is there a substitution for the CCRN?

The CCRN is a requirement and cannot be substituted by CEN, RN-C, etc. For verification of CCRN we require you to submit your CCRN content scores (cardiovascular, pulmonary, etc.), in addition to your CCRN certificate.


What types of critical care experience are accepted? Which are preferred?

Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a U.S. military hospital outside of the United States. 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. 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. We do not accept experience in PACU, ED, Step-Down Units, Cath Lab, or Surgery. Anesthesia practice most closely mirrors the types of skills and knowledge you use as an ICU nurse. Statistics from the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) validate that graduates who come from a non-ICU background have a higher rate of failure in passing the board exam. Individuals with earlier experience in these areas, followed by at least 2 years of recent ICU experience would demonstrate a strong diversified work experience.


I’ve only been in the ICU three months, am I eligible for an interview?

NO. You must have obtained the CCRN certification prior to being granted an interview and that certification requires a minimum of 1750 hours of critical care experience to become eligible. The admissions committee highly recommends two years of critical care experience.


Can I work the first two semesters?

Yes, you are expected to continue to work in your critical care unit. The on-line classes are designed for RNs who work .


What is the minimum score required for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?

We do not have a minimum score on GRE. Ideally, our applicants would have a qualitative and quantitative score of 302 or greater, and a writing score of 4 or greater. Individual area scores should exceed approximately the 50th percentile. The GRE is one of many criteria that we use to evaluate eligibility for admission into the Nurse Anesthesia program. The personal interview, grades, recommendations and experience are all evaluated individually. GREs must be taken within the last 5 years. The Analytical Writing test of the GRE is required.


How do I spend time with a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) observing cases?

It is highly recommended that you contact a CRNA in your facility regarding observation of an anesthesia provider. Some facilities are reticent to allow outside individuals to observe due to HIPAA regulations; however, it is typically easier to observe in the facility where you are an employee than another facility.


How many students are accepted each year?

The number accepted each year depends upon the number of qualified applicants interviewed and the number of clinical slots available. This number varies from year to year. Typically 55 to 65 students per year are accepted.


I was not accepted and wish to reapply. What is the process?

Contact the Nurse Anesthesia office and ask to have your file re-activated for the next class. Before July 1 you need to have your current supervisor send us a new reference. You also need to let us know ways you have strengthened your application.


How are clinical sites assigned?

On the application you are asked to rank your preference for clinical sites. We attempt to place students at either their first or second choice. Students who have close ties (raised as children, families) in a particular area close to a clinical site are given preference.


What is the difference between a primary clinical and an enrichment clinical site?

The primary clinical site is where the majority of cases are received and where you will spend the majority of your 16 month clinical residency. Most clinical sites do not have all types of cases needed to meet the requirements for training; therefore most students are required to spend time at other clinical sites for specialty cases (i.e., OB,, Pediatrics, etc…). Time at those sites vary from 4 to 8 weeks in length.


What can I expect once I start classes on-campus in Fort Worth?

Once you start the face-to-face part of the program, classes are typically taught on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with laboratory/simulations experiences on Tuesdays or Thursdays.  Face-to-face classes in the School of Nurse Anesthesia are frequently team-taught by full-time nurse anesthesia faculty.  Laboratory experiences include small-group immersion in the human patient simulation lab as well as group activities with a human cadaver lab.


Where do I get answers to my questions?

Please email your questions to k.sanders@tcu.edu.

Resources / Announcements

DNP-A application deadlines: July 1st for class beginning the next year. Completed early applications will be given preference for
interviews. Interviewees will be notified by August 1. Interview dates for 2018 are August 21, 23, 28 and 30. Candidates
will be notified of admission status by October 1st. Apply online today at www.applyweb.com/tcug/.


TCU School of Nurse Anesthesia in partnership with American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) to offer Post-Graduate Advanced Non-Surgical Pain Management Program.


Frequently Asked Application Questions


Recommended reading for applicants and others interested in nurse anesthesia


Program Statistics


Student Handbook / DNP-A Project Guides


The School of Nurse Anesthesia office is located in Suite 3101 on the third floor of the Annie Richardson Bass building.