Jun 19, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

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The USC Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice offers a concentrated academic and comprehensive clinical curriculum. Students will gain experience in the various required clinical specialty areas including general, cardiothoracic, neurosurgical, genitourinary, gynecologic, head and neck, plastic, orthopedic, trauma, obstetrics, pediatric and ambulatory outpatient procedures as well as experience in regional anesthesia, pain management, trauma, and emergency airway response. The program consists of 76 units and is completed in 36 months of continuous enrollment (nine semesters).

This professional doctoral program includes the essentials for doctoral education from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs. Core science courses in anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and principles of nurse anesthesia complement the clinical experiential training. The student will discuss and synthesize current policies of the complex health care environment, review principles of population health, explore technologic health advances, and become an advocate of evidence-based research in clinical practice. (Note: during the first summer semester students will be on campus for a three-day orientation followed by online hybrid courses). Beginning fall semester, students will be in residence and course work will be a combination of on-campus and hybrid format(s). High fidelity simulation is incorporated into the curriculum to enhance student learning and clinical assimilation through skills workshops and communication, leadership and critical thinking.

Academic and Scientific Prerequisites

Program prerequisites include appropriate undergraduate course work in biology, anatomy, physiology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, introductory physics, statistics or nursing research, health assessment and English composition. A minimum of one year of critical care or emergency department experience in a high acuity setting and shadow experience of CRNAs or anesthesiologists. Licensure as a registered nurse in California and current BLS, ACLS and PALS certifications are required prior to enrollment. Science work in anatomy, physiology, and chemistry/biochemistry is essential and must be current (completed within 10 years of program admission). Essential science coursework older than 10 years must be retaken to meet admissions requirements. Conversational Spanish is strongly recommended.

Computer Skill Requirements

During the program, students must have a personal computer or notebook with Internet access. The primary mode of program communication is email and the Blackboard learning platform. Email and Blackboard accounts are provided by the University to all students and can be activated online.


Prospective students should contact the program’s admission office, (323) 442-2037 or uscnap@usc.edu for evaluation of previous course work and clinical background and for dates of information sessions offered each May and July.


General requirements for admission include graduation from a regionally accredited school of nursing, a baccalaureate degree (minimum requirement), in nursing or a related field from a regionally accredited university or college, a minimum of two years of critical care nursing experience (surgical, medical, neurosurgical, trauma, pediatric or neonatal acceptable; postanesthesia care unit and/or emergency department will be determined on an individual basis), a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0, or higher, on a scale of 4.0, Graduate Record Examinations score with a suggested minimum of 300 on verbal and quantitative combined, completion of university and program supplemental applications, current licensure as a registered nurse, completion of shadow verification form, submission of two statement of purpose questions, a professional resume and three letters of recommendation.

Competitive applicants will be interviewed and must articulate their reasons for seeking this educational opportunity and demonstrate an acceptable understanding of the role and responsibilities of certified registered nurse anesthetists. Selections are made on the basis of the formal interview and consideration of a variety of factors that include academic record, type and amount of clinical experience and professionalism.

Admission procedures follow the information in the USC Graduate School section of this catalogue. Admission standards for the USC nurse anesthesia program are established jointly by the Keck School of Medicine, the USC Graduate School and the Department of Anesthesiology. Interested students should apply online at gradadm.usc.edu. Additional admissions requirements and the supplemental application can be obtained from the nurse anesthesia program Website at keck.usc.edu/nurse-anesthesia-program/ or can be requested through email at uscdnap@usc.edu.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of a minimum of 76 units (including academic and clinical courses, the doctoral capstone project, and four semesters of Clinical Synthesis). The program is completed in 36 months of continuous enrollment (nine semesters).


All students will take the Self-Evaluation Examination (SEE) administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) in the sixth and eighth clinical semesters. The Program administration will determine and certify students eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination (NCE) administered by the NBCRNA, contingent upon successful completion of all course work.

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