Jul 15, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 [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. Nurse Anesthesia Residents develop their clinical acumen and advanced skills through mandatory and specialty rotations in general surgery, 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, emergency airway response, and independent practice settings. The program aims to graduate full-service anesthesia professionals who competently provide expert care across diverse populations and to underserved communities. The program consists of 80 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 Educational Programs. Core science courses in anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and principles of nurse anesthesia complement the clinical nurse anesthesia residency. In addition, the student will discuss and synthesize current policies of the complex health care ecosystem, review principles of population health, explore health technology advances, and complete an extensive research project inclusive of translating science into practice. 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, health assessment and English composition. A minimum of two years of critical care profession nursing experience in a high acuity setting by matriculation and a quality shadow experience with a certified registered nurse or physician anesthesiologist. Licensure as a registered nurse in California and current BLS, ACLS and PALS certifications are required prior to enrollment. 

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, Slack and the Blackboard learning platform. Email, Slack and Blackboard accounts are provided by the University to all enrolled students.


Prospective students should review the Program website for dates of live information sessions and additional details regarding admission requirements.


General requirements for admission include graduation from an accredited school of nursing, a baccalaureate degree 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 are accepted) as a registered nurse by matriculation, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0, or higher, on a scale of 4.0, Graduate Record Examinations, 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 pursuing this educational opportunity and demonstrate an acceptable understanding of the role and responsibilities of a certified registered nurse anesthesiologist. Selections are made objectively on the basis of the formal interview and consideration of a variety of factors that include previous academic performance, clinical experience, professionalism, and emotional intelligence.

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 program-specific supplemental application can be obtained from the nurse anesthesia program website.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of a minimum of 80 units (including academic and clinical courses, the doctoral capstone project, and successful completion of several high-stake examinations). The program is completed in 36 months of continuous enrollment (nine semesters).


All students will take the Self-Evaluation Examination administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) in the sixth and eighth clinical semesters. The program administration determines and certifies the graduate’s eligibility to take the National Certification Examination administered by the NBCRNA, contingent upon successful completion of all course work.

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