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Nurse Anesthesia FAQs

Qualification and Application

Do I need a Michigan Nursing license to apply? 

No.  A Michigan license is not needed to apply to the program.  Applicants will submit a current RN license from the state in which they work.  If accepted into the program, a Michigan license is required. 


Do I need to take the GRE? 

The GRE is not required for admission.


To apply to the Nurse Anesthesia program, what is the required work experience?

The applicant must have completed a minimum of 1 year of continuous, full-time experience in a high acuity ICU by the application deadline.  This does not include time spent in orientation or nurse externships. 


What types of ICU experience is preferred?

Experience as an RN in Cardiothoracic, Surgical, Transplant, Burn, Neuro-Trauma, Medical, Coronary, Pediatric and Neonatal is preferred. 


Does the ER, PACU, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Surgery or Telemetry Unit qualify as ICU experience?

While we respect the rigors of these units, anesthesia practice most closely resembles the skills and knowledge used in an intensive care unit. Applicants who believe they meet these requirements while working in units other than critical care are encouraged to speak with the admissions advisor and attend an informational session with the Program Director or Assistant Program Director.  We will work with you to determine if you meet the program’s qualifications.


I am a Pediatric ICU or Neonatal ICU nurse.  Should I transfer to an adult ICU? 

No.  Anesthesia training is across the lifespan.  Choosing to transfer is a personal decision.


I am a traveling nurse with assignments in the ICU.  Will I be considered as an applicant?

Yes.  However, you will need to demonstrate that you care for critically ill patients with consecutive assignments in ICUs or have had previous ICU experience as an employee of a hospital. 


What does an average admitted applicant look like?

Each admitted cohort varies.  We update a snapshot of the most recently admitted class yearly.  The admit class of 2023 had an average GPA of 3.67 (4.0-3.4) and 3.2 years of experience (1.5 – 13 years). 


Do I need to have CCRN certification? 

CCRN (or the specialty equivalent) is required.  Test scores must be uploaded as an attachment as part of the application materials


Do you offer early admission options? 

We currently do not offer early admission options. All applicants are reviewed following the application closure deadline. 


I do not work with pediatric patients.  Do I still need to submit proof of PALS certification? 

All BSN-DNP applicants must submit proof of current BLS, ACLS and PALS certification.  This is an application requirement.


What other admissions documents are required? 

• 3 references: 1 from your nurse manager or immediate supervisor, 2 from peers who can speak to your ability as a nurse and colleague

• Personal statement

• ICU Experience Form (completed by your nurse manager or immediate supervisor)


Is there anything else I can do to prepare?

We highly recommend that you spend several hours shadowing a CRNA at your current work place.  Most anesthesia departments will assist you in gaining this experience at your place of employment. Shadow experiences should be documented and signed.  Upload proof as an attachment to your application materials.


Anesthesia practice is foundationally built on the sciences. Many applicants have found it helpful to repeat or take graduate level science courses (pathophysiology, chemistry, physiology, pharmacology) before applying to the program. This is especially true if science courses are more than 5 years old or science grades in undergraduate studies were lower.


How many students are accepted into a cohort? 

We admit 20 students per cohort.


Are all applicants invited for an interview?

No.  The admissions subcommittee holistically reviews all application materials.  Interviews are extended to applicants the committee feels will be most successful in completing the program of study and aligns with the program’s mission.


When are interviews scheduled?

The times may vary slightly.  The interviews are typically conducted at the end of the summer semester (July). 


When are students notified that they have been accepted or not accepted into the program? 

Students will receive an acceptance or no acceptance letter in September or October prior to the admit year.   


If I am offered admission, can I defer my acceptance to begin later?

As a general rule, the MSU Nurse Anesthesia Program does not permit deferrals.  Students who decline their seat must re-apply. 


Curriculum and Student Life

How long is the Nurse Anesthesia Program? 

The BSN-DNP nurse anesthesia program is 36 months.


If accepted, when would I start the program? 

The program starts a new cohort in the summer semester (May). 


Does MSU have a BSN-MSN Nurse Anesthesia Program option?

No.  The program has transitioned to the doctorate as the entry into practice degree. 


Is there a part time trajectory?

No.  The BSN-DNP nurse anesthesia program is full time. 


What is the structure of the program curriculum? 

The program is structured into two phases.  The first phase is front-loaded meaning that the first two semesters include foundational coursework.  Students prepare for clinical emersion during the 3rd semester (simulation) followed by full clinical immersion during the 4th semester (see trajectory).


I have completed graduate level coursework at another institution.  Is it possible to transfer these courses if I am admitted to the program?

Students who are accepted into the program may submit a request to determine if course work from another graduate program meets the program requirements.  The university and college has limitations on the number and type of credits that can be transferred. 


How often should I plan on being on campus?

The number of days spent on campus varies by semester.  Students are typically on campus 1-2 days per week.  Several of the core classes are delivered on-line. 


What is the average per week time commitment?

The time commitment varies by semester.  On average, students report a 60 or more hour commitment per week.  This includes time spent in class, clinical, clinical preparation and study. 


Is it possible to work during the program?

Some students are able to work part-time or per diem during the first two or three semesters of the program.


Where are the clinical placement sites?

Students in the program will rotate through clinical sites to gain exposure to a variety of types of anesthetics, populations and procedures.  Affiliate clinical sites are continuously assessed and being added. We currently have 18 affiliate clinical sites.



Is it recommended that I relocate to the East Lansing area?

No.  It is recommended that you not relocate (unless relocating from out of state).  Students are on campus only 1 day per week (most semesters) and most clinical sites are located in larger metropolitan areas.


How do students pay for their education? 

The MSU NA students are admitted under a block tuition model.  This means that the cost of your 3 years is set and not subject to tuition increases.  The admissions coordinator can direct you to current tuition costs.


Students are encouraged to apply for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) even if they do not plan to use the funds.  Students are also eligible for multiple scholarships from the national and state professional organizations and College of Nursing.  The MSU nurse anesthesia program has had a history of success in obtaining federal Nurse Anesthesia Traineeship grants.  These grants are subject to federal government priority funding. 


Are there out of pocket costs? 

In addition to tuition, students may experience out of pocket costs that include:

• Professional meeting expenses (conference fee, housing and travel)

• Parking

• Textbooks and supplies

• Self Evaluation Exam and National Certification Exam Fees

• NCE Preparation Materials  


On average, these expenses total approximately $3,300 per year (minus personal expenses and travel expenses to clinical sites).  Nearly all textbooks are available online through the MSU Library.



Does the program pay for malpractice insurance? 

Yes.  Michigan State University pays for your malpractice insurance. 


Does the program pay for health insurance?

No.  You are required to maintain a health insurance policy.  Michigan State University has policies available for students to purchase.


Other Resources and Student Success

As a large academic institution, students have access to many free resources. A sample of resources includes:

• Nurse Anesthesia Program Mentorship Program

• Work-out facilities

• Free software packages (Microsoft 365, Google Suite, Zoom Accounts, Qualtrics Survey Accounts and more)

• Discounted computer and software purchases through the Computer Store

• Health Clinic

• Mental health services (some services are free)

• Writing support

• Statistician

• Discounted sporting event tickets

• Over 1000 registered student organizations

• Support groups