EDUCATION
March 4, 2020

CRNAs Will Need A Doctorate Degree By 2025

By Mariam Yazdi

Over the past few decades, the CRNA, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, role has evolved into a popular career choice for nurses who are interested in critical care patient management and are wanting to grow their scope of practice. 

Historically, CRNA certification required the successful completion of a master's degree. However, the landscape for CRNA entry requirements is changing, just as it has for RNs. If your goal is to become a nurse anesthetist, this changing landscape is something you must consider. 

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Why Are The Requirements Changing?

In the world of healthcare, more and more complex needs arise, which calls for more refined education. Many different healthcare practices — including Pharmacy and Physical Therapy — have recognized this, and have permanently moved toward a doctorate-level degree as the entry requirements to the profession.

The COA (Council on Accreditation) — the credentialing body for nurse anesthetists — is in support of raising the degree standard for CRNAs. Because of this, all schools are required to graduate only clinical doctorate educated CRNAs starting in the year 2025.

>> Related: CRNA vs DNP & DNAP -- What's the Difference?

Who Will This Affect? 

This will affect all nurses applying to CRNA schools through the year 2022. Because doctorate nurse anesthetist programs are typically 3 years, this timeline will allow for the first graduating class to meet the new requirement of having a doctorate by 2025.

What If I’m Already Enrolled In A Master’s CRNA Program? Will I Need To Get A Doctorate Degree? 

If you are already enrolled in a master’s CRNA program, it will NOT be required of you to return to school and obtain a doctorate degree. It is important, however, to measure the benefits of continuing your education to obtain a doctorate degree.  

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Where do I want to work when I graduate?
  • What are the typical credentials of the other applicants I will be competing with for the positions I want? 
  • Will a doctorate  make me a more competitive candidate for these positions? 
  • How do I see my career evolving? Will a doctorate help me achieve the career advances I hope to accomplish one day?

Many schools offer a post-masters DNP, which works as a bridge program for those nurses who already have their masters and wish to obtain a terminal degree in nurse anesthesia. See below for a breakdown of the schools and what they offer. 

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I’m Already A CRNA, Will I Have To Obtain A Doctorate Next?

For licensure, current practicing CRNAs who obtained their license through a masters program will NOT have to complete a doctorate degree in order to have an active license. However, facility requirements may differ from institution to institution. It is possible that some facilities may require all their nurse anesthetists to have a doctorate  in order to be considered for the position. 

To keep up with degree requirements changes for CRNAs, follow the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) or the Council on Accreditation (COA). 

Here is a comparative list of CRNA schools in the United States and what type of degree they offer. 

Information obtained from All-CRNA Schools State-by-State Listing

School Doctorate Masters Length of Program Class Size
Arizona 
The University of Arizona x   36 months 8-13
Midwestern University x   27 months 34
Alabama
Stamford - Alabama x   36 months 24
The University of Alabama at Birmingham x   36 months 50-55
California
Cal State Fullerton x (and post-masters)   3 years (9 semesters) 35-40
LLU School of Nursing x   39 months 16
USC Medical Center x   36 months 16-20
Connecticut
Fairfield University Ct. and Bridgeport Hospital x   36 months 12-15
Quinnipiac University x (and post-masters)   36 months 12-15
Yale-New Haven Hospital x (and post-masters)   36 months 15-20
Integrated Anesthesia Associates CRNA Program x   36 months 10
Florida
Barry University Florida x (and post-masters)   36 months 64-78
Florida International University Miami x (and post-masters)   36 months 45
University of Miami Florida x (and post-masters)   36 months

30

University of North Florida x (and post-masters)   36 months 25-30
University of South Florida x   3 years 50 students
Georgia
Augusta University x   36 months Varies
Emory University x   36 months 10-15
Illinois
North Shore University School of Nurse Anesthesia & DePaul University x   36 months 25
Decatur Memorial Hospital with Milikin University x (and post-masters)   36 months 14-16
Rush University x (and post-masters)   40 months 24-28
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville x (and post-masters)      
Indiana
Marian University x   36 months 24
University of Saint Francis x   36 months  
University of Iowa x (and post-masters)   36 months 10-12
Newman University Wichita   x 24 months 10-12
University of Kansas Medical Center x   36 months 24
Kentucky
Baptist Health & Murray State University x (and post-masters)   36 17
Northern Kentucky University x (and post-masters)   36 16
Louisiana
Louisiana State University x (and post-masters)   36 45
Our Lady of the Lake College x   36 30-35
Maine
University of New England   x 27 Varies
Maryland
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences x   36  
University of Maryland x   36 25
Massachusetts
Boston College Post masters x 27 Varies
Northeastern University   x 3 years Varies
Michigan
Michigan State University   x 28 12
Oakland University x (and post-masters)   36 20
University of Detroit Mercy (UDM)   x 27 months 22
University of Michigan Flint x (and post-masters)   36 months 15-20
Wayne State University x x 24 months 18-20
Minnesota
Mayo Clinic Minnesota CRNA School x   42 months 26
Minneapolis School of Anesthesia   x (will transition to doctorate. in 2020) 27 months Small
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota   x 28 months Small
University of Minnesota Twin Cities x (and post-masters)   36 months 12
Mississippi
University of Southern Mississippi x   36 months 20
Missouri
Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College   x 28 months 6-8
Missouri State University School of Anesthesia x (and post-masters)   36 months 15-20
Webster University St. Louis MO x   36 months 20
Truman Medical Center School of Nurse Anesthesia University of Missouri Kansas City x   36 months 15-18
Nebraska
School of Nurse Anesthesia Bryan College of Health Sciences x   36 months 17
Clarkson College Nurse Anesthesia Program x   30 months 15
Bryan College of Health Sciences x   36 months 17
Clarkson College x   30 months 15
Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and Drexel University   x 27 months 15-25
Rutgers School of Nursing Graduate Program x   36 months 22
New York
Albany Medical College First class to begin 2021 x 28 months 25-30
Columbia University Post-masters DNP x 27 months Varies
State University of New York - Buffalo x   36 months 18-20
North Carolina
Duke University School of Nursing x (and post-masters)   36 months 25
East Carolina University College of Nursing x (and post-masters)   36 months 12-14
Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia x (and post-masters)   36 months 36
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Post-masters through main branch x 27 months 24
Wake Forest School of Medicine Nurse Anesthesia Program   x 24 months 24
Western Carolina University x   36 months 14-16
North Dakota 
University of North Dakota  x (and post-masters)   36 months 12-15
Ohio 
Cleveland Clinic Foundation    x 28 months Varies
France Payne Bolton School of Nursing Program of Nurse Anesthesia  Post-masters x 30 months Varies
Lourdes University Nurse Anesthesia School    x 28 months 12-16
Otterbein University Nurse Anesthetist School  x (and post-masters)   28 months 15-20
 St. Elizabeth Health Center School for Nurse Anestetist, Inc. x   27 months 26
University of Akron Ohio College of Nursing Graduate Anesthesia Program Post-masters x 27 months 32-36
University of Cincinnati Ohio x   36 months 25-30
Oregon
Oregon Health and Science University’s CRNA Program x   27 months 14-16
Pennsylvania
Allegheny Valley Hospital La Roche College   x 24 months

Varies

 

Geisinger Health System With Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania   x 33 months  
University of Scranton  Post-masters x 28 months Varies
Drexel University PA Nurse Anesthesia Program
Post-masters x 28 months 20
Excela Health School of Anesthesia   x 27.5 months 30
Frank J Tornetta School of Anesthesia x   51 months 22
Jefferson College of Nursing x   36 months 25
Pennsylvania University School of Nursing x   36 months 25
University of Pittsburgh x   36 months 45
UPMC Hamot School of Anesthesia Post-masters x 28 months 20
Crozer Chester Medical Center Villanova University x   36 months 24
York College of Pennsylvania & WellSpan Health x (and post-masters)   36 months 12-14
Rhode Island
St. Joseph Hospital   x 30 months 10
South Carolina
Medical University of South Carolina x (and post-masters)   36 months 27-32
University of South Carolina Columbia & Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital   x 27 months 40
South Dakota
Mount Marty College Graduate Program x (and post-masters)   36 months 32
Tennessee
Lincoln Memorial University August 2020 x 28 months Varies
Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia x (and post-masters)   36 months 72
Union University DNP Nurse Anesthesia School V   5 semesters 13
University of Tennessee Chattanooga Post-masters x 27 months 20
University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) x (and post-masters)   36 months 15-22
University of Tennessee Knoxville Post-masters x 31 months 15
Texas
US Army Nursing CRNA Program x (through Northeastern University School of Nursing)   36 months 35-50
Baylor College of Medicine Houston x (post-masters)   36 months 16
Texas Christian University x   36 months 55-65
Texas Wesleyan University x   36 months 127-139
University of Texas Houston x   36 months 20
Utah
Westminster College Utah   x 29 months 18
Virginia
Old Dominion University Nurse Anesthesia School x   36 months 10-15
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health Professions Post-masters   36 months 5-24 (depending on branch)
Washington
Sacred Heart Medical Center Spokane Nurse Anesthesia School x   36 months 10
Georgetown University School of Nursing x   36 months 20-25
West Virginia
Charleston Area Medical Center x   36 months 25-29
Wisconsin
The Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia x   36 months 10
Marquette University x   36 months  
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh x   36 months  Varies

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