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Master of Science
Nurse Anesthesia


The purpose of the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) program is to prepare the registered nurse for advanced clinical practice in the field of anesthesia, as a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Graduates of this program receive a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree. Upon successful completion, the student will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthesia (NBCRNA).

The responsibility of the program is to offer a comprehensive didactic and clinical curriculum in the field of anesthesia. Classroom work provides a knowledge base for advanced pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and principles of anesthesia. Clinical work is extensive and prepares the nurse to provide anesthesia services for various patient populations.

Program Length

This program is a 28 month continuous program of study with 20 months of continuous study and no provision for part-time study.  The program does not follow the traditional semester format of the College.  Therefore, the nurse anesthesia student schedule does not follow traditional holiday and semester breaks of the main campus except for the first 2 semesters. Instruction, both didactic and clinical, is continuous in order to provide the appropriate number of anesthesia cases, classroom hours, and clinical hours for each student.  Students will receive vacation time as listed under the “Leave Section" of the Nurse Anesthesia Student Handbook.


The graduate of the program of study leading to the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree will:

  1. Evaluate the patient’s physical and psychological status, including evaluation of all pertinent laboratory and diagnostic studies and formulate an appropriate anesthesia plan of care.
  2. Demonstrate the advanced knowledge and skills that comprise a foundation for safe and competent nurse anesthesia practice.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to utilize a variety of anesthetic modalities including general and regional anesthetic techniques to patients across the lifespan.
  4. Ensure the safety and comfort of the patient postoperatively, identifying and consulting on anesthesia-related complications.
  5. Function as a leader and resource person in the areas of airway management, critical care, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  6. Discuss issues related to the practice of nurse anesthesia, including ethics, history, reimbursement, and the business of anesthesia.
  7. Effectively communicate with all individuals influencing patient care utilizing appropriate verbal, non-verbal, and written communication.
  8. Maintain legal and ethical standards of practice, accepting responsibility and accountability for one’s own actions and judgments.
  9. Participate in activities that improve anesthesia care through the continuous acquisition of knowledge.
  10. Understand the importance of participation in state and national professional organizations.
  11. Function as a leader, role model, and mentor to other anesthesia providers, anesthesia students, and health care providers. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants should fulfill the following criteria to be considered for admission:

  1. Current, unrestricted licensure as a registered nurse (RN).
  2. Graduate of a NLNAC or CCNE accredited school of nursing at the RN level.
  3. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited college or university.
  4. Minimum of 1-year full-time (2 years preferred) recent experience as a RN in an adult intensive care unit.
  5. Academic preparedness for advanced sciences and advanced clinical skills.
  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within five (5) years prior to applying for the program; official copy must be submitted.
  7. Completion of application requirements as stated in the graduate application instructions.
  8. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  9. Application completed by advertised deadline.
  10. Current BLS and ACLS certification.
  11. CCRN certification required for reapplication.
  12. One undergraduate or graduate chemistry course.

Admission Process

Applications for the MSNA program are due on or before November 1. Entrance into the Nurse Anesthesia program is competitive and is based on the stated admission requirements. Applicants are responsible to ensure their applications are complete by the published deadline to be considered for an interview. Qualified applicants are interviewed by program representatives. Selection of each class is by the Admission, Progression, and Graduation Committee. Applicants that are interviewed will be notified by mail of acceptance or rejection for the program.  Once admitted to the program and prior to beginning coursework, the student must obtain RN licensure in the State of Louisiana and PALS certification.

Admission, Readmission and Minimum Enrollment

Admission to the Nurse Anesthesia program occurs once each year. The application deadline is November 1. Classes begin in August of the following year. Students are required to attend full-time in the sequence listed in the curriculum plan. There are currently no provisions for part-time study. Students who have a break in enrollment must re-apply for admission.

Transfer Credit

Upon approval by the Program Director or Dean, students may be allowed to transfer in three graduate credit hours of statistics to be used toward the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia.



Graduation Requirements

Students shall meet the following requirements to be recommended for graduation and eligibility for the certification examination. Each student must:

  1. Meet all of the requirements of the accrediting/approval bodies for licensure.
  2. Meet all of the requirements of Our Lady of the Lake College Nurse Anesthesia program.
  3. Administer a minimum of 550 anesthetics (NOTE: this is a minimum number ONLY.  It is not indicative of the final number of cases the student will be required to complete in order to meet all course requirements).
  4. Administer all required types of anesthetic cases.
  5. Complete all course work within allotted time period with a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA.
  6. Must have current BLS, ACLS, and PALS certifications at the time of graduation.
  7. Meet all the eligibility requirements of the NBCRNA.
  8. Satisfy all indebtedness to Our Lady of the Lake College , including the return of all materials borrowed from the College Library.

Each student is responsible to monitor his/her progress to ensure that graduation and certification requirements are met. If a student finds s/he is not getting enough clinical cases or enough types of cases to fulfill the requirements, the student must notify his/her clinical coordinators and the Program Director immediately. Early notification is imperative so appropriate changes in clinical assignments can be made.