Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Program Curriculum, Bryan College of Health Sciences

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Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Program Curriculum

A group of students will begin the 36 month DNAP curriculum each year in the month of May. The curriculum design of the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program is organized around a series of educational goals explored through two distinct phases and culminating with the Capstone project.

Phase I

Phase I of the program begins in the summer semester and is comprised of twelve months of classroom study and clinical practice — including training on the state-of-the-art Human Patient Simulator that allows students to develop critical thinking while they hone their psychomotor skills. A theoretic basis for evidence based practice and clinical leadership is established with the Phase I coursework. Professional role development and an understanding of the healthcare delivery system are facilitated with coursework in leadership and health systems policy. The student will begin an observational experience in the clinical area early in the curriculum during the Basic Principles of Anesthesia II course. This allows the student to begin to integrate didactic knowledge with clinical performance.

Phase II

In Phase II of the program, students engage in more active clinical practice and are mentored in the application of the principles of evidenced based practice and clinical leadership. This 24-month component of the program includes a series of four Advanced Principles of Anesthesia courses and encourages students’ development of their practice inquiry skills through the conduct of the Capstone project.

The final semester includes a Professional Practice course which is designed to assist the student in the application of ethical reasoning and intraprofessional collaboration. A Synthesis course is designed to assist the student in the integration of basic sciences into anesthesia practice.

Students must be flexible, highly motivated, autonomous learners who can remain disciplined and focused during this rigorous graduate program. Students can expect to spend 50 to 60 hours per week in meeting the didactic and clinical demands of the program.

At graduation, students who have completed this intensive, collaborative program receive a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice from Bryan College of Health Sciences. Graduates are eligible to take the National Certification Exam (NCE) administered by the National Board of Certification & Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists. With a passing score on the NCE, the graduate will earn the designation of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

View a sample Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Curriculum Plan

Transfer Credit

A maximum of ten credit hours may be accepted for transfer toward the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree. Courses which may be transferred into the degree are limited to the following: NURS805 - Applied Statistics – 3 semester hours; NURS810 - Research Methods I -3 semester hours; NURS818 Health Systems Policy – 2 semester hours; NURS915 – Leadership – 2 semester hours. Students requesting credit for courses taken at other institutions must have those courses evaluated. The course must be completed within 5 years of matriculation into the DNAP and the request for transfer must be approved by the Program Director.

Criteria for transfer courses:

  • Only courses for which the student has earned at least a B (or the equivalent of a B) will be considered for transfer credit
  • Courses must have been taken at a regionally accredited academic institution
  • Official transcripts must be received by the registrar
  • Students may be required to provide catalog course descriptions and/or course syllabi for the requested courses

Clinical Practicums

The Nurse Anesthesia program is especially proud of its extensive clinical experience, which includes specialty rotations in a variety of clinical sites. Each student is also assigned to a two-month and a one-month rotation in a smaller community hospital site during both the first and second year of clinical experience. These community hospital clinical rotations allow for further experience with regional anesthetic techniques. The student may choose up to two additional optional rural anesthesia practice rotations as well. Each student has an assigned “home hospital” either in Lincoln, Omaha, or Kearney.

Case Number Averages Per Student Class of 2017

Home Hospitals

Bryan Medical Center

Bryan Medical Center is a 672-bed, not-for-profit, locally owned and governed healthcare organization with two acute-care facilities and numerous outpatient clinics. Our centers of excellence include Bryan Heart; Louis J. Gogela Sr., MD, Neuroscience Institute; orthopedics; and the Institute for Women's and Children's Health. Additional areas of specialty include cancer/oncology; mental health; sleep medicine; rehabilitation; Diabetes Center; substance abuse treatment; radiology; outpatient specialty clinic; inpatient rehabilitation and emergency services.

Bryan Medical Center is recognized as a Level II Trauma Center. It is approved by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Health Care Organizations and is a member of the American Hospital Association. The Medical Center also is a member of the 41 hospital Heartland Health Alliance.

Bryan also excels in teaching facilities, including education in nursing, respiratory therapy, and radiology technology. Our School of Nurse Anesthesia has been offering classes since 1968. Students in the program work with the medical center's staff of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and anesthesiologists.

Students in the program work with Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and anesthesiologists, who administer approximately 18,000 anesthetics each year at the medical center. The school first accepted students in 1968 and has been in continuous operation since that time. The school, which first opened as a Certificate program, moved to a Baccalaureate program in 1978. Since 1986 students entering the program have earned a Master’s Degree and the DNAP program began with the class entering in 2014.

The anesthesia school was one of the first to offer clinical affiliations in rural areas. The wide variety of clinical experience is one of the primary strengths of the program. Students gain experience in a variety of institutions from small rural facilities to major medical centers. The goal of the program is to produce nurse anesthetists who can successfully practice in any setting.

Ten students are assigned to Bryan Medical Center as their home hospital.

Nebraska Medicine

The Nebraska Medical Center, Clarkson and University Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, is the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska's health science programs. The University's programs include the colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry, and the School of Allied Health Professions. The facility has 735 licensed beds and has an international reputation for providing solid organ and bone marrow transplantation services. It is well known nationally and regionally for the oncology, neurology and cardiology programs. Six students are assigned to The Nebraska Medical Center as their home hospital.

Required Clinical Affiliations

Students are assigned sequentially to one of the following eight-week required rotations beginning in their first Summer Semester:

Columbus Community Hospital

Columbus Community Hospital in Columbus, Nebraska (population 22,509) is a 58-bed facility performing approximately 2,050 surgical procedures each year. During an eight-week rotation, students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques. Students are required to rotate to this facility or to York General Hospital in York, Nebraska.

Creighton Saint Joseph Regional Health Care System

Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska performs approximately 10,900 surgical procedures per year and is Level I trauma center. This is a required rotation for the Omaha based clinical cohort. During the twelve week rotation students receive experiences in intrathoracic, intracranial, obstetric and regional techniques.

Faith Regional Health Services

Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk, Nebraska (pop 24,332) is a 166-bed facility that performs approximately 4,345 surgical procedures each year. During a four-to-eight-week rotation to Norfolk, students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. Some students may be assigned to this site instead of the required site at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska. Other students will use this site as an optional rotation. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques in a rural setting.

Good Samaritan Hospital

Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska (population 31,790), is a 300-bed facility performing approximately 7,000 surgical cases per year. During an eight-week rotation to Good Samaritan students receive a broad spectrum of clinical experience, including extensive experience in regional anesthesia. Some students may be required to rotate to Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk, Nebraska instead of this site (refer to the optional rotations).

York General Hospital

York General Hospital in York, Nebraska (population 7,845) is a 25-bed facility performing approximately 2,000 surgical procedures per year. During an eight-week rotation, students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques. Students are required to rotate to this facility or to Columbus Community Hospital in Columbus, Nebraska.

Clinical Affiliations – Optional Rotations

All students may participate in four-week clinical rotations to the following clinical sites. The student may choose up to three rotations.

Avera St. Anthony's Hospital

Avera St. Anthony's Hospital in O'Neill, Nebraska (population 3,684 ) is a 25-bed facility performing approximately 1,159 surgical procedures each year. Students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques in a rural setting. During a rotation to O'Neill, students may accompany clinical instructors to West Holt Memorial Hospital in Atkinson, Nebraska (population 1,095) and/or Brown County Hospital in Ainsworth, Nebraska (population 1,628).

Bellevue Medical Center

Bellevue Medical Center, Bellevue, Nebraska (pop. 52,604). The medical center includes 24/7 emergency care, obstetrics, inpatient and outpatient surgery, intensive care, cardiology services including cardiac catheterization, cancer services, a pharmacy, radiology and lab testing as well as 55 private inpatient suites and 47 outpatient beds. The Medical Center is also proud to partner with The Nebraska Medical Center.

Buena Vista Regional Medical Center

Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, Storm Lake, Iowa (pop. 10,775) is a 54 bed hospital that performs around 3,600 procedures each year. Students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques in a rural setting.

Community Medical Center

Community Medical Center in Falls City, Nebraska (population 4,300) performs approximately 625 surgical procedures per year. Students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques in a rural setting.

Crete Area Medical Center

Crete Area Medical Center Crete, Nebraska (pop. 7,174) is a 24-bed hospital with two surgery suites. The facility is located within an hour of Omaha and 20 minute commute from Lincoln. During a four to eight week rotation, students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia.

Fremont Area Medical Center

Fremont Area Medical Center in Fremont, Nebraska (population 26,167) is a 100-bed facility performing approximately 3,600 surgical procedures per year. Students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques.

Grand Island St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island, Nebraska (pop. 49,989) is a 130 bed hospital that performs approximately 2,322 surgical procedures per year. During a four to eight week rotation, students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. The affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques in a community setting.

Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital

Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in Hastings, Nebraska (population 25,058) performs approximately 5,621 surgical procedures per year. Students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques.

Regional West Medical Center

Regional West Medical Center, Scottsbluff, Nebraska (pop. 15,062) is a fully accredited 182-bed acute care regional medical center serving a population of over 120,000 in western Nebraska and portions of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. With over 110 active physicians, 95 percent of whom are board certified or board eligible, plus an additional 25 consulting specialists, the Regional West family of health care organizations offers care that spans more than 30 medical specialties.

St. Francis Memorial Hospital

St. Francis Memorial Hospital in West Point, Nebraska (population 3,338) is a 25-bed facility performing approximately 800 surgical procedures per year. Students receive hands-on experience in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia in a rural practice setting.

Tri-County Hospital

Tri-County Hospital in Lexington, Nebraska (population 10,213) is a 40-bed facility performing approximately 1,300 surgical procedures each year. Students receive experiences in general, regional, obstetrical and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques.

Veterans Administration Health Care System

Omaha Division – The VA Health Care System – Omaha Division (population 421,570) performs approximately 3,500 surgical procedures per year. During an optional four to eight-week rotation to VA-Omaha, students receive experiences in general, thoracic, regional and outpatient anesthesia. This affiliation is designed to allow students to experience a variety of general and regional anesthesia techniques.

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