DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program

anesthesia student in simulation lab


The School of Nursing offers a BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program in Nurse Anesthesia. The 36-month program requires a minimum of 86 course credits, including core courses and anesthesia specialty courses. The program integrates research, physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology and anesthesia principles and prepares students for the national certification examination. Complete course descriptions can be found in the current WCU Graduate Catalog. The application deadline for the May 2019 class has passed.

Highly qualified applicants may be reviewed and offered early acceptance prior to the application deadline. Classes are typically filled following the application deadline. Pending seat availability, highly qualified applicants may be reviewed and offered admission beyond the application deadline.


Please visit our Admissions page for complete details on admissions requirements. General requirements include:

  • Bachelor's degree in nursing
  • Current, unrestricted RN license
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on last 60 undergraduate hours
  • Minimum one-year full-time critical care experience
  • Successful completion of statistics, general chemistry and research
  • Competitive GRE score

Program Mission

The mission of the Nurse Anesthesia Program is congruent with the mission of the School of Nursing and Western Carolina University.

The Nurse Anesthesia Program's mission is to create an academic center of teaching and learning excellence for the advancement of nurse anesthesia practice. The program seeks to promote clinical scholarship and life-long learning and aims to support skilled and ethical service to our communities. Through nurse anesthesia research, education and practice, students and faculty will seek to enhance the quality of life for people of all cultures, economic levels and geographic locations.

Program purpose

Our purpose is to prepare outstanding nurse anesthetists by fostering an educational environment where scholarly thinking, dialogue, creativity and ideas flourish. The Western Carolina University Nurse Anesthesia Program will be concerned about excellence and high quality education in the development of nurse anesthesia leaders in practice, education and research. 


The BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program in Nurse Anesthesia is a 36-month program.


Reasons to Choose WCU’s Nurse Anesthesia Program

MSN in Nurse Anesthesia 2018 Student Data

2018 Class Profile

Female: 37.5%
Male: 62.5%
Average pre-admission overall GPA: 3.72

Attrition Rate

Attrition rate (2018): 0%
Overall attrition (2009-2018): 12.42%

Board Pass Rate

First-time test takers (2018): 100%
National average (2017): 82.6%

Overall pass rate (2009 - 2018): First-time test takers: 93.07%
Overall pass rate (2009 - 2018): 100%

Employment Rate

Employed within six months of graduation: 100% 
Overall employment rate within six months of graduation (2009 - 2018): 100%

estimated cost of attendance

Full-Time Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Student NC Resident Tuition and Fees
Out-of-State Resident 
Tuition and Fees
Each Fall and Spring semesters (6 total) $7,107* $12,310.50*
Summer semester per credit charge $594.53/credit hour $662.53/credit hour
Total Tuition and Fees $57,505.25* $69,612.25**
Other Program-Related Fees    
Application Fee $65  
Graduation Fee $60  
Self Evaluation Examination Fee $160  
AANA Associate Membership Fee $200  
Textbooks $1,800  
Stethoscope $200  
Earpiece $75  
Lab Coat $40  
Precordial Stethoscope $20  
PDA Optional  
Scrubs $40 per set  
Transportation Costs (clinical and conferences) $8,000  
Certification Examination $725  
Professional Liability Insurance $548  
Health Insurance $4,000  
Background Check $20  
Medatrax $210  
PC or MAC Laptop $1,500  
Other Program-Related Fees Total $12,459.60  
Total Estimated Program Costs $69,964.85 $82,071.85


*A tuition surcharge for anesthesia students is included in Total Program Costs above. Tuition rates may change during the course of the program. Fees include $1,111 for health insurance which may be waived by verifying coverage.

**The out-of-state total program tuition and fees estimate assumes students will apply and be eligible for in-state residency status after 3 consecutive semesters in the Nurse Anesthesia Program.A complete medical examination record is required of all students entering the University.  All students are required to have the following current immunizations: diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccination, measles, mumps, rubella (“MMR”) vaccination, and polio vaccination. Evidence of the immunizations must be in the student’s records at the time of registration.  In addition to the immunizations required by WCU, the Nurse Anesthesia Program will require current tuberculin skin testing (“PPD”), annual influenza vaccination and a hepatitis B series (or statement refusing the series).  Some clinical sites may require proof of immunization.

In addition to the above expenses, the student should also consider housing, meals and loss of income during the educational period.

All expenses quoted on this page are subject to change without notice.

Nurse Anesthesia Faculty and Staff

Faculty / Staff Member Title
Shawn Collins, DNP, PhD, CRNA Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program; Associate Professor
Ian Hewer, PhD, CRNA  Assistant Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program; Assistant Professor
James Holleman, MD Assistant Professor
Mark Kossick, DNSc, CRNA  Director, Graduate Programs, Full Professor
Cheryl Johnson, DNP, CRNA  Assistant Professor 
Lauren Stepp Administrative Support Associate 


The DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs (COA). The Council on Accreditation is a specialized accrediting body recognized by both the United States Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In May 2017, the DNP Program received initial accredited through 2022 (AANA, 222 S. Prospect Ave., Suite 304, Park Ridge, IL 60068, 847-692-7050). Click here to visit the COA website.

Office of Web Services