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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. The application deadline for the May 2021 class is September 15, 2020. Interviews will be held in late October. 

At this time, the program will not be offering early acceptance prior to the application deadline.


For this admission cycle, owing to the difficulties experienced by some candidates attempting to take the exam, the GRE requirement will be waived. However, if you have taken the exam, please submit your scores for consideration. We also want to announce a change in our usual interview structure for this cycle only. While in-person interviews are encouraged, we understand the logistical problems associated with travelling at this time. Hence, every interview will have the option to be done remotely (via Zoom or similar) if candidates wish.

Virtual Open House

Thursday February 18, 2021: 5-7pm

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University,  understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

Register Today



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

Program Mission

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.


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


Program Director and core faculty

Professor Ian Hewer


Program Director
Ian Hewer, PhD, CRNA
Assistant Professor

Core Faculty
Mason McDowellDNAP, CRNA
Assistant Professor
Mark A. KossickDNSc, APN
Full Professor/Director of Graduate Programs
William Wade, DNP, CRNA
Assistant Professor

Reasons to Choose WCU’s Nurse Anesthesia Program



MSN in Nurse Anesthesia 2020 Student Data

2020 Class Profile

Female: 42.9%
Male: 57.1%
Average pre-admission overall GPA: 3.52

Attrition Rate

Attrition rate (2020): 12.5%
Overall attrition (2009-2020): 9%

Board Pass Rate

First-time test takers (2020): 86%
National average (2019): 84.80%

Overall pass rate (2009 - 2020): First-time test takers: 92.2%
Overall pass rate (2009 - 2020): 100%

Employment Rate

Employed within six months of graduation: 100% 
Overall employment rate within six months of graduation (2009 - 2019): 100%


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 accreditation through 2022 (222 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL 60068, 847-655-1160).
COA website

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