Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice, DNAP

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Would requiring a doctoral degree for entry into nurse anesthesia practice mean that CRNAs would no longer be permitted to practice without a doctorate?

While the AANA Board's position statement supports nurse anesthesia programs moving to a practice-oriented doctoral degree by 2025, this is not a mandate. At this time it is difficult to determine how moving to a doctoral degree might impact practice requirements. However, we do know that as states began to explicitly require a master’s or graduate degree for CRNAs in state laws or rules, the AANA and state nurse anesthetist associations sought, and continue to seek, degree language that is acceptable for CRNAs. Issues of importance to CRNAs include (1) a graduate degree requirement that is not limited solely to a “degree in nursing,” and (2) grandfathering of currently practicing CRNAs who do not have graduate degrees, whether in-state or out-of-state, with no application deadline.

While the AANA and state nurse anesthetist associations have been successful in achieving these elements in the great majority of the states that currently have master’s degree requirements, a few states have an application deadline for grandfathering. A 50-state chart of state degree requirements, updated on an ongoing basis, is available at under Resources > State Legislative & Regulatory Requirements > Advanced Education Requirements. States with an application deadline for grandfathering eligibility are noted on the last page of the chart. CRNAs without master’s degrees who do not obtain recognition in those few states by the application deadline are not eligible for future recognition in these states; CRNAs without master’s degrees who obtain recognition by the deadline will continue to be grandfathered.

What opportunity did CRNAs and students have for input into the AANA Board’s decision to support doctoral degrees?

Between December 2005 and February 2007 the co-chairs presented information on the issue at every Assembly of School Faculty, AANA Mid-Year Assembly, AANA Fall Assembly and AANA Annual Meeting that took place. Feedback from meeting attendees was obtained through question and answer sessions as well as from questionnaires. Two focus groups were conducted for nurse anesthesia students and CRNA practitioners. In addition, surveys were conducted to obtain input from program administrators, CRNA practitioners and students. Results were analyzed by a statistician. An email address offered anyone the opportunity to communicate directly with members of the Doctoral Task Force. Questions and comments about doctoral education are still welcome at

Have CRNAs and students voiced any advantages or disadvantages regarding doctoral preparation for nurse anesthetists?

Feedback was obtained from both CRNAs and nurse anesthesia students. The advantages and disadvantages identified by both groups were quite similar. Opportunities to increase knowledge and achieve parity with others were the top two advantages noted. In contrast, cost and time factors were overwhelmingly cited by both groups as the main disadvantages of doctoral preparation for nurse anesthetists. All feedback from communities of interest was evaluated by the Doctoral Task Force prior to presenting various options for the AANA Board to consider in reaching its final decision.

Did the councils have any input into the deliberations of the Doctoral Task Force?

Yes, each of the councils appointed a representative who attended meetings and participated in deliberations. Members of the Doctoral Task Force represented CRNA practitioners and educators. Some educators worked within colleges of nursing and others worked in colleges from other disciplines. Both civilian and military anesthetists were represented.

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists


Q & A Continued

The Department of Nurse Anesthesia recently received approval from the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) for an innovative clinical doctorate, the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP). The DNAP is offered in two formats: A 33-credit post-masters program for CRNAs who wish to expand their knowledge in the areas of patient safety, evidence-based practice, education, and leadership. An optional combined degree program (MSNA-DNAP) is available for students matriculating in the master’s program.


Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice


2009 - DNAP.COM

For Immediate Release

For more information
Contact Christopher Bettin

AANA Announces Support of Doctorate for Entry into
Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP)by 2025


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The Resource Site Staff - Thanks Mike

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

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