Because of the level of education and the practical nature of CRNA degrees, it’s easy to think that you wouldn’t be able to complete it online, but the good news is that is far from the truth! By the time most nurses are ready to start pursuing the necessary education to work as a CRNA, they’ve already established themselves in their careers. Colleges and universities across America are well aware of this, so many of them are offering distance education programs for this degree. Most programs are on a hybrid basis, but there are many with minimal face-to-face meetings. The University of Arizona has a CRNA program with 100% of the coursework available online; Florida International University does as well, but the clinical practicum is extremely extensive and therefore, less flexible.
When you’re working as a nurse, one of the most hectic parts of choosing to continue your education is figuring out how you’re going to be able to fit it into your tightly packed lifestyle. Online programs are a great solution; most distance education programs are presented asynchronously, which means that they are self-paced. As a student of this type of program, you’re able to log in any time of day or night to work on your classes. Many CRNA Programs are available this way too! As far as finding one that is 100% online, it is possible. One thing to keep in mind about any online doctoral program is that even if it is available entirely online, you will need to visit campus; however, all of your courses would be available online. The only school that currently offers their CRNA program 100% online is The University of Arizona. The degree program is a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a Nurse Anesthetist track. Arizona’s program allows students to complete the entirety of their coursework online over the course of three years. The program is designed to have minimal on-campus meetings in Tucson and students of the program can complete their residency at a variety of locations so that the need for relocation is unlikely. There are also additional perks to this program, like an awesome transfer policy and possible tuition discounts.
It is important to note that you shouldn’t be discouraged from a CRNA program that looks like a great fit for you if it isn’t 100% online. There are a lot of great programs that are offered in a hybrid or blended format, like the ones at Emory University, the University of Iowa, and the University of South Carolina. A hybrid program is one that offers several courses online, and even sometimes the majority of them, but will require you to come to the campus to complete the others. A lot of hybrid programs have requirements that last one week or less, or even sometimes just one day! While it might seem daunting to think about how you’re going to be able to make that work, these programs are specifically designed for people just like you. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesia Program at Emory University, which operates one of the best hospitals in the southeastern United States, only requires two visits to campus each semester. Those visits are always on a Saturday and dates are provided well in advance. The University of Iowa’s Anesthesia Nursing Program was the first one to be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education per the new Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs guidelines. There are incredible institutions with CRNA programs that may not be 100% online, but even still, they were created to be flexible enough for working professionals.