CRNA professionals are vital to the world of healthcare, whether it is a routine procedure or a life-threatening situation that requires surgery, a CRNA has the knowledge and expertise to get patients through those cases.
CRNA stands for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, and they specialize primarily in the administration of anesthesia. The average annual salary reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in $157,000, with $242,000 being the highest. The projected job growth through 2024 is 31%. As a CRNA, you would have the opportunity to work in several different units in a hospital, or for a physician, dentist, or for a myriad of various specialists. Many organizations have begun hiring CRNAs in place of anesthesiologists because of cost and availability difficulties as well.
CRNA school takes a lot of drive and determination as it is a graduate level degree and requires coursework as well as clinical experience. The payoff, however, is knowing that you are instrumental in making people’s lives healthier and happier, and in many cases saving lives. CRNAs are among the most respected professionals in the field of nursing. If you are interested in getting started on your journey into CRNA school, this list will hopefully provide you with insight into some of the best degree programs in that field that can be completed online. Many of these degrees will include on-campus components, but all the programs that have been listed in this article are designed for those who are already working as nurses and is presented in a way that respects how busy your life already is. On this list, we’ve written about CRNA degrees at different levels, in order to appeal to those of you at different levels in your education.
We scored every school in the United States that offers CRNA degree programs online, either partially or in their entirety. Each school was scored out of a possible maximum score of 200 points. In order to be considered for this article, schools had to be currently and fully accredited and had to not be a for-profit institution. The scores were created using the following:
- 50% Freshman Retention Rate and;
- 50% Graduation Rate
Those two rates are the ones used in our methodology because historically, in combination they are strong indicators of student satisfaction and educational quality. To gather those statistics and the information presented about each institution the school websites were used whenever possible. In the event that the information we needed couldn’t be acquired through the schools’ individual websites, the databases of both U.S. News & World Report and the National Center for Education Statistics. After compiling the data, the sum of the rates determined the total score for each school. The entire list was then ranked according to that score, and the top thirty highest scoring schools are presented to you in this article.
If any two schools received the same score, we used the alphabetical ordering of their names as our designated tie-breaker. It is important to note that no school on this list was given preferential treatment for any reason. Anyone who uses the methodology as described would draw the same results. However, due to incomplete information, there may be a small selection of schools that would have ranked in this article had the information been available. No for-profit schools were included in this article.
Top 30 CRNA Schools with Online Programs
30: Central Connecticut State University
Central Connecticut State University is a public university that is located in New Britain, Connecticut. It is often called just Central, or CCSU. It was founded in 1849 which makes it the oldest publicly funded university in Connecticut. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and holds two programmatic accreditations in nursing, and in music. There are over 10,000 students that attend the university, which is made up of four different schools. Those schools are the Ammon College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; the School of Business; the School of Education and Professional Studies and; the School of Engineering, Science, and Technology. Only 10% of the student body are enrolled in distance-based courses at CCSU, with most of those students studying at the graduate level.
The Doctor in Nurse Anesthesia Practice program was implemented and accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs for the first time in May of 2017. It is a hybrid program, but it is designed for those who are already working as CRNAs, so the on-campus requirements are very limited. Advanced specialization students are only required to attend campus two or three times a year. This program is only available on a full-time basis to all entry-level students and will take a total of three years to complete over five semesters. There are accelerated options, but students are strongly encouraged to follow the predetermined course schedule so as to allow them to focus on each course and perform their best. On-campus meetings are typically scheduled in August, January, and May and students will have access to the schedule well in advance to ensure their ability to attend.
CCSU Website: https://ccsu.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 54%
Final Score: 132/200
29: University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a public research university in Tucson, Arizona. It was the first university to be founded in Arizona territory, and it was chartered in 1885. It is a member of the Association of American Universities, and it is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. There are degrees available at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels from 19 different schools and colleges. The school is often referred to as UA or Arizona. Joan Ganz Cooney, the creator of Sesame Street, is one of the many notable alumni. Others include Gary Shandling, Kate Walsh, Olympic athletes, Nobel prize winners, and more. As of the year 2017, Noam Chomsky is a laureate professor of linguistics, and Arizona has over 50 faculty members that are members of exclusive academies. An interesting trivia, the film Revenge of the Nerds was filmed on its campus.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice offered at the University of Arizona is one of the most flexible on this list. It is entirely online and offers students a variety of concentrations, one of them, of course, being the Nurse Anesthetist track. It prepares students to become CRNAs in a practice-focused doctoral program. It is a full-time program that will take three years to complete. Most of the coursework is available online, but there will be some face-to-face requirements over the course of your three years in the program. The program admits students in June, at the start of the Summer semester. Nursing students also have an opportunity to receive special scholarships from the College of Nursing. You can also apply for the Western Regional Graduate Program if you live in the western United States; it would make it so that you were charged in-state rates even if you don’t live in Arizona.
Arizona Website: https://www.arizona.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 60%
Final Score: 140/200
28: Florida International University
Florida International University is a public research university in University Park, Florida which is located in the Greater Miami area. It is one of 12 members of the State University System of Florida and was founded in 1965. The proposal for a public university in South Florida was originally made in 1943, and then in 1964, a bill was once again introduced to begin developing a university in Miami. It became law in 1965, prompting the establishment of Florida International University. The school is often abbreviated as FIU and serves 55,003 students. It is one of the primary graduate research universities in the state, and currently, around 10,000 of the students are enrolled in graduate programs. FIU, however, offers degrees from the associates level and up. There are 191 programs of study that are provided at FIU, across 23 constituent colleges and schools.
Florida International University’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences houses the CRNA program that is ranked here. It is provided as a clinical specialty track alongside their existing Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The program is a nine-semester continuous program that is only available on a full-time track. The degree is only open to those who already possess a masters level degree or certificate in their chosen Advanced Practice Nursing specialty role. It is entirely online but does include extensive practicum as well as a dissertation. FIU describes the program as being budget and working professional friendly. FIU is wholly accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and its nursing programs hold individual accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia.
FIU Website: https://www.fiu.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 88%
Graduation Rate: 56%
Final Score: 144/200
27: East Carolina University
East Carolina University is a sea-grant public research university with its main campus located in Greenville, North Carolina. It has six different locations, and most are spread out across the Greenville area with the exception of the Field Station for Coastal Studies in New Holland, North Carolina and an international campus in Certaldo Alto, Italy. ECU, which is what Eastern Carolina University is colloquially known as, was founded in 1907. It began as a normal school that operated under the name East Carolina Teachers Training School. There were a variety of name changes in the 60 years that it took ECU to be officially granted university status in 1967, which is when it took on its current name. It is comprised of nine schools and colleges and offers just shy of 200 degree programs to its 28,962 students.
ECU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. There are six nursing programs that have programmatic accreditations, and the school as a whole has an impressive 16 special endorsements from field-relevant agencies. The CRNA programs that students can choose from at ECU are a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia, and they can also go on to get a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The DNP program admits less than ten students each year! The College of Nursing boasts an experienced and dedicated teaching staff, and regardless of the degree that you are in pursuit of, you will have the opportunity to take specially tailored courses that will prepare you for a career as a CRNA. In order to enroll in the CRNA degree programs at ECU, you will require licensure as an RN in the state of North Carolina.
ECU Website: https://www.ecu.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 61%
Final Score: 144/200
26: University of Detroit Mercy
The University of Detroit Mercy is usually just called Detroit Mercy, and it is a private research university in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit Mercy has a total of three campuses in the Detroit area. It is Roman-Catholic affiliated and is sponsored by the Society of Jesus as well as the Religious Sisters of Mercy. It is the second largest Roman Catholic university in the state and was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1877. There are just 4,875 students, which makes this one of the smaller school on this list. Detroit Mercy offers their students over 100 degree programs through its seven colleges and schools, which are universally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. These are the School of Architecture; the College of Business Administration; the School of Dentistry; the College of Engineering and Science; the College of Health Professions & McAuley School of Nursing; the School of Law and; the College of Liberal Arts & Education.
The nurse anesthesia degree program that the university offers was ranked #10 out of over 100 comparable programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2016. The national reputation that the program has cultivated is largely due to the rigorous instruction and incredible faculty. Teachers of the involved courses are authors and national conference speakers. The program is offered on a hybrid basis, so they do require some infrequent on-campus coursework. Graduates of the program pass the national board exam on their first attempt at a rate of 91%, which is slightly but impressively higher than the national average. It also boasts a perfect 100% rate of employment. Students are admitted after an application and interview process every fall semester.
Detroit Mercy Website: https://www.udmercy.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 68%
Final Score: 151/200
25: Union University
Union University is a private Christian liberal arts university in Jackson, Tennessee. There are also campuses in both Germantown and Hendersonville. The university can trace its roots back to 1823; it is a union of West Tennessee College, Union University of Murfreesboro, Southwestern Baptist University, and Hall-Moody Junior College of Martin, Tennessee. Often just called Union, the school is home to 3,466 students. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Union offers degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, doctoral, and several certificate levels in 125 different programs of study; there are options in things like Church Music, and Drawing as well as Computer Information Systems, Nursing, Education, and more. Union was ranked as 14th among regional universities in the South in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. 2016 marked its 19th consecutive year as a top-tier university.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia is offered through Union’s School of Nursing and is provided in a full-time or part-time curriculum model based on your needs. Students are admitted only once per year in the fall this CRNA program and complete their coursework in a cohort model. Some subjects that students will cover on this degree track include Technological Transformations of Healthcare, Faith and Science, Epidemiology, and more. There are 38 curriculum hours and 660 clinical hours; the program is designed to be completed over five semesters in three years including a capstone project. This is a post-master’s program, which means that applicants are required to have a masters in their selected advanced practice nursing specialization.
Union University Website: https://www.uu.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 85%
Graduation Rate: 68%
Final Score: 153/200
24: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is a public sun- and land-grant research university in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System, founded in 1794; it was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges centuries later in the year 2000. Interestingly, the university came to be before Tennessee became a state. It is often referred to as several different names including UT Knoxville or just UTK. It was originally chartered as an all-male institution called Blount College. Now, it is a coeducational institution with a student body of more than 28,000 students. All 50 states and nearly 100 foreign countries are represented among the enrolled students. UTK is made up the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; the College of Architecture and Design; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Haslam College of Business; the College of Communication and Information; the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; the Tickle College of Engineering; the College of Law; the College of Nursing; the College of Social Work and; the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The online CRNA program at UTK is a Master of Science in Nursing with a Concentration in Nurse Anesthesia. The program admits students in January every year and is one of the select few on this list that will admit those of you who hold a BSN. However, all applicants must have at least a year of current, full-time critical care nursing experience; in addition to that, you must acquire your CCRN before beginning coursework. The program takes slightly less than three years to complete. The courses are in-depth and seek to prepare students for every angle of work as a CRNA, and the faculty greatly supports that. Both program directors and the education coordinator are CRNAs! This nationally ranked university and incredible staff will create a solid foundation on which you can build your career.
UTK Website: https://www.utk.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 86%
Graduation Rate: 69%
Final Score: 155/200
23: University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
The University of Cincinnati is a space-grant public research university located in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the second largest by enrollment (which is 44,338 students) in the state and one of the top 50 largest in America. It is often just called UC. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has been since 1913; the university was created in 1819. There are more than 350 programs of study available at UC, spanning all academic levels. The university offers a large selection of doctoral programs especially, at 66. It is divided into 14 colleges, and schools with ten of them ranked among the top 100 in the country. 44 of its programs have also ranked among the top 100 nationally; the Nurse Anesthesia program is #22. While UC as a whole only ranked as 198th in 2017, U.S. News & World Report designated as one of the 23 “Up-and-Coming Schools.”
The Doctor of Nursing Anesthesia Practice was established in 1945, the fourth of its kind to ever be created. Three of the graduates of this program went on to be presidents of the Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and many other alumni hold highly esteemed positions and accolades. It admits students in the Spring and goes for nine semesters. It is a 107 credit program, and many of the courses are offered entirely online. The program, in general, is intended to be presented in a hybrid format so there will be some on-campus requirements. This online CRNA degree program does culminate in a capstone project in the third year. The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing has ranked in the top 10 in seven different categories from a variety of publications big and small and ranked in the top 50 a total of 15 times, seven of those are for the online programs. U.S. News & World Report designated them as #22 in their publication for the Best Graduate Schools for Nurse Anesthesia.
Cincinnati Website: http://www.uc.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 88%
Graduation Rate: 67%
Final Score: 155/200
22: University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is sea- and space-grant public research university in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This flagship campus of the University of Alabama System was founded in 1820, making it the oldest public university in the state. It is also the largest by enrollment, with almost 40,000 students. It is primarily residential, but 32% of the student body are enrolled in at least some distance courses; 26% of the graduate students alone are taking their courses entirely online. The university is often called just Alabama or UAB, and it offers over 100 different programs of study and confers degrees at the bachelors, masters, doctoral, and some certificate levels. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges with nine additional programmatic accreditations from agencies like the American Psychological Association, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The CRNA program that we have ranked UAB for is the Post-BSN to DNP Pathway for Nurse Anesthesia which is a unique specialty track that doesn’t require applicants to possess an MSN degree already. UAB also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. The PhD program is the only such program in the state of Alabama. The coursework for this online CRNA track is all available at a distance but, there are several on-campus intensives that you would have to attend as a student. All distance-learning students pay in-state tuition rates for their online courses because of a waiver that the university has signed and implemented. The pass rate for exams in this program, as well as the three-month employment rate, are both an impressive 100%.
21: Saint Vincent College
Saint Vincent College is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The school is operated by the Benedictine monks of Saint Vincent Archabbey and was the first ever Benedictine monastery in America. It was initially the Saint Vincent Archabbey and College when it was founded in 1846 and then was incorporated by the Pennsylvania state legislature in 1870. It was a men’s-only institution until 1983. Currently, Saint Vincent College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Degrees are offered at the bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels through the four academic divisions. These are the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government; the School of Social Sciences, Communication, and Education; the School of Humanities and Fine Arts and; the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Science, Mathematics, and Computing. There are less than 1,500 students enrolled at the school.
Saint Vincent, as the college’s name is often shortened to, offers a Master of Health Science Degree in Nurse Anesthesia. Students apply through Excela Health’s School of Anesthesia, and only 30 of them are admitted to the program each year. It takes just a few months longer than two years to complete all the coursework, which is to be completed in a cohort model. This is a hybrid program that does require some face-to-face courses, but it does offer 23 different clinical sites to increase accessibility for the students. As a student going through this program, you will take courses like Organic and Medicinal Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as Methods in Research and a Leadership and Management course. The curriculum is designed to create experienced and intelligent CRNA graduates that are fully equipped to step into a career.
Saint Vincent Website: http://www.stvincent.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 73%
Final Score: 156/200
20: University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is a public research university in Iowa City, Iowa. It was established in 1847, just two months after Iowa became part of the Union. It is home to over 30,000 students and offers degrees from the bachelors level and up. The university is generally referred to just as UI or simply Iowa. UI is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, as well as holding 27 programmatic accreditations from 14 different accrediting bodies. UI has always been on the forefront of promoting student diversity; it was the first public university to open as a coeducational institution, the first to have a person of color on a varsity sports team, the first to confer a law degree to a woman, and the first university to recognize an LGBTQ+ student organization. Today, UI is comprised of 11 different schools and colleges, offering more than 5,000 courses. In 2017, UI ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 100 National Universities. It also tied for #33 among public universities, and 16 of the available graduate programs were considered among the top 25 in the United States.
The Anesthesia Nursing Program is a Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP program. It admits BAN and BSN holding Registered Nurses, which is uncommon and a great opportunity for students. Graduates will be conferred with a DNP degree and are eligible to sit for the NBCRNA National Certification Exam. The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs recently set forth a requirement that all APN programs for CRNAs to be taught at the doctorate level, and the University of Iowa was one of the first ever recipients of approval for its DNP program from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This thoroughly prepared CRNA program includes three years of full-time study and requires you to practice in a variety of different medical settings so that you’re fully equipped regardless of your professional goals. This program is presented in a hybrid format, and you will be required to complete a dissertation in your final year.
University of Iowa Website: https://uiowa.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 87%
Graduation Rate: 72%
Final Score: 159/200
19: Drexel University
Drexel University is a private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was initially founded in 1891 and went through a significant period of expansion in its first century before being granted university status in 1970. It was first accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 1927. There are 15 colleges that comprise the university, which is often just called Drexel for short. The 24,232 students have the choice of degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, doctoral, and certificate levels. Nearly half of the students at Drexel participate in online education, as it was one of the earliest pioneers of distance education. The first online programs were implemented in 1996. Drexel’s online education department used to operate as a separate for-profit entity, but that was abolished in 2013 and absorbed into the university.
The College of Nursing and Health Professions formed in 2002 and offers more than 25 different degree programs to its students. The Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia provided through the school is a nationally ranked Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs accredited program. It is a full-time hybrid program that takes 28 months to complete. Students will be able to take a large portion of their coursework online but will need to regularly attend campus for certain specialty courses. Clinical sites are located in several different states, though, and there are part-time options for students that need to complete coursework in its majority online. Additionally, the traditional course lectures are archived and available online. This degree prepares students to go on to their professional endeavors or can be used as a foundation to continue to the doctoral level.
18: University at Buffalo
The University at Buffalo is the colloquial name of the State University of New York at Buffalo, which you most often hear called SUNY Buffalo. It is a public research university that is headquartered in Buffalo, New York. It was founded as a private medical college in 1846 but was later incorporated into the State University of New York System. SUNY Buffalo is made up of 13 colleges and operates the largest medical, dental, education, business, and engineering schools in the state. SUNY Buffalo also houses the only law, architecture, and pharmacy schools in New York. With 30,184, it is the largest university in its system. It offers degrees from the associates to doctoral level and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It is also a member of the Association of American Universities, a prestigious group of research universities.
The program we are featuring is SUNY Buffalo’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program with a specialty Nurse Anesthetist track. It is open to BSN holding nurses and is taught by an exclusive faculty of CRNAs. The majority of the coursework can be completed online; however, the slots in the online alternatives of the required classes are given to students that already hold a Master of Science in Nursing before being made available to those that hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The program consists of 124 credits, 70 of which are specialty courses in anesthesia such as Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management and Clinical Pharmacology of Anesthetic & Adjunctive Drugs. You will also take courses like Scientific Writing and Teaching in Nursing. The curriculum is particularly well-rounded and serves to prepare you for any avenue of work as a CRNA.
SUNY Buffalo Website: http://www.buffalo.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 86%
Graduation Rate: 74%
Final Score: 160/200
17: University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public sea-grant research university that is based in Columbia, South Carolina and also operates a total of seven satellite campuses. It was established in 1801, and it is the flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System. It began with just nine students and has grown now to an enrollment of almost 35,000. Degrees are offered at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels as well as a variety of different certificate levels. There are nearly 400 different programs of study available for students to choose from that are taught through the 14 colleges and schools that comprise the university. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. USC ranked among the top 100 in 17 different U.S. News & World Report rankings, and 9 of the doctoral programs were ranked among the top 50 in the nation by the National Research Council.
USC offers a Masters of Nurse Anesthesia program that takes just over two years to complete. It integrates clinical experience right from the start, a tactic that has led to students consistently exceeding the required clinical numbers set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs upon graduation. The School of Nurse Anesthesia was established in 1969 at Columbia Hospital, and it went on to partner with USC. The program is entirely available at a distance, and it is presented in a synchronous format wherein students watch live lectures. The program is five semesters long, beginning in spring, and includes two summer sessions. Courses include Biomedical Pharmacology, Clinical Problems in Nurse Anesthesia, and more. Courses are delivered via Blackboard, and students will have access to a variety of important resources throughout the duration of their enrollment.
South Carolina Website: http://www.sc.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 88%
Graduation Rate: 73%
Final Score: 161/200
16: Bryan College of Health Sciences
Bryan Health is a healthcare system that is based in Lincoln, Nebraska and it operates the Bryan College of Health Sciences in the same city. This college offers associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in a range of medical concentrations. There are only 703 students at the college, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc., and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The college originally opened in 1926 as the Bryan College of Nursing and grew through a strong partnership with Bryan Memorial Hospital. It wasn’t approved to grant degrees until 2001 but has continued to expand the curriculum since then. Now, the Bryan College of Health Sciences comprises the School of Health Professions; the School of Nurse Anesthesia; the School of Nursing; the Research and Professional Practice Center; the Center for Excellence in Simulation Education and; the divisions of General Education and Educational Technology.
The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice available at the Bryan College of Health Sciences is a hybrid program, so it does require some traditional courses. Applicants must be Registered Nurses, and have at least one year of critical care experience to be considered for admission to the program. It is the only program of its kind in Nebraska, and the region. The DNAP courses prepare you to work as a CRNA through a two-phase curriculum that uses health care policy, evidence-based practice, courses in leadership and more over the course of the three-year program. The program, being hybrid in nature, is primarily synchronous and a cohort kicks off the program each year in May. All of the faculty hold terminal degrees in their field and work in close collaboration with students in a very personal and enriching way so students can make the most out of all of their courses.
Bryan Health College Website: https://www.bryanhealthcollege.edu/bcohs
Freshman Retention Rate: 88%
Graduation Rate: 73%
Final Score: 161/200
15: Samford University
Samford University is a private Christian university located in Homewood, Alabama. It is the top-ranked private university in the state of Alabama and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. It was created in 1841 and was called Howard College at the time. It spent time operating as a military hospital during and after the Civil War. In 1865, it reopened and began operating once again as a school. There are 5,471 students at Samford, across ten colleges and schools. The constituents that make up the school are the School of the Arts; the Howard College of Arts and Sciences; the Brock School of Business; the Beeson Divinity School; the Orlean Beeson School of Education; the College of Health Sciences; the Cumberland School of Law; the Ida Moffett School of Nursing; the McWhorter School of Pharmacy; the School of Health Professions and; the School of Public Health.
The Nurse Anesthesia Program at Samford University is an in-depth three-year course of study that awards a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia and prepares graduates to sit for the Nurse Anesthesia National Certification Exam. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Applicants must hold a BSN degree and current licensure as a Registered Nurse. The program is a hybrid program, with the first few semesters entirely online and then during the third semester, some traditional classes are incorporated. This CRNA program is intended to be completed at a full-time pace, and it is not recommended that students continue to work after the second semester so that they can dedicate all of their time to their studies.
Samford Website: https://www.samford.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 89%
Graduation Rate: 73%
Final Score: 162/200
14: Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University is a public research university that has been designated as an R1: Doctoral University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, which is the highest distinction that Carnegie gives. The main campus is located in Richmond, Virginia and it serves 30,872 total students. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and has been since 1953. It also holds 28 programmatic accreditations. The university, often abbreviated to VCU, was founded in 1838. It started as the medical department of Hampden-Sydney College. Now, it is its own entity and is comprised of 18 different schools and colleges. Across those, VCU has over 200 degree programs available starting at the bachelors level up through the doctoral level. VCU also has an International Partnership Universities Initiative that encompasses 17 institutions of higher learning all over the world.
The Post-Master’s Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice can be completed in as little as one year, but it the typical student finishes the program in three years. It is a hybrid program that requires on-campus visits at the beginning and end of each semester, but these only last for a short duration as the program has been tailored to fit the lives and schedules of those that have already entered the professional sphere. Students are required to meet face-to-face three times a year at one of the three centers in Virginia, and the visits only last for three or four days. The distance-education component of the program isn’t just made up of online coursework. It also includes elements of video conferencing and even podcasting. Students learn from a diverse variety of sources and then complete the program with a capstone project.
VCU Website: https://www.vcu.edu
Freshman Retention Rate:
Final Score: /200
13: Texas Christian University
Texas Christian University is a private university affiliated with the Disciples of Christ. It is located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is one of the very few Christian schools in the country that opened as a coeducational institution. It was founded in 1873 as a preparatory school. Texas Christian University, or TCU, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. There are just over 10,000 students currently enrolled. TCU is classified as a Higher Research Activity Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Foundation and is considered a top-tier university by U.S. News & World Report. TCU is comprised of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts; the Bob Schieffer College of Communication; the College of Education; the College of Fine Arts; the College of Science and Engineering; the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences; the Brite Divinity School; the John V. Roach Honors College and; the M.J. Neeley School of Business. In conjunction with the University of North Texas Health Science Center, TCU will be opening a jointly operated medical school in 2018.
The university grants degrees from the bachelors level and up across its constituents. The Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences first became part of the school in 1946. It has a Post-Master’s DNP program specifically for Advanced Practice Nurses. Courses are not taken in one set order over the course of the minimum 30-credit program, but can generally be completed in just two years. However, you will be permitted five years in total to complete all the required classes. You can choose to study on a full-time or part-time basis based on your current schedule and academic goals. All of the nursing programs at TCU are currently accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Texas Board of Nursing. For those of you who are not Texas residents, there may be additional licensure requirements in your state.
TCU Website: http://www.tcu.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 91%
Graduation Rate: 77%
Final Score: 168/200
12: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the flagship university of the University of Minnesota System, and it is generally just referred to as the University of Minnesota, or UMN for short. It is a public land- and space-grant research university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was opened in 1851 and received its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission in 1913. It is highly nationally recognized, as an R1 Doctoral University with the highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation as well as being a member of the Association of American Universities. UMN faculty and alumni include 27 Nobel Prize winners, three Pulitzer prize winners, two Vice Presidents of the United States, and much more. Over 50,000 enrolled students can pursue degrees at the bachelors, masters, doctoral, and several certificate levels.
The University of Minnesota Nurse Anesthesia Program is a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia. UMN is among the top 5% of schools of nursing in America and this shine through in the quality of the program that it provides. You must be a Registered Nurse to apply for the program, which will take three years of full-time study to complete. The employment rate for graduates within six months of completing their degree is an astounding 100%. The school also boasts that the attrition rate or its most recent class was zero. The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs has accredited the program, and this program, in particular, was the first ever to be accredited by the council.
UMN Website: https://twin-cities.umn.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 78%
Final Score: 171/200
11: Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Rutgers University-New Brunswick was the first campus established by Rutgers University, and it is located in New Brunswick and Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers is a public land-grant research university accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It has an enrollment of over 50,000 and currently offers degrees at the associates, bachelors, master, and doctoral levels as well as an array of certificates. There 19 colleges and schools that make up the university, offering a broad selection of programs of study. Rutgers is counted among the top 100 national universities by both U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly. It is a highly residential university, with only about 43% of students participating in the available distance-education options.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Anesthesia at Rutgers is provided through the School of Nursing. It boasts a first attempt pass rate of 91% on the National Certification Examination and an employment rate of 100%. It is presented in two phases, and it is a hybrid program. The first phase is available entirely at a distance and accounts for 32 of the required credits to graduate. The second phase, the Anesthesia Clinical Specialty Phase, includes the remaining 53 credits. This phase is only available in the blended format and will require a higher degree of on-campus time. The entirety of the program spans three years. Phase one mentioned above can be completed on a part-time schedule, but the next two years that are the second phase can only be completed at a full-time pace. Students will experience patients of all ages and levels of acuity, as well as a broad range of procedures ranging from elective to highly complex and emergent procedures. This program is highly reputable, and one of the more rigorous on this list.
Rutgers Website: https://newbrunswick.rutgers.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 92%
Graduation Rate: 80%
Final Score: 172/200
10: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is commonly referred to just as Pitt. The university was founded in 1787, but the preparatory school that it is attributed to may have been holding classes as far back as 1770. Because of the educational needs of the surrounding community, Pitt was quickly granted university status in 1819. Now, students can earn a degree at any level from associates to doctoral. Pitt places a special emphasis on undergraduate research, which is one thing that sets it apart. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been since 1921. There are 17 schools and colleges that make up the university, and the oldest one is the School of Arts and Sciences that was established as its own entity in 1787. The School of Nursing was established in 1939 and has been accredited at every level by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The online CRNA program that Pitt has available is an MSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia program. It is a 36 credit program that is only available to CRNAs that have already obtained their Master of Science in the field. It admits students in the fall and goes for eight semesters. Students of this program will take two courses per semester, some of them include The Science of Health Care Delivery, Organization & Management Theory, and Team Training in Patient Safety. The program will end in a capstone project. The Nurse Anesthesia Program at Pitt is one of very few such programs that has been ranked among the top 10 of all the Nurse Anesthesia Programs in the country every year since 1998 when these programs were first ranked.
Pitt Website: http://www.pitt.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 92%
Graduation Rate: 81%
Final Score: 173/200
9: Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is a private university located in Cleveland, Ohio. It has its roots in Western Reserve University which was founded in 1826, and the Case Institute of Technology which was founded in 1881. The two institutions combined in 1967. The university is usually called Case Western or also abbreviated to just CWRU. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has been since the merger in 1967. The majority of the nearly 12,000 students at Case Western are graduate students, and of those students, only 12% take advantage of the online learning options at the university. For the year 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked Case Western as #38 on their list of National Universities; it has also ranked among the top 50 in similar categories from other publications such as Times Higher Education and Washington Monthly.
Case Western is divided into eight colleges and schools. These are the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Dental Medicine; the Case School of Engineering; the School of Law; the Weatherhead School of Management; the School of Medicine; the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and; the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing offers the Nursing Anesthesia Program. The program is actually seeing its first year of operation in 2018. The program will not begin admitting students until the year 2020 for the summer semester. The classes are to be completed in a cohort model, and the program will admit students once a year beginning in the summer. This program is being created in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and students that wish to learn more about the program can contact the program director, Angela Milosh, CRNA, DNP.
Case Western Website: https://case.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 92%
Graduation Rate: 82%
Final Score: 174/200
8: Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University is a private Roman Catholic university in Spokane, Washington. It is a Jesuit university that was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1887. It is made up of seven colleges which are the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Business Administration; the School of Education; the School of Engineering & Applied Science; the School of Law; the School of Nursing and Human Physiology and; the School of Professional Studies. Gonzaga University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and holds six specialized accreditations. Three of those endorsements are from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Gonzaga serves almost 8,000 students, offering bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in 92 fields. The university also hosts study abroad programs all over the world in Australia, Benin, British West Indies, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and Zambia.
The DNAP program is provided by Gonzaga’s School of Nursing and Human Physiology, as well as the School of Anesthesia at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center; it is jointly owned by both institutions. Gonzaga University has been providing students with distance learning opportunities since 1998 and has gone to great lengths to create a thorough and rigorous faith-based program for those of you who want to become CRNAs. Since 1979, only four students in total have failed the National Certification Exam on their first try; since the year 1978, all graduates of the program have been employed within six months of completing the program. Classes are presented in a cohort model through the duration of this three-year 88-credit program. Tuition is charged on a per credit basis.
Gonzaga Website: https://www.gonzaga.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 92%
Graduation Rate: 84%
Final Score: 176/200
7: Northeastern University
Northeastern University is a private research university headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. It also operates satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle, Washington and; San Jose, California. Those satellites offer exclusively graduate programs whereas the main campus also has offerings at the bachelors level. There are over 20,000 students at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education accredited institution. It was first accredited in 1940, and it was founded in 1898. Northeastern’s student body is primarily residential, only 10% of the graduate students participate in some form of distance learning. The university houses the College of Arts, Media, and Design; the D’amore-McKim School of Business; the Bouvé College of Health Sciences; the College of Professional Studies; the College of Science; the College of Social Science and Humanities and; the School of Law.
The Nurse Anesthesia Program at Northeastern is currently in a transitional state. It is a Master of Science in Nursing, and the university has applied for accreditation to transition the program to the doctoral level. There is a traditional Master of Science track and an accelerated track for applicants that are already certified CRNAs. The Master of Science in Nursing is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the nurse anesthesia program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs as well. The regular degree track is divided into four components and spans 32 months of full-time study. The entire program is 54 credits, and the accelerated option allows for the transfer of up to 26 semester hours of advanced placement credit. Clinical work must be completed at one of the many approved locations throughout the region.
Northeastern Website: http://www.northeastern.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 86%
Final Score: 183/200
6: Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in Atlanta, Georgia. It is more specifically located in the Druid Hills neighborhood and was initially founded in 1836. All 50 states, 6 U.S. territories, and over 100 foreign countries are represented among over 14,000 current students. The university has partnerships with several schools around the world, and many local organizations like the CDC and the American Cancer Society. The Emory College of Arts and Sciences and the Oxford College were both established in 1836, and the other constituents were incorporated over time. In addition to those two, there are seven more. Emory as a whole is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. There are also 15 programmatic accreditations from 13 other agencies.
Emory offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesia Program. It is a nine-semester program that is to be completed over the course of three years. It is a hybrid program that requires students to meet on campus two times every semester, and it is always scheduled on Saturday for the convenience of those students that are already working. The only coursework that is ineligible to be completed via the web are the anesthesia courses because of the hands-on component that is required to make sure that you are getting the most thorough education possible. Students will go through their semesters in a cohort, taking part in both synchronous and asynchronous online work and the traditional classes all with the same group of no more than 15 students.
Emory Website: http://www.emory.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 91%
Final Score: 185/200
5: University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a sea- and space-grant private research university in Los Angeles, California. It is the oldest public research university in California, first opening in 1880. Back in that time, there were only 53 students, but now there are over 43,000. USC offers degrees at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels in well over 200 different degree programs. USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission and has an incredible faculty that includes Nobel Laureates, hundreds of different types of Scholars such as Rhodes and Fulbright, and several winners of the National Medals of Science and of Technology and Innovation. Because of the highly intelligent and decorated teaching staff and the dedication to creating high-quality programs, USC earned a spot among the top 25 schools in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of national universities.
The CRNA program that USC provides students is a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice, and it admits students once per year starting in the summer semester. This program is housed in the Keck School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology, and it is open to those who hold a BSN degree. Up to 20 students are admitted each year to the program which is a hybrid CRNA degree program. The first semester consists of predominantly online courses, but there are increased traditional requirements throughout the duration of the three-year program. Financial aid is available to students in the program, and there is a broad range of clinical sites throughout Los Angeles. USC’s Medical Center is one of the largest teaching hospitals in America. Some of the in-depth courses that you will take as part of this program are Systems and Integrative Physiology, Clinical Prevention and Population Health, and more.
USC Website: https://www.usc.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Final Score: 188/200
4: Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private research university in Washington D.C.; it is a Roman Catholic university. It is colloquially known as Georgetown to its 18,525 students. Students can earn degrees at the bachelors through doctoral levels in almost 50 different disciplines. There are nine colleges and schools at Georgetown, which are the Georgetown College; the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; the School of Medicine; the Law Center; the School of Nursing and Health Studies; the Walsh School of Foreign Service; the School of Continuing Studies; the McDonough School of Business and; the McCourt School of Public Policy. The university is wholly accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and holds seven programmatic accreditations. Over 11,000 of Georgetown’s students are studying at the graduate level, but only 15% of them are doing so online.
Due to the new requirements set forth by the COA, Georgetown University’s School of Nursing & Health Studies doesn’t offer its Master of Science in Nursing anymore but has transitioned to a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia. It is a blended program of which the majority is presented in a traditional format. This is a highly intensive full-time three-year program, and it is ranked as a top 10 program of its type by U.S. News & World Report. Applicants can possess either a BSN or MSN; also, unique to the program if you’re a Registered Nurse but do not hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing you can also apply. You must have a minimum of two years of critical care experience. Students are admitted in a cohort model with roughly 25 students per cohort and classes begin each summer.
Georgetown Website: https://www.georgetown.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 94%
Final Score: 190/200
3: Columbia University in the City of New York
Columbia University in the City of New York is the official name of the school most widely known as Columbia University. It is a private Ivy League research university in the Upper Manhattan Area of New York City. It is one of the nine colonial colleges that was founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. Columbia University, or just Columbia, first opened in 1754 and it is the fifth oldest university in America. There are almost 30,000 total students, and over 20,000 of them are graduate students. The university offers degrees from the bachelors level and up through twenty different schools. As a whole, the university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and carries an additional 12 endorsements tailored to a number of individual programs. The student-to-faculty ratio is just 6 to 1, and alumni of this prestigious institution have gone on to become presidents, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, award-winning entertainers, scholars, and Nobel laureates.
Columbia University’s School of Nursing was established in 1892, making it one of the oldest featured in this ranking. The five year NCE pass rate for first-time takers of the exam is 81%, and the second time pass rate is 100%. The program currently offered is a Master of Science in Nursing that is in the process of transitioning to a DNAP, which will begin accepting students in 2019. This program is provided solely in a full-time and sequential format and takes just over two years to complete. The program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. For added flexibility, there are clinical sites in multiple places all over the country. Columbia suggests that students do not work beyond the summer of the second year when the clinical component begins.
Columbia Website: http://www.columbia.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 94%
Final Score: 191/200
2: Duke University
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina. It is nationally recognized by numerous publications as one of the best schools in the world, it is the second largest private employer in its home state, and it is among the top ten biggest spenders in research in America. Duke is consistently held in high esteem across the board. It was founded in 1838 and received its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges in 1895. Duke University has 12 constituent colleges and schools which are the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Law; the Graduate School of Duke University; the Duke Divinity School; the School of Medicine; the School of Nursing; the Nicholas School of the Environment; the Pratt School of Engineering; the Fuqua School of Business; the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School; the Sanford School of Public Policy and; the Duke Kunshan University.
Duke offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a specialization in Nurse Anesthesia. It is a full-time program that ranked #3 in the nation for the year 2018 in the rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. Faculty of the program has been awarded various times in the past for their excellence. Most recently, one of its teachers was named the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Researcher of the Year. The program consists of 83 credits and is designed to be completed in 36 months. The class of 2016 boasted a National Certification Exam Pass Rate and an Employment Rate of 100%. The program includes a capstone project and features an extensive student mentoring program. Students will also be consistently developing their e-portfolio throughout the program. It admits students in the fall and is open to students that possess a bachelors degree with an upper division nursing major from an appropriately accredited program; or an associates degree in Nursing from an accredited program with a bachelor’s degree in another field.
Duke Website: https://www.duke.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 95%
Final Score: 192/200
1: University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the founding institutions of the prestigious Association of American Universities and one of the nine colonial colleges. It was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740. UPenn is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It serves almost 25,000 students across 12 colleges and schools. There is a wide selection of areas of study available, culminating in degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels as well as many different certificates. The nursing school, along with the schools of business, communication, dentistry, and medicine are all ranked among the top five in the nation.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia or DNP-NA degree program is lead by an innovative team of top researchers and expert practitioners. At UPenn, CRNA students have the opportunity to learn about procedures ranging from routine to exceptionally rare as well as take high-quality and field-relevant courses; every aspect of the program is designed to keep you on the cutting edge in your field and equip you with the tools you need to be a demonstration of excellence in every aspect of your career. The program is a 38.5 credit course of study that is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. UPenn typically has an MSN degree track in nurse anesthesia, but it is not being offered at this time. The DNP-NA track is a three-year program that admits students in the summer. You will learn about pharmacology and physiology, as well as current issues in health and social policy and leadership development in healthcare. The program ends with a capstone project.
UPenn Website: https://www.upenn.edu
Freshman Retention Rate: 98%
Graduation Rate: 95%
Final Score: 193/200
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