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Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Program Information FAQ
About Rush University
Admission Information 
Program Information
International Students 
Admission Information
What is the admission criteria? 
 Applicants will be evaluated on the following:
A minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution*
Submission of a completed NursingCAS application with a non-refundable application fee ($65).
All calculated GPAs of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)**
Submission of an essay discussing your interest in nurse anesthesia practice, your professional goals and how graduate education will help you achieve those goals, as well as a problem or question that requires a system change in health care, educational services and/or policies that you might address in your role as a DNP-prepared health care provider.
Three recommendations (one from your nurse manager, the other two from clinicians who know your clinical skills & judgment – for example a CNS, nurse educator, your preceptor, your charge nurse, a physician you work closely with or a CRNA you have worked with. Recommendations cannot come from another staff RN.).
A resume or CV that includes work experience, educational, leadership and professional organization activities, and scholarly activities including publications, presentations, research, honors and awards, and nursing license number and state for RNs.
Acceptable GRE scores. The GRE school code for Rush is 3262.
Acceptable TOEFL scores, if required. The TOEFL school code for Rush is 3262.
Submission of a brief Rush supplemental application upon receipt of NursingCAS application (Rush supplemental application fee is $35).
Acceptable personal interview(s) with faculty.
RN licensure in the United States (for post-licensure programs).
A minimum of one year of recent full-time experience as an RN in an adult ICU at the time of the application deadline (Two years of recent full-time ICU experience is strongly preferred. To be more competitive it is advisable to be currently working in the ICU at the time of application).
**GPAs include: overall undergraduate, undergraduate nursing, overall science GPA and overall graduate.
*** The nurse anesthesia program at Rush defines ICU experience as that obtained in an intensive care unit or cardiac care unit. We do not have a preference of one type of intensive care unit over another (medical vs. surgical vs. neuro vs. burn/trauma vs. CV). The program does NOT consider the recovery room, emergency department, telemetry units, step-down units, invasive radiology units, the operating room or the cath lab to be intensive care units. In recent years the applicant pool has been extremely competitive. Most, but not all, successful applicants in the last several years have had between 3 and 4 years of ICU experience on the application deadline.
What are typical GRE scores of applicants? How can I prepare for the test?
To be competitive your GRE scores should be verbal 150 or higher, quantitative 149 or higher, and analytic writing 4.0 or higher. Preparation for the GRE is recommended. You can prepare with one of the many books, computer programs or classes available. We do not recommend one book, computer program or course over any of the others. More information about the GRE, including practice exams, can be found at can be found at this link.
What if I’ve already taken the GRE?
If you have taken the GRE in the past, that score may be utilized. Please note that ETS retains GRE scores for five years. However, if you have an original copy of the report you received, you may submit it in lieu of retaking the GRE. If you no longer have an original copy of your GRE scores, you will need to retake the GRE. 
How will I hear from the Admissions Department about my application?
You will be informed of all decisions made on your application via email.
Must all of my application materials be received by the the application deadline?
Priority will be given to those applicants for whom we have received all materials by the application deadline. If the application is not complete by the deadline, the program reserves the right not to consider it. It is the applicant’s responsibility to assure that all materials have been received by NCAS by the application deadline. Keep in mind once NCAS received transcripts, verification can take up to 10 business days.
What happens after I complete my interview?
After all qualified applicants have been interviewed, your application will be reviewed in a “pool” with the other applicants for that cohort. Admission recommendations are then forwarded to the Admissions and Progressions Committee of the College of Nursing. It is their charge to offer admission to qualified candidates.
How many students are admitted per year?
Each year a class of 24-28 students is admitted. A waitlist will be determined at the same time admission decisions are made.
When will I find out if I have been accepted? 
Decision dates are listed on our website, please check them periodically throughout the process.
Program Information
The DNP program is academically front-loaded, with gradually increasing clinical experience during the second year of the program. Following successful completion of the didactic sequence, students begin a 15-month clinical residency and complete their DNP projects. During this residency, students learn to provide anesthesia for patients across the lifespan at all acuity levels, undergoing surgery of all types, including thoracic, cardiovascular, neurological, transplant, trauma, obstetrics and others. The time commitment throughout the program is extensive.

Is the nurse anesthesia program accredited?
Yes, the program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA; 222 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL, 60068; 847-655-1160; The program was re-accredited by the COA in May, 2005 for the maximum 10 year accreditation period. Our next review is scheduled for October, 2014. The program works collaboratively with COA on quality assessment and quality improvement activities. 

  • The Rush University College of Nursing Nurse Anesthesia Program receives specialty accreditation through COA.

What is the certification examination pass rate and employment rate for the most recent graduating class?
 The first-time certification examination pass rate for the class of 2013 was 83%, with a second-time pass rate of 94%. Six months following graduation, 100% of 2013 graduates were employed. 

What is the current attrition rate?
Attrition (individuals who did not graduate with their initial cohort) was 22% for the class of 2013.
The attrition rate between 2009 and 2014 was 8%. 

The academic calendar.  Please refer to the academic calendar and follow communications on registration provided by the Office of the Registrar after you receive notification of acceptance to the program.
Should I take graduate classes before I apply for the NAP program?
Many applicants take graduate courses prior to their application and admission to the nurse anesthesia program. This serves several purposes. First, it establishes that you can successfully complete graduate-level classes. This is especially important if your undergraduate grades of GRE scores are not what you would like them to be. Second, should you be admitted, it decreases the number of courses you would take per term for the first year of the program. Successfully completing graduate course work prior to applying to the anesthesia program may also make your application more competitive.
Can I take graduate classes at Rush without being admitted to a specific program?
The following courses may be taken prior to applying to the nurse anesthesia program, subject to availability. Up to 12 credits may be taken as a student-at-large. Other mechanisms exist to complete courses beyond 12 credits. The anesthesia program administrators can advice you on available classes that may be taken and in which format these classes will be offered - live or online.
• NSG 521, Organizational and Systems Leadership – 3 credits
• NSG 522, Applied Epidemiology and Biostatics for Nursing Practice – 3 credits
• NSG 523, Research for Evidence-Based Practice – 3 credits
• NSG 524, Health Promotion in Individuals and Clinical Populations – 3 credits
• NSG 531, Advanced Pharmacology – 3 credits
• NSG 532, Advanced Physiology – 3 credits
• NSG 533, Advanced Pathophysiology – 3 credits
How long does the program take to complete? What type of degree is awarded? 
The full-time DNP program is 40 months in length and begins in the fall term. Students are officially admitted in the summer term to allow them to take prerequisite courses as admitted students. If students have already taken the prerequisite courses or they do not wish to take courses in the summer term, then their full-time program of study begins in the fall term.
Since this is a full-time program and I will not be able to work during the program is there financial aid available?
A combination of grant and scholarship support provides significant tuition offsets in the range of $12,000-$14,000. We strongly recommend applicants seek outside funding or contact potential employers for additional financial support.
International Students
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required for applicants who are non-native speakers of English. This requirement may be waived if the applicant has completed a minimum of three years of higher education AND received their baccalaureate degree in the United States.
For all other questions please contact Jennifer Thorndyke at
Who can answer further questions?
If you have additional questions or want to make an appointment to discuss the program, please contact:  
Information regarding the admission’s process can be obtained from Jennifer Thorndyke at
Again, thank you for your interest in Rush!  
College of Nursing Homepage  • Entry Level Nurse Anesthesia Program and Program of Study
Admission Dates

Tuition and Fees Student at Large Registration Form & Timetable & Academic Calendar 
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists  • Educational Testing Service (GREs)
Educational Testing Service (TOEFLs)

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