Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA)

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The Nurse Anesthesia Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares you to function as a nurse anesthetist in a wide array of clinical settings. It is a comprehensive Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program that blends a strong academic curriculum with extensive clinical practice experiences.

For over 50 years the RUSH Nurse Anesthesia program has prepared graduates to provide anesthesia care to patients across the lifespan at all levels of acuity, undergoing procedures of varying complexity. RUSH CRNA graduates are leaders in practice, education and research across the country. To apply, you will need at least one year, preferably two, of recent ICU experience as a Registered Nurse (RN).

You will prepare to function autonomously and as a team member in the delivery of anesthesia and anesthesia-related services in all settings where anesthesia is provided. In addition to your advanced knowledge and skills in anesthesia, your competencies in leadership and systems-level thinking will make you sought-after members of anesthesia departments and professional organizations.

Our program admits competitive ICU nurses across the nation. Our goal is to graduate diverse and highly skilled nurse anesthetists into the workforce. In order to achieve this, our program has a strategic plan comprised of 4 pillars—Preparation for Current Practice, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Wellness, and Professional Development.

Quick Facts
Program Type:

Full-Time

Location:

On-Campus

Length:

36 Months

Class Size:

24

$1286

Per credit hour

Career Options

Demand for CRNAs is high and is expected to remain strong due to changing workforce and population demographics. Our highly recruited program graduates practice in:

  • tertiary medical centers
  • community hospitals
  • rural and medically underserved areas
  • armed services and Veterans Administration
  • office-based anesthesia practices

There are many opportunities for doctorally prepared nurse anesthetists including academic, administrative, and research positions.

Tuition Pricing

As a top ranked college of nursing, RUSH programs are competitively priced on a local and national level. 

Accreditation

The Nurse Anesthesia Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), and meets or exceeds its published clinical and academic requirements. The program was re-accredited by the COA in May 2015 for the maximum 10-year accreditation period. Our next review is scheduled for May 2025. The program works collaboratively with COA on quality assessment and quality improvement activities. 

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
10275 W. Higgins Rd., 
Suite 906
Rosemont, IL 60018-5603
(224) 275-9130

RUSH Nurse Anesthesia Program Performance Data:

  • Attrition for the most recent graduating class: 0%
  • Employment of graduates within six months of graduation: 100%
  • 2021 certification examination pass rate for first time takers: 96%
    • Overall 2021 certification examination pass rate: 100%

Program Pillars

Nurse Anesthesia Program Pillars: Preparation for Current Practice, Professional Development, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Wellness

Click the image to expand, or learn more about each pillar below.

Preparation for Current Practice 

Clinical Education

As a program that encompasses talented nurses from across the country, our goal is provide a robust clinical experience so that our students can smoothly transition into CRNA practice in any state. Faculty maintain current practice knowledge and evaluate clinical sites to provide opportunities to practice evidence-based anesthesia techniques. The dedication to clinical education by faculty, preceptors and SRNAs is reflected in our annual case numbers, which consistently exceed the minimum requirements set by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

  • Clinical sites*
    *subject to change
    • RUSH University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
    • RUSH Surgery Center, Chicago, IL
    • RUSH-Oak Park Hospital, Oak, Park, IL
    • RUSH Oakbrook Surgery Center, Oakbrook, IL
    • Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL
    • Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL
    • MacNeal Memorial Hospital, Berwyn, IL
    • Skokie Hospital, Skokie, IL
    • Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
    • Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb, IL
    • Community First Hospital, Chicago, IL
    • Silver Cross Hospital, New Lennox, IL
    • University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA
  • Accrediting Body and National Board Certification:

SIM Lab Education

RUSH University is fortunate to have a 20,000 sq ft simulation lab with high fidelity mannequins and skills stations. The program incorporates the utilization of the simulation lab throughout the 36-month curriculum, providing ample hands-on education to create a bridge between didactic and clinical education. Simulation education is led by practicing CRNA and physician faculty members who bring their practice expertise to share. Current practice is incorporated into the curriculum, including a cadaveric regional workshop led by RUSH alumni and regional fellowship -trained CRNAs.

Professional Development 

One of our goals as a program is to set students up for success not just while they’re a student but in their future endeavors as a practicing CRNA as well. We believe this is an important aspect to moving the needle in CRNA practice, whether this is scope of practice, global health initiatives, or leadership positions in education and associations. Future goals lie in the hands of the student; our role as a program is to provide tools, such as our professional library in alignment with the NBCRNA reference list, and support endeavors such as students serving in leadership positions with the AANA.

We also recognize the importance of mentorship in self and professional development. First- year SRNAs are strategically assigned to a second-year SRNA mentor who will follow them throughout their education and even as a CRNA upon graduation of the mentor. This longitudinal mentorship promotes collegiality, emotional support, academic/clinical success.

SRNA Accomplishments 2021

SRNA Accomplishments 2022 

 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In order for growth to occur, it is important to do an external and internal review to identify areas needing improvement.

On a national level, it has been acknowledged that diversity is lacking in the medicine field; nursing and nurse anesthesia are no exception to this. Currently, 12% of CRNAs identify as a minority or underrepresented ethnic background (AANA, 2021). This percentage is far from reflecting the population we serve. From 2017 to 2021, our average admission of students who identify as a minority or underrepresented ethnic background was 33.5%.  Although this is higher than the national average, we still feel that there is room for growth.

Our program emphasizes the importance of diversity in the CRNA workforce to best serve our communities and have implemented strategies to do our best to positively impact the workforce. They are as follows:

Holistic Admissions

We have removed the GRE as a requirement, which was an evidence-based decision, and have implemented a holistic admissions process vetted by a panel including college and program senior leadership to look at applicants as a whole. We recognize that there are biases and barriers that impact applicants, thus, we do not solely look at academic performance for admission into the program.

Strategic Partnerships

LEAP: We have established a strategic partnership with Case Western Reserve University’s Leadership Excel and Achievement Program (LEAP) Certificate Pathway, which provides a one-year science driven program for underrepresented nurses to have direct entry into a CRNA program upon completion. The goal is to diversify the applicant pool, and thus program entry, and ultimately the workforce.

RUMC Department of Anesthesia DEI Committee: We recognize that DEI efforts should be made on the programmatic side and clinical environment. RUSH University Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesia DEI Committee is comprised of CRNAs, anesthesiologists, SRNAs, and resident physician anesthesiologists. The Program Director and Assistant Program Director of Clinical Education of our program also sit on this committee. The goal for this partnership is to promote a climate of inclusion for our students and patients.

Institutional Support

Our program is fortunate to be housed in an institution that equally emphasizes the importance of diversity. Below are resources:

RUSH University Medical Center DEI

RUSH University DEI

RUSH University College of Nursing DEI

Wellness

RUSH SRNA Wellness Program Mission & Vision

  • Vision: To help students everywhere realize their mental and physical performance is just as valuable as their academic performance. 
  • Mission: To create a culture of wellness for SRNAs through a program aimed at increasing awareness of current resources, and to improve the wellbeing of SRNAs by providing ongoing support for RUSH University SRNAs. 

Featured Resources

  • RUSH Center for Clinical Wellness 
    • The RUSH Center for Clinical Wellness was established in 2020 and offers coaching, counseling and wellness retreats for RUSH faculty and students. The Center aims to create a culture of wellness and provide increased support for mental health. 
    • “Getting help is not a weakness. Seeking support is a strength”- Eve Poczatek Director, Strategic Interventions RUSH Wellness Initiative 
    • Schedule an Appointment
    • Location and Hours: 
      • Triangle Office Building, Suite 150
      • 1700 Van Buren Street
      • Monday-Friday
      • 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • RUSH Spiritual Care Services chaplains: (312) 942-5571
    • Chaplains are available 24/7 for RUSH Students and Employees
    • Chaplains are respectful of all faith traditions, cultures, beliefs and ritual needs and serve all faiths
    • Chaplains can provide debriefing sessions with students individually or as a group
  • RUSH Employee and Student Assistance Program: (877)-465-1324
    • The program is a confidential, free benefit that offers short-term counseling, information and resources on emotional, financial, legal, family and work-life issues for current RUSH employees and students.
  • Help lines
    • American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (ANNA) Helpline: (800) 654-5167
      • 24/7 confidential and individualized life support and resources 
    • National Grad Crisis Line: (877)-472-3457
      • Crisis line helps graduate students reach free, crisis and suicide intervention and prevention, confidential telephone counseling, and referral services
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
      • Provides 24/7 service for anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress
  • Applications

 

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Learn more about the Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) program at an online information session.