Q: What is a Nurse Anesthetist?
A: A Nurse Anesthetist, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), is a licensed advanced practice nurse.  After completing extensive education and training, CRNAs become nationally certified. CRNAs safely administer 32 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States. They practice in a variety of settings in the private and public sectors and in the U.S. military, including traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms, ambulatory surgery centers, pain clinics, and physicians' offices. 

Q: Why should I consider NorthShore University HealthSystem School of Nurse Anesthesia?
A: The NorthShore University HealthSystem School of Nurse Anesthesia, formerly the Ravenswood Hospital Medical Center School of Anesthesia, is one of the oldest schools of anesthesia in the US. It was the first school to be accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. It has an outstanding national reputation and consistently exceeds accreditation requirements and national averages for lecture hours and clinical cases. DePaul University, our academic affiliate, is the largest Catholic University in the US and also enjoys an excellent national reputation.

Q: Why did the School change to a DNP program?
A: The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has recommended that education of
advanced practice nurses (APN), which includes Nurse Anesthetists, be provided at the doctoral level, and that APN graduates have a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) by 2015. Unlike a research doctorate (DNSc, EdD, and PhD), the DNP is a clinical doctorate which focuses on providing leadership for evidence-based practice. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), our accrediting body, supports the transition of graduate nurse anesthesia programs to DNP programs.

Q:  Do you offer online courses?
A: Several of the graduate nursing courses at DePaul University are offered online or have an online component. The School offers one hybrid online course.

Q: What types of critical care experience are accepted?
A: A minimum of two years in a critical care setting that provides experience with critically ill and unstable patients, invasive hemodynamic monitoring, ventilatory care and pharmacologic management is required for admission. Preferred areas include SICU (Surgical Intensive Care), MICU (Medical Intensive Care) CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care). PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) from a Children's Hospital is also acceptable. We do not accept OR (operating Room), PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit), NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care), Cardiac Step-down, Telemetry, Emergency Room, or other specialty areas of nursing practice.

Q: Do I need to have Bachelor of Science in Nursing?
A:  A bachelor's or master’s degree in nursing is required for admission into the DNP program.

Q:  What is the GPA requirement for admission and do you only consider my nursing GPA?
A:
We look  at the compiled GPA and the science GPA. A minimum complied GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is desirable and a minimum compiled GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale from the previous 40 semester/60quarter hours of college coursework is required for admission.

Q: What is the minimum score required for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?
A: A compiled score of 300 on the verbal and quantitative sections and a 4.0 on the written analytical section are required for admission. For GREs taken prior to Summer 2011, a compiled score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative sections and a 4.0 on the written analytical section are required for admission.

Q: How many applicants are accepted each year?
A: Approximately twenty two nurse anesthetist trainees (NAT) are admitted annually in September.

Q: Do I need to shadow a CRNA?
A:  A shadow day with a CRNA in a hospital setting is required for admission. The shadow day should be less than two years old. This will provide the applicant with an opportunity to observe current nurse anesthesia practice. The School is unable to provide this experience for potential applicants and recommend that you contact the anesthesia department at your place of employment or a nearby hospital that employs CRNAs.

Q: What is the application deadline?
A: The application deadline is May 1.   Interviews will be scheduled in June and August for eligible individuals with complete applications.  

Q: How long is the program and when does it start?
A: The program is 36 months. The program starts in early September, generally the week after Labor Day. For a more detailed overview of the program, see the Curriculum page. 

Q: What is the tuition?
A: Tuition, fees, and texts are approximately $78,000

Q:  Do I have to buy malpractice insurance?
A: NorthShore University HealthSystem provides malpractice coverage without cost to  the student.  Health insurance is mandatory and is available through DePaul University.

Q: Will I have the summers off?
A: Nurse anesthesia programs are year long, there are no quarter breaks.  Students receive one week vacation and one personal day every three months during residency. They are off for holidays unless assigned an on-call shift.

Q: Can I work during the program?
A: There is no clinical residency during the first year and anesthesia students may be able to work part time. During clinical residency (year 2-3) the average weekly commitment is 56 hours/week which precludes working on a regular basis.

Q: Will I need a car or can I use public transportation to get to clinical sites?
A: Clinical sites range from 0-60 miles from the School. A car is necessary and parking is available at all clinical sites.

Q: Do you interview all applicants?
A: Admission into our program is very competitive. Applications are reviewed relative to the admission criteria (GPA, GRE score, professional experience, reference letters, and the personal statement). Interviews are offered to the most qualified applicants. Interviews last approximately 4 hours and include a detailed overview of the clinical and academic curriculum, interviews with 2-3 members of the Admission Committee and an opportunity to meet with current NATs. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

Q: What type of chemistry do you accept?
A: Organic chemistry (or biochemistry) less than five years old is required for admission. General college chemistry or survey courses are not acceptable. Chemistry may be completed at two year or four year colleges. If you are unsure of which chemistry you should take, you may fax 847.733.5392 or email anesthesiaschool@northshore.org a course description.  In addition, College Physics is strongly recommended.

Q: Can I apply if even if I still have to take organic chemistry?
A: The Admissions may grant you conditional admission but the chemistry course(s) must be completed by September 1, of your admission year. Admission will be denied if you fail to complete the chemistry course(s).

Q: What is the accreditation status of the Program?
A: The NorthShore University HealthSystem School of Nurse Anesthesia received the maximum 10 year accreditation in 2005.  The new DNP program offered in cooperation with DePaul University was approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) in November 2012. The next COA accreditation review will be in 2015. 

Q: Will I need a computer?
A: Yes, a personal computer (or laptop) with internet access is mandatory. Students are expected to be proficient with word processing, electronic mail, and online literature searches.

Q: Do I need to have  two full years of critical care experience before I submit my application?
A: You can apply to the program if you are currently employed in critical care and will have a minimum of two years of full time experience before the start of the program.

Q: Can I attend the program on a part time basis?
A: No, the program is 36 months long and is designed for full time study.

Q: I already have a Masters of Science in Nursing, do I have to get a second graduate degree in nursing?
A:  Applicants with a MS in Nursing are eligible to transfer a maximum of 9 semester/12 quarter hours; transfer is dependent upon a review of transcripts.

Q: What does the average nurse anesthesia student look like?
A: The average student is 32 years old. Seventy five percent are female, 52% are married, 33% have children, 29% are out of state, and 4% are in the Army Reserves. 

Q: I am from out of state; do I need an Illinois nursing license to apply to the program?
A: You do not need an Illinois license to apply if you have an unrestricted license in another state. You will need to have an Illinois license by September 1 of your admission year.

Q: Is financial aid available?
A:  Students are eligible to apply for the Federal Direct Loan Program through DePaul University. Actual amount of financial aid is dependent upon individual need. Students may also receive a Health Resources and Services Administration Traineeship Grant. The School awards five annual alumni scholarships during residency.

Q: Where will I complete my clinical requirements?
A: The School has 14 clinical sites. Students are assigned to 7-8 sites during their enrollment. Names and location of clinical sites are available on the Curriculum page.

Q: Do I have to apply separately to DePaul University?
A: Following their acceptance into NorthShore University HealthSystem School of Nurse Anesthesia,  applicants must apply online to DePaul University www.depaul.edu/apply 

Q: Where can I get a copy of the course descriptions?
A: Course Descriptions are available at both the NorthShore and DePaul websites www.depaul.edu.

Q: Where are classes held?
A: All of the anesthesia courses are taught at Evanston Hospital. Core nursing courses are taught at DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus.

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