Frequently Asked Questions
General questions about the program
How many students do you admit each year and how many applicants do you have?
The KU Department of Nurse Anesthesia Education is approved to accept up to 36 students per year. Currently, we are only admitting 30 students. Each year more than 100 applications are received.
Can I work while I am in the program?
Becoming a nurse anesthetist is very demanding. Students should expect to devote up to 70 hours per week to program requirements including clinical experiences, class time and study time. Student employment is strongly discouraged throughout the program. The Department Chair reserves the right to disallow any employment if there is evidence of clinical or academic deficiencies which jeopardize the student’s progress. At no time will a student be employed as an anesthesia provider.
Does your program accept transfer students?
Because of the unique design and content of the curriculum, the KU nurse anesthesia program does not accept transfer students.
Will KU offer a doctorate degree-completion program for CRNAs who already have a master's degree?
No. At this time, KU does not have the resources to offer a degree-completion doctorate program with a specialization in anesthesia for the practicing CRNA.
Does your program accept international students?
Applicants to our program must be licensed as an RN in one of the 50 states in the United States and have two years of experience working as an RN. This does not allow us to admit international students who would be on a student visa. Foreign nationals who are resident in the US and who are licensed RNs with experience working as an RN, can be admitted to the program. A copy of permanent residence visa (also known as a green card) is required. In addition, if prerequisite course work was completed outside the U.S., please review the foreign transcript policy.
Is the KU nurse anesthesia program in the School of Health Professions or School of Nursing?
Our program is in the School of Health Professions. For the convenience of potential applicants searching online, the School of Nursing does list our program, too, and has a link to the program website.
What types of ICU experience are acceptable?
The following table details the specific types of experience that are accepted by the program to meet the ICU requirement.
Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
Long Term Acute Care ICU
Pediatric ICU (PICU)
Cardiac Catherization Lab (CCL) does not qualify because the physicians, not the RNs, are performing or heavily involved in the actual procedures.
Long Term Acute Care Hospital is not an ICU and does not require important procedures such as hemodynamic monitoring, vents, EKG.
Neonatal ICU (NICU) is not accepted because it does not provide the experience with adults necessary for the program.
Post Anesthesia Care (PACU) is not accepted because it does not qualify as critical care.
Flight Nursing may qualify and students should obtain adult ICU experience in a busy ICU. Please consult with the program to determine if flight experience will be accepted.
Admissions: requirements, eligibility, and applications
What experience do I need to be admitted to your program?
Applicants must have experience as a registered nurse specifically in the intensive care setting. Please review the experience requirements for details and send questions about experience requirements to us at 913-588-6612 or email@example.com.
Do I need two years experience as an RN, including one full year of intensive care experience, before I submit my application?
No. You can apply while you are completing the required nursing experience. The experience must be completed by the time you would enroll in the program. The program starts at the end of May each year.
I am not licensed in Kansas or Missouri, how can I find out more information about getting licensed?
Do I need my Kansas and Missouri licenses before I submit my application?
If accepted, RN licenses must be obtained for Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma prior to the start of the program (end of May each year). Any license with restrictions will not be accepted.
Does my bachelor's degree have to be in nursing?
No. We do not require applicants to have a BSN. We do require a bachelor’s degree but that degree can be in any appropriate discipline. Appropriate alternate degrees might be in respiratory care, biological sciences, health care administration, pharmacology, psychology, sociology, etc. Applicants with an alternative degree must still be an RN and have two years experience as an RN including one year of ICU experience.
I have a bachelor's degree but I am not a nurse; can I still become a nurse anesthetist?
You must first become a nurse before you can apply to become a nurse anesthetist. The quickest way to become a nurse if you have a bachelor’s degree in a related field is to earn an associate’s degree in nursing and become an RN, or, enroll in an accelerated Bachelor to BSN program. This generally takes one to two years depending on your background and the program you enter. After becoming an RN, you would still need two years of experience as an RN, including one year of ICU experience, before you can enter our program.
What are the specific prerequisite courses that must be completed to apply for the program?
There are six prerequisite courses: chemistry (2 courses), anatomy, physiology, microbiology and statistics. More information can be found on our eligibility page.
What if I only have one semester of chemistry?
Take a second class which covers material not previously studied. We require two semesters of college-level chemistry. These two chemistry classes should have included some elements of inorganic, organic and biochemistry. If applicants have only taken one semester of chemistry, they should look for a second chemistry class which would extend their knowledge beyond what they learned in their first chemistry and ensure that they have covered the three areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic and bio). A chemistry I & II sequence would meet this requirement. An introduction to organic and/or biochemistry would be a good choice for a second chemistry. If you are unsure which chemistry class to take, please contact our office at 913-588-6612 for assistance.
What should I do if I took human physiology more than 10 years ago?
Applicants having taken human physiology more than 10 years ago must retake a human physiology class and earn a grade of B or better. If an applicant has taken combined human anatomy/physiology classes, such as A&P I & A&P II, both semesters must have been taken within the past 10 years. If taken more than 10 years ago and without a B or better in both classes, students must retake one course of physiology and earn a grade of B or better to satisfy this requirement.
What if I only have one semester of a combined human anatomy/physiology class?
If an applicant only has one class of combined human anatomy/physiology, such as A&P, the applicant will be required to take one semester of human physiology and earn a grade of B or better, or students can take a second combined A&P course (see previous question for more details).
What courses and grades are acceptable for the prerequisite courses?
Please review the list of prerequisites. This includes information on our minimum grade standards.
Do I need to have completed all the prerequisites before I apply? How long do I have to do so?
Applicants having completed all prerequisites (that is, all five science classes, a statistics class, and a bachelor’s degree) by the July 15 application deadline will be given priority in the application process. Applicants who have not met all the prerequisites by the application deadline must submit proof of enrollment in any missing prerequisites. Proof of enrollment may be submitted as part of the online application. All prerequisites must be complete by the end of the summer semester of the year the applicant is applying to the program.
Applicants with proof of enrollment in prerequisite course work at the time of application should upload that proof as part of the online application. If an applicant has not enrolled in prerequisite course work at the time of application, please submit proof of enrollment directly to the department as soon as it is available. Any proof of enrollment submitted must have the applicant’s name, the name of the course(s), the name of the college and dates of the course(s).
What grade point average is acceptable?
Please review the list of prerequisites, which includes information on our minimum standards for both overall GPA and science GPA. Both must be a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
How do I calculate my overall GPA?
We will calculate your overall GPA, including grades from every course from every university/college you have attended. If you wish to calculate your own overall GPA, the information you need is located on your transcripts. If you have taken all of your classes at one college/university, the cumulative GPA should be on your transcript. If you have taken classes at more than one college/university, then take the total semester grade points you have earned from all schools and divide it by your total grade points you have earned from all schools.
How do I calculate my science GPA?
You should complete the prerequisite review worksheet . This will help you calculate your science GPA and determine if you are missing any prerequisite courses. If you have questions after you have completed the worksheet, please contact our office. If your science GPA is less than 3.0, you may wish to retake one or more science courses to improve it.
If I only took one class at a college do I still need to submit an official transcript?
Yes. Applicants must have one official transcript sent directly to KU from every college attended, even if only one class was taken and even if the credits show up on another transcript. To qualify as "official," transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to KU and not be handled by the student. Transcripts marked “Issued to Student” cannot be accepted, even if provided in a sealed envelope. Please see more instructions on transcripts, including mailing address, on the "how to apply" page.
Who should I use for references?
Applicants are required to provide the names and contact information (including email addresses) of two (2) specific individuals when completing the online application. Family members and friends may not be included. The references must be provided by 1) a current nurse manager/supervisor and 2) an advanced-practice nurse or physician having routinely worked with and observed the work of the applicant. One of the references must be from the student's most recent ICU position.
My nurse manager is unavailable to do a reference. Who else can I use as a reference?
We require that one reference be from your nurse manager. If a nurse manager is not available, this reference can also be from an assistant nurse manager, a charge nurse, a night supervisor, a house supervisor or a day supervisor. The person who completes this reference must be involved in your evaluation process.
What if I want to submit more than two references?
We only accept two references. The admissions committee will not review more than two.
Why am I required to shadow an anesthesia provider and how do I verify that I have shadowed?
Applicants must shadow with either a CRNA or an anesthesiologist to gain a better understanding of the nurse anesthesia profession through both observation and discussion. Applicants are responsible for arranging their own shadow experience and ensuring that the anesthesia provider completes the verification documentation.
Arrangements can be made to shadow at the University of Kansas Hospital by sending an email to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shadow opportunities are subject to faculty availability. It is not necessary to shadow at KU Hospital; the experience may be acquired at any hospital including the student's current employer or one in which a relationship exists with an aesthesia provider.
What if I haven't shadowed by the time I submit my application materials?
If the shadow experience has not been completed by the time application materials are submitted, please fax the verification document to the department at 913-588-3334 when the shadow experience has been completed. This form must be submitted to be considered for an interview.
Do I have to be a CCRN to apply?
Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification is not required but is strongly recommended. If qualified, applicants should provide a copy of their CCRN certification with their application materials. If applicants become a CCRN after submitting their application materials, they can still submit a copy of their CCRN certification later.
Do I need to submit my BLS, ACLS and PALS certifications when I apply?
No. If you are admitted to the program, all students must become BLS-, ACLS- and PALS-certified before the program start date and must keep them current throughout the program. You will be required to submit copies of BLS, ACLS and PALS certifications prior to starting the program.
When do I have to complete the background check?
Applicants are required to complete a background check upon admission to the program. Final admission is contingent on passing the background check, which is conducted at the student's expense. Read details about this policy and what to expect.
I have applied before and want to reapply. What do I have to submit?
To be reconsidered, you must resubmit all application materials. The only exception is if you have applied within the last two years, you do not need to resubmit original transcripts. However, if you have taken any additional courses, you must submit new transcripts which show all additional courses taken. Please note: Applicants may only interview for the program two times.
I have submitted all my applications materials; what should I expect next?
Applications are processed as soon as possible after receipt. Due to the volume of applications and the number of applications arriving immediately before the application deadline, it can take several weeks or more for processing after July 15. Please e-mail concerns about the application process or materials to email@example.com. Applicants are advised to check the status of the online application regularly at http://www.applyweb.com/cgi-bin/ustat.
When are interviews and how many applicants do you interview?
Interviews are held in the fall. Applicants who are qualified will be invited for an interview and must attend the interview to be considered for admission. Note: not all applicants will be granted an interview. The top 80-85 applicants will interview each year based on criteria developed from the admission requirements of the program.
Do you require the GRE?
No. We do not require the GRE and do not consider GRE scores in our admissions process.
Does your program have an English language requirement?
All applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate an established level of English language proficiency through either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the academic format of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The test must have been taken within two years of the first semester of enrollment. When submitting test scores to KUMC, please submit only original scores sent directly from the admitting agency. Photocopies will not be accepted. For testing purposes, the ETS school code is 6895. For more information on English language requirements, including acceptable test scores, see
Questions about the early-decision option
How many applicants will be admitted with the early-decision option?
Up to 12 applicants will be admitted with early decision each year. However, the program may choose not to accept all 12 at that time.
Does the early-decision option interview count toward the two-interview limit policy for the program?
No. Only standard application interviews, held in October, count toward the limit.
Do I have to re-apply if I do not get accepted via the early-decision option?
No. Students not accepted after early-decision interviews will have their applications follow the standard application cycle. These students may be selected for an interview in October of that same year.
What qualifies a student as a Kansas resident to be eligible for the early-decision option?
Please visit the Office of the Registrar for details.
What is the difference between the standard application and the early-decision option?
The standard application is available March 15 to July 15 each year. Interviews are generally held during the first half of October. Please review the admission and eligibility requirements.
The early-decision option is available March 15 to June 1 each year. Interviews generally take place during the first half of July. The early-decision option follows all of the standard application eligibility requirements except for two differences: 1) Kansas residency is required, and 2) all five prerequisites must be completed prior to applying. Please review details of the early-decision option.
KU reserves the right to make changes in policy, tuition, financial aid, and fee structure as the needs of its administration, faculty, students, and conducting or affiliating institutions change. These changes may occur without prior notification. For any questions, and to assure that you have the most current information available, please contact the department.