Eligibility and Requirements

The KU nurse anesthesia program accepts applications from registered nurses who meet the admission requirements set forth by the Council on Accreditation and the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists, the KU Department of Nurse Anesthesia Education and the University of Kansas. These requirements are subject to change based on the recommendations of the admissions committee. In full support of university policies, the KU nurse anesthesia program seeks a culturally diverse student body and does not discriminate against any group protected by law.

Please review the requirements below carefully. Before proceeding to the application, please review our frequently asked questions, which includes a special section with details about admission to the program.


  1. Experience as Registered Nurse
    To be eligible to enter the program applicants must be a registered nurse and have two years' work experience as a licensed registered nurse, including a minimum one year of recent (within past 2-3 years), full-time experience in an intensive care setting. Experience as an LPN does not count. 

  2. Critical Care Experience
    Applicants must have at least one year of recent (within the past 2-3 years), full-time experience in an ICU. This must be completed prior to the official enrollment date. The admissions committee has found that the most successful applicants have experience in adult ICU, such as cardiac ICU, surgical ICU or medical ICU. Pediatric ICU is acceptable, but neonatal ICU is not accepted. Applicants should have experience with:

    • continuous hemodynamic monitoring (PA catheters, Swan-Ganz)

    • ventilators

    • EKG interpretation

    • pharmacological monitoring (instituting, regulating and maintaining patients on drugs related to cardio pulmonary status or life-death situations)

    • independent decision-making necessary in the ongoing care of unstable patients

    Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification is strongly recommended. Participation in professional and/or voluntary organizations or committees (e.g., hospital, alumni, nonprofits) is considered an advantage .

  3. License as RN in Kansas
    License, or eligibility for licensure, as a professional registered nurse (RN) in the state of Kansas is required. Students may submit an application without holding a current license, but one must be acquired by February 28 of the year beginning the program. Additional state licensing will be required while in the program.

  4. Four-Year Undergraduate Degree
    We do not require applicants to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 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.

  5. Six Prerequisite Courses
    Applicants should complete the prerequisite review form PDF document (image) as early as possible to help determine if prerequisite course work has been fulfilled. Preference in the selection process will be given to those students having completed all prerequisites by the application deadline. If not complete by the application deadline, proof of enrollment in any missing courses must be submitted. *All prerequisites must be completed by the end of the summer semester of the year applicant is applying to the program.

    All prerequisite courses must be taken at an accredited college/university and be eligible for transfer to the University of Kansas. Classes may be taken at an accredited two-year college. Courses cannot be credit by examination. A Pass grade will not be accepted unless the applicant provides written verification from the institution that the Pass designation is equivalent to a grade of C or higher.

    Basic Sciences – the following five science classes are required.

    It is required that you must have an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in these classes:

    • Chemistry – Two semesters of college-level chemistry are required with a grade of C of higher. These two chemistry classes should have included some elements of inorganic, organic and biochemistry. For example, a chemistry I & II sequence would meet this requirement. If applicants have only taken one semester of chemistry, they should look for a second chemistry class which would extend their knowledge beyond material learned in the first chemistry course and ensure all three areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic and biochemistry) have been covered. An introduction course in organic and/or biochemistry would be a good choice for a second chemistry course.

    • Microbiology – One class with a grade of C or higher.

    • Human Anatomy – One class with a grade of C or higher.*

    • Human Physiology – One class with a grade of B or higher.*
      If less than a B grade in human physiology was earned, or the class was taken more than 10 years ago, a human physiology course must be retaken. (This requirement applies only to human physiology.) Also, pathophysiology does not meet the human physiology requirement.

      * NOTE: In place of separate human anatomy and human physiology courses, applicants may also take two semesters of a combined human anatomy/human physiology course, such as A&P I and A&P II. If taking A&P I and A&P II, students must obtain a grade of B or higher in both courses and both semesters must be within 10 years of the program start date. If only one semester of a combined A&P course has been completed, students may take one semester of physiology to meet the requirements for physiology and anatomy.

    Statistics – one class
    The class must contain both parametric and nonparametric content. This is covered in most basic statistics courses. (Note: a nursing research class does not meet this requirement.)

  6. 3.0 Overall Grade Point Average
    An overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. Your overall GPA will be calculated including every class at every college/university you have attended. All college course work must be documented by one official transcript sent directly from each previous undergraduate/graduate school to the KU Department Nurse Anesthesia Education. 

  7. 3.0 Grade Point Average on Science Prerequisites
    It is required that you must have an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the five science prerequisite classes: chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology.

  8. Graduate-level Writing Ability
    Writing skills appropriate to graduate level education are required. This needs to be demonstrated in a one-page goal statement with your application.

  9. Shadow Experience
    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 shadow verification form PDF document (image).

    Arrangements can be made to shadow at The University of Kansas Hospital by sending an email to our office at na@kumc.edu.  Please indicate your preferred dates, although shadow opportunities are subject to faculty availability. It is not necessary to shadow at KU Hospital, however. The shadow experience may be completed at any hospital, including the student's current employer, or one in which a relationship exists with an anesthesia provider.

  10. Three References
    Applicants will enter the names and contact information (including email addresses) of three (3) specific individuals into the online application: 1) the nurse manager/supervisor, 2) an advanced-practice nurse or a physician, and 3) a former or current peer or co-worker. The system will then prompt each person to submit the reference online.

    The recommendations may not be obtained from family members, friends, etc. Make sure each reference is willing to submit this electronically, and inform him or her that they will be receiving an email from “KU Medical Center <help@applyweb.com>” requesting them to submit a reference for you online.

  11. Resume/CV
    Applicants must upload a resume or curriculum vitae as part of the online application. The resume should include prior employment, including details of all RN and ICU experience. It should also include any participation in professional and/or voluntary organizations. Participation in professional and/or voluntary organizations or committees (e.g., hospital, alumni or nonprofits) is considered an advantage. 

  12. Goal Statement
    A goal statement is included in the online application. Please include your educational and professional goals and limit the statement to no more than 500 words

  13. Transcripts of All Prior University Coursework
    Applicants must arrange to have one official copy of transcripts from each college and university attended sent directly to KU.  A transcript must be sent from every college regardless of the number of classes taken or whether credits may also show up on another transcript. Transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to KU because transcripts sent to students frequently have “Issued to Student” stamped on them. If this is on a transcript, we cannot accept it, even if it arrives in a sealed envelope. For courses taken outside the United States, please see the foreign transcript policy.

    Transcripts should be mailed to:
         KU Medical Center / Office of the Registrar
         Mail Stop 4029
         3901 Rainbow Blvd.
         Kansas City, KS  66160

  14. ACLS/BLS/PALS Certification
    Students are required to have completed certifications in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Basic Life Support (BLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) prior to starting the program, and must remain certified while in the program.

  15. Technical Standards
    Technical standards define physical and other attributes that are required to be a successful CRNA. Applicants must review the program’s technical standards and sign on the application addendum that they have reviewed them. After admission to the program, applicants will be asked to verify that they can meet the standards or request consideration in meeting the standards.

  16. Personal Interview
    Decisions about interviews will be made in September and applicants should hear from the department by the end of September. Interviews take place in November, and applicants receive notification of their acceptance into the program in December. Qualified applicants who are invited to attend a personal interview must attend their interview to be considered. Note: not all applicants will be granted an interview. The top 60-66 applicants will interview each year based on criteria developed from the admission requirements of the program.

  17. Proof of Valid Kansas RN License
    All applicants accepted into the program are required to obtain a Kansas registered nurse license by February 28 of the year he or she enters the program. Any license with restrictions will not be accepted. Please email a photo or scan of the KSBN document as proof of your valid license to na@kumc.edu.

  18. Background Check
    The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires all incoming students to pay for a background check. This one-time fee must be paid directly to the company performing the background investigation. You will be asked to provide information and make the payment once you have been officially accepted into the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions Background Check Instructions.

Additional information on the admission requirements can be found in our frequently asked questions. Please review this additional information before submitting your application. All applicants to the Nurse Anesthesia program must meet the requirements to be a Registered Nurse and have experience as an RN in the intensive care unit.

The KU Nurse Anesthesia program 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 program offices.

International Students:
An applicant is considered an international student if he or she requires a visa, or currently resides in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently resides in the U.S. while applying for permanent residency. Additional requirements and documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency, are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please review the information for international students before applying.

Last modified: Mar 02, 2015

red triangle with exclamation point warningApplications are no longer accepted for the class entering summer 2016. The next application cycle will open March 15, 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions
Many questions have already been answered here, so please take a look before contacting KU.

Important Dates
Before deciding to apply, please review the program's eligibility and requirements.
Application deadline: July 15
Program start: Summer semester (June)

11 great reasons to choose KU's nurse anesthesia program

Paul Bennetts photoKU's Paul Bennetts, clinical assistant professor, has been named one of the Top 20 Outstanding Professors of Nurse Anesthesia by Nurse Practitioner Schools. Read