Eligibility and Requirements

The 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. KU seeks a culturally diverse student body and does not discriminate against any group protected by law.

Please carefully review the requirements below. Before proceeding to the application, please review the frequently asked questions, which include 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 RN, including a minimum one year of recent (within the past 2-3 years), full-time experience in an intensive care setting. Experience as an LPN does not meet this requirement. 

  2. Critical Care Experience
    Applicants must have at least one year of recent (within the past 2-3 years), full-time experience in an intensive-care unit. This year of ICU experience 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 the following:

    • 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 in the application evaluation.

  3. License as RN in States Where Training Will Take Place
    License, or eligibility for licensure, as a professional registered nurse in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska is currently required to apply and to complete the program's requirements. Students may submit an application without holding a current license, but the Kansas RN license must be acquired by February 28 of the year courses will begin. Additional state licensing will be required while in the program.

  4. Four-Year Undergraduate Degree
    A bachelor's degree in nursing is not required. A bachelor’s degree is required but can be in any appropriate discipline. Appropriate alternate degrees might be in respiratory care, biological sciences, health care administration, pharmacology, psychology, sociology, etc. Regardless of the specific degree held, RN license and critical care experience remain as requirements.

  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 in which the 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.

    Applicants must possess an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the following 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 (see note below), he or she should look for a second chemistry class which would extend knowledge beyond material learned in the first chemistry course and ensure all three areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic and biochemistry) have been covered. An introductory course in organic and/or biochemistry would be a good choice for a second chemistry course.

      Note: Chemistry I (or equivalent) is the lowest level chemistry course KU will accept to meet this prerequisite unless approved by the department. Courses such as "Foundations of Chemistry" or "Principles of Chemistry" do not meet this requirement.

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

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

    • Human Physiology – One class with a grade of B or higher is required.*
      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. Pathophysiology does not meet the human physiology requirement.

      Note: Instead 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 completed within 10 years entering the nurse anesthesia program. If only one semester of a combined A&P course has been completed, students may take one semester of physiology to meet the requirement for physiology and anatomy.

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

  6. 3.0 Overall Grade Point Average
    A minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. The applicant's overall GPA will be calculated including every class at every college/university attended. All college course work must be documented by official transcript sent from each academic institution directly to KU. 

  7. 3.0 Grade Point Average on Science Prerequisites
    A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for the science prerequisite classes: chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology.

  8. Graduate-level Writing Ability
    Writing skills appropriate to graduate level education are required. This will be evaluated by the statement of purpose submitted with the application (see more information below).

  9. Shadow Experience
    Students are required to complete an anesthesia shadow experience. This allows applicants to experience "a day in the life" of a professional in this field and gain insight into the many positive aspects of the profession, as well as potential challenges. Shadow appointments may be scheduled at The University of Kansas Hospital by emailing the department office.

    The date and time of shadow experience depends on faculty availability. A valid unencumbered RN license is required to shadow at KU Hospital. The shadow experience may be completed at any hospital, including the student's place of current employment. Students during the shadow experience obvserve only and are not allowed to touch any patient.

    Applicants are responsible for arranging the shadow experience and ensuring that the anesthesia provider completes the shadow verification form PDF document (image).

  10. Letters of Recommendation
    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.

    Please ensure both references have indicated their willingness to submit the reference documents (evaluation form and formal letter) electronically, prior to providing their contact information. Instructions will be emailed to references after the online application has been submitted. 

    It is the sole responsibility of the student to ensure both references have provided the evaluation and formal letter prior to the application deadline. Applications without complete reference materials will be marked as incomplete and not be reviewed.

    Ensure each person is willing to submit his or her reference electronically and communicate that they will be receiving an email from “KU Medical Center <help@applyweb.com>” requesting the documentation be submitted 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 in the admission evaluation. 

  12. Goal Statement
    The applicant is required to type a statement of purpose of 500 words or less to clearly explain future long-term goals as a nurse anesthesia provider and his or her hopes for contributions to the profession. Writing skills appropriate for graduate-level education are expected. 

  13. Transcripts of All Prior University Course Work
    Please provide one copy of the official transcript, including institutions official seal, from every institution from which a course has been completed.

    After requesting an official transcript, scan the document or take a photo of it, and upload the image directory with the online application. The application is not considered complete until all transcripts have been uploaded.

    Transcripts marked with "COPY" are acceptable during the application process. However, printing or capturing a webpage is not accepted. Student advising reports or any transcript marked "unofficial transcript" are also not accepted. Transcripts provided to KU in any other way may not be considered part of the application.

    Note: Please do not submit official transcripts online or via mail until asked to do so following acceptance and admission to the program.

    For courses taken outside the United States, please see the foreign transcript policy.

  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. Certifications must be maintained while in the program and are the responsibility of the student.

  15. Technical Standards
    Technical standards define physical and other attributes required to be successful in this profession. Applicants must review the program’s technical standards and acknowledge having reviewed them during the application process. Upon admission, applicants will be asked to verify they can meet the standards or request consideration in meeting the standards.

  16. Personal Interview
    Decisions about interviews will be made by the end of September. Interviews take place in October, and applicants receive notification of acceptance in November. Qualified applicants who are invited to attend a personal interview 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.

  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 license document to na@kumc.edu.

  18. Background Check
    The Joint Commission requires all incoming students to request a background check. This one-time fee must be paid directly to the company performing the background investigation. Students will be asked to provide information and make the payment after being accepted into the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions background check and drug screening information.

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

KU reserves the right to make changes in policy, requirements, 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 applicants 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 08, 2018

Application deadline: July 15
Program start: Summer semester (June)

Have Questions? Many common questions have already been answered. Please review the FAQ before contacting the office.

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