The University of Kansas offers a dynamic program in nurse anesthesia designed to provide students the latest in experience, instruction and techniques needed for success in nurse anesthesia practice. Our department reviews the program curriculum annually and incorporates new technology into the educational program as it becomes available. When you graduate from the program, you will be able to function independently or in a group practice setting after successful completion of the program.
In this comprehensive 36-month program the registered nurse receives extensive education in the academic and clinical components of nurse anesthesia. The program is very intense, and you should expect to spend up to 64 hours per week dedicated to fulfilling clinic responsibilities, attending classes and studying. New students begin each year in the summer semester (applications are accepted March 15–July 15). Read more about the curriculum and what you can expect from each year of the program. We also encourage you to take a closer look at student life in our program.
Our Kansas City campus is part of a world-class academic medical center, offering students unparalleled training opportunities in state-of-the-art facilities. Our students gain most of their clinical experience at The University of Kansas Hospital, a nationally accredited Level I Trauma Center and the only burn center in the Kansas City metropolitan area accredited by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association. Students also benefit from the expertise available in the KU School of Medicine's Department of Anesthesiology.
Our students also rotate to clinical affiliates, which provide a wider experience at different facilities and with varied cases. Several of these affiliates are outside the Kansas City area. Learn more about clinical experiences in our program.
Human patient simulation allows student nurse anesthetists to train in a dimension of virtual reality. Interactive training simulation offers small groups of learners the opportunity to develop and enhance clinical decision-making abilities, psychomotor skills, health assessment, monitoring and communication. This builds self-confidence and promotes patient safety for the practice of nurse anesthesia.
Simulation allows for active learning in a non-threatening “operating room” environment where an adult mannequin – supported by computers and specialized software – creates a patient that will breathe, blink, perfuse and respond to virtual pharmacologic agents. Inhalation agents can be utilized as well to provide a comprehensive anesthesia-based simulation experience. Students learn to interact with life-like human physiology to focus on basic and/or advanced anesthesia concepts without "harming" the patient.
The KU Department of Nurse Anesthesia Education started its current simulation program utilizing the METI HPS (Medical Educational Technologies, Inc./Human Patient Simulator) in Fall 2006. Overall, the scenario topics range from the typical anesthesia challenge to the rare crisis. Simulation scenarios have included basic induction techniques for general anesthesia, treatment of airway obstruction, dealing with intra-operative blood pressure changes, anaphylaxis and malignant hyperthermia. The program continues to look forward to integrating didactic knowledge with innovative teaching technologies to advance student skills, confidence, and promote patient safety.
Many courses in the program are offered online. In the final two years of the program, you will be able to continue progressing through coursework while you are primarily based in the clinic. Students in our program are able to more fully integrate their academic learning with their clinical experiences. Although courses are offered online, this is not a distance-learning program. All students must be based in the Kansas City area.
Graduate study is directed self-learning. We expect all of our students to be self-motivated and independent learners.
Learn more about the computer requirements for students in our program.
Credentials and Licensure
Graduates of the University of Kansas doctoral degree program in nurse anesthesia practice are eligible to take the national certification examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists. Successful completion of this exam is necessary to possess the certified registered nurse anesthetist credential required for employment in this field.
National certification is recognized in all 50 U.S. states and allows graduates to apply for licensure in the state(s) in which they seek employment. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists provides information on specific state licensure requirements.
KU's nurse anesthesia program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, 10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906, Rosemont, IL, 60018-5603; 224-275-9130, and the Kansas State Board of Nursing.
The University of Kansas is a member institution of and accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
Documents relating to accreditation status are available at the department office by request.