What degree will I earn through successful completion of the program?
Graduates will earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a specialization in Nurse Anesthesia.
The DNP-NA Program is 36 months (9 semesters) in length requiring 101 credit hours.
When does the program start?
The program will start each year in August, at the beginning of the fall semester.
How many students are accepted each year?
We will admit up to 20 students per cohort.
Is part-time study available?
No, the program is designed for full-time study only.
The DNP core courses (semesters 1 and 2) are online. Anesthesia specialty courses (semesters 3 through 9) are in-person at Bellarmine University.
Will I Be Required To Travel Outside The Louisville Area For My Clinical Education Experiences?
All primary and specialty clinical rotations will take place at Norton Hospital; Norton Women's and Children's Hospital; Norton Audubon Hospital; Norton Brownsboro Hospital; and Norton Children's Hospital located in Louisville, Kentucky.
However, students may elect to complete an enrichment rotation at Baptist Health Hardin in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and/or Owensboro Health Regional Hospital in Owensboro, Kentucky, during the third year of the program.
How much time should I expect to commit to the program each week?
Students can expect to spend on average 64 hours each week in classes and/or at clinical sites.
Will I be able to work during the program?
The Program recognizes that refraining from employment may not be feasible in every situation; therefore, the Program does not deny the student nurse anesthetist the right to work and earn a wage outside the Program. However, student employment is
strongly discouraged due to the academic rigors of the Program. Students will gain more from their academic and clinical experiences without the additional burdens of work commitments.
What is considered critical care experience?
Critical care is defined by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) as: “Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a US military hospital
outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse has developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques.
A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (e.g., pulmonary artery, central venous pressure, and arterial catheters),
cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care,
pediatric intensive care….” (Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs, Practice Doctorate, 2016).
Areas not typically considered as critical care include, but not limited to PACU; Emergency Department; Cardiac Cath Lab; Operating Room.
Does your program accept transfer credits from other nurse anesthesia programs?
Requests to transfer from other anesthesia programs will be considered by the Program Administrator on a case-by-case basis. To be considered for transfer, applicants must meet all admission criteria AND submit a letter of support from the previous Program Administrator.
Due to the nature of the curriculum, anesthesia-focused courses outside of Bellarmine University are not transferrable nor to be used "in lieu of" courses in the DNP-NA Program of Study. In terms of non-anesthesia related courses, the transfer of credit will follow the "Transfer of Credit" policy as outlined in the Bellarmine University Course Catalog.
What are the GRE requirements?
Is financial assistance available?
Yes, financial assistance is available. Visit our Financial Aid website for more information.