New Nurse Anesthesia doctoral program fully accredited, accepting applicants

February 21, 2023

anesthesia mask being lowered to patient from patient perspective

The new Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia (DNP-NA) program at Bellarmine University is now fully accredited. Faculty will begin interviewing applicants in March for the inaugural group of students and classes will begin in August.

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) accredits nurse anesthesia programs within the United States and Puerto Rico that award post-master’s certificates and master’s or doctoral degrees, including programs offering distance education. 

A student must graduate from an accredited program to be eligible for national certification.

“Receiving initial accreditation is a culmination of months of preparation and signifies that our program has met the national standards for quality nurse anesthesia education,” said Dr. Carly Mitchell, director of Bellarmine’s DNP-NA program.

Bellarmine’s program has also been approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and Kentucky’s Council of Postsecondary Education.

The program will begin accepting applications for the second group of students in August 2023, and they will begin the program in August 2024.

The DNP-NA program, which was announced in December 2022, is supported with funding from a five-year, $2.4 million partnership with Norton Healthcare. The program will prepare nurses for high-paying jobs and a higher level of autonomy in a growing career field.

Nurse anesthetists practice in virtually every healthcare setting, including surgical suite, labor and delivery units, endoscopy, lithotripsy and interventional areas. They can practice without a physician’s supervision making them a valuable addition to the provider team in a variety of healthcare situations.

Bellarmine’s partnership with Norton Healthcare will allow students in the DNP-NA program to complete all of their required clinical education experiences in Norton Healthcare hospitals, without having to leave the Louisville area.

Applicants to the DNP-NA program must have a BSN or higher degree from a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited nursing program and proof of active, unrestricted license to practice nursing in Kentucky and/or compact states. Certification as a Critical Care Registered Nurse and a minimum of one year of current, continuous full-time employment as a registered nurse in a critical care setting are required.

The 36-month DNP-NA program is divided into nine semesters. The first two semesters consist of full-time study online, followed by seven semesters of full-time study on-site. For more information and to apply, visit the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia page.


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