Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Competencies


Prospective DNAP students are also expected to meet the competencies listed below. The list is divided into essential competencies that we feel every applicant must have, and supplemental competencies that would enhance a student’s success in the program.

Essential Communication Skills:

  • Ability to communicate in English in both written and verbal modes
  • Computer skills to include basic keyboarding, basic word processing, Internet navigation, e-mail communication, and familiarity in a “Windows” environment.

Supplemental Communication Skills:

  • Computer skills to include intermediate word processing, basic spreadsheet, and basic presentation software skills (Word, Excel and PowerPoint preferred)
  • Written and verbal communication skills including previous publications and experience providing lectures, peer teaching, in-service education, and similar activities

Essential General Cognitive Skills:

  • Ability to problem-solve and think critically in making decisions about patient care
  • Skill in receiving information from multiple sources at the same time and simultaneously processing the information
  • Ability to make good decisions in very short time frames

Supplemental General Cognitive Skills:

  • Ability to manage multiple data streams and make rapid judgments, e.g., triage care of multiple patients

Essential Clinical Nursing Skills:

  • Students should possess understanding of and experience in all areas of basic pharmacology, including classification of drugs, dosages, actions, and side effects. Knowledge of vasoactive drugs, anti-arrhythmics, beta blockers and alpha blockers is essential.
  • Current card indicating completion of the American Heart Association approved Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Understanding of and ability to function using good aseptic/sterile technique
  • Excellent skills in obtaining nursing history and doing physical assessment
  • Experience with intravenous therapy including insertion of peripheral lines, administration of drugs, fluids, and blood
  • Interpretation of basic electrocardiogram tracings, including identification of rate and rhythm changes
  • Interpretation of blood/gas values, application of acid base theory to interpretation, and clinical evaluation
  • Understanding and interpretation of basic laboratory values, including electrolytes, renal and liver function tests, and cardiac enzymes
  • Understanding and application of universal precautions/body substance isolation in the care of all patients
  • Students should possess knowledge of invasive monitoring techniques—for example, waveform and data interpretation. The applicant must provide evidence of this competency in the form of workshop CEU certification, positive indication on a Clinical Skills Assessment form, or documentation of observation or shadowing experience.

Supplemental Clinical Nursing Skills:

  • Advanced pharmacology experience, including use of vasoactive drugs, anti-arrhythmics, beta blockers, and alpha blockers
  • Advanced intravenous skills, including insertion and care of peripherally inserted central lines (PICC lines)
  • Care of the patient with central lines, including pulmonary artery catheters and interpretation of the waveforms and data obtained from this type of monitoring
  • Care of the patient with arterial lines and interpretation of the waveforms and data obtained from this type of monitoring
  • Interpretation of 12 lead electrocardiograms and application to the clinical care of this patient
  • Experience in the care of patients on ventilator support, including evaluation and monitoring of patients with artificial airways, endotracheal tubes, tracheostomy tubes, etc.
  • Experience in care of neonatal patients, obstetrical patients, and patients in the operating room