Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP)

Program Description

Bryan College of Health Sciences offers a 36-month program for Registered Nurses leading to a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) that is unique to Nebraska and the region. Graduates are eligible to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) upon passing the National Certification Exam. This two-phase program combines coursework in science, anesthetic principles and health care policy with hands-on clinical practice that begins early in the curriculum. Evidence based practice, informatics and professional leadership principles are integrated throughout the curriculum. 

A cohort begins the program in May of each year and all students in the cohort are enrolled in a full time status. The program is offered primarily in a face-to-face format, with selected courses offered in a hybrid format or online format (see Curriculum below). The courses delivered in the hybrid format combine face-to-face class sessions with online and independent learning.

Phase I and II

The curriculum design of the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program is organized around a series of educational goals explored through two distinct phases and culminating with the DNAP Scholarly Project. Phase I of the program begins in the summer semester and is comprised of twelve months of classroom study and clinical practice—including training on the state-of-the-art Human Patient Simulator that allows students to develop critical thinking while they hone their psychomotor skills. A theoretic basis for evidence based practice and clinical leadership is established with the Phase I coursework. Professional role development and an understanding of the healthcare delivery system are facilitated with coursework in leadership and health systems policy. The student will begin an observational experience in the clinical area early in the curriculum during the Principles of Anesthesia Practice II course. This allows the student to begin to integrate didactic knowledge with clinical performance.

In Phase II of the program, students engage in more active clinical practice and are mentored in the application of evidenced based practice and clinical leadership. . Students are assigned continuously to clinical experiences throughout this 24-month clinical residency and on average will complete approximately 3000 hours of clinical practice. Overnight and weekend call experiences are required as assigned. A series of four Advanced Principles of Anesthesia courses are included and students’ development of practice inquiry skills are encourage through the conduct of the DNAP Scholarly Project. The final semester includes a Synthesis course designed to assist the student in preparation for the National Certification Exam.

Students must be flexible, highly motivated, autonomous learners who can remain disciplined and focused during this rigorous graduate program. Students can expect to spend 50 to 60 hours per week in meeting the didactic and clinical demands of the program. 

At graduation, students who have completed this intensive, collaborative program receive a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice from Bryan College of Health Sciences. Graduates are eligible to take the National Certification Exam (NCE administered by the National Board of Certification & Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists. With a passing score on the NCE, the graduate will earn the designation of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).