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Prospective students must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for entry into the program:

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Application Packets for the class beginning May 2024 must be completed by April 1, 2023.

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  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree program with an NLNAC or CCNE accredited major in nursing from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent as determined by the Department of Nursing Faculty.
  • Grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher. Students not meeting this grade point average requirement may be admitted to conditional status on the recommendation of the faculty.
  • Transcripts from all previously attended institutions of higher education, please provide original transcripts.
  • Current RN licensure in Pennsylvania; Current home state licensure for the application process is acceptable.
  • Successful completion of the following courses: a statistics course that covered descriptive and inferential statistics, a physical assessment course, and a nursing research course.
  • A personal goal statement. In 400 words or less, please provide an academic statement that provides insight into your journey into the nurse anesthesia profession.
  • CRNA Shadow log, Each applicant will keep a log of visit(s) to the operating room. It should contain the hours they were there, with whom they spent time, and a reflective statement. Please have the CRNA sign your shadow log. (8-hour minimum).
  • Current CV
  • Recommendation letters (3) with recommendation forms
    • We encourage you to obtain a CRNA mentor to whom you can ask questions and gain insight into the Nurse Anesthesia profession. CRNA recommendation letter is encouraged.
    • To ensure your recommendations are a true reflection of your abilities and skills, ask someone who can speak to your level of expertise and professionalism.
    • A letter and recommendation form is required to be completed by the recommender.
  • A minimum of one year of critical care experience in the role of a Registered Nurse, defined as experience in personally caring for patients with invasive monitoring devices (arterial line, central venous pressure line, and pulmonary artery occlusion catheters), vasoactive infusions, ECG interpretation, and caring for mechanically ventilated patients.
  • Current BLS, ACLS, and PALS certifications.  ( PALS is not required until accepted).


Observation opportunities are available for students interested in applying to the program. We are offering prospective students the opportunity to observe a class either in person or via zoom.

Please contact Stacey Holtzman, Program Administrator to set up a class observation day by calling (717)-815-6550.


Application and Admission

Is there a deadline for my application?
Yes; we are now accepting applications for the Class of 2027. They must be complete by April 1, 2023.

How many students do you admit each year?
The Nurse Anesthetist Program admits 16-18 students each year.

Do you interview everyone who applies to the program?
The number of applicants interviewed is determined by the number of positions available. Approximately 4 times the number of available slots will be invited to interview.

How long after the application deadline does the interview process begin?
Selected applicants are notified approximately two to four weeks after the application deadline and scheduled for an interview within the following month.

Is there a waiting list for admission?
The Nurse Anesthetist Program will not maintain a waiting list of prospective applicants. Unsuccessful applicants may reapply in the following years.

Applicants whose first language is not English?
Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum score of 600 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Graduates of foreign nursing programs must also have transcripts and application materials evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.

Which graduate or undergraduate courses might be helpful to me as a nurse anesthesia student?
Undergraduate or graduate courses in research, statistics, and health assessment are prerequisites for admission. Courses in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, physics, organic chemistry, and biochemistry are suggested, but not required. You may wish to consider additional education in those areas of the sciences in which you feel you are weak.

Do I have to obtain my own liability insurance for clinical rotations?
Liability insurance with specific coverage for nurse anesthesia students must be purchased before beginning the clinical phase of the program. Information about policy options available through AANA Insurance Services will be provided after enrollment.

Financial Aid

Is financial assistance available?
Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information, regarding programs that may be available to provide you with financial assistance
General Information: (717) 849-1682/
Location: Miller Administration Building, Room 138
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm
Eric Dinsmore, Financial Assistance Director
(717) 815-1226

Education and Experience Prerequisites

Must I have an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN)?
Yes. Although some nurse anesthesia programs allow the RN applicant to have a degree in another field, the program requires the student to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Can I apply for admission if I am enrolled in a degree completion program and scheduled to finish my BSN after the application deadline?
Yes, a registered nurse who is enrolled in a BSN completion program may apply, however, given the competitive nature of the applicant pool,  a completed BSN degree is preferred.

What is the average nursing experience, in years, for accepted applicants?
Applicants are required to have at least one year of critical care experience as a registered nurse when entering the program. Most individuals accepted in Nurse Anesthetist Programs have at least 2-4 years of experience.

Which type of clinical experience is preferred?
Applicants are encouraged to practice in clinical environments that require dynamic decision-making while caring for patients with continuous ECG monitoring, invasive lines (such as a pulmonary artery, central venous, and arterial catheters), vasoactive infusions, and ventilatory support. Most applicants obtain these experiences in surgical, cardiothoracic, trauma, or medical intensive care units; however, we are interested in the quality of nursing experience, not a unit’s name.

Does it matter if all my clinical experience is with neonatal or pediatric patients?
The majority of students enter the program with adult critical care nursing experience; however, this is not mandatory. Students having only pediatric nursing experience should ensure they have some background in providing care for adult patients, as the majority of their education will be in this venue.

Program Format

Is your program offered by distance learning?

Can I attend your program on a part-time basis?
The Nurse Anesthetist Program currently admits only on a full-time basis.

Student Housing

Is housing available for graduate students?
No, students must make their own arrangements for housing.


How many hours per week can I work while enrolled in the program?
Outside employment is discouraged because of the intense nature of the program.

Tips for a Successful Application

Many prospective students ask how they can make their applications more competitive. Here are some tips which might assist you in that process. It is important to remember that the use of any or all of these techniques in no way guarantees your entrance into the Nurse Anesthetist Program.

Goal Statement
In addition to answering the questions at the top of the autobiographical statement, your letter should tell us who you are and what you hope to achieve personally and professionally by attending this program. This letter plays a role in the selection of applicants for interviews. Instructions for writing your goals statement can be found on the checklist in the application packet, which will be emailed to you.

Curriculum Vitae

Your CV should be both clear and concise and should provide a good overview of your professional life. Avoid jargon (“CVICU” could be anything, the “Post-operative Open Heart Surgery Unit” only describes one thing.
Critical Care Experience: What you do in the ICU is more important than the type of ICU. Your practice should include ECG interpretation, management of invasive monitors, the use and titration of vasoactive substances, and
ventilator management.


Your recommendations should include a nurse anesthetist with whom you have spent time, and if possible, one of your academic instructors familiar with your work and study habits. We are part of the School of Nursing, so recommendations from nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), nursing instructors, and nursing administrators are important.


We look at your transcript carefully, on a grade-by-grade basis. Your science and mathematics courses are carefully scrutinized.  Please request original copies of your transcripts.