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The Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia 36-month entry into practice program was created for Registered Nurses (RN) with a baccalaureate degree who wish to continue their education to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and earn the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The program curriculum is delivered in a hybrid fashion, with both online and in-person activities. CRNAs are doctoral level advanced practice nurses who manage patients’ anesthesia care in every type of setting where anesthesia services are delivered. They collaborate with other healthcare professionals in virtually every area of healthcare.

Once matriculated as a full-time student, the first 18 months entail front-loaded didactic study combined with simulation experiences. During the didactic phase, students also begin the planning of their doctoral project. The remaining 18 months of the program are spent in full-time clinical residency training, where students learn to provide anesthesia care for patients of all acuity levels across the lifespan who are undergoing procedures of varying complexity. During clinical residency, students also complete and disseminate their doctoral project.

The didactic portion of the curriculum is further divided into two portions, with courses offered primarily through distance education during the first 9 months (Quarters 1-3). Students may complete this portion of the program from any location and attend a limited number of in-person class sessions at the North Chicago or Colorado Springs locations. During the second 9 months of the didactic phase (Quarters 4-6), students will participate in regular in-person class sessions with core faculty at the North Chicago campus, Huntley simulation center, or Colorado Springs locations. These in-person activities provide robust instruction on anesthesia pharmacology and principles of anesthesia, which are reinforced during weekly or bi-weekly simulation lab learning sessions.

We offer the in-person didactic portion of the program in two distinct locations: Illinois and Colorado. The majority of students attending RFU will be based in Illinois, with a smaller specified number of students in each cohort who may complete the majority of their didactic in-person education in Colorado. However, throughout the 36-month curriculum, all students within a cohort will participate together for 5 key events (several days to a week in length), involving highly structured in-person learning activities at the North Chicago campus and Huntley simulation center. These activities are intended to create a cohesive cohort, allow engagement with classmates and faculty, foster social interaction, and provide opportunities to explore the resources of the main campus.

Successful students will be awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree upon program completion and will be recommended to take the National Certification Exam for Nurse Anesthetists, a requirement for entry to practice as a CRNA. Graduate outcomes are consistent with the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) standards established for an entry-level practice doctorate degree in nurse anesthesia.