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Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia

Frequently Asked Questions

This program is no longer accepting applications. The last Master’s of Science in Nurse Anesthesia class will graduate in December 2018. The AFN Division has converted to the entry level Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice. Please visit our webpage HERE.

What type of nursing experience is required for admission to the master of science in nurse anesthesia program?
To be eligible, a candidate must have a minimum of one year as a Registered Nurse in a critical care setting when he/she applies to the program. This includes areas such as Medical Intensive Care, Surgical Intensive Care, Acute Coronary Care, or Neonatal Intensive Care; unit designations vary among hospitals. We currently do not accept Emergency Room or Post-Anesthesia Care Unit experiences as adequate to meet this requirement. Students are required to have current ACLS and PALS certification at the time of application and admission.

How many applicants do you have each year?
On average we receive, 120-150 fully qualified applicants each year. Of this number, we interview approximately 60.

Are all applicants invited for interviews?
No. Admission into our program is very competitive. All submitted applications are reviewed by our Admissions Subcommittee. All aspects of the application are thoroughly evaluated by the committee, including overall GPA, basic science GPA, clinical experience, reference letters, and the personal statement. Interview offers are extended to those applicants the committee feels are most qualified.

What can I expect during the interview?
All interviews will be conducted at the College of Health Professions building on the MUSC campus. The interview day includes a description of the program, and an interview during which the applicant will meet with several students, faculty members, staff CRNAs, and the program director.

How many students are admitted to each class?
We admit 27 to 29 students per class. This number varies depending on the quality of the applicant pool. Only students who demonstrate high scholastic achievement, a strong clinical background, and the commitment to become a CRNA are admitted.

What are the typical admission statistics for admitted students?
Admitted students typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.45 or greater, 24 months of critical care nursing experience, and have completed all prerequisite coursework.

Is financial aid available?
Yes, financial aid services are available and can be found at

Do your students compete with anesthesia residents?
We only share our rotations at the MUSC campus with anesthesiology residents. These sites include MUSC Main hospital, Ashley River Tower, Rutledge Tower and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Are students allowed to perform their own regional anesthesia?
Yes. In addition to very comprehensive didactic training that includes a human cadaver lab, our students gain hands-on regional experience at many of our clinical sites. Students learn and are allowed to perform blocks for spinal anesthesia, epidural anesthesia as well as many of the currently used peripheral anesthesia blocks such as axillary, supraclavicular & infraclavicular blocks, interscalene blocks, ankle blocks, and many lower extremity regional blocks.

What are the graduation requirements?
Candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia must be recommended by the faculty and:

  • Complete all requirements for the prescribed curriculum.
  • Earn a cumulative GPA 3.0 or greater with no more than two course grades less than a 3.0 in all work presented for graduation.
  • Perform a minimum of 650 anesthetics as well as meet all clinical requirements as specified by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists.
  • Successfully complete a written comprehensive examination.

How do your graduates perform on the National Certification Exam (NCE)?

MUSC graduates have consistenetly achieved a passing rate above the national average.

Graduating Class1st Time Pass RateOverall Pass RateAttrition Rate

What is the employment rate for new graduates?
Since 2010, 100% of graduates have found employment within 6 months of graduation.

What are the estimated additional costs of the program? 
Each year the additional costs of the program (lab coats, drug screens, malpractice insurance, etc.) are reviewed and approved by the outgoing Class President. The Class President reviews the prior years' cost and makes changes based on actual experience. The estimated additional costs are published in the Administrative and Student Manual, which is updated each spring.



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