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MUSC Bulletin | College of Health Professions

Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia

Angela Mund, CRNA, DNP, Division Director

Visit the Anesthesia for Nurses program website:

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) who have been providing quality anesthesia services in the United States for nearly 150 years. The longevity and growth of the specialty can be attributed directly to nurse anesthetists’ commitment to excellence and patient safety, their willingness to provide services when and where needed, and the provision of those services at reasonable cost.

Nurse Anesthetists practice in all 50 states and in all settings in which anesthesia is being delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites, office-based settings, ambulatory surgical centers, the military battlefield, and in pain management clinics.

CRNAs begin their education first as registered nurses (RN).  They obtain a baccalaureate degree with a significant emphasis on acquisition of knowledge in the basic sciences. Then, as RNs, they practice in a high acuity intensive care unit (ICU) for a minimum of 2 years prior to matriculating into a nurse anesthesia program.  Within the ICU clinical setting, RNs manage medical and post-surgical patients with life-threatening diseases and disorders by using their skills in critical thinking, evidence-based practice, and clinical judgment.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released a report on the Future of Nursing with recommendations that barriers should be removed to encourage full scope of practice opportunities for APRNs; that APRNs have increased education and training: and APRNs should be full partners in redesigning health care in the United States. To achieve some of those recommendations, Nurse Anesthesia Programs are transitioning to the doctoral degree as entry to clinical practice.

Last Published with Edits:July 7, 2014 9:08 AM
Last Comprehensive Review:July 2014

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