Feb 24, 2024  
2023-2025 Catalog Volume XXXI Ver 1 
2023-2025 Catalog Volume XXXI Ver 1

Nursing, Nursing Practice Degree with Concentration in Nurse Anesthesia, DNP


The purpose of the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) is to prepare the next generation of nurse anesthesiologists with the essential skills to serve society as compassionate clinicians, leaders, administrators, and educators.

Program Overview

The DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program is a continuous 36-month (12-quarter) full-time BSN to DNP course of study. The NAP is front-loaded with didactic courses that are delivered via hybrid design. Most of the courses are conducted via combined web-intensive education utilizing both synchronous and asynchronous methods, led by faculty expert both in subject matter and distance education principles of excellence. Residents also come together at the Parkside Campus in Knoxville, TN for face-to-face intensive instruction in complex lecture topics, skills labs, and/or simulation training. The total program credit hours are 188 quarter credits.

Program Outcomes

Graduates completing the Doctor of Nursing Practice with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia program will accomplish the following outcomes:

DNP Program Outcome 

AACN DNP Essentials 

COA Graduate Standards

1. Synthesize scientific evidence and methods to design, direct, and evaluate strategies to promote and provide effective patient-centered care. 

AACN: Essential I, III 

COA: Perianesthesia (D.1-D.12)

Critical Thinking (D.13-D.24)

2. Incorporate leadership skills and interprofessional team building strategies to improve quality metrics within healthcare systems, organizations, and diverse practice settings. 

AACN: Essential II 

COA: Leadership (D.31-D.32)

Communication (D.25-D.30)

3. Employ information systems and technology in the delivery of transformative healthcare. 

AACN: Essential IV 

COA: Patient Safety (D.1-D.4)

Communication (D.25-D.30)

4. Advocate for evidence-based health policy to improve local, national, and/or global patient and health population outcomes. 

AACN: Essential V 

COA: Professional Role (D.33-D.51)

5. Utilize effective interprofessional communication and collaborative skills to facilitate improvement in population health. 

AACN: Essential VI 

COA: Communication (D.25-D.30)

6. Apply advanced levels of clinical judgment and systems thinking in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence-based care for clinical treatment, clinical prevention, and improvement of population health. 

AACN: Essential VII, VIII 

COA: All Graduate Standards (D.1-D.51)

Nurse Anesthesia Certification/Licensure

Licensure as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is regulated by individual states and is overseen by State Boards of Nursing. All 50 states require graduation from a COA accredited program and a passing score on the National Certification Exam (NCE) to obtain licensure and practice as a CRNA. The NCE is administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Further information regarding the NCE can be obtained at https://www.nbcrna.com/initial-certification. The South College DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) is a COA accredited program which aims to prepare graduates to sit for the NCE; however, graduation from the DNP NAP does not guarantee a passing score on the NCE. Some states have unique licensure requirements; these unique requirements are not associated with preparation in the South College DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program and must be met by the graduate. Information on individual state licensing requirements may be obtained at https://www.ncsbn.org/14730.htm.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

Applicants to the South College Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with concentration in Nurse Anesthesia Program must meet the following:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree in Nursing from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Hold an unencumbered license as a registered nurse and/or as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) in the United States (US), or its territories or protectorates. Licensure will be verified by Nursys or licensure verification system provided by individual state boards of nursing.
  3. Hold current certifications in BLS, ACLS, and PALS upon application to the DNP NAP or complete the requirements prior to program matriculation.
  4. Applicants must have been employed full-time for a minimum of one year, or its part-time equivalent (total 2080 hours), within the past two years in a critical care setting at the time of application to the South College DNP NAP.
    1. During the application process, the length of critical care experience must be verified in the required letter of recommendation from a critical care supervisor.
  5. Applicants must have status as a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident.
  6. Cumulative GPA for all post-secondary work is required to be a minimum of 3.0.
    1. If GPA requirement not met, applicant may appeal in writing to the Nurse Anesthesia Program Admissions Committee.
  7. Science specific courses minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required.
    1. If GPA requirement not met, applicant may appeal in writing to the Nurse Anesthesia Program Admissions Committee.
  8. Hold a current certification as a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN).  An alternate critical care specialty certification may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  9. Submission of the following: 
    1. Three letters of recommendation.
      1. One must be from a current employer/critical care supervisor who can confirm the length of applicant’s experience in critical care nursing.
      2. At least two of the letters must be from healthcare providers. 
    2. Two occasions documented with the applicant shadowing a CRNA or an anesthesiologist. One MUST be with a CRNA. A minimum of 16 hours of shadowing time is required.
    3. Current resume or CV.
    4. Personal statement (600 words max) describing the applicant’s rationale in their pursuit of a practice doctorate in nurse anesthesia and possible future roles as a CRNA.
    5. Criminal background and drug screening.
    6. Practice Survey.
    7. Employment Verification Form.
  10. Complete admissions interview.
  11. Post-interview selection by the DNP NAP Admissions Committee.
  12. Completion of all pre-matriculation requirements.

Grading System

The following grades are used in the determination of a resident’s grade point average unless otherwise indicated. Residents must maintain a cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.00 to remain in the graduate program.


Quality Points
















Below 60








Minimum Requirements for Progression

The DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program follows the above-mentioned grading scale for all courses, except for courses with a Pass/Fail (P/F) option. Residents must maintain a cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.00 to remain in the graduate program. Final course grades below 79.5% (B) are not considered passing.

To progress academically:

  1. Residents must maintain a G.P.A. of 3.00 and earn a minimum grade of (B) in all program courses, or (P) in a course with a P/F option.
  2. A resident who does not earn a minimum grade of (B) in any course, or a (P) in a course with a P/F option, will not meet academic progression standards.
  3. Failure to meet academic progression standards is considered unsafe practice; therefore, the resident will be dismissed from the program.
  4. Residents will be notified of dismissal in writing by the DNP NAP Committee. Any resident dismissed from the DNP NAP is not eligible for readmission.

Residents are responsible for contacting their course faculty and faculty advisor at the first sign of their course grade falling below 79.5% to institute an action plan for correction. If necessary, appointments outside of regularly scheduled advising should be made.

Graduation Requirements

For a resident to graduate from the Doctor of Nursing Practice with a Concentration in Nurse Anesthesia program, the resident must be in a good academic and professional standing, have had satisfactory progress in all quarters of the academic program, and satisfactorily complete the following:

  • Completion of all required didactic and clinical courses with a grade of (B) or better.
    • The resident normally must complete the course requirements in the catalog in effect when the resident enrolled. However, academic programs are subject to change at the discretion of the institution.
  • Completion of all categories of clinical procedures, cases, and anesthesia time commitments required by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).
  • Completion and dissemination of the DNP Scholarly Project.
  • The resident must abide by all college rules and regulations and settle any financial obligations prior to graduation.
  • Submission of a completed application for graduation to the faculty advisor no later than the first day of the quarter in which the resident plans to graduate.

South College reserves the right, and the resident, by the act of matriculation, concedes to give South College the right to require withdrawal at any time the college deems it necessary to safeguard the standards of scholarship, conduct, and compliance with regulations, or for such other reasons deemed appropriate by South College as set forth in the South College Resident Handbook and/or the South College Catalog.

Transfer Credit

No transfer credit is accepted by the program.

Dismissal from the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program

Grounds for dismissal from the Nurse Anesthesia Program are as follows:

  1. Insufficient academic progress or clinical performance defined as failing any course.
  2. Nonpayment of fees.
  3. Failure to comply with rules and/or policies as written in the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program Resident and Faculty Handbook, the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program Clinical Handbook, the South College Resident Handbook, and/or the South College Catalog.
  4. Falsification of application to South College, the School of Nursing, or the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program.
  5. Any violation of Academic Integrity (cheating, plagiarism, sharing exams, obtaining unauthorized digital copies of exams, etc.).
  6. Unprofessional, unsafe, or unethical behavior in any setting.
  7. Failure to meet attendance requirements.
  8. Failure to maintain compliance with clinical agency requirements which prevent the resident from attending practicum.

The DNP NAP Committee may order the dismissal of a resident for any of the above stated reasons. The Committee will notify the resident of their dismissal in writing within 3 business days of the rendered decision.

Nursing Curriculum:188 Credits