Program description

Nurse Anesthesia program

Dr. William Worrall Mayo, the founder of Mayo Clinic, began nurse anesthesia education in 1889. Mayo Clinic's nurse anesthesia program is the oldest continuously operating school of nurse anesthesia.

The practice of nurse anesthesia at Mayo Clinic involves the management of a patient's anesthetic care by a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Most anesthetics are provided within the care team environment.

When you successfully complete the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) Program, you are able to provide:

  • Preanesthetic preparation and evaluation
    • Explain upcoming medical procedures and anesthesia to patients
    • Assemble and test the medical equipment needed to administer anesthetics
    • Prepare prescribed solutions and start intravenous infusions
    • Perform preoperative physical assessment
  • Anesthesia induction, maintenance and emergence
    • Administer prescribed anesthetics, fluids, blood products and medications
    • Monitor patients to ensure anesthesia is maintained
    • Monitor patients during anesthesia and respond appropriately to vital signs and emergency situations, if necessary
    • Record each patient's vital signs, anesthetic procedures and case management — as well as all anesthetics, fluids and medications administered — before, during and after surgery
  • Postanesthetic care, recovery and assessment
  • Contributions to practice and profession
    • Enhanced evidence-based practice (EBP)
    • Critically evaluate and appraise research
    • Utilize technology to improve patient outcomes
    • Incorporate evidence-based practice principles into anesthetic care
    • Evaluate health care systems and environments for feasibility of clinical practice change
    • Participate in interprofessional and intraprofessional collaboration to affect practice improvement and enhanced patient outcomes
  • Participation in efforts to improve health policy and health care access for various patient populations

Mayo Clinic's Department of Anesthesiology uses state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. Approximately 80,000 anesthetics are administered at Mayo Clinic each year in the following areas:

  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Obstetrics
  • Diagnostic and interventional procedures
  • Ophthalmic surgery
  • Emergency surgery
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • General surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology surgery
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Outfield procedures
  • Neurological surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Plastic surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Transplant surgery
  • Ambulatory surgery


The DNAP Program at Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is accredited (October 2013 to 2023) by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
222 S. Prospect Ave.
Park Ridge, IL 60068-4001
Phone: 847-655-1160
Fax: 847-692-7137

See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.


The Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minnesota, includes an extensive outpatient complex, Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester (Saint Marys and Methodist campuses), and substantial research and education facilities. This Mayo Clinic site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

Also, six small rural hospitals in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa are utilized for a senior clinical rotation.

Graduation and certification

After successfully completing the program's coursework and passing the second National Self-Evaluation Exam (SEE), you are awarded a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, a part of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national certification examination administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists.


For the majority of the 42-month program, the learning schedule varies according to your academic, clinical and research schedules. Some weekend and off-shift calls are required. The average program time commitment is 60 hours a week.

Class size

Each year, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences admits up to 26 students in its DNAP Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester. This ensures you receive a comprehensive educational experience with close instruction.

Explore health care careers: Nurse anesthetist

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