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Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program (Minnesota)

Curriculum

DNAP student in simulation operating room checking vitals

The scope of nurse anesthesia is growing and expanding. Our curriculum reflects the rapidly changing industry, and contributes to our program’s status as a leader in nurse anesthesia education.

Mayo Clinic is a fully integrated, teaching hospital. Aside from your off-campus rotations, all didactic coursework and clinical experiences take place on the Rochester, Minnesota campus.

Didactic coursework

During your academic coursework, you’ll receive education and experience in doctor of nursing practice essentials, such as leadership, evidence-based practice, epidemiology, informatics, ethics, education, and health care policy and delivery.

Your classroom education will also be rooted in basic and advanced anesthesia sciences, investigational theory, and other foundational topics.

The academic portion of the traditional program totals 86 didactic semester credits. Of the didactic credits, 16 semester credits are capstone research and completion credits.

Clinical experiences

There are 30 total clinical credits that emphasize cognitive processing, problem-solving, and proficiency in psychomotor skills. You’ll gain experience in a wide variety of required novice and advanced clinical experiences as well as a wide variety of required novice and advanced nursing practice courses (essentials) with an emphasis in the nurse anesthesia profession.

Off-site rotations

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program senior students who are in good standing academically and clinically are required to rotate off-campus for a 10-week period. This rotation provides both regional anesthesia experience and clinical experience in a smaller, community-based environment.

Currently, students rotate to a Mayo Clinic Health System practice in either Austin, Minnesota; Albert Lea, Minnesota; Fairmont, Minnesota; Red Wing, Minnesota; Menomonie, Wisconsin; or to a non-Mayo site in Carroll, Iowa.

The 10-week off-campus rotation (OCR) takes place during the last 12 months of the program.

Mayo Clinic subsidizes the authorized associated travel costs and provides housing during this rotation.

Program schedule

The DNAP Program requires full-time study for 42 months. For the majority of the 42-month program, the learning schedule varies according to your academic, clinical, and scholarly work schedules. Some weekend and off-shift calls are required. The average program time commitment is 60 hours a week. All student registered nurse anesthetists must successfully complete the following course requirements.

First year course sequence

CourseSemesterTitleCredits
NA6001* Summer 1 Curriculum and Instruction for Nurse Anesthesia 1
NA6003* Summer 1 Introduction to Technology and the Practice of Nurse Anesthesia 2
NA6421* Summer 1 Statistics and Research Methods I 1
NA6130* Fall 1 Organizational and Systems Leadership 3
NA6140* Fall 1 Evidence-Based Practice 3
NA6422* Fall 1 Statistics and Research Methods II 2
NA6501* Fall 1 Scholarly Project I - Planning 2
NA6120* Spring 1 Nursing Information Management and Data-Based Decision-Making 3
NA6150* Spring 1 Health Policy/Quality Health Delivery 3
NA6400 Spring 1 Clinical Anatomy I 2
    Total 22

*Course is provided in hybrid distance education format.

Second year course sequence

CourseSemesterTitleCredits
NA6021 Summer 2 Pharmacology for Anesthesia I 4
NA6027 Summer 2 Physics for Anesthesia 2
NA6007 Fall 2 Medical Physiology I 2
NA6020 Fall 2 Fundamentals of Anesthesia 2
NA6025 Fall 2 Advanced Anesthesia Pharmacology 2
NA6026 Fall 2 Inorganic, Organic, Biochemistry for Anesthesia 2
NA6028 Fall 2 Introduction to Clinical Anesthesia 2
NA6030 Fall 2 Integrated Physiology & Pathophysiology 2
NA6206 Fall 2 Advanced Health Assessment 2
NA6502 Fall 2 Scholarly Project II - Implementation 3
NA6009 Fall 2-Spring 3 Enrichment Practicums 2
NA6008 Spring 2 Medical Physiology II 2
NA6050 Spring 2 Obstetric, Pediatric & Geriatric Anesthesia 3
NA6061 Spring 2 Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (ACRM) 2
NA6210 Spring 2 Case Conferences I 1
NA6401 Spring 2 Clinical Anatomy II 1
NA6503 Spring 2 Scholarly Project III - Analysis 3
    Total 37

Third year course sequence

CourseSemesterTitleCredits
NA6052 Summer 3 Neurosurgery and EENT Anesthesia 2
NA6200 Summer 3 Clinical and Certification Exam Enrichment 2
NA6004* Summer 3 Scholarly Project IV - Conclusions 4
NA6051 Fall 3 Cardiac, Vascular & Thoracic Anesthesia 2
NA6053* Fall 3 Regional Anesthesia/Pain 2
NA6211* Fall 3 Case Conferences II 1
NA6100* Spring 3 Professional Dimensions 3
NA6203 Spring 3 Comprehensive Anesthesia Review 1
NA6212* Spring 3 Case Conferences III 1
NA6410* Spring 3 Advanced Considerations in the Practice of  Anesthesia 2
    Total 20

*Course is provided in hybrid distance education format.

Fourth year course sequence

CourseSemesterTitleCredits
NA6505* Summer 4 Scholarly Project Dissemination 4
NA6205* Fall 4 Advanced Pathophysiology 2
NA6213* Fall 4 Case Conferences IV 1
    Total 7

*Course is provided in hybrid distance education format.

Clinicals

CourseTitleCredits
NA6300 Clinical Orientation & Competencies 1
NA6301 Clinical Anesthesia: South 2
NA6302 Clinical Anesthesia: N2 2
NA6304 Clinical Anesthesia: N1 2
NA6305 Clinical Anesthesia: Central 2
NA6306 Clinical Anesthesia: Multispecialty 2
NA6320 Clinical Anesthesia: Cardiovascular 2
NA6321 Clinical Anesthesia: Neuro 2
NA6322 Clinical Anesthesia: EENT/Oral 2
NA6323 Clinical Anesthesia: Obstetrics 2
NA6324 Clinical Anesthesia: Pediatrics 2
NA6325 Clinical Anesthesia: Off-Campus Rotation 2
NA6328 Research Methods Practicum* 1
NA6329 Clinical Anesthesia: Thoracic/Musculoskeletal 2
NA6330 Clinical Anesthesia: Resource and Gonda 2
NA6331 Advanced Practicums & Advanced Clinical Experience 2
  Total 30

*We currently do not charge tuition for clinical courses with the exception of NA 6328, which will occur during the first year.

Note: Guidelines dictate that students should have a minimum of a 10-hour break between clinical obligations.

Program outcome criteria

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

  • Preanesthetic preparation and evaluation
    • Explain upcoming medical procedures and anesthetic plans to patients
    • Assemble and ensure safe functioning of medical equipment needed to administer anesthetics
    • Prepare and administer medications and obtain intravenous access
    • Perform preoperative physical assessment
  • Anesthesia induction, maintenance, and emergence
    • Safely administer fluids and medications as part of general anesthetic, monitored anesthetic, and regional anesthetic cases
    • Assess patient status and response to anesthesia on a minute-to-minute basis, responding to hemodynamic changes with appropriate interventions to ensure patient safety 
    • Respond appropriately to emergency situations
    • Ensure accurate documentation of anesthesia-related procedures and medications throughout the perioperative period
  • 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

Graduation and certification

After successfully completing the program's coursework, scholarly project, 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.

Facilities

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 off-campus clinical rotation.

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

Teaching faculty

The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) Program is coordinated and taught by the clinical, scientific, and technical instructors from Mayo Clinic. Faculty members are chosen for their commitment to teaching as well as clinical practice and research. Many have published and lectured extensively and are highly regarded in their fields.

Instructors from Winona State University and faculty emeritus from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse teach physiology. Instructors from Winona State University and the nurse anesthesia core faculty team teach the DNAP first-year distance education ''essentials'' courses.

Students have access to research, clinical, and didactic faculty throughout the program and have the opportunity to learn directly from some of today's best anesthesiology and nurse anesthesia practitioners and educators.

The faculty direct and guide research, didactic, and clinical learning in an integrated system of practice and education. All anesthetics are administered under the direction of Mayo Clinic staff anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Grading or evaluation

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses evaluative tools and activities that include:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Class and seminar presentations
  • Class and clinical participation
  • Referenced papers
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

Mayo's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Grades are based on a percentage. Retesting may be required for test or assignment scores below 70 percent. A score less than 70 percent is considered a failure.