Top 25 Online DNAP Programs 2019

Just as nurse practitioners have taken over many of the duties once expected of physicians, nurse anesthetists have become crucial parts of the healthcare system, taking on the role that has previously been left to anesthesiologists. There are many reasons for the shift, the main one being purely practical – nurses are much more plentiful than physicians, and the process of training a nurse anesthesiologist is much less intensive than educating a physician anesthesiologist. That means, in a healthcare system that is booming in size and complexity, and already strained, nurse anesthetists are more valuable than ever.

The Benefits of Online CRNA Programs

While nurse anesthetists have previously needed only a master’s degree, just as for Nurse Practitioners, the standards for nurse anesthesia are increasing. According to AANA standards, by 2025 any student who wants to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (the standard license for the field) must have a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. That means that all MSN-NA programs offered today will be phased out by 2022, but it also means that many nurses now are already opting to earn their DNP in preparation of the change in standards.

The demands of a Doctor of Nursing Anesthetic Practice are high – it’s not an easy degree to earn, by any means – but DNP Anesthesia online programs are excellent options for working nurses who want to move into a career as a nurse anesthetist. Many programs are available fully online, with no residency requirements at all, and clinical experiences arranged in the students’ home area; others are hybrids, with online courses and on-campus intensives or short residencies. However, some BSN to DNAP programs are only available on-campus, due to their demanding nature; on the plus side, these programs often have the kinds of connections that can guarantee a job after graduation.

Ranking the Best BSN to DNAP Programs

With Nurse Anesthetist programs proliferating, whether online, hybrid, or low-residency, working nurses who are ready to make the leap to a DNP have a lot of options, and it’s hard to know which ones are the right choice. While many online CRNA programs claim to be convenient and easy, they’re not all reputable. Online PhD Review has surveyed the field of online and hybrid BSN to DNAP programs in the US, and we’ve ranked the top programs for their value and quality.

The Top 25 BSN to DNAP Programs ranking uses three criteria for ranking programs:

  • Cost (current IPEDs data)
  • Reputation (current Niche rating)
  • ROI (current College Scorecard alumni salary)

The DNP Anesthesia online programs featured by Online PhD Review are regionally accredited, and many are also accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, the standard for CRNA certification set by the AANA.

1. University of Maryland, Baltimore

The oldest campus of the University of Maryland system, the University of Maryland, Baltimore is the system’s special-focus institution, and has played a central role in healthcare and medicine in Maryland for more than two centuries. The University of Maryland, Baltimore, is home of the University of Maryland Medical System, the largest and most influential academic health system in the region. In addition, UM is home to some of the oldest health science schools in the nation, including the School of Medicine, founded in 1807, and the School of Nursing, founded in 1889.

The UMB DNP-Nurse Anesthesia specialization degree program is a truly exceptional program from one of the nation’s largest and most trusted nursing schools. This multidisciplinary program is designed to give prospective nurse anesthetists a full view of the career, from chemistry and pharmacology to research and analysis. Applicants may have a BSN or MSN, or already be working as nurse practitioners and looking to change career. With a 100% pass rate (within two tries) for the AANA certification exam, and 100% employment within three months of graduation, it’s one the most successful BSN to DNAP programs out there.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

2. University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo is essentially the SUNY system’s flagship, though it doesn’t have that name; however, with the largest student body, largest endowment, and highest Carnegie Classification (R1), Buffalo is a leader in the Northeast. UB is particularly known for its exceptional medical and health science programs, with the largest medical school in the state, as well as schools of dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing making up the UB Academic Health Center, upstate New York’s premier academic health complex. The UB School of Nursing, founded in 1936, is widely recognized as one of the foremost nursing schools in the North.

For convenient BSN to DNAP programs, the University at Buffalo’s hybrid Post-BS to DNP degree program provides nearly half of all course content entirely online. Students can choose to pursue their doctorate full-time or part-time, giving them the opportunity to complete the degree in 3-7 years. The hybrid nature of the program is valuable, because UB’s state-of-the-art Patient Simulation Center provides students with the most realistic possible experience through contemporary technology. Students who already have an MSN degree are given priority for online courses, to make their career jump faster.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

3. Villanova University

One of the oldest and most esteemed Catholic colleges in the US, Villanova University was founded in 1842, only to be tragically burned down by nativist rioters only a few years later. Villanova’s faith in their mission kept the college going through prejudice, through the Civil War, and through more difficulties. The school of nursing played a significant role in making Villanova coeducational when it opened in 1953, and today the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is widely recognized as one of the bests in the nation. The National League for Nursing has named the Fitzpatrick College a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.

Villanova’s hybrid Nurse Anesthesia DNP degree program is designed through a collaboration between the Fitzpatrick College and the Crozer-Chester Medical Center, giving students a thorough understanding of both theoretical knowledge and practical experience. The program is highly developed, with classroom learning and clinical experience carefully integrated, and all DNP-NA students are paired with an experienced nurse anesthetist during their clinical experience. Clear goals and outcomes help ensure that Villanova keeps its outstanding 100% pass rate for the nurse anesthetist certification exam, making Villanova a standout among BSN to DNAP programs.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

4. Augusta University

A distinguished part of the University System of Georgia, Augusta University was founded in 1828 as the first medical school in the state of Georgia. In its nearly 200 year history, Augusta University has developed into a comprehensive public research institution, offering a full selection of programs in areas like education and business, but medicine and healthcare have remained always at Augusta’s center. The Augusta University Medical Center is the state’s only academic medical complex, while the College of Nursing is consistently recognized as one of the best in Georgia.

Augusta University’s hybrid Nurse Anesthesia DNP degree program recently made the transition from a master’s program to prepare for AANA’s change in standards. With this leap forward, Augusta is maintaining its long history of excellence in graduate education, while preparing students for the next phase of the profession. The hybrid program allows students to take their coursework in an interactive online format, with courses taught by experienced practitioners in the field. Full-time students are expected to complete their degree within three years, and graduates are eligible to sit for national certification exams – with Augusta boasting a 94% first-time pass rate.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

5. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is a top-tier national research university that has been recognized as a Public Ivy, and since 1851 UMN has been regarded as the Midwest’s preeminent public research institution. UMN is crucial to healthcare teaching and education for Minnesota and much of the Midwest, with one of the nation’s largest Academic Health Centers and the state’s foremost medical, pharmacy, and nursing schools. The UMN School of Nursing, in particular, is a trailblazer in higher education, having been founded in 1909 as the first university-based nursing program (previously, nurses were educated in hospitals, on the job).

The UMN School of Nursing invented the BSN, invented the DNP, and supplies more than half of Minnesota’s nurse practitioners, so they know a little something about designing online CRNA programs. The University of Minnesota online Nurse Anesthesia DNP degree program builds on the expertise and authority of the nation’s oldest nursing school to create a convenient, flexible opportunity for working nurses to transform their careers. All coursework is available online, though students will need to attend a brief, 4-day intensive each semester at the Twin Cities campus.

Format: Hybrid (Primarily Online)
Cost: $$$$$

6. Yale University/Yale-New Haven Hospital

Yale-New Haven Hospital started as a training school for nurses in 1873 – only the third nurse training school ever operated within the United States. In 1913, an alliance was formed between Yale School of Medicine and New Haven Hospital to offer both patient care and medical training under a single entity. Currently, the teaching hospital has over 2,000 in-patient beds and employs more than 8,000 medical professionals. Graduate school offerings from Yale-New Haven Hospital include 90 residency and fellowship programs alongside the School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Yale-New Haven Hospital’s hybrid DNAP program has received national accreditation and follows the guidelines dictated by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Prospective DNAP students atYale-New Haven Hospital will need to obtain CCRN certification and have proof of taking the GRE within the last five years. The BSN to DNAP program also requires one year of critical care experience and a current nursing license. With a 100 percent employment rate among graduates of the DNAP from Yale New Haven Hospital, this program has proven to advance nursing careers.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

7. University of North Dakota

In 1883, the University of North Dakota was established, six years prior to North Dakota becoming a state. Located in the middle of farmland, the earliest of students were required to travel by horse and buggy to attend university courses. Today, the college is the fourth largest employer in the state and offers competitive online degree programs in addition to traditional programs of study. The College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines was created to help advance the careers of medical professionals by providing a high-quality education.

The UND online DNAP degree is a recent addition to the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines at the University of North Dakota. The program requires a total of 97 credit hours that are completed over a period of nine semesters. Alongside coursework, clinical anesthesia procedures will be taught in a variety of urban and rural medical settings. Chances of success are high within the program. In 2017, 100 percent of first time test takers passed the National Certification Examination (NCE) given by the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). After passing, students will be certified as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and available to apply for state licensure.

Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

8. Emory University

Emory University has a national ranking of 21 from the U.S. New and World Report’s listing of top colleges and universities. This honor is credited in part to the number of distinguished faculty employed by Emory University. As an example, the School of Nursing’s faculty is made up of the leading healthcare professionals in the nation including fellows from the American Academy of Nursing, members of the Institute of Medicine, and March of Dimes Nurse of the Year award winners.

The DNP program at Emory University is a graduate program that allows students to earn a Doctor of Nursing degree with a specialty in nursing anesthesia. Emory’s School of Nursing is the top-ranked nursing school in the state of Georgia and the 4th-ranked nursing school in the nation. Although practical skills are emphasized in the program of study, business and leadership skills are also highlighted. The DNP program at Emory University has accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and can be completed within a 36-month timeframe. With nationwide partnerships, students can perform clinical training at 500 different healthcare sites.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

9. University of Pittsburgh

For over 75 years, the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing has prepared nurses to take on leadership roles at healthcare facilities around the globe. In 1939, the institution launched a BSN degree program before expanding to include Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. Doctoral programs were integrated into the nursing school programs as a reflection of changes enacted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Each year, the University of Pittsburgh receives millions in funding from NIH to conduct nursing research projects.

The University of Pittsburgh offers a MSN to DNP online program to qualified applicants. The online DNP program consists of 8 semesters with a total of 36 doctoral credits. To graduates from the program, a DNP project is required to confirm a grasp of the material covered in the nurse anesthesia curriculum. Programs may be adjusted based on the type of courses previously completed while earning a MSN degree. The School of Nursing’s nurse anesthetist programs set up to ensure students will flourish. In 2016, University of Pittsburgh nurse anesthetist certification pass rates were reported at 100 percent.

Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

10. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona is the state’s flagship, the first university founded in the Arizona Territory in 1885, nearly 40 years before Arizona was admitted to statehood. UA Online is an distance-based division of the University of Arizona with the goal of offering the same types of degrees as the flagship university. Honors bestowed on the university include being named the top college in Arizona by Forbes in 2017 and being in the top 15 percent for online degree programs, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2018.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program from the University of Arizona blends different types of learning environments as a way for candidates to become certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). Course requirements include online classes, in-person training sessions and a clinical residency. The nurse anesthesia curriculum can be completed in as little as 36 months for the full time student. The University of Arizona online DNP program has very low tuition costs when compared to similar degree programs with scholarships and lending options available.

Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

11. Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University is a private Christian co-ed college located in the heart of Fort Worth. Texas Christian University has the distinction of being classified as a highly selective Tier 1 University and Doctoral College by U.S. News & World Report. The Harris School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Texas Christian University has a long-standing record of outstanding achievement in the advancement and education of healthcare professionals. Their nursing doctoral program is ranked as one of the top 80 graduate programs in the nation.

The Harris School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers Texas Christian’s Doctor of Nursing Practice-Anesthesia (DNP-A) program of study. The 36-month program is separated into two portions: 20 months of coursework followed by a 16-month residency. At the conclusion of successfully completing the program, students will have earned the title of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA). With the DNP-A program from Texas Christian University a standout feature is that tuition is fixed and never subject to increase.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

12. Union University

Union University was founded in 1823 as a Baptist college and provides a Christian education to undergraduate students and graduate nursing students. The School of Nursing at Union University has a total of 37 educational tracks for nurses pursuing a BSN, MSN or DNP. The tracks have accelerated degree programs with students able to earn select degrees in as little as 15 months. The RN to BSN program can be done part-time, but all other tracks require a full-time commitment.

For the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Track from Union University, applicants must have a RN license and either a BSN or MSN. The DNP online portion of the program requires students to utilize Union University’s virtual classroom on the Blackboard platform. Additionally, a maximum of four one-week sessions are required by students to attend courses in-person. Later, faculty chairs work with each student individually to determine a satisfactory location for the clinical fellowship. The Nurse Anesthesia Track from Union University has a proven record of success with 100 percent employment rates after graduation and an average retention rate of 93.3 percent.

Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

13. East Carolina University

East Carolina University is one of the south’s most competitive universities. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the college as having one of the best online graduate programs and is always listed as being in the top 25 percent of schools with nursing-anesthesia programs. In 2017, the Princeton Review named East Carolina University one of the Best Southeastern Colleges and Best Medical Schools. For continued growth, East Carolina University has been proactive in making changes to programs in order to fulfill current accreditation requirements from governing bodies like the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

East Carolina University’s nursing anesthesia degree program was initially launched as a 28-month course of study. In lieu of the current MSN program, the college is currently transitioning to a 36-month DNP program. Each new DNP class will begin attending courses in May and continue until they fulfill all requirements and pass the National Certification Exam. Since the inception of the ECU nurse anesthesia degree program, there has been an average graduation rate of 95 percent and first time examination pass rate of 94 percent. In 2018, DNP graduation, employment, and NCE pass rates were all reported to be 100 percent.

Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

14. Baylor University

The Baylor College of Medicine is one of the most well respected medical schools in the nation. The research departments at Baylor are ranked within the top 20 for receiving funding from the NIH. In 2018, the U.S. News & World Report named Baylor as the number 1 least expensive private medical school. They were also ranked number 44 on the Reuters list of most innovative colleges in the world. The Baylor College of Medicine has one of the oldest nursing anesthesia degree programs in the nation with a 23-month program first launched in 1968. Currently, Baylor College of Medicine has two tracks available for nursing anesthesia students: a BSN to DNP track that lasts 36 months and a MS to DNP track that takes a total of 24 months.

The Baylor College of Medicine’s DNP nurse anesthesia program is setup to emphasize the importance of patient care. An integrated learning experience is used for students to earn their doctoral degrees with interactions including the attendance of virtual classes and in-person clinical practice. One of the best features of Baylor’s DNP program is that students are giving access to the college’s state-of-the-art facilities including the newly opened high-fidelity simulation center. With the METI Human Patient Simulator, students can develop competencies in order to treat a large variety of patients, even those with difficult airways.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

15. Virginia Commonwealth University

From its inception in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University has had the mission to advance the education of medical professionals. Each year, the college is ranked as having the highest amount of research activity in healthcare and biotechnology. The university’s library is the largest research library in all of Virginia with 3 million volumes and hundreds of thousands of digital works. Expansion at Virginia Common University has been a major goal in the tenure of the college’s most recent presidents.

The Virginia Commonwealth University has been committed to offering nurse anesthetist programs since 1969 when the college first launched the VCU School of Nurse Anesthesia. For years, the college was a leader in providing exceptional education opportunities for those who wished to pursue a Master’s of Science in Nurse Anesthesia. In 2016, Virginia Commonwealth University was approved to implement their DNAP program as a replacement for the MSNA. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the VCU Department of Nurse Anesthesia number 1 for having the best nurse anesthesia specialty degree program in the nation.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

16. Missouri State University

Missouri State University began its mission in 1905 as a normal school, training teachers for work in the public schools through a 2-year, hands-on program. As the school expanded, first into a teacher’s college, then into a state university, it grew into Missouri’s second-largest public university. Tasked by the legislature with a Public Affairs emphasis, MSU’s main focus through all of its programs and curriculum is service, in the forms of Ethical Leadership, Cultural Competence, and Community Engagement, whether in business or education, human services or nursing. MSU’s Biomedical Sciences Department – which houses the nursing program – is a significant part of that mission.

The MSU online DNAP degree program offers several possible tracks, depending on the student’s background and experience. For working RNs who already have a BSN, the program is 119 credits, providing all of the required courses to bridge the gap between a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate. For students who are already CRNAs with an MSN and who want to complete their doctorate, there are three options: a 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year plan. As hands-on experience is crucial to the profession, and MSU’s public affairs mission make community service central, the program is not available fully online, though some courses are online.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

17. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Part of the University of Wisconsin system – one of the most respected public university systems in the nation – the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has been putting the needs of Wisconsin’s people at the center of its mission since 1871. In it’s nearly 150 years, Oshkosh has been a pioneer (UWO introduced kindergarten to American teacher education), but even more importantly, it has served the educational needs of Wisconsin’s professionals admirably. UWO’s College of Nursing (founded 1966) is widely seen as one of the best in the Midwest, with nearly perfect scores on certification exams like the NCLEX, CNL, and FNP.

UW Oshkosh’s hybrid BSN to DNP in Nurse Anesthesia degree program builds on the College of Nursing’s long-standing DNP program, adding a Nurse Anesthesia emphasis that qualifies graduates for CRNA certification. Students receive a thorough education in all areas that impact the profession, from informatics and systems to leadership and collaboration, preparing them for responsibilities including direct practice or management. While most courses are on-campus, many courses are available in a hybrid or online format for more convenience. UWO’s DNAP program is accredited by the COACRNA.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

18. Bryan College of Health Sciences

Founded in 1926 from a gift by famed attorney William Jennings Bryan – who donated his home and land in Lincoln, NE to create a hospital – Bryan College of Health Sciences is a respected regional college focused entirely on the health sciences. Bryan College began as the Bryan Memorial Hospital and the School of Nursing (with nursing students living in Bryan’s former house, named Fairview), but over the next century, the college grew to include seven schools, including a dedicated School of Nurse Anesthesia – a rarity in higher education. That level of specialization makes Bryan an ideal choice for a BSN to DNAP program.

Bryan’s hybrid DNAP degree program is the only one of its kind in the state of Nebraska, offering students the combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience in a private college with its own medical center. This 36-month program is primarily on-campus, though a number of courses are offered in hybrid or online format. In addition to coursework, students go through extensive clinical experience, both at Bryan Medical Center, and through Bryan’s partnership with the Nebraska Medical Center (associated with the University of Nebraska). With an exceptional, mentoring faculty and a long history of excellence in Nebraska, Bryan College of Health Sciences gives graduates a real career boost.

Format: Hybrid (Some Online)
Cost: $$$$$

19. Samford University

Frequently ranked Alabama’s top private college, Samford University began in 1841 as Howard College, changing the name in 1965 when it reached university status (there already being a more prominent Howard University). Today, Samford is widely regarded as a top regional college, with one of the South’s best business schools and one of the nation’s top nursing schools. The Moffatt School of Nursing – an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education – was established in 1922, and takes pride in providing the highest level of nursing education with a Christian philosophy and faith.

Samford University’s hybrid DNAP degree program provides working nurses with a convenient and exceptional opportunity to earn their DNP degree in just three years, or as little as 28 months (depending on educational background). Samford offers extensive clinical experiences, including rare areas like Intrathoracic and Vascular, and courses taught by experienced clinical practitioners. After an extensive orientation in May, summer and fall semesters are held online; for the third and following semesters, however, students must attend on-campus. With a comprehensive 94-credit program, Samford’s DNAP may be the best Alabama has to offer.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

20. Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University began as a private medical school in Philadelphia in 1825, and while the institution has grown extensively – especially since its merger with Philadelphia University in 2018 – medicine and health sciences have remained at its core. When it was founded, Jefferson had to battle the University of Pennsylvania for its place in Philadelphia, but history has vindicated the university; today, Jefferson is regularly ranked as one of the best regional colleges in the North, as well as one of the most innovative schools in the US. Jefferson College of Nursing is particularly singled out for excellence, especially in online programs.

The Jefferson University Nurse Anesthesia DNP degree program is a top-notch program that provides distinct pathways for students to earn their DNAP from a BSN or MSN background. Students in the BSN-DNP program learn an MSN along the way, increasing their credentials along the way to the full 36-credit DNP. With an emphasis on leadership, systems, policy, and clinical practice, Jefferson’s DNP prepares working nurses for a wide range of career possibilities, from practice to administration. Applicants must have a current RN license and at least a BSN degree.

Format: On-Campus (Some Online)
Cost: $$$$$

21. Texas Wesleyan University

Founded in 1890 as Polytechnic College, Texas Wesleyan University went through several iterations, including 20 years as a Methodist women’s college, before reaching its current status as a private, coed liberal arts college. While undergraduate liberal arts education is still very much at the heart of Texas Wesleyan’s mission, in 1994 the university began branching into adult education with the Hyde Weekend/Evening Program, the precursor to TWU’s now-extensive distance and fully online degree programs. Regularly ranked as a top-tier regional university, Texas Wesleyan is quickly earning a reputation for online education.

Texas Wesleyan’s online DNAP degree program is one of the best programs of its kind, and one of the few to be offered 100% online. Unlike many other DNAP programs, Texas Wesleyan also gives students the opportunity to specialize in one of three areas: Education Administration, Management, or Healthcare Administration. With these specialized offerings, CRNAs can choose the direction of their career more precisely. All coursework is offered online, and students are never required to visit the TWU campus; the 32-credit program can be completed in as little as 2 years.

Format: Online
Cost: $$$$$

22. Cedar Crest College

A small, all-women liberal arts college in Allentown, PA, Cedar Crest College has long been ranked one of the top regional colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report. Since its founded in 1867, Cedar Crest has retained its historical affiliation with the United Church of Christ, but the college itself does not identify as a religious institution. With a 10:1 student:faculty ratio, Cedar Crest is well-known for its extensive mentoring and exceptional student support, and it shows results: the class of 2015 shows a 93% employment rate after graduation. While Cedar Crest is best known for its undergraduate and pre-professional programs, the School of Adult and Graduate Education is emerging as a regional leader.

Cedar Crest College’s hybrid BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia program is one of the most convenient and affordable in the Northeast, providing working nurses with an excellent opportunity to earn their terminal degree. With a state-of-the-art simulation lab, built in 2017, Cedar Crest students get access to the most current technology. Cedar Crest’s hybrid format adds to the flexibility; while all nursing anesthesia classes are held on-campus, to take advantage of the lab, all MSN and DNP courses are available online. Small cohorts and Cedar Crest’s trusted mentoring gives DNAP students the best of all educational worlds.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

23. Webster University

Founded in 1915, Webster University was the first Catholic women’s college established west of the Mississippi. The Sisters of Lazaretto, an order of nuns based in Kentucky, began Webster in the spirit of their commitment to social justice and community service, and in that capacity, the university became much-loved throughout the St. Louis, MO, area over its century of existence. Independent of the church and coeducational since the 1960s, Webster remains one of the best-ranked regional colleges in the Midwest, with an ACEN-accredited Department of Nursing known for its high-performing graduates (a 100% employment rate for graduates since 2014).

Webster’s DNAP degree program takes full advantage of its location in St. Louis – the center of what has come to be called the BioBelt of the Midwest – to provide clinical and practical experiences that few other universities can offer. Clinical practice is central to Webster’s DNAP program, with more than 20 potential clinical settings for experience with adults and children. All full-time faculty hold the highest degree in the field, and classes are kept small for collaboration and mentorship. Webster’s approach show results in a 91% first-time pass rate for the CRNA exam (100% overall), so students can feel confident in their career potential.

Format: On-Campus (Some Online)
Cost: $$$$$

24. Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University began in 1905 as a Seventh-Day Adventist sanitorium, providing care for chronically ill patients, but by 1910 the institution had expanded into a college dedicated to religion and health in the Adventist tradition. Today, Loma Linda is recognized as a top healthcare institution, with the university’s medical, nursing, and other health science programs supported by the university’s own teaching hospital, the LLU Medical Center – one of the Inland Empire’s best hospitals.

Loma Linda University’s hybrid DNP Nurse Anesthetist concentration gives working nurses access to one of the most convenient and flexible DNAP programs in California. Designed to be completed in 36 months, the DNAP combines advanced nursing courses, nurse anesthetics courses, clinicals, and a concluding project for a well-rounded program. As a hybrid program, the first year of the program is primarily online, with minimal on-campus residency, while subsequent years use distance format as a supplement to clinical experience. All of Loma Linda’s 2017 and 2018 graduates passed their CRNA certification exam, and 100% found work within 6 months.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$

25. Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University began as an extension campus of the University of Kentucky in 1948, when demand from returning WWII veterans brought about a boom in college enrollments all over the US. Ever since its founding, NKU has taken adult education very seriously, including its extensive healthcare offerings from the College of Health Professions. Though it is located in the suburbs of Cincinnati, NKU’s nursing program focuses on rural medicine and health in particular, especially in the DNAP program, since nurse anesthetists are the main providers of anesthetic care in the region.

NKU’s hybrid DNP Nurse Anesthesia specialization gives nurses in Kentucky the opportunity to earn the highest degree in the field from one of the best regional colleges in the state. This 106-credit program is intended to be completed in 3 years of full-time study; students are recommended not to work, in order to commit their full attention to the program. All DNP courses are available fully online, while some nurse anesthesia courses are available in a hybrid format. Students will fulfill their clinical experience in sites throughout the greater Cincinnati areas.

Format: Hybrid
Cost: $$$$$