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What is a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice?

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    Posted: 16 Jul 2009 at 2:09pm
Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice?

What is the AANA’s official position statement on doctoral education and where can I view it?

The AANA Board of Directors’ position statement on doctoral education is: “The AANA supports doctoral education for entry into nurse anesthesia practice by 2025.” The statement can be accessed on the AANA website at

Where did the vision for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) originate?

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has adopted a position that all advanced practice nurses, including nurse anesthetists, be educated at the practice doctorate degree level and earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). As part of its initiative, the AACN developed a document containing “essential” elements of a DNP curriculum and influenced programs offering a Nursing Doctor (ND) degree to change the degree to the DNP.

Why does the AANA support the vision of doctoral education for future nurse anesthetists?

Since its founding in 1931, the AANA has advanced quality education as the means to ensure that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are the best-prepared, safest anesthesia providers possible. Over the years, the educational standards for nurse anesthesia programs have grown to meet the required knowledge and skills for entry into practice. During the 1980s nurse anesthesia educational programs moved from hospital-based certificate programs to university-based graduate programs, and in 1998 the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) finalized the requirement that all programs award a master’s or higher level degree. To best position CRNAs to meet the extraordinary changes in today’s healthcare environment, the AANA believes it is essential to support doctoral education for future nurse anesthetists.

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