About Us  

First organized in 1969, the Department of Nurse Anesthesia in the School of Allied Health Professions has a long and proud heritage of educating high quality professional nurse anesthetists. In fact, the Department was the first program in the nation to offer the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) degree over 23 years ago and the first in the nation to establish the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree in 2006.

Seven academic nurse anesthesia faculty (six holding doctoral degrees) work in concert with over 150 adjunct faculty, 4 staff members and over 40 clinical affiliated training sites to offer a 73-credit, 7-semester MSNA degree program of study. The DNAP program is currently offered in two formats: a 33-credit hour post-master’s program for CRNAs who wish to expand their knowledge in the areas of patient safety, evidence-based practice, education, and leadership and an optional combined degree program (MSNA-DNAP) available for students in the master's program. The MSNA-DNAP degree can be earned by completing doctoral level courses during the master’s program and one additional full-time semester of doctoral study at the conclusion of the MSNA program. The additional semester of course work is offered in a hybrid format that allows students to graduate with their master’s degree, take their national certification exam, and begin work as a CRNA while completing the remainder of DNAP coursework.

Beginning in January 2017, the entry to practice DNAP (etpDNAP) option will replace the existing MSNA and combined MSNA-DNAP program options. The etpDNAP program option was approved by the Council on Accrediation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs at their June 2016 meeting. This 93 credit-hour, 9-semester, innovative program will feature a hybrid schedule format for the first two semesters of full-time study. The last cohort of MSNA/MSNA-DNAP students will begin classes in August 2016. The final cohort of MSNA students will complete the program in December 2018 and, if applicable, the DNAP program in May 2019. Following successful completion of the program by all MSNA/MSNA-DNAP students, the Department of Nurse Anesthesia will petition to close the MSNA program option. 

Using state of the art, two-way synchronous distance technology, all nurse anesthesia programs at VCU are all offered in four sites in Virginia: Richmond, Abingdon, Roanoke, and AlexandriaThe School of Allied Health Professions also offers a unique distance learning PhD program in Health Related Sciences for nurse anesthetists and other allied health professionals.


dr. rao, allied health
Chairman, Dr. Michael D. Fallacaro directing human simulation training with VCU President Michael Rao. The Department is home to the Center for Research in Human Simulation, a state-of-the-art laboratory featuring multiple simulation technologies.