Frequently asked questions about Nurse Anesthesia D.N.P. Program

Application Process and Requirements

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How do I apply?

Applicants create an application on the Marquette University Graduate School online application portal. The application opens annually on 8/1 and closes on 1/15. Applicants submit all required materials and transcripts to their application portal and monitor their application through completion. Candidates selected for the interview portion of the application process will be notified directly.

When are admission decisions made?

As the program is a cohort model, admission decisions are not made on a rolling basis. Once the 1/15 deadline has passed, all complete applications are reviewed, and candidates selected for interviews will be notified directly by mid-February.  Interviews typically occur in late-February through early March and candidates are notified of final decisions in mid-March.

Will applications missing an item be reviewed?

No, only complete applications submitted by 1/15 will be reviewed for admission. Applicants are encouraged to submit documents early and monitor their application portal to ensure all required documents are present by the 1/15 deadline.

Is my statistics course considered current or expired?

Undergraduate statistics must be completed within five years of the program start date. If the five-year limit has been exceeded, applicants may complete a new, approved statistics course or demonstrate statistics proficiency by completing a third-party examination administered by Excelsior for MATx210. If you are completing a statistics course or proficiency examination, it is recommended you include this information and the scheduled term/date on your application for admission. Final official transcripts must be submitted once completed and prior to program start date.

Can credits be transferred to meet course requirements in the program curriculum?

It may be possible to transfer credits from another institution, however limits are placed on the number of credit hours that may be transferred to protect the integrity of the Marquette degree programs. Only credits directly applicable to a student's Marquette degree program will be considered for transfer. These courses must have been taken at the Graduate level with a final grade of “B” or better and may not have been part of another earned degree.  A review of potential transfer courses may occur once a student is admitted and has completed at least six (6) graduate credits within the program. Please review the current curricular plan for the program

What makes a strong application?

The selection of candidates is detailed and holistic.  A strong application will meet the requirements of admission and address the application criteria as directed.  Applicants who have strong academics demonstrated by undergraduate and/or graduate nursing degree and science coursework GPA’s; a well-written statement of purpose following the instructions provided; professional clinical experience including demonstrated leadership; CRNA shadowing experience with a strong understanding of the specialty practice; and, letters of reference prepared by previous or present employers and recent teachers familiar with graduate education in nursing which detail an applicant’s clinical skills, knowledge and capacity to be successful in a rigorous graduate program are more likely to be selected for second stage interviews for admission consideration.

Are international students accepted into the program?

All applicants are required to have an unencumbered US license as an RN and to have obtained 1-2 years, full-time (or its part-time equivalent) as registered nurse in a critical care setting within the United States, its territories or a U.S. military hospital outside of the United States.

How do I prepare for the interview?

The purpose of an interview is to get to know applicants in a professional interaction. Interviews may be hosted in-person or virtual at the discretion of the program. If virtual, it is helpful to check technology, sound, and lighting in advance. Prior to the interview date, applicants are encouraged to prepare and practice with others to be more confident and comfortable. Carefully listen to the asked questions to ensure you are answering appropriately and completely.  Be prepared to communicate your interests and goals in the nurse anesthesia specialty and why you feel Marquette University is the best fit for you.

Qualifications For Admission

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Which certifications are required for admission?

Current certification in BLS, ACLS, and PALS certifications from the American Heart Association is strongly preferred at the time of application submission. All three current certifications are required to be submitted prior to program start and must be maintained throughout the program for continued clinical site access.

Is CCRN certification required?

CCRN certification is not required but has been found to help applicants develop a stronger understanding of critical care.

Can I apply even if I don’t meet the minimum work experience until the time I would start the program?

Applicants who do not have the minimum required work experience at the time of application deadline will not be considered for an admission interview. By the 1/15 application deadline, an applicant is required to have a minimum of one year, preferably two years, of full-time work experience (or its part-time equivalent) as a registered nurse in a critical care setting within the United States, its territories, or a U.S. military hospital outside of the United States. This work experience may not include time spent in orientation. Applicants must have developed as an independent decision-maker capable of using and interpreting advanced monitoring techniques based on knowledge of physiological and pharmacological principles.

If I have completed a direct entry MSN or have taken a path to obtaining my BSN degree that is different than a four-year, traditional BSN path, will my application be viewed as equally strong?

The program considers are paths to the program equally, and strength of academics may be demonstrated with any educational path. Demonstration of clinical maturity, depth of clinical experience, and leadership in professional experiences are key to enhancing applicant success.

Is travel nursing experience a benefit for an applicant?

Beyond a solid foundation in critical care experience, applicants may find the skills learned from travel nursing are valuable to nurse anesthesia students who are expected to rotate to multiple different clinical sites for within a semester.

Can I apply if my ICU experience was several years ago?   

Applicants without recent critical care experience are eligible to apply; however, given the volume of highly qualified applications that are received each year may not be considered as strong applications. It is important for nurse anesthesia applicants to have familiarity with current evidence-based patient care treatment paths.

Program details

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How long/how many credits is the program?

The NAEP a full-time, 36-month program which consists of 91 credits over 9 semesters.

When does the program begin/matriculate?

The NAEP is a cohort program with a Fall start only. 10 applicants are selected through the admission process and begin the program each fall.

What is the estimated time commitment for a student in the program?

Students should plan for an average of 60-64 hours per week throughout the program duration, with an understanding this may vary depending on an individual student’s ability to understand and apply anesthesia concepts. Some weeks may be more hours and others may be less hours.

Can students work during the program?

The program strongly discourages continued work as a registered nurse due to the time commitment involved for courses, labs, clinicals and individual study time.

Coursework and Clinicals

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Are courses taught in person or online?

Courses are primarily taught in person with some hybrid or online courses throughout the program.  Simulation labs and clinicals are offered in person.

Where are clinicals located?

The majority of clinical sites are within 90 minutes driving distance of Marquette University's campus. There are also clinical sites at a distance of up to four hours driving distance from Milwaukee. A student may be assigned to any or all of these clinical sites. As is customary, all expenses associated with travel, lodging, etc. to clinical sites are the responsibility of the student.

What types of settings are clinicals?

Clinical sites represent various anesthesia care delivery models (i.e., anesthesia care team, CRNA small group, CRNA solo), facility settings (i.e., Level 1 or 2 trauma centers, community hospitals, office-based practices) as well as urban and rural locations. The program continues to add clinical sites to enhance students’ clinical experiences.