Nurse Anesthesia (MS)

Volume 1: 2017.2018

Effective 1 June 2017 through 31 May 2018

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This page was modified on 03 November 2017.
Please see the Graduate Catalog Addendum to view changes that were made.

This program is offered by the College of Arts & Sciences.

Program Description

The master of science (MS) in nurse anesthesia program prepares students for expertise in the art and science of anesthesia. Nurse anesthesia is an evolving profession, sensitive to the needs of society and the profession. Individuals develop this expertise through a holistic and complex integration of affective, cognitive, and psychomotor skills. The philosophy of Webster University's nurse anesthesia program is that graduate education is fundamental to preparation for practicing as a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Webster University also believes that the profession of anesthesia requires a scientific and dynamic approach to assist in the return to health. The professional nurse anesthetist provides a variety of health services to individual patients and underserved communities using a variety of theories. The practice of anesthesia involves assessment, planning, implementation, directing, and evaluating the care process. The practice of nurse anesthesia is founded in a long tradition with numerous activities of the nurse anesthesia profession directed toward disease prevention, health maintenance, restoration, and rehabilitation. Strong moral, ethical, and legal codes are fundamental to the practice of nurse anesthesia. These codes are reflected in internal, external, independent, and interdependent behaviors.

Education at the graduate level is an expansion of the knowledge attained from undergraduate studies. Graduate education at Webster University encourages the development of advanced skills, theoretical knowledge, and critical thinking skills to practice the art and science of anesthesia. The art and science of anesthesia are dynamic and require continued educational endeavors to stay abreast of current theory. Therefore, the nurse anesthetist must recognize the need to enhance one's knowledge and improve one's skills as a lifelong endeavor in the discipline of nurse anesthesia. The curriculum spans 2 1/2 years of continuous enrollment.

This program is offered at the St. Louis home campus.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program the students should be able to:

Professional Outcomes:

  • Discuss and define the Scope of Practice of the CRNA.
  • Discuss current issues pertaining to the practice of nurse anesthesia.
  • Demonstrate professional attributes through attendance and participation in local, state, and national professional organizational meetings and events.
  • Demonstrate strong ethics and personal integrity in all professional pursuits to include the delivery of quality and safe anesthesia to the communities served.
  • Maintain AANA Associate membership until certification is obtained.
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors in the classroom, clinical settings, and organizational activities.

Didactic Outcomes:

  • Develop a strong and comprehensive knowledge base necessary for the safe and effective delivery of anesthesia evidenced by academic progression with a B or better average.
  • Demonstrate requisite knowledge of content learned as evidenced by bi-annual Self Evaluation Examination (SEE) scores at or above median range for year in program.
  • Propose, develop, complete, and defend a research thesis demonstrating a thorough understanding of the research and scientific method.
  • Pass the National Board Certifying Exam for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

Clinical Outcomes:

  • Advocate for patient safety at all times.
  • Perform a thorough preanesthetic assessment and physical examination.
  • Develop an anesthesia care plan based on reported patient health conditions and physical exam.
  • Perform relevant patient and family teaching.
  • Obtain informed consent for anesthesia services.
  • Administer and manage a variety of anesthetic techniques, to include MAC, regional, and general anesthetic techniques.
  • Provide advanced airway management skills.
  • Safely emerge patient from the anesthetic and transport to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).
  • Transfer care to PACU staff.
  • Recognize and manage any post anesthetic conditions in PACU.
  • Maintain accurate record keeping of anesthetic experience.

Clinical Education Partners

Sites for beginning level (first year) clinical experiences may include DePaul Health Center, Des Peres Hospital, St. Clare and the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.

Nurse anesthesia residents may obtain clinical experiences at the intermediate (second year) and advanced (third year) levels at any of our affiliated institutions. They include Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, DePaul Health Center, Des Peres Hospital, Memorial Hospital Jefferson, Lake Regional Hospital, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Phelps County Regional Medical Center, St. Clare Hospital, and the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.

Program Curriculum

90 hours

Enrollment requires admission to the nurse anesthesia program or special permission of the program director.

  • CHEM 5500 Biochemistry (3 hours)
  • PHYS 5500 Physics for Anesthesia (2 hours)
  • BIOL 5200 Advanced Anatomy and Physiology I, including lab (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5300 Advanced Anatomy and Physiology II, including lab (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5320 Advanced Anatomy and Physiology III, including lab (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5250 Biostatistics for Nurse Anesthesia (3 hours)
  • BIOL 6255 Cell Biology (3 hours)
  • BIOL 6650 Developmental Biology (1 hour)
  • BIOL 5780 Genetics (1 hour)
  • BIOL 5800 Introduction to Research (2 hours)
  • BIOL 6500 Immunology (2 hours)
  • BIOL 6600 Microbiology (2 hours)
  • BIOL 6640 Microbiology II (2 hours)
  • BIOL 6460 Neuroendocrinology (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5900 Pathophysiology I (3 hours)
  • BIOL 6100 Pathophysiology II (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5700 Pharmacology I (3 hours)
  • BIOL 6000 Pharmacology II (3 hours)
  • BIOL 6200 Pharmacology III (3 hours)

Required Nurse Anesthesia Courses

  • BIOL 5400 Introduction to Anesthesia (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5410 Advanced Physical Assessment (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5450 Basics of Anesthesia (2 hours)
  • BIOL 5500 Principles of Anesthesia I (3 hours)
  • BIOL 6270 Principles of Anesthesia II (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5510 Anesthesia Concepts I (2 hours)
  • BIOL 5550 Anesthesia Concepts II (2 hours)
  • BIOL 5570 Anesthesia Concepts III (2 hours)
  • BIOL 5580 Anesthesia Concepts IV (2 hours)
  • BIOL 5960 Seminars in Anesthesia I (0 hours)
  • BIOL 6050 Seminars in Anesthesia II (0 hours)
  • BIOL 6160 Seminars in Anesthesia III (0 hours)
  • BIOL 6260 Seminars in Anesthesia IV (0 hours)

Required Nurse Anesthesia Clinical Courses

  • BIOL 5600, BIOL 5760, and BIOL 5770 Clinical Experience I, II, and III Beginning Level (3 hours)
  • BIOL 6220, BIOL 6230, BIOL 6240, BIOL 6280, and BIOL6290 Clinical Experience IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII Intermediate Level (5 hours)
  • BIOL 6420, BIOL 6430, BIOL 6440, and BIOL 6450 Clinical Experience IX, X, XI, and XII Advanced Level (4 hours)

Required Thesis Courses

  • BIOL 6310/6320/6330/6340/6350/6360/6370/6380 Research/Thesis Project I-VIII (8 hours)


Enrollment in all nurse anesthesia courses requires admission to the nurse anesthesia program. Completion of the courses will occur in the sequence prescribed by the program for the cohort group in which the student is enrolled.

Students in this program are subject to the policies and procedures for graduate studies for Webster University and the nurse anesthesia program.

Academic Performance

Students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 during the course of graduate study, and are permitted only 1 course grade of "C".

Continuous Enrollment

Graduate students enrolled in the nurse anesthesia program must maintain continuous enrollment, or request special permission from the Program Director.

Academic Warning, Probation and Dismissal

Students should refer to the Nurse Anesthesia Resident-Faculty Handbook for policies regarding academic warning, probation and dismissal.


Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should also see the Admission Section in this catalog for general requirements.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission to the nurse anesthesia program include:

  • Current RN license. Out-of-state applicants must obtain a Missouri Nursing License once admitted into the program
  • Bachelor's degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing program from a fully accredited college plus a nursing degree. Prior coursework in organic chemistry and physics is strongly recommended
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate studies or evidence of outstanding post-graduation academic achievement
  • Competitive applicants will have core science classes including organic chemistry and/or biochemistry. Physics is strongly recommended
  • A minimum of one year of experience in an acute care setting as a professional registered nurse (two years preferred in an adult ICU setting)
  • Current ACLS and BLS certification (PALS and CCRN certification strongly recommended)
  • Accepted applicants must provide a clean drug screen
  • A personal interview
  • Applicants offered an interview must submit a criminal background check

Application Process

Submit the following required documents:

  • A completed application may be submitted at
  • A non-refundable application fee.
  • Official transcripts from all universities, colleges, and professional schools.
  • A one-page cover letter explaining why you have chosen to pursue the nurse anesthesia field, including any relevant information you would like the Admissions Committee to consider regarding your qualifications as an applicant.
  • A current résumé.
  • Current copies of certifications: BLS, ACLS  (PALS, CCRN if you have one).
  • Two letters of reference that provide an assessment of professional performance, continuing education, and character traits. Request one assessment from an immediate supervisor and one from a professional
  • A CRNA shadow verification form (download form here).
  • Any additional supporting information you wish to include, such as copies of certifications, awards, honors, and/or publications within the past 2 years.
  • A copy of your green card if you are a U.S. permanent resident.

Send all admission materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

  • Completed application files will be reviewed by the Nurse Anesthesia Department.
  • Selected students will be invited on campus for a personal interview.
  • The Nurse Anesthesia Program admits up to 20 students each admission cycle.
  • Students are required to submit a deposit to secure their position in the class.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are admitted to their graduate program upon completion of all admission requirements. Students are advanced to candidacy status after successfully completing 12 credit hours of graduate credit, with grades of B– or better. In the MBA program and other specialized programs, courses required as prerequisites to the program do not count toward the 12 credit hours required for advancement.

This page was modified on 03 November 2017.
Please see the Graduate Catalog Addendum to view changes that were made.