Nurse Anesthesia

One Degree, Unlimited Potential

The nurse anesthesia program is a 28-month, 82-credit course of study that awards a Master of Science in Nursing degree. It prepares you to sit for the nurse anesthesia national certification examination. Upon receiving certification, you will be prepared to work as a nurse anesthetist with a full scope of practice.

The nurse anesthesia program is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), 222 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL 60068; (847) 655-1160, The program's next review by the COA is scheduled for Spring 2025.

Why Samford?+

What makes the Samford nurse anesthesia program special?

  • Low student-to-teacher ratio in the classroom, which affords more individual attention
  • Caring and supportive clinical and didactic instructors
  • Excellent clinical opportunities in rural and metro locations; we give you opportunities to complete more cases, especially hard-to-get cases
  • Outstanding regional anesthesia opportunities
  • A rich tradition of high academic standards

The program also offers a B.S.N. to M.S.N. option for the experienced CRNA wishing to obtain an M.S.N. degree. To apply, you must have at least two years of full-time or equivalent part-time experience within the last five years. This flexible program is tailored for the working professional and is offered completely online with minimal on-campus attendance.

Hands on Experience+

Sample of Clinical Experiences Required by COA Samford 2014 Average Samford 2015 Average
Total # Cases 550 829 806
Geriatric 50 189 195
Pediatric 35 108 105
*Intrathoracic 15 29 35
*Vascular 10 51 47
Obstetrics 30 85 85
*Regional Anesthesia (spinal, epidural, peripheral) 25 121 104
Arterial line placement 25 43 48

*Experience in these specialty categories is often hard to come by, but you'll find far more opportunities in our program.


Our graduates are prepared

Our 2015 pass rate for first-time test takers of the National Certification Exam is 96%, while the 2014 national average is 87.8%. Our five-year average pass rate for first-time test takers of the National Certification Exam is 96.5%. 

In 2015, 100% of our graduating class were employed within six months of graduation. Our five-year average of graduate employment is 99.1%.

The attrition rate for the class of 2015 was 4.17%.

Admission Requirements & Criteria+

Nurse Anesthesia Admission Deadline

Entry Month: January
NursingCAS Deadline: May 1
2016 Interview and Admission Decision Dates: TBA

You apply to the nurse anesthesia program directly through NursingCAS. You will find an instructional video and detailed information about NursingCAS at:

We consider applications on a competitive basis. We base our decisions on grade point averages (total, science/math, graduate, last 60 credits), GRE scores, letters of recommendations, personal interview and duration and type of work experience. If you have questions, please contact Allyson Maddox, Director of Graduate Student Services, 726.2047 or

Nurse Anesthesia Admission Criteria

  • Unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program
  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • An on-campus interview
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five years
    1. Old test: combined score (verbal and quantitative): 1000; analytical writing 4
    2. New test: verbal: 153; quantitative: 144; analytical writing 4
    3. The Miller Analogy Test (MAT) is not accepted
  • At least one year of full-time critical care experience as an RN. Acceptable experiences include Cardiac Care Unit, Cardiovascular Recovery, Medical ICU, Neuro ICU, Neonatal ICU, Surgical ICU, Burn ICU, Trauma ICU and Pediatric ICU
  • Prerequisite undergraduate courses: general chemistry, research, both with a grade of B or better
  • Three letters of reference submitted through NursingCAS. The three required recommendations should be from 1) current or previous professor; 2) work supervisor; and 3) professional colleague
  • International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Exceptions to any of the admission requirements may be considered on an individual basis

Application Process+

Nurse Anesthesia Application Process

The following steps outline the application process for the nurse anesthesia program. You are required to submit both an application through the nursing centralized application process (NursingCAS) and a supplemental application form.

Before beginning these applications, we recommended that you complete the following checklist:

  • Obtain student copies of your college transcripts to assist you in completing the course work section of the application.
  • Carefully read the "Before you apply, instructions, code of cooperation and FAQ" sections at before you get started.
    As stated on the NursingCAS site, NursingCAS simplifies the process of applying to nursing programs. Complete one application and send it, along with other information, to our centralized service. NursingCAS will verify your application for accuracy, calculate your GPA and send your materials to the nursing programs you designate. These sections detail critical components of the centralized application process.
  • Request official transcripts from each institution attended by using the transcript request form in NursingCAS.
  • Complete the form, submit it to the registrar's office of each institution attended and instruct them to enclose the form with your official sealed transcript. 
    Transcripts must be sent to the NursingCAS Transcript Department. NursingCAS accepts official transcripts directly sent from the registrar’s office ONLY. Please send transcripts as early as possible and no less than 4-6 weeks before the application deadline due to the time needed by NursingCAS to verify your application.
  • Pay the initial service fee of $65 when submitting the NursingCAS application.
  • Submit evidence of current unencumbered license as a registered nurse through NursingCAS on the Professional Experience/Certifications section.
    Include state of issuance, number and expiration date.
  • Obtain three letters of recommendation from 1) current or previous professor; 2) supervisor; and 3) professional colleague.
  • These letters of recommendation will be submitted through NursingCAS. The references should attest to the applicant's academic ability and potential.
  • Attach a cover letter/resume to the NursingCAS application.
  • Submit GRE test scores to Samford University Graduate Nursing Program.
  • Submit your reasons for seeking admission to the nurse anesthesia program on NursingCAS on the Personal Statement section.

Plan of Study & Clinical Requirements+

Nurse Anesthesia Curriculum

The nurse anesthesia program is a 28-month program requiring 82 credit hours. 

Plan of Study


How do I register for the GRE?

Register online at  

What are your GRE Institution and Department Codes?

Samford University's Institution Code is 1302 and our Department Code is 0610.

I took the GRE over five years ago. Do I have to take it again?

Yes, retake the GRE if it is more than five years old. Official scores must be sent directly from GRE to Samford University (not a student's copy).

My college courses were taken so many years ago. Is there a time limit?

In some cases, yes. Please call Allyson Maddox, Director of Graduate Student Services, at 205-726-2047, or email

I have a master's degree in nursing. Do I need to take the GRE?

Yes, all applicants must take the GRE.

I have already taken the MAT. Will you accept that?

No, the MAT is not accepted.

How long does it take to receive the official scores after the test is taken?

GRE recommends that applicants allow 6 weeks.

I took a nursing research course with a different title. What should I do?

Please provide either a course description that states research was incorporated into the course or a letter from an advisor or faculty member indicating which course included research.

How do you calculate GPAs?

GPAs are calculated four ways. There is a cumulative calculation, in which all undergraduate college credits are included. The last 60 credits, science and math courses, and graduate courses are also calculated. If a course is taken twice, both grades are included. Grades are not weighted according to pluses and minuses. One individual calculates all the GPAs so there is one standard applied to all applicants.

Is there a required amount of work experience as a BSN prepared nurse?

No, Critical Care experience is credited as years working as a Registered Nurse.

I have an associate degree in nursing, but a bachelor degree in another field. Do I need a BSN?

Yes, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is required.

I am enrolled in an RN to BSN program. May I apply before the degree is completed?

Yes, however, the degree must be conferred before the application deadline.

Are distance learning (online) RN to BSN programs acceptable?

Yes, provided the program is from an NLN or CCNE accredited institution.

May I submit personal letters of recommendation instead of the recommendation forms?

The form is required.

What types of recommendations are required?

The three required recommendations are:
One academic
One immediate supervisor
One professional colleague
Applicants who have been out of school for some time may find it difficult to obtain a meaningful academic reference. An additional reference from a professional colleague is acceptable.

I have attended more than one university. Even though transfer courses are shown on another transcript, must I submit transcripts from all universities attended?

Yes, an official transcript must be submitted from all universities attended.

How much does the program cost?

When admission is accepted, there is a required, non-refundable deposit of $1000.00. It is applied entirely to the student's first term tuition. Graduate student tuition and fees.

Why is Samford's tuition more than most state school anesthesia programs' tuition?

We are a private university and do not receive government funding. When comparing tuition, keep the following facts in mind:
We admit approximately 24 students per class and admit one class per year. Each student is afforded the faculty attention necessary to be successful.
There are three full time and three part-time members dedicated to serving our nurse anesthesia students. Educating future CRNAs is their primary responsibility. Our students agree that the tuition is well worth the expert instruction and attention they receive.

What is Samford's out-of-state tuition?

Samford does not have out-of-state tuition. All students are charged the same tuition. Our standard tuition for nurse anesthesia is usually less than out-of-state tuition charged by state universities.

Is the program part time?

No. This is a full time program.

How long is the program?

This is a seven-semester program.

What is the degree conferred?

A Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in Nurse Anesthesia

Do you offer courses online?

No, we do not offer courses online. Some courses have an online component, but applicants should plan on being full time students.

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