One Degree, Unlimited Potential

The nurse anesthesia program is a 36-month, 94-credit course of study that awards a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The program 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.

Samford University's nurse anesthesia program is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), 10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906, Rosemont, IL 60018-5603; 224-275-9130, 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
  • Unique Nurse Faculty Loan Program opportunity for future preceptors 

Hands on Experience

Sample Clinical Experiences
Experience Required by COA Samford 2022 Average Samford 2023 Average
Total # Cases 650 802 767
Geriatric 100 253 249
Pediatric 40 94 86
*Intrathoracic 15 38 47
*Vascular 10 46 54
Obstetrics 30 60 62
*Regional Anesthesia (spinal, epidural, peripheral) 35 80 84
Arterial line placement 25 49 51

*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 2023 pass rate for first-time test takers of the National Certification Exam is 93.8%, while the 2022 national average is 83.4%. Our five-year average pass rate for first-time test takers of the National Certification Exam is 91%.

Graduates in the class of 2023 had a 100% employment rate within six months of graduation.

The attrition rate for the class of 2023 was 0%.

Admission Information

Nurse Anesthesia Admission Deadline

DNP Entry Month: May
Slate Application Opens:
December 1
Application Deadline:
May 1
2023 Interview and Admission Decision Dates: July 24-26

You will apply to the nurse anesthesia program directly through Slate.

Transcripts can be sent electronically to or by mail to:

Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing Graduate Students Services
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229

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, 205-726-2047 or

Nurse Anesthesia Admission Criteria

  • Unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program and institutionally accredited college or university
  • 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. Verbal: 153; quantitative: 144; analytical writing 4
    2. 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 Slate. The three required recommendations should be from 1) current or previous professor; 2) work supervisor; and 3) professional colleague
  • American citizens or Permanent Residents who learned English as a second language must score at least 575 (paper) or 90 (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

Nurse Anesthesia Application Requirements

The following steps outline the application process for the nurse anesthesia program.

  • Transcripts - applicants that are re-applying do not have to resubmit transcripts unless they need to be updated
  • GRE Scores
  • Three letters of recommendation – two professional (at least one supervisor) and one academic
  • Personal statement
  • Professional resume

Plan of Study & Clinical Requirements

Nurse Anesthesia Curriculum

The front-loaded didactic curriculum includes both graduate nursing core knowledge and nurse anesthesia practice knowledge. The nurse anesthesia program culminates with the clinical practicum designed to provide the student an opportunity to apply the knowledge in the nurse anesthetist role. A combination of rural and urban clinical experiences prepares graduates to skillfully care for diverse patient groups in rural and medically underserved communities. 

  • 36-month curriculum, 94 credit hours
  • Phase One (May to December): Begin the program; the first summer and fall semesters are online after three days of campus intensive. This online phase is designed to allow students to continue to work.
  • Phase Two (January to December, year two): On-campus (face-to-face) didactic courses full-time
  • Phase Three (January, year two, to April, year three): Clinical education with seminar courses, distance courses, and completion of D.N.P. project. 

Summer Start

Schema BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia Plan of Study

NFLP Schema BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia

Opportunity for Nurse Faculty Loan Program available – 36 month curriculum, 103 credit hours


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 32 students per class and admit one class per year. Each student is afforded the faculty attention necessary to be successful.
There are four full-time and eight part-time faculty members, as well as faculty in other departments, 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 DNP program?

The DNP program is nine semesters. There will be a significant orientation prior to the first semester. The first two semesters, summer and fall, will be taken online. It is possible that students may continue to work during these semesters. At the beginning of the third semester, in January, students will come to campus to begin face-to-face classes.

What is the degree conferred?

A Doctor of Nursing Practice with a focus in Nurse Anesthesia.

Do you offer courses online?

In the DNP program, students will have a significant orientation prior to starting courses in May. The first two semesters, summer and fall, will be taken online. It is possible that students may be able to continue to work during these semesters. At the beginning of the third semester, January, students will come to campus for face-to-face classes.

Is the Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification required?

CCRN certification is not required, but encouraged.

Apply Now

The Baccalaureate Degree Program in Nursing, Master's Degree Program in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and Post-Graduate APRN Certificate Program at Samford University, Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.