Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program begins at UA


Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program begins at UA

As the nationwide physician shortage continues, nurse practitioners are helping to fill the gap. In response to this need, The University of Akron (UA) has transitioned its Nurse Anesthesia Program to a Post-BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), starting with its June 2022 cohort. This new cohort of 38 doctoral students is set to graduate in May of 2025.

The three-year program prepares Intensive Care Registered Nurses to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Successful completion of the program leads to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

“UA has a strong history of educating and graduating nurses that remain in Northeast Ohio to care for patients. And our nurse anesthesia program has been a critical part of our institution,” said Timothy McCarragher, acting dean of UA’s College of Health and Human Sciences and director of the School of Social Work and Family Sciences. “By elevating the program to a DNP, we offer individuals the opportunity to grow in their career and earnings.”

The program is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The curriculum comprises 93 credit hours, including the core graduate nursing courses, advanced physiology and pathophysiology, chemistry, physics, pharmacology, health assessment and principles of anesthesiology.

Graduate students will complete their clinical anesthesia training throughout Ohio. The Nurse Anesthesia Program has more than 45 clinical sites, including Summa Akron City, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, University Hospitals Cleveland, Akron Children’s Hospital, Aultman Hospital, MetroHealth Medical Center and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

To further elevate learning, the Nurse Anesthesia Program also received a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) nurse anesthesia traineeship grant of more than $49,000 this year.

“This grant helps maintain the high first-time pass rates of 98% and low attrition rate of 0% the program has had during the last five years,” said Brian Radesic, CRNA program director. “Each year approximately 90% of the Akron graduates provide high-quality anesthesia care in Ohio hospitals and surgery centers.”

The program offers online coursework and in-person simulation and labs, designed to prepare nurses to provide anesthetic care for patients undergoing surgical and obstetrical procedures and provide pain relief in various health care settings. The graduate nurse anesthesia student works with Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and anesthesiologists to provide assessment preoperatively and develop an anesthetic plan appropriate to the patient's physical and emotional status and the procedure that is anticipated. Graduates are prepared to implement research findings into their professional practice as nurse anesthesia caregivers, educators and health care leaders.

Learn more about the program.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or