a group of nursing students in a clinical environment practicing their skills

Nursing (DNP): Nurse Anesthesia

In partnership with Geisinger, our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Nurse Anesthesia program will prepare you as a nurse leader to apply advanced practice skills at the highest level of clinical practice to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Degrees & Offerings
  • Concentration
  • Bloomsburg
Program Contact
Program Director of Geisinger/Bloomsburg Nurse Anesthesia Program, Associate Professor of Nursing
Illustration of Mountain
Student nurse anesthetist practices her technique in lab at Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg, formerly Bloomsburg University.

The focus of this nurse anesthesia collaborative program is practice-oriented investigation in the clinical setting emphasizing health education, leadership, research application, and analysis of health care outcomes. We'll prepare you as a clinical scholar skilled in patient-centered care, intra-professional collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, policy advocacy, and improved use of informatics and technology. 

You'll be prepared to assume a higher level of responsibility and leadership in nursing and health care, with the ultimate goal of improving the healthcare delivery system of the nation.

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Nurse Anesthesia (BSN-DNP) Primary Goals

  • Provide a higher level of scientific background and practical experience.
  • Learn to function as an integral part of the healthcare team.
  • Preparation for instructional and leadership roles.
  • Successful completion of the Certified Exam for Nurse Anesthetists.

Our nurse anesthesia program emphasizes the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, including the ability to:

  • Apply theory and research knowledge gained from nursing, the sciences, and humanities to provide optimum care to the patient.
  • Evaluate the patient preoperatively, anticipating requirements necessary in the perioperative and post-anesthesia phases.
  • Administer safe and physiologically appropriate care in collaboration with colleagues.
  • Develop leadership skills necessary in the role as clinician, teacher, researcher, advocate, manager, and consultant.
  • Acquire an appreciation for involvement in the professional activities of the local, regional, and national organization.
  • Relate to and interact with the total healthcare community, of which anesthesiology is one component.

Courses and Curriculum

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

Completed applications are due in the graduate office by Feb. 1.

  • All graduate students admitted to the DNP NA program must reside in Pennsylvania prior to the start of the program in Year 1 per SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements) Regulation.
  • Online graduate school application.
  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school program.
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended.
  • GPA requirement of at least 3.2.
  • Copy of current, unencumbered Pennsylvania professional nursing license.
  • Resume which includes description of professional nursing and clinical experience.
  • Documentation of BLS, ACLS, and PALS certification– PALS is required for application but a PA license can be obtained upon acceptance into the program (acceptance contingent upon getting a PA license).
  • Narrative describing personal and professional goals for graduate education and Nurse Anesthesia option.
  • Three recommendation forms.
  • Documentation of at least eight hours of shadowing a CRNA, with verification by that individual.
  • At least one year of current full-time critical care experience such as AICU, CCU, PICU, and NICU by application date Feb. 1. (ER, Life Flight, or Recovery Room do not qualify towards critical care experience requirement).
  • Documentation of Certification in Critical Care Nursing (CCRN) is mandatory. 

Interviews with the Joint Admissions Committee will be conducted during April.

  • 2024 Class Attrition (number of students) — 0%
  • 2024 Certification examination pass rate for first-time takers — 87%
  • 2024 Employment of graduates within six months — 100%
  • 2024 overall pass rate — TBD

To review previous outcomes, see Nurse Anesthesia MSN program attrition and pass rates.

  • Q: Do I need professional experience in order to be admitted?
    A: Yes- Students need at least one year of full-time critical care experience, such as AICU, CCU, PICU, and NICU by the application deadline of February 1. (ER, Life Flight, or Recovery Room do not qualify toward critical care experience requirement.)
  • Q: What is considered a critical care area?
    A: A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (e.g., pulmonary artery, central venous pressure, and arterial catheters), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive infusions.
  • Q: Can you complete the program on a part-time basis?
    A: Students may work during the 1st year; however, full-time study is required for the 2nd and 3rd years in the program.
  • Q: How is the program delivered?
    A: Delivered in hybrid format with the 1st year online​ and years 2 and 3 are delivered in-person​ at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
  • Q: How many credits can I transfer into the program?
    A: Students can transfer a maximum of 9 credits into the nurse anesthesia program after receiving approval from the program director. To receive approval, the applicant is required to submit syllabi with course descriptions and transcript(s) displaying a minimal grade of 'B' received for the course(s) they are interested in transferring.
  • Q: Do I need an MSN in order to be considered for admission?
    A: No. Students may apply for admission after completing the BSN and satisfying all other application requirements. (as noted above).
Illustration of Mountain

Practical Learning

Professional Engagement

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
The nation’s professional CRNA/nurse anesthesiologist association, AANA offers every CRNA/nurse anesthesiologist and CRNA resident benefits and resources to support, advance, and protect nurse anesthesiology. AANA members enjoy access to the most current information on nurse anesthesiology and patient safety, professional resources, continuing education (CE) opportunities, special discounts, networking, and much more.

Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists
It's the purpose of this Association to promote, through continuing education, the science and art of anesthesiology as provided by CRNAs in all practice settings. In collaboration with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, PANA offers its members the resources necessary to advance patient safety and practice excellence.

The Commonwealth Difference

CCNE Accredited logo
The doctoral degree program in nursing at Commonwealth University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.
COA Accreditation Logo
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), 10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906, Rosemont, IL 60018-5603; Phone: 224-275-9130.


Whether you’re looking for a hands-on clinical role or a role that leads or creates policy, there are many career paths for nurses with a DNP.

Potential Job Opportunities

  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Outpatient Care
  • Offices of Health Practitioners other than Physicians (podiatrists, dentists, etc.)
  • Specialty Hospitals

Continue to Explore

a photo of the class of 2022

NAP Achieves Perfection

Members of NAP's Class of 2022 achieved perfection in their national certification exam (NCE), measuring the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for entry-level nurse anesthesia practitioners. The 13 graduate students had a 100% first-time pass rate for the NCE, 0% attrition, 100% employment rate, and 100% overall pass rate. The national first-time pass rate is 85.2%.

a team of nursing students that won a competition

Nurse Anesthesia Students Win Competition

The Geisinger/Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg Nurse Anesthesia Program's Class of 2022 students won the annual College Bowl at the Pennsylvania Association Of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA) Spring Symposium in Hershey, PA.

Connect with our Graduate Nursing Faculty


Debra Minzola

  • Program Director of Geisinger/Bloomsburg Nurse Anesthesia Program, Associate Professor of Nursing
  • Bloomsburg

Lori Parke

  • Assistant Professor of Nursing
  • Bloomsburg

Lori Metzger

  • Associate Professor, Director, MSN/MBA Program Director, MSN Informatics Program
  • Bloomsburg
Professor Jennifer Sheaffer

Jennifer Sheaffer

  • Chair of Graduate Nursing, Director of Nurse Practitioner Programs
  • Bloomsburg

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