A top ranked, innovative program designed to prepare you for 21st century medicine.

We provide a rigorous and innovative academic program designed to prepare you for engagement in a 21st century global health care environment. You’ll learn from renowned doctoral faculty, state-of-the-art simulation technology, continuing education classes, research opportunities, and clinical training. Our hybrid schedule format uses a combination of on- and off-campus content delivery methods, allowing you to continue working full time during the first two semesters of the program.

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will: -

  • Apply physiological, safety and organizational theories to promote patient safety, enhance quality care and improve nurse anesthesia practice
  • Analyze and synthesize relevant scientific literature and apply results to improve nurse anesthesia practice and patient care outcomes in a culturally sensitive manner
  • Communicate effectively with patients, families, the public and other health professionals
  • Develop effective strategies for managing ethical dilemmas inherent in anesthesia patient care and the workplace
  • Employ teaching and learning principles for the nurse anesthetist in educating and counseling individuals, families, students-in-training and groups
  • Demonstrate leadership skills to meet the challenges of complex health care and educational environments - Demonstrate nurse anesthesia scholarship through presentations, publications, leadership activities and collaboration with other disciplines
  • Utilize technology and information systems to analyze, manage and present data - This program option was approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs at their June 2016 meeting.

Technical Standards

The following information delineates the essential, non-academic attributes that individuals must possess to successfully participate in and complete entry-to-practice programs at VCU.

This information is presented so that persons interested in applying for a graduate program in nurse anesthesia will have a better understanding of the physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral requirements necessary to function as a nurse anesthetist. The Department of Nurse Anesthesia acknowledges the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The faculty recognizes that the practice of nurse anesthesia is physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging. The provision of safe, competent anesthesia services requires that practitioners demonstrate cognitive, technical, observational, and behavioral skills. Students need to have the physical and emotional endurance to adapt to a demanding graduate program.
Successful progression through the nurse anesthesia program requires the following abilities:


  • Discriminate variations in human responses to disease using visual, auditory, tactile, and other sensory cues.
  • Discriminate changes in monitoring devices and alarms using visual and auditory senses.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in English through oral and written methods in order to communicate with other health care providers and patients of all ages.
  • Comprehend written and verbal communications in English.


  • Coordinate gross and fine motor movements and the senses of touch and vision to gain intravascular access, administer regional anesthesia, and perform airway management.
  • Demonstrate sufficient physical strength to perform airway management and move and position patients and equipment.
  • Possess sufficient stamina to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time.
  • Safely maneuver throughout the operating room and other anesthetizing locations.
  • Respond appropriately to monitor and equipment alarms and changes in patient conditions that require physical interventions.


  • Use reason, analysis, calculations, problem solving, critical thinking, self-evaluation and other cognitive and learning skills to acquire knowledge and comprehend and synthesize complex concepts.
  • Interpret information derived from auditory, written and other visual and sensory data to determine appropriate anesthetic management plans.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge to practice to provide safe anesthetic care.


  • Demonstrate personal and professional self-control as well as tactfulness, sensitivity, compassion, honesty, integrity, empathy, and respect.
  • Work flexibly and effectively in stressful and rapidly changing situations.
  • Cooperate with other members of the health care team to provide a therapeutic environment and safe patient care.


Questions about admissions and the curriculum for this program option should be directed to:

Nicole Damico, PhD, CRNA

Director of Professional Practice



Amanda Alley

Graduate Student Services Administrator