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DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program

anesthesia student in simulation lab


The School of Nursing offers a BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program in Nurse Anesthesia.

The 36-month program requires a minimum of 86 course credits, including core courses and anesthesia specialty courses.

The program integrates research, physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and anesthesia principles and prepares students for the national certification examination.

The WCU NA Program works closely with our clinical partners as part of the curriculum and some of these clinical facilities require all employees and trainees to be vaccinated for COVID-19.  Placement at some facilities is a core part of WCU’s curriculum.  Failure to obtain the COVID-19 vaccination prior to the start of the program may delay or inhibit program progression. 

The application deadline for the May 2025 class is October 1, 2024. Interviews will be held late November to early December.

Virtual Open House

Tuesday, August 6, 2024: 5-6:30 p.m.

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University, understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

Register Today


Program Overview

Location: Biltmore Park

Program Length: 36-Months

Small Classes, Low Student-Faculty Ratio

App. Deadline: October 1

100% Overall Pass Rate for Certification

Competitive tuition costs

Please visit our Admissions page for complete details on admissions requirements.

The Nurse Anesthesia Program's mission is to create an academic center of teaching and learning excellence for the advancement of nurse anesthesia practice. The program seeks to promote clinical scholarship and life-long learning and aims to support skilled and ethical service to our communities. Through nurse anesthesia research, education, and practice, students and faculty will seek to enhance the quality of life for people of all cultures, economic levels and geographic locations.

The BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program in Nurse Anesthesia is a 36-month program.

Graduate students may transfer up to nine credit hours (with a grade of B or better) with approval of the Program Director. Transfer credit requested for doctoral level courses at Western Carolina University must be designated as doctoral level as noted on the official institutional transcript where the transfer credit was earned.


Reasons to Choose WCU’s Nurse Anesthesia Program  

  • Small cohort, 17 students per class
  • Program faculty with extensive scholarship
  • 100% overall pass rate for national certification exam
  • Unique learning experiences at three clinical sites where CRNAs are sole anesthesia providers
  • Limited opportunities for international service trips

Clinical Anesthesia Experience: Asheville Surgery Center, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital, Frye Regional Medical CenterHarris Regional HospitalHaywood Regional Medical CenterMcDowell HospitalMission Hospital, Norton Children's HospitalPardee HospitalAdvent HospitalSt. Lukes Hospital, Transylvania Regional Hospital

Program Director and Core Faculty

Ian Hewer

Assistant Professor

PhD, CRNA, Program Director

Taya Kretz-Notelle

Assistant Professor

DNAP, CRNA, Assistant Program Director

Annie Meyers

Assistant Professor


2023 Student Data

Female: 53%
Male: 47%
Average pre-admission overall GPA: 3.74

Attrition rate (2023): 6.25%
Overall attrition (2009-2023): 9.5%

First-time test takers (2023): 93%
National average (2022): 83.4%

Overall pass rate (2009 - 2023): First-time test takers: 91.5%
Overall pass rate (2009 - 2023): 100%

Employed within six months of graduation: 100% 
Overall employment rate within six months of graduation (2009 - 2023): 100%

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