Frequently Asked Questions


What type of nursing experience is required for admission to the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program?

To be eligible, a candidate must have at least 1 year as a registered nurse in a critical care unit that includes, at a minimum, invasive hemodynamic monitoring, ventilator management and vasoactive infusions. Acceptable intensive care units include surgical, medical, cardiovascular, pediatric, and neonatal critical care. Emergency Room and Post Anesthesia Recovery Units are not considered acceptable. The candidate must hold a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited university as well as active certification in ACLS, BLS, and PALS.

How many applicants do you have each year?

The program receives 120-150 applicants each year. Approximately 60 candidates are invited for in-person interviews.

Are all applicants invited for interviews?

No. Admission into the program is very competitive. All applications are reviewed and evaluated for critical care experience, GPA and GRE, leadership experiences, references, essays, and other life experiences. The Admissions subcommittee invites the most qualified candidates of each application cohort to an in-person interview.

What can I expect during the interview?

All interviews are conducted in person at the MUSC College of Health Professions. The interview day will include a description of the program, a tour of the campus, and an interview during which the applicant will meet with several students, faculty members, and the program administrator. The interview process will take 2-3 hours.

How many students are admitted to each class?

The program admits 26-30 students per year. This number varies depending on the quality of the applicant pool. Only student s who demonstrate high scholastic achievement, a strong clinical background, and the commitment to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) are admitted.

What are the typical admission statistics for admitted students?

Admitted students have an average GPA of 3.5, 24 months of critical care nursing experience, and have completed all prerequisite course work. Most admitted students have served as clinical precept or s, charge nurses, unit committee chairs, or have other demonstrated engagement in the nursing profession.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, financial aid services are available. Information can be found at

Do AFN students compete with physician anesthesiologist residents?

AFN students only share clinical rotations with physician anesthesiology residents at the MUSC clinical sites and at the Charleston Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The AFN program has a diversified portfolio of clinical sites that allows students opportunities that may not be available at MUSC.

Do nurse anesthesia students personally perform regional anesthesia techniques?

Yes! In addition to a very comprehensive didactic training that includes a human cadaver lab, AFN students gain hands-on neuraxial and peripheral regional anesthesia experiences at a variety of clinical sites. Students learn and perform regional anesthesia and analgesia. Examples of blocks that are personally performed include neuraxial, brachial plexus, lower extremity, and truncal blocks.

What are the requirements for graduation?

  • Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice must achieve the following requirements and be recommended by the faculty.
  • Complete all academic requirements as described in the AFN Administrative and Student Manual (provided on the AFN website)
  • Attend two nurse anesthesia professional meetings. This includes state, national, or a combination of both
  • Complete a scholarly project and disseminate the results
  • Obtain a passing score, as determined by the program, on the Self Evaluation Examination administered by the National Board for Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
  • Perform a minimum of clinical cases and clinical skills as determined by the program. These minimums may be above the minimums required by the NBCRNA.

What is the employment rate for new graduates?

Since 2010, 100% of graduates have found employment within 6 months of graduation.

What are the estimated additional costs of the program?

Each year the additional non-tuition and feeds costs of the program (lab coats, drug screens, malpractice insurance, etc.) are reviewed by the senior class president. The class president reviews the prior year cost and makes changes based on actual experience of the class. The additional costs are published in the AFN Administrative and Student Manual which is updated each spring and found on the AFN website.

How do your graduates perform on the National Certification Exam (NCE)?

Program Outcome Data

  Pass Rate First time Past Rate Overall  Pass Rate National Attrition Employment
 2010  97%  100%  89.10%  10.70%  100%
 2011  96%  100%  88.50%  3.00%  100%
 2012  92%  100%  88.40%  3.70%  100%
 2013  86%  96%  87.80%  0%  100%
 2014  85%  100%  85.00%  7.00%  100%
 2015  86%  100%  84.50%  0%  100%
 2016  77%  100%  82.60%  11.50%  100%
 2017  90%  100%  84.30%  6.00%  100%
 2018  93%  100% 84.4%  3.50%  100%
 2020  81% 96% 85.2%  0%  96%
 2021  TBD  TBD  TBD  3.7%  100%
 Average  89%  99.50%  86.30%  5.00%  100%