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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to become a nurse anesthetist?

We do not know, nor are we looking for the person who wants to do things the easiest way. The practice of anesthesia is challenging and requires knowledge, skill and a great deal of hard work. It is not easy.

Do I have to be a nurse to be in your program? I am in another specialty (such as veterinary medicine, respiratory therapy, licensed practical nursing or dentistry) or a graduate of a medical school in another country and have not been able to obtain a medical license in the U.S.

You must be a registered nurse eligible for licensure in the State of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia in order to be accepted to the program. This is a requirement both of the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and the State Boards of Nursing. It is impossible for LMU to make an exception to this requirement.

I have a master's degree already. Do I need to take GREs?


Must I have a chemistry course before entering?

The admission requirements is two undergraduate chemistry courses, at least one of which has a laboratory component. Understand that we prefer to see as much chemistry as possible and prefer chemistry courses for science majors rather than introductory courses or chemistry for non-science majors. Science grades are looked at very closely.

I went to school 10-20 years ago. Are my chemistry courses from that time acceptable?

Yes, although you may want to consider taking another course no matter which nurse anesthesia program you apply to and matriculate at. The chemistry offered with the nurse anesthesia concentrations is intense and assumes that the students will hit the ground running.

I was arrested when I was 18. Will this prevent me from getting accepted into the program?

All criminal records will be reviewed prior to admission and all admissions are provisional on completion of criminal background checks. Failure to disclose the situation on your application will be grounds for immediate dismissal. Minor, non-violent offenses which have not affected your RN license will not necessarily be a problem. However, the University and the Caylor School of Nursing and MSN Nurse Anesthesia concentration will make the final determination.

I had a great GPA and a good quantitative score on my GRE. However, I had trouble getting a good score on the verbal section. Will that prevent my acceptance?

It will be considered by the Admission Committee. We suggest review courses and retaking the GRE, however the committee will review the entire application.

I am an operating room nurse. Is that acceptable nursing experience?

No. All experience will be reviewed, but generally experience in a critical care unit is required.

What about a step-down unit?

Step-down units are not considered critical care.

What about the ER, OB, PACU?

ER, OB, and PACU are not considered critical care.

Some programs will not consider neonatal or pediatric ICU experience. Will LMU?

Neonatal and Pediatric critical care experience will be considered on an individual basis, but adult critical care is preferred.

I had several years of experience in the ICU as a respiratory therapist, or ER experience as a paramedic or some health care professional other than nursing. Will that fulfill the requirement for critical care nursing experience?

No. Experience as a registered nurse is essential. The minimum of one year will not be waived.

I had several years of experience in the ICU as a registered nurse before I earned my BSN. Does this experience count as critical care nursing experience?


Can I work as a nurse during the program?

Generally not. It is not forbidden but your schedule will require that you are occupied some 60+ hours a week. Anesthesia programs, like professional programs for medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry, are full-time programs. Students who attempt to work uniformly have difficulty meeting the programs' standards. There are strict requirements preventing students from working a schedule that might compromise patient safety during the clinical experience. For example, working after 2100 hours the evening before clinical is forbidden and violation of the policy is grounds for dismissal.

Can I take the program part-time?

No. There is no part-time option for the nurse anesthesia program.

Will we follow the University calendar while in the program?

For the first two terms, yes. For the final 5 terms of the program, no. Students will be in the operating room 4 days a week (or more when on call) and in the classroom one day a week. Classroom classes will follow the LMU calendar, but students will be given a number of personal leave days and will utilize them just as a practicing CRNA will.

Will I always get out at 3 p.m.?

No. The student may be required to stay because it is better either for patient care or for the student's clinical education. Also there will be call schedules when the student will be scheduled to work in the evening or night.

What about weekends and holidays?

During call rotations students work on holidays and weekends. Nurse anesthetists sometimes have to work holidays; the same is true for nurse anesthesia students.

Do you admit students dismissed from another program?

Students dismissed from a nurse anesthesia or other advanced practice nursing program for academic, clinical or behavioral reasons will not be admitted to LMU's MSN Nurse Anesthesia Concentration. Students who have been enrolled in another program and withdrew in good standing or are still enrolled in good standing must have a letter from their director stating that they are or withdrew when they were in good standing. Students who are in good standing or who left a program in good standing will be considered for admission.

Where are clinical rotations?

The Caylor School of Nursing's Nurse Anesthesia Concentration shares LMU's mission to educate and serve the Appalachian region. Our current clinical sites are in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Georgia. All students are expected to be able to rotate to all clinical rotations.

Will I be required to have housing at rotations?

That will depend on where the student lives. It is up to the student to decide where to live and where to obtain housing for rotations. But most students will need housing for at least some rotations.

Do you place more than one nurse anesthesia student in an operating room for a case and have more than one student take credit for having performed the case?

No. One case, one student.

If you have questions regarding entrance into the MSN Program, please contact 423.869.6210 or 1.800.325.0900, ext. 6210.