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Common Questions

Are there any prerequisite courses needed for admission to the program?

No, there are no prerequisite courses to take prior to matriculation. However, completion of a biostatistics course within 2 years is highly recommended.

Do I need to have Letters of Recommendation submitted with my application?

No, the application requires you to upload a current resume/CV that includes the names, titles, and contact information for three professional references. These individuals should come from one or more of the following categories 1) professor or faculty member from your nursing educational program; 2) current immediate nursing work supervisor; 3) a physician whose patients you routinely provide nursing care for in the critical case setting.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required for admission?

No, the GRE is no longer required for application to the program.

When do interviews begin, and what are they like?

The application cycle opens in August, and interviews begin in late October or early November. Please see our “Application Requirements” webpage for the specific cycle dates for this year. Interviews conclude in late February with our final selection of students for the incoming class.

Applicants selected for an interview will receive a personalized email invitation to complete an online asynchronous assessment through the Kira Talent web portal. This assessment involves answering questions that are designed to identify important competencies for graduate-level study, including attributes of emotional intelligence.

After completing the Kira portion, candidates selected for an interview will also be invited to view a Program Overview video and attend a live Zoom meeting with current students and faculty. This meeting provides an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the program and its culture of student support and inclusion. Applicants will be provided access to a virtual Rosalind Franklin University (鶹Ӱ) tour and may also visit the 鶹Ӱ campus for an in-person tour. Please contact the Program at nurse.anesthesia@rosalindfranklin.edu to make arrangements for a visit to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs campus.

What is the maximum period allowed to complete the DNP-Nurse Anesthesia degree?

Students much complete all elements of the curriculum and all programmatic requirements within 5 consecutive calendar years from the date of matriculation. Students must also be in full compliance with all program policies to be recommended for graduation.

What elements constitute a “strong” application for admission into the Nurse Anesthesia program?

Key items that help to build a strong application include: 1) a grade point average (GPA) at or above 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale); 2) a natural science GPA at or above 3.0; 3) a minimum of 1 year of critical care experience; and 4) CCRN certification. Additional qualities that are assessed via the application include: diversity, life experience, and leadership experience.

After I interviewed, I received a “hold” decision, what does that mean?

A hold decision means that interviews are still ongoing, and your application is actively under review and consideration for acceptance.

After I interviewed, I received a “waitlist” decision, what does that mean?

A waitlist decision means that the program has received accepted offers of admission, and paid deposits, that fill the upcoming class. However, should a spot open up in the class, you may be contacted with an offer of admission.

After I interviewed, I received a “deny admission” decision--what does that mean?

A deny admission decision means that the program is not able to offer you acceptance for this admission cycle, and your application will not be placed on the current waitlist.

If I am not accepted this admission cycle, what things can I do to strengthen my application?

For an overall GPA near of below 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), consider taking additional graduate level courses for which you receive a grade of “A” or “B”.

For a natural science GPA near or below 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), consider taking additional graduate level science courses (such as Physiology, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology) for which you receive a grade of “A” or “B”. Obtain your CCRN certification (if you have not already done so) Seek additional leadership responsibilities within your present critical care position.

What type(s) of critical care experience will qualify me to apply to the program?

Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a US military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse has developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. 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. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to: surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care, pediatric intensive care, and neonatal intensive care. Those who have experiences in other areas may be considered provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.

How many students will be admitted per class?

The Rosalind Franklin University Department of Nurse Anesthesia is currently approved to matriculate 50 students per cohort.

Can I apply only to the Colorado location for the program of study? 

Program admission activities are identical regardless of an applicant’s location of residence. Applicants are considered for acceptance based on a variety of factors, and their flexibility regarding locations for didactic learning and clinical training is an important consideration. Candidates will receive a survey during the interview process through which they can indicate their preferences regarding didactic and clinical education. A specific number of seats in each cohort are designated for attendance in Colorado. The intended location to which students will be assigned for the didactic and clinical residency portions of the program will be communicated at the time of the offer of acceptance.

In addition to tuition, I see that there are also student fees charged--what is included in these fees?

The program has negotiated a greatly reduced price for textbooks (due to volume purchase) and assesses a fee that will cover all required textbooks. Student fees also include: 1) Apex and Prodigy National Certification Examination (NCE) board preparation software; 2) student membership in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA); 3) required educational modules developed by the AANA; 4) Self-Evaluation Examination (SEE) used to assess readiness to sit for the NCE; personally fitted precordial stethoscope and chest piece set; and 5) simulation supplies. Please see the posted breakdown of all student fees.

Will I need an IL or WI license for clinical?

An active unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license in one of the 50 United States is required to apply for admission to the program. Prior to the beginning of clinical residency training, each student is responsible for obtaining both Illinois and Wisconsin registered professional nurse (RN) licensure. Additional state licenses may be needed (based on the clinical rotation schedule), for which the cost will be reimbursed by the program.

Where do your students come from?

Can I obtain a course waiver or transfer credit for graduate level courses I have already taken?"

The faculty in the Nurse Anesthesia program will review any requests for course waiver or transfer credit from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. for the Nurse Anesthesia program policy.

What clinical sites are used by the Nurse Anesthesia Program?

View the interactive map of the program's clinical sites:

Does Rosalind Franklin University accept International Students?
Yes. If you completed coursework outside of the US, you must have a course-by-course evaluation completed by www.wes.org. This evaluation should be sent directly to NursingCAS. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required if English is not your native language. Official results of the exam should be sent directly to the PTCAS from Educational Testing Service (ETS). This requirement is waived if you have attended a minimum of two consecutive years of college study or higher in the United States or if applicant is a permanent US resident. To learn more about international students at 鶹Ӱ please visit the International Student page.

The program is described as hybrid—with both online and in-person activities. When will I be expected to be in-person, and in what location?

The program is 36 months in duration, with the first 18 months for didactic education (coursework and simulation), and the last 18 months for full-time clinical residency training. Program Orientation occurs the week prior to the start of the first quarter of study, and all students are expected to attend orientation in-person in North Chicago.

Quarter 1 & 2 (Summer Year 1=10 weeks and Fall Year 1=12 weeks)

During the first and second quarters of study, students will complete all coursework through distance education (online).

Quarter 3 (Winter Year 1=12 weeks)

Courses this quarter include Clinical Application of Gross Anatomy for Anesthesia, and Advanced Health Assessment. These courses include a total of 4 weeks of in-person attendance for cadaver lab experiences, sonoanatomy workshops, and formative and summative assessments with Standardized Patients (SPs). Students assigned to in-person learning in Illinois will attend all these sessions at the North Chicago campus. Students assigned to in-person learning in Colorado will attend 3 of the 4 sessions in Colorado Springs, with a requirement to attend the 4th week-long session in North Chicago with the entire cohort.

Quarters 4-6 (Spring Year 1-12 weeks; Summer Year 2-10 weeks; Fall Year 2-12 weeks)

During quarters 4-6, students begin their anesthesia core courses and simulation education. Students will be in-person 2-3 days per week at either the North Chicago/Huntley, IL campus—or the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs location.

Quarters 7-12

Students begin clinical residency training in the Winter quarter of Year 2 and will be entirely in-person at their assigned clinical site. In addition, students return to campus one to two days per month for required learning activities including doctoral project workdays. Illinois-based students will participate in North Chicago, IL and Colorado-based students in Colorado. Those students participating in clinical residency rotations distant to either location will attend these sessions virtually.

I see you have nearly 60 clinical sites in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Colorado. During my 18 months of clinical residency training, what should I expect for travel and housing for distant clinical sites?

Students are encouraged to view the interactive map of clinical sites available in the “Common Questions” section of the program webpages to understand the location and distribution of current sites. Due to a variety of anesthesia market factors beyond the control of Rosalind Franklin University, clinical site availability is subject to change (with and without prior notice). Students are encouraged to establish a “home-base” residence for clinical training in one of five geographic regions (Chicago; Northwest suburbs of Chicago; Southeast suburbs of Chicago/Northwest Indiana; Milwaukee, WI; Denver, CO). The program is generally able to provide 60-90 days advance notice regarding clinical rotation placements. Should you matriculate into the Rosalind Franklin University Nurse Anesthesia program, you may complete one or more of your clinical rotations (3 to 6 months of your 18-month residency) at a clinical site that is located more than an hour from your "home-base" location. If you choose to reside outside of one of the five geographic regions described, you may travel more than an hour for the majority/all of your clinical rotations. Expansion of program operations in Colorado involve opportunities for students to complete a significant portion, if not all, of their clinical residency training in Colorado.

Distant clinical sites may require additional housing or travel costs. Students who are receiving Financial Aid are generally able to adjust the amount of their financial aid to cover these additional costs (depending on their individual circumstances). Some distant sites provide housing—with or without cost to the student.

I know the nurse anesthesia program is rigorous, but how much time should I expect to spend on a weekly basis for this program?

Students should expect to spend an average of 50-60 hours per week across the three years of this program. Accreditation standards for clinical residency training require that students average no more than 64 hours per week.

Can I apply only to the Colorado location for the program of study?

Program admission activities are identical regardless of an applicant’s location of residence. Applicants are considered for acceptance based on a variety of factors, and their flexibility regarding locations for didactic learning and clinical training is an important consideration. Candidates will receive a survey during the interview process through which they can indicate their preferences regarding didactic and clinical education. A specific number of seats in each cohort are designated for attendance in Colorado. The intended location to which students will be assigned for the didactic and clinical residency portions of the program will be communicated at the time of the offer of acceptance.

At what location in Colorado will my in-person didactic education be conducted?

In-person learning in Colorado (classroom and simulation lab) will occur at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs within the Helen and Arthur B Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing (University Hall, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway). Anatomy lab learning sessions will occur at the Institute for Anatomical Research, 1490 West Fillmore Street, Suite 130, Colorado Springs, CO 80904.

How many times will students attending in Colorado need to be in Illinois during the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program?

Our goal is to create a sense of community, inclusiveness, and cohesion within each cohort, and among our program overall. We anticipate that all students will be at the main campus for five key events during the 36-month curriculum:

  1. a one-week University and Program orientation that occurs the week prior to the start of the first quarter of study
  2. summative assessment for advanced health assessment (with standardized patients) occurring late in the third quarter of study
  3. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) workshop, regional anesthesia training, and high-fidelity simulation practice at the Huntley simulation center early in the sixth quarter of study
  4. White Coat Ceremony, clinical orientation and final high-fidelity simulation scenario testing late in the sixth quarter of study
  5. End of program Return to Campus Event in the last quarter of study (Q12).

The length of these key events will vary from a few days to a week, and students will be responsible for the cost of travel and lodging associated with these events.

Can I complete my entire clinical residency in Colorado?

Nurse Anesthesia Residents (NAR) can complete the majority (if not all) of their clinical residency training in Colorado but may need to return to Illinois to capture specific specialty cases if they are not obtained at one of the clinical sites currently available in Colorado. These specialty rotations would be expected to be 1-2 months in duration.

Can I complete my entire clinical residency in one place?

One of the highlights of our program is the variety of clinical training locations. Nurse Anesthesia Residents (NAR) are exposed to several types of anesthesia delivery models, including independent CRNA practice, as well as different types of learning environments. Applicants are encouraged to view the interactive map of clinical sites available in the “Common Questions” section to understand the location and distribution of current sites (subject to change based on market factors).

Students are encouraged to establish a “home-base” residence for clinical training in one of five geographic regions:

  • Chicago/Northwest suburbs of Chicago;
  • Chicago/Southeast suburbs of Chicago/Northwest Indiana;
  • Milwaukee, WI;
  • Denver, CO;
  • Colorado Springs/Pueblo, CO

All NARs will be expected to attend multiple rotations at different locations to receive a well-rounded clinical education. Should you matriculate into the Rosalind Franklin University Nurse Anesthesia program, you may complete one or more of your clinical rotations (3-6 months of your 18-month residency) at a clinical site that is located more than an hour from your “home-base” location. Students can request adjustments to their Financial Aid to cover the cost of travel and housing for distant clinical rotations.

What license(s) will I need for clinical?

An active unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license in the United States, its territories or protectorates is required to apply for admission to the program. Prior to beginning clinical residency training: 1) Illinois-based students much obtain both Illinois and Wisconsin registered professional nurse licenses (at student cost) and must keep both licenses current throughout the duration of their clinical residency training; 2) Colorado-based students must obtain both Colorado and Illinois registered professional nurse licenses (at student cost) and must keep both licenses current throughout the duration of their clinical residency training. Students who possess an active multistate compact registered nurse license will only be required to obtain an Illinois single-state license (at student cost). Due to the timeframe required to successfully complete the licensure process in any state, students should begin this process no less than 12 months prior to the start of clinical training. Selected students (due to clinical placement assignments) may be asked to obtain licensure in an additional state(s); the cost of such additional licenses will be borne by the Department of Nurse Anesthesia.