Graduate Catalog 2009-2010
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Nurse Anesthesiology (MS) | Office | Website


The Nurse Anesthesia program is dedicated to providing educational excellence for the graduate student through comprehensive classroom and clinical experiences. Our faculty nurture professional responsibility and commitment to research and other professional activities. The academic curriculum, as well as the variety and quantity of clinical experiences offered by our partnership with affiliated clinical sites allow students to become highly skilled Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). High quality anesthesia care encompasses in-depth knowledge, judgment and problem solving skills, proficient implementation of technical skills, and values and beliefs which positively affect relationships with patients and members of the health care team. To integrate these critical skills, the program incorporates learning activities which facilitate the development of entry-level CRNAs. Students prepare for full participation in anesthesia care, as members of a health care team responsible for total patient care.

The University of Detroit Mercy Nurse Anesthesia Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), 222 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL, 60068, (847) 655-1160. The program's next accreditation review by the COA is scheduled for October 2015.

Admissions Requirements

The master's program is targeted to outstanding Registered Nurses with critical care experience who possess a baccalaureate degree. Applicants must meet the technical standards published in the Student-Faculty Handbook. Admissions Requirements include those technical standards plus:

  • 1. Graduation from an accredited (NLNAC or CCNE) nursing program.
  • 2. Baccalaureate degree in Nursing or appropriate science degree. A bachelor's degree in a natural science is accepted. Examples are Chemistry, Biology, Physics. If you have another degree, your past academic background is individually considered for predictors of success in our Program, such as a strong science background and good performance.
  • 3. Minimum of one year recent experience (within last 5 years) as a professional registered nurse in a critical care area in which the applicant has had the opportunity to develop as an independent decision maker, demonstrate psychomotor skills and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. Direct patient contact is required. The requirement for critical care is that you have experience as a Registered Nurse in a critical care area, with emphasis placed on invasive hemodynamic monitoring, ventilatory care and pharmacologic management. The preferred areas (with the greatest preference first) are: SICU (Surgical Intensive Care), MICU (Medical Intensive Care), CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care), PICU/NICU (Pediatric or Neonatal Intensive Care). Applicants have also been accepted whose experience is primarily in the Emergency Room, provided they can demonstrate familiarity with invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.
  • 4. Professional/academic competency attested by three letters of recommendation. Have the Recommendation Forms filled out by the Dean (or designee) of your nursing program, your immediate supervisor (charge nurse or head nurse) in critical care, and a colleague who is a CRNA, physician or RN, and is familiar with your critical care skills. For Nurse Managers and Colleague recommendations: We are interested in an assessment of the applicant's critical care nursing skills, personal characteristics (maturity and readiness for a difficult program of study), and degree of professional development as a Registered Nurse. For Nursing School Deans: We are interested primarily in confirmation of academic degrees and dates. They may provide this on the recommendation form, on letterhead, or both.
  • 5. Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with scores available before the deadline for applications (October 31).
  • 6. An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  • 7. Undergraduate coursework: Transcripts should reflect one undergraduate course taken within the last ten years, with a grade of B or above, in each of the following areas: Inorganic chemistry, Organic (or Bio-) chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Research Methods.
  • 8. Submission of a professional autobiography delineating personal goals of graduate study.
  • 9. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification.
  • 10. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification.
  • 11. Current unencumbered licensure as a professional registered nurse in Michigan, or ability to obtain the same.
  • Applicants must demonstrate they can meet the technical standards published in our handbook, and complete the application process as directed including filling out and signing the Statement of Accuracy form. Once accepted, enrollment is contingent on successfully passing a health and drug screening as well as a criminal background check, and remaining in critical care until enrollment.

Admissions process
Please note that applications are reviewed continuously as they are received (twelve months a year). The program accepts applications online. Approximately 25-30 students are enrolled each year for the program. Accepted applicants begin coursework in September. Orientation is held for the first week of the Program. Clinical experience begins during the second semester.

When applying, keep in mind:

  • 1. Please keep us informed of your current email address throughout the process. We use email as a primary means of communicating with you. Please note that some applicants have had problems with reliability of "free" email services (i.e. missing email we sent). We do not follow all email communications with a letter or phone call. So please be sure you choose a reliable email provider.
  • 2. Attend an information session for clarification of any questions. Apply at least 2-3 months before the October 31 deadline if you can, as this allows time for transcripts and recommendations to arrive. While we will consider all applications received before the deadline, it is difficult to determine that an interview should be scheduled if we are awaiting transcripts and letters of recommendation.
  • 3. We encourage you to fill out the online application before sending in supporting documentation (this gives us your contact information if we have questions).
  • 4. Ensure that supporting documentation is sent promptly. This includes three letters of reference (including a Dean reference), transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended since high school, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores.
  • 5. We review all applications received in November. We contact all applicants in mid December (approximately), indicating whether we will be granting an interview or not.
  • 6. The top candidates meeting or exceeding admission requirements will be granted an interview (normally held in late January, but this may vary from year to year). The Admissions Committee goal is to notify all applicants of their decision within two weeks after the interviews. Applicants are either accepted, accepted as alternates, or their application is denied.
  • 7. After they receive notice from the Admissions Committee, accepted applicants confirm their intention to enroll in writing, and by submitting a deposit (which is non-refundable and applied to the first term tuition and other fees).
  • 8. If there are unfilled positions available after fall interviews, qualified candidates whose applications are received after October may be scheduled during a second round of interviews in the spring, space permitting.
  • NOTE: The Program welcomes applications or inquiries twelve months a year. The January series of interviews are held each year. A second series of interviews may be held in the spring, if there is a need.

Outcome Criteria

Attainment of these final objectives demonstrates that graduates have acquired knowledge, skills and competencies in the areas of patient safety, perianesthetic management, critical thinking, communication, and the professional role.

Patient safety
is demonstrated by the ability of the graduate to:

  • Be vigilant in the delivery of patient care
  • Protect patients from iatrogenic complications
  • Participate in the positioning of patients to prevent injury
  • Conduct a comprehensive and appropriate equipment check
  • Utilize standard precautions and appropriate infection control measures

Individualized Perianesthetic Management
is demonstrated by the ability of the graduate to:

  • Provide care throughout the perianesthetic continuum
  • Use a variety of current anesthesia techniques, agents, adjunctive drugs, and equipment while providing anesthesia
  • Administer general anesthesia to patients of all ages and physical conditions for a variety of surgical and medically related procedures
  • Provide anesthesia services to all patients, including trauma and emergency cases
  • Administer and manage a variety of regional anesthetics
  • Function as a resource person for airway and ventilatory management of patients
  • Possess current advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) recognition
  • Possess current pediatric advanced life support (PALS) recognition
  • Deliver culturally competent perianesthetic care throughout the anesthesia experience

Critical thinking
is demonstrated by the graduate's ability to:

  • Apply theory to practice in decision-making and problem solving,
  • Provide nurse anesthesia care based on sound principles and research evidence,
  • Perform a preanesthetic assessment and formulate an anesthesia care plan for patients to whom they are assigned to administer anesthesia,
  • Identify and take appropriate action when confronted with anesthetic equipment-related malfunctions.
  • Interpret and utilize data obtained from noninvasive and invasive monitoring modalities.
  • Calculate, initiate, and manage fluid and blood component therapy.
  • Recognize and appropriately respond to anesthetic complications that occur during the perianesthetic period
  • Pass the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists' (CCNA) certification examination in accordance with CCNA policies and procedures

Communication Skills
are demonstrated by the graduate's ability to:

  • Effectively communicate with all individuals influencing patient care
  • Utilize appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication in the delivery of perianesthetic care

Professional role
is demonstrated by the graduate's ability to:

  • Participate in activities that improve anesthesia care
  • Function within appropriate legal requirements as a registered professional nurse accepting responsibility and accountability for his or her practice
  • Interact on a professional level with integrity
  • Teach others
  • Participate in continuing education activities to acquire new knowledge and improve his or her practice


The curriculum is typically taken in either 27 months ("full time") or 39 months ("extended" or "part time". Both are discussed below on this page. Note: the curriculum is subject to change.

Full-Time (27 month) Track
The listing includes course number, title, and credit hours. These credit hours are based on 4 month terms. For example, BIO5380 meets for 4 hours of lecture per week, over a four month period (4 x 16 = 64 contact hours total). Please note that only classroom experiences follow this format. Clinical Internships or research classes may require more time commitment than indicated by their credit weight.

Term 1 Fall
BIO 5380 Physiology I 4
ANE 5600 Pharmacology I 4
BIO 5420/5440 Gross Anatomy (Lecture/lab) 4
ANE 5490 Principles of Nurse Anesthesia I 4
16 credits total

Term 2 Winter
BIO 5390 Physiology II 4
ANE 5610 Pharmacology II 3
ANE 5500 Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia I 4
ANE 6010 Clinical Internship I 1
ANE 5700 Principles of Regional Anesthesia 2
14 credits total

Term 3 Summer
ANE 5510 Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia II 4
ANE 5300 Physics and Biomedical Instrumentation 3
PYC 5030 Statistics 3
ANE 5620 Pharmacology III 2
ANE 6020 Clinical Internship II 1
13 credits. PYC 5030 Statistics may be taken prior to enrollment or any term before Term 5.

Term 4 Fall
ANE 5520 Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia III 2
HLH 5500 Research Methodology 3
ANE 5100 Professional Aspects 2
ANE 5940 Pathophysiology 3
ANE 6030 Clinical Internship III 1
11 credits

Term 5 Winter
ANE 6990 Masters Project OR 1
Elective; see below 3
ANE 6100 Seminar 1
ANE 6040 Clinical Internship IV 1
5 credits total. Students may elect to perform a research project. In this case they will choose ANE6990 Master's Project for one credit in each of Term 5, 6, and 7. Students who do not complete the project will take one three-credit elective before graduating. Coursework is subject to the approval of the Director, and could include topical areas such as health care law, finance, ethics, or management.

Term 6 Summer
ANE 6110 Pathophysiology Review 1
ANE 6050 Clinical Internship V 1
2 credits total.

Term 7 Fall
ANE 6120 Seminar 1
ANE 6060 Clinical Internship VI 1
2 credits total.

Total credits = 63

Students may elect to perform a research project. In this case they will choose ANE6990 Master's Project for one credit in each of Term 5, 6, and 7. Students who do not complete the project will take one three credit elective before graduating. Coursework is subject to the approval of the Director, and could include topical areas such as health care law, finance, ethics, or management.

Extended (39 month) Track
The 63 credits (same number as the 27 month track) are taken in 39 months. We refer to this curriculum as an extended curriculum (rather than "part time") because the time commitment for the students in this track, in their last 15-18 months, is identical to the time commitment of students in the full-time track.

  • 1. In the first 12 months of the 39 month track, the student takes 15 credits and has no clinical component. It is realistic to remain employed (part time or perhaps even full time) during this period.
  • 2. In months 13-24, the student has clinical and classroom commitments (with the exception of the credits already taken) identical to the full time track. So the time commitment is less than the full time track. How many hours you can continue to be employed depends on your energy level, family responsibilities, and how well you are doing in the classroom and in the clinical area.
  • 3. In months 25-39, there is no difference in time commitment between the two tracks and it is strongly suggested that students will do better without any outside work responsibilities, in view of the demands of the clinical area and the scholarly project.

The choice of full or part time track is generally left up to the individual student, who declares their intent at the time enrollment is offered. You are strongly encouraged to speak directly to the program Director or Assistant Director if you are interested in this track.

Choice of courses, and their order, are established by mutual agreement with the program chair. Typically, an extended-track student may take BIO5420, BIO5380, BIO5390, PYC5030, HLH 5500, and their elective (if they choose one) in their first 12 months.

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