The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) is a 36-month program consisting of 92 credits over 9 semesters. The detailed course descriptions have been segregated by year to coincide with the curriculum plan.

Course Descriptions

 

Please note: revisions to curricula are ongoing. 

DNAP Year 1 Course Descriptions

Each course description includes the number of credits as well as the School providing the course for the first year in the DNAP program.

This course presents an introduction to anesthesia practice and techniques. It includes topics which are essential foundations from which to build upon as the Student Registered Nurse (SRNA) progresses throughout the anesthesia program. Anesthesia terminology and techniques, medical math, airway anatomy and pathophysiology, assessment and management, preoperative and intraoperative patient evaluation, anesthesia pharmacology, proper preparation and troubleshooting of anesthesia equipment, and patient positioning are the main foci of this course.

- 3 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
This course is a continuation of the Basic Principles of Anesthesia I course and includes chemical dependency and wellness among anesthesia providers and opioid-sparing techniques, including local anesthetics and neuraxial blocks. Fluid and electrolyte and acid-base disturbances are also covered. This course examines the relationship of these topics to monitoring in the OR and post-anesthesia care unit. Student comorbidity and monitoring presentations are included in this course. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNA 801.

- 3 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
This course is the last section of Basic Principles of Anesthesia that integrates monitoring technology into two specialized areas of anesthesia practice, peripheral nerve blocks and cardiothoracic surgical procedures. Opportunities for direct observation of modern cardiothoracic surgical procedures are incorporated into this course. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNA 802.

- 3 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
Clinical practicums I-VIII facilitate the SRNA's incorporation of evidence-based theory into clinical anesthesia practice. Students will be required to design patient-specific care plans addressing pre-anesthetic preparation, intra-anesthetic management and postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. While in the clinical area, SRNAs will be supervised and evaluated by CRNAs and/or anesthesiologists with staff privileges based on specific criteria outlined in the clinical evaluation tool. SRNAs will be required to record their clinical time and case types in order to fulfil the mandatory clinical requirements established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

- 0 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
Clinical practicums I-VIII facilitate the SRNA's incorporation of evidence-based theory into clinical anesthesia practice. Students will be required to design patient-specific care plans addressing pre-anesthetic preparation, intra-anesthetic management and postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. While in the clinical area, SRNAs will be supervised and evaluated by CRNAs and/or anesthesiologists with staff privileges based on specific criteria outlined in the clinical evaluation tool. SRNAs will be required to record their clinical time and case types in order to fulfill the mandatory clinical requirements established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

- 0 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
This course is designed to aid the SRNA in the application of the human gross anatomy. Both the classroom and virtual components will be part of learning. The course provides a focus on the relationship between structures and systems in the human body. The course is structured to study the human body in a regional approach, while emphasizing the relationship between form and function. Key organ systems will be covered, with emphasis placed on those most relevant to the field of nurse anesthesia. Special emphasis will include the head, neck and airway, followed by multiorgan systems including the nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

- 2 credits; John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences
This course is designed to focus on the regional anatomy of the human: the anterolateral neck, deep back and spine, thoracic cavity and its contents, abdominal wall and inguinal canal, abdominal cavity and its contents, the pelvic cavity and its contents, and the head. In addition to regional gross human anatomy, the course will also cover selected topics in the areas of histology and embryology related to the structures of the selected regions. The course consists of both a lecture and a laboratory component. Lecture sessions will present information pertaining to the gross anatomy, and the organization and relationships of the various structures found in the above listed regions of the body, as well as basic histology and embryology where appropriate. A human cadaver dissection laboratory is a required component of the course. In the dissection lab the student, under the direction of faculty, will dissect and study human cadavers. Efforts will be made to assist course participants to utilize the information presented in both lecture and laboratory sessions to analyze and solve medically/clinically relevant questions. Pre-requisites: Completion of HLTS 517.

- 4 credits; John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences
This is a course of general principles and knowledge required to care for patients who will be treated by operative procedures. The instructor will provide the role, responsibilities and duties of the members of the surgical team in detail. The fundamentals of preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care will be presented. Common complications, both their prevention and management, will be presented. Selected topics will include commonly performed procedures and the interface of surgery with other disciplines. Pre-requisites: Completion of HLTS 517.

- 3 credits; John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences
In this course, students will incorporate patient cases to interpret the results of common diagnostic tests. Based on the patient presentation and laboratory testing, students will be challenged to propose a plan of care based on the laboratory abnormalities that exist.

- 1 credit; John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences
This course focuses on evidence-based practice (EBP) and policy development by addressing the value of scientific evidence and nursing research in providing high-quality health care that is also culturally-responsive and appropriate. Content focuses on the need for EBP, the research process, high performance inter-professional teams, systematic EBP using the Johns Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Model, ethical issues, and use of organizational leadership techniques to promote evidence-based practice. The goal of this course is to prepare nurses in advanced practice who are proficient in using a systematic EBP model to identify and address clinical problems with inter-professional teams and collaborations. Additionally, he/she is well- prepared to lead EBP efforts, implementation projects, and make policy recommendations.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
Etiology, pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of disease process will be presented within the framework of the Synergy Model. The interaction between patient vulnerability and patient resiliency will be emphasized in explaining major pathophysiological conditions across the life span. The effects of complexity and predictability on patient outcomes will be highlighted when appropriate. This approach will enhance nurse competencies to assess and evaluate physiological changes, presence or absence of complications, and the extent to which the desired outcome of care and or treatment are attained. Most importantly, this approach will facilitate ongoing learning.


- 3 credits; School of Nursing
This course examines contemporary major health issues to determine their relationship to, and impact upon, health policy and financing in the United States and around the world. A major focus is the identification, formulation and legitimation of health policy. Given the unique private/public partnership in American health care delivery and financing, attention is given to public/private financing of health care and its relationship to access, quality and cost.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
This course will use a case-based approach to examine the multitude of legal and ethical issues that confront the contemporary nurse leader in their professional nursing role. The course will also address issues confronted by nursing administrators, directors, nurse managers and clinical leaders. The course will begin with an introduction to the legal process and how legal cases are retrieved and cited in the literature. The course will examine such concepts as ‘due process' and how it is operationalized in nursing practice. The role of a health care-based attorney as a consultant in the clinical setting will also be addressed. Using a case-based method, various scenarios will be analyzed within a legal and ethical framework.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
This course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to excel in the ethical leadership of organizations and groups in the transformation of educational and health care environments. Focus areas will include values and ethics, professional accountability, human resource utilization, legal issues, effective communication skills, effective management of teams and groups, conflict management and resolution, and health care advocacy.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing

DNAP Year 2 Course Descriptions

Each course description includes the number of credits as well as the School providing the course for the second year in the DNAP program.

This course is the last section of Basic Principles of Anesthesia that integrates monitoring technology into two specialized areas of anesthesia practice, peripheral nerve blocks and cardiothoracic surgical procedures. Opportunities for direct observation of modern cardiothoracic surgical procedures are incorporated into this course. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNA 802.

- 3 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
Clinical practicums I-VIII facilitate the SRNA's incorporation of evidence-based theory into clinical anesthesia practice. Students will be required to design patient-specific care plans addressing pre-anesthetic preparation, intra-anesthetic management and postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. While in the clinical area, SRNAs will be supervised and evaluated by CRNAs and/or anesthesiologists with staff privileges based on specific criteria outlined in the clinical evaluation tool. SRNAs will be required to record their clinical time and case types in order to fulfill the mandatory clinical requirements established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

- 0 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
Clinical practicums I-VIII facilitate the SRNA's incorporation of evidence-based theory into clinical anesthesia practice. Students will be required to design patient-specific care plans addressing pre-anesthetic preparation, intra-anesthetic management and postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. While in the clinical area, SRNAs will be supervised and evaluated by CRNAs and/or anesthesiologists with staff privileges based on specific criteria outlined in the clinical evaluation tool. SRNAs will be required to record their clinical time and case types in order to fulfill the mandatory clinical requirements established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

- 0 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
Clinical practicums I-VIII facilitate the SRNA's incorporation of evidence-based theory into clinical anesthesia practice. Students will be required to design patient-specific care plans addressing pre-anesthetic preparation, intra-anesthetic management and postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. While in the clinical area, SRNAs will be supervised and evaluated by CRNAs and/or anesthesiologists with staff privileges based on specific criteria outlined in the clinical evaluation tool. SRNAs will be required to record their clinical time and case types in order to fulfill the mandatory clinical requirements established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

- 0 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
This course examines the specific anesthesia techniques utilized for surgery across the life span involving neonatal, pediatric, obstetric and geriatric patient populations. Patient safety concerns will be covered in this course and will include the use of intraoperative lasers, diagnostic radiological equipment and potential fire risks that exist within the operating room environment. Mechanisms of intraoperative heat loss will be examined, and pathophysiology of malignant hyperthermia will be addressed to allow for early recognition. Student-led conferences will be incorporated throughout this course based on evidence-based guidelines. Examples of topics include pediatric anomalies, obstetric procedures and intrauterine fetal surgery. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNA 803.

- 3 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia


This course examines the physiology and pathophysiology specific to bariatric, ear, nose and throat (ENT), neurosurgery, hepatobiliary and renal systems. Disease processes of each physiological system will be discussed along with their anesthetic management and are incorporated into this course. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNA 812.

- 3 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
This course highlights the principles of biochemistry and physics as they relate to the practice of administering anesthesia. Organic compounds, including amino and nucleic acids, and their interactions will be reviewed along with the regulation of major metabolic pathways. The study of fluids, gas laws, forces, acid/base balance, electrical circuits and radiation will prepare the SRNA for clinical practice. This course is essential in preparation for subsequent pharmacologic instruction including the metabolism and excretion of medications in clinical practice.

- 4 credits; John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences
This course provides a foundation for diagnostic and therapeutic radiology. Diagnostic instruction on interpretation of radiographs in a variety of methods including theory, rationale, images and interpretation. Radiographic anatomy and positioning of the extremities, chest, abdomen, pelvis, vertebral column and routine fluoroscopic procedures will be stressed. Therapeutic instruction on the use of ultrasound-guided techniques for administration of peripheral nerve blocks will be included. Pre-requisites: Completion of HLTS 321.

- 1 credit; John G. Rangos, Sr. School of Health Sciences


This course focuses on theories of physical assessment across the life span. Theoretical frameworks from nursing and other disciplines will be used to develop a patient database in primary health care practice settings. This course will introduce Family Theory as a critical foundation for effective communication and care delivery. Concepts of the synergy model that address patient resiliency, vulnerability and stability will be incorporated throughout the course. Pre-requisits: Completion of GPNG 529.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
A foundation for the application of pharmacology relevant to advanced nursing practice is provided throughout this course. The process involving medication selection by advanced practice nurses for various diseases states and patient populations is discussed, as well as considerations pertaining to potential risks and benefits associated with pharmacotherapy. Expected adverse effects, monitoring parameters, and drug interactions for specific medications and medication classes will be reviewed.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
This course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to excel in the ethical leadership of organizations and groups in the transformation of educational and health care environments. Focus areas will include values and ethics, professional accountability, human resource utilization, legal issues, effective communication skills, effective management of teams and groups, conflict management and resolution, and health care advocacy.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
This course provides an emphasis on a scholarly approach to problem solving based on critical appraisal, synthesis and application of research evidence. An evidence-based practice paradigm will be used to assist the student in learning to evaluate, implement and disseminate best research evidence into practice. This knowledge will be applied through analysis and synthesis of evidence that may be used to systematically address important practice and/or health policy problems for populations of patients, communities and clinicians working in diverse interdisciplinary teams. The use of theory and research from the perspective of clinical nursing and other disciplines is emphasized as the foundation for effecting change in nursing and healthcare. Finally, dissemination of clinical practice scholarship will be discussed as a critical element of DNP practice.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
This course provides a background in analysis and evaluation of program outcomes within health care settings. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the DNP in developing and leading clinical quality and safety initiatives through the identification of appropriate measurement strategies and evaluation instruments when evaluating program and measuring practice change. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNS 957.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
The focus of this course is on the pharmacology of medications used in clinical anesthesia practice. Major content will include the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of general anesthetic agents, analgesics, opioids, muscle relaxants, local anesthetics and adjuvant agents used in anesthesia. Emphasis is on uptake, distribution, metabolism, excretion and elimination of anesthetics. Drug dosage, side effects, and usual effects of anesthetic agents on various body systems will also be presented, along with fluid and electrolyte balance. The course incorporates gas laws and principles of flow in delivering inhalation anesthetic agents. Pharmacogenomics and the importance of safety, individual patient variations, age, cultural context, and current evidence-based practice principles will be emphasized when considering the use of various pharmacologic therapies in the treatment of individual patients. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNG 530.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing

This 2-credit online course will focus on perioperative genomics and the underlying genetic and epigenetic variability that influences a person's response to anesthesia and surgery. This course will cover topics on the role of genetic and epigenetic variables along with patient risk assessment, disease characterization and outcome prediction. Additionally, the basics of pharmacogenomics will be introduced and applied to specific medications and conditions.


- 2 credits; School of Nursing

DNAP Year 3 Course Descriptions

Each course description includes the number of credits as well as the School providing the course for the third year in the DNAP program.

Clinical practicums I-VIII facilitate the SRNA's incorporation of evidence-based theory into clinical anesthesia practice. Students will be required to design patient-specific care plans addressing pre-anesthetic preparation, intra-anesthetic management and postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. While in the clinical area, SRNAs will be supervised and evaluated by CRNAs and/or anesthesiologists with staff privileges based on specific criteria outlined in the clinical evaluation tool. SRNAs will be required to record their clinical time and case types in order to fulfill the mandatory clinical requirements established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

- 0 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
Clinical practicums I-VIII facilitate the SRNA's incorporation of evidence-based theory into clinical anesthesia practice. Students will be required to design patient-specific care plans addressing pre-anesthetic preparation, intra-anesthetic management and postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. While in the clinical area, SRNAs will be supervised and evaluated by CRNAs and/or anesthesiologists with staff privileges based on specific criteria outlined in the clinical evaluation tool. SRNAs will be required to record their clinical time and case types in order to fulfill the mandatory clinical requirements established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

- 0 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
Clinical practicums I-VIII facilitate the SRNA's incorporation of evidence-based theory into clinical anesthesia practice. Students will be required to design patient-specific care plans addressing pre-anesthetic preparation, intra-anesthetic management and postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures. While in the clinical area, SRNAs will be supervised and evaluated by CRNAs and/or anesthesiologists with staff privileges based on specific criteria outlined in the clinical evaluation tool. SRNAs will be required to record their clinical time and case types in order to fulfill the mandatory clinical requirements established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.


- 0 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
This course examines multiple topics which include hemostasis, coagulopathies, endocrine anatomy, and physiology including pathophysiology, extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. In addition, legal aspects of anesthesia practice will be addressed. Student-led conferences will be incorporated throughout this course based on evidence-based guidelines on topics chosen by the student. These topics vary dependent on student interest. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNA 813.

- 3 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
This course will engage the student's basic anesthesia knowledge to create and apply critical thinking skills during the medical and anesthetic management of patients for a variety of surgical procedures. Guest speakers will present various aspects of advanced anesthesia theory for specific comorbidities and surgical interventions. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNS 966.

- 2 credits; Allegheny School of Anesthesia
This course prepares advanced practice nurses in clinical practice and leadership roles as part of interdisciplinary teams that will lead the selection, implementation and optimization of health information systems that support the delivery and maintenance of quality nursing and inter-professional health care, including patient access to essential health information. The course will examine approaches to data management and analytics that are used to evaluate and improve patient care and safety, health care delivery, care management and population health initiatives. The course will explore health information technology innovations and enhancements that support the provision of health care services and clinical practice throughout communities including clinical decision support, data repositories, health information exchanges, telehealth and mobile health and continuum of care management, and patient engagement.

- 3 credits; School of Nursing
This course builds on the foundational principles of evidence-based practice to enhance understanding and practice of quality care, evidence-based nursing and translational research at an advanced level. The DNP student will learn to contribute to the expansion of knowledge underlying advanced professional nursing practice through the translation of research into practice. Students will develop and refine competencies and skills in translating nursing research. Student's enhanced understanding and proficiency in translating evidence will guide them to transform the evidence-based approaches used in practice. Human subjects' research will be discussed. Finally, dissemination of clinical practice scholarship will be examined as a critical element of DNP practice. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNS 957.


- 3 credits; School of Nursing
This course will focus on the synthesis of role theory and the transition of the student into advanced practice. Federal legislations, professional issues, models of health care delivery and practice in the evolving health care environment will be discussed. Quality improvement and safety within Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) practice will be explored. An overview of the Consensus Model and advance practice nursing roles will be provided as well as intra and inter-professional collaboration. A general review of foundational core science concepts will be integrated. Test-taking strategies, management of test anxiety, and other test preparation activities will be reviewed in preparation for the National Certification Exam (NCE). Concepts of the Synergy Model that address patient resiliency, vulnerability and stability will be incorporated throughout the course. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNS 813.

- 1 credit; School of Nursing
This course will focus on the synthesis of role theory and preparing for transition to APRN practice. Liability malpractice, and professional issues in the evolving health care environment will be discussed. Health care reform models of reimbursement related to practice performance measures will be explored. Quality improvement strategies and tools will be discussed within the context of APRN practice. A general review of advanced core science concepts will be integrated. Preparation for the National Certification Exam (NCE) will be discussed, along with exam strategies, and systematic exposure to exam questions.
Licensure and responsibilities at the state level will be addressed. Concepts of the Synergy Model that address patient resiliency, vulnerability, and stability will be incorporated throughout the course. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNS 964.

- 2 credits; School of Nursing
This course will focus on the synthesis of role theory and preparing for transitioning to APRN practice. Liability, malpractice and professional issues in the evolving health care environment will be discussed. Health care reform models of reimbursement related to practice performance measures will be explored. Quality improvement strategies and tools will be discussed within the context of APRN practice. A general review of advanced core science concepts will be integrated. Preparation for the National Certification Exam (NCE) will be discussed, along with exam strategies and systematic exposure to exam questions. Licensure and responsibilities at the state level will be addressed. Concepts of the Synergy Model that address patient resiliency, vulnerability and stability will be incorporated throughout the course. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNS 965.

- 2 credits; School of Nursing
This course initiates the DNAP Leadership Residency which is a key component of the DNAP program. The residency establishes practicum experiences for the DNAP student within an organization or community to complete their DNAP Project. The student participates in meaningful engagement with experts from nursing and interdisciplinary teams, with their Faculty Mentor and Residency Preceptor providing guidance and support. This experience provides each DNAP student the opportunity to engage with leadership and/or clinical staff as they design and implement initiatives which are designed to improve outcomes of care. Working with their Faculty Mentor and Residency Preceptor, the SRNA manages project implementation and response to the change process being initiated, including ethical or legal concerns. Students work within the organization to advocate and educate leaders and staff regarding the identified health or health care organization concern. Students implement the data collection and management plan through collaboration and communication with organizational support. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNS 958.

- 4 credits; School of Nursing
This course continues the DNAP Leadership Residency as the student works within an organization or community to complete their DNAP Project. The student participates in meaningful engagement with nursing and interdisciplinary experts within an organizational setting, with their Faculty Mentor and Residency Preceptor's guidance and support. This experience provides each DNAP student with comprehensive leadership and/or clinical experience designed to meet their professional leadership and/or practice goals. Students also explore their achievement of each of the AACN Essentials and reflect on their impact on their professional role. Students complete the requirements for graduation including: DNAP Competency Tracking Form; successful completion of the DNAP Residency hours; DNAP Portfolio; DNAP Project; and DNAP Manuscript. Pre-requisites: Completion of GPNS 967.

- 4 credits; School of Nursing