Practice Doctorate/DNAP Program

The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree is the highest practice degree in nurse anesthesia. MTSA will offer, pending COA approval, the DNAP Practice Doctorate. MTSA offers the DNAP Practice Doctorate to registered nurses who have met each of the application requirements for admission. The DNAP Practice Doctorate is a full-time course of study for 36 consecutive months. Following the first online semester all subsequent semesters require Middle Tennessee residency. In the third semester the students begin a rigorous clinical rotation process that offers students a vast array of clinical experiences in the peri-anesthesia setting, which continues throughout the remainder of the program.

The Practice Doctorate curriculum is designed to apply the scholarly process for translating evidenced based research into clinical practice. The scholarly project is a culmination of all course work during the program exemplified in a professional electronic portfolio. As well, students produce a nurse anesthesia quality improvement project in the areas of practice, education, administration or business management.

The Practice Doctorate application cycle opens March 1, 2017. The deadline to have all application paperwork submitted is June 30, 2017.


Learn more about the application process:

Admission Checklist»
Interview Process»
Comparison to PhD»
Student Handbook»
Admissions Contact»


Frequently Asked Questions
(Practice Doctorate/DNAP Program*)

* The Practice Doctorate/DNAP Program is currently pending accreditation from the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Programs. The final decision for accreditation should be made available by the COA in June 2017.


How many years of experience are required to apply?

A minimum one year of experience (beyond orientation) as a registered nurse in a critical care area such as SICU, Neuro ICU, CVICU, CCU, MICU or Trauma.

What is the length of the program?


When does the program start?

The official projected start date of the program is January 8, 2018.

When can I apply?

The application cycle is open March 1 through June 30.

What is the average GPA of applicants that are accepted?

The average cumulative GPA is 3.4. Average cumulative science GPA is 3.4.

How much is tuition?

Total tuition and fees is $90,000 for the 36-month program. Because MTSA is a private institution, an “in-state” tuition discount is not available.

Is a BSN required?

A minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing OR a licensed Registered Nurse with a baccalaureate degree in a related field of science is required to apply. If your baccalaureate degree is not in nursing, you must have at least 15 semester hours of biophysical sciences beyond the basic nursing degree.

What is the Chemistry Course prerequisite?

A minimum of a 3-credit hour college level Chemistry course covering the principles of basic chemistry, biochemistry, and organic chemistry is required if your nursing degree did not require a chemistry course.

Are there “out of town” clinical rotations?

Yes. You’ll be glad to know that housing is provided and a gasoline allowance is given to the students who are randomly selected for the rotations in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and Columbus, Ohio. As for the more “local” rotations, depending on the place of the students’ residence, travel to some sites may be more than one hour driving distance.

Do you require the GRE and if so, what is the minimum score required?

Yes, the GRE is required. A  minimum score of 150 (verbal and quantitative) is recommended for admission consideration. The GRE is waived for applicants who have earned a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States.

Will any class credits from other institutions transfer and be accepted by MTSA for the Practice Doctorate?

Based on the nature of the curriculum at MTSA, transfer applicants are rare and are judged for admission on an individualized basis. Transfers will be considered by the Dean and Program Administrator and the NAP Council on the merits of each individual case in accordance with guidelines established by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACS COC), the institution, and clinical site availability. The maximum number of transfer credits is six (6) credit hours. Students seeking to transfer to MTSA from other nurse anesthesia educational programs must meet specific criteria as outlined in the student handbook prior to making application for admittance.

What is your class size?

Our program is designed for all students beginning in the same year to take all courses together (lock-step). Currently, we can accept up to 72 students per year.

Do the students choose their clinical sites?

No. The Clinical Schedule Coordinator, in conjunction with the Program Administrator, creates the schedule for all students. We currently have 17 sites located throughout Middle Tennessee and a few out-of-state sites. However, the Senior elective, which is the last quarter of the program, is selected by the student (with approval of the Program Administrator). For reference, the Student Catalog contains a list of hospitals that have participated in the Senior Elective program in the past.

Are online classes available?

The first semester will be completed in an online format. All other courses will be offered on campus.

What happens if MTSA does not receive approval from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs to offer the Practice Doctorate?

Students that have interviewed and been offered enrollment for the Practice Doctorate program will be given the option of enrolling in the current Master of Science with a Focus in Anesthesia program which is scheduled to begin in July 2018.

Does MTSA accept students of religious faiths other than Seventh-day Adventists?

Yes. In fact, only approximately 8 – 10 percent of the students in any given class are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our students come from a variety of religious backgrounds. In addition, we are committed to a policy of non-discrimination and welcome students of all faiths. MTSA is a Christian institution and that philosophy is prevalent in all phases of school life.