Doctorate Completion Program

This program is for CRNAs with a current Master of Science Degree ONLY

Masters to Doctorate 2-Year Program Overview

  • Length: Two-year program inclusive of scholarly project.
  • Format: All online
  • Application Period: September 1, 2023- March 1, 2024
  • Interviews:  Following application cycle
  • Class Begins: September 3, 2024
  • Total in Class: Project 6-12 students per cohort
  • Eligibility: Master’s prepared and licensed CRNAs seeking a Doctoral Degree in Anesthesia Practice.  MTSA offers the only DNAP in the State of Tennessee.

DNAP Program Admission Requirements

MTSA’s Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) program is conducted in a CRNA completion degree format, once each year, with classes beginning in early September. Each of the following criteria must be met for an applicant to be considered for an admission interview. After the March 1 application deadline, the DNAP Program Screening Committee will review the applicant pool to determine which applicants will receive an invitation to interview with the DNAP Program Admissions Committee.

  • Graduation from a COA-Accredited Nurse Anesthesia Program
    Documentation of graduation from a Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) by submission of the applicant’s Official CCNA Transcript.
  • Current Certification or Recertification as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
    Applicant must have documentation of current initial certification or recertification as a CRNA, from the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
  • Current active membership with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
    Applicant must have documentation of current active membership as a CRNA with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
  • Master’s Degree
    A minimum of a master’s degree is required prior to interview, acceptance, and enrollment. The applicant’s entry to practice level nurse anesthesia education must have been at least at the master’s degree level. Furthermore, the master’s degree must have been earned from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States.
  • Current Licensure as an Advanced Practice (Registered) Nurse (APN/APRN)
    Applicant must have a current APN or APRN license in applicant’s state of residence in the United States.
  • Current Licensure as a Professional Registered Nurse (RN)
    Applicant must have a current RN license in applicant’s state of residence in the United States.
  • CRNA Practice
    Applicant must provide evidence of current CRNA practice setting.
  • Personal Letter
    A brief personal letter addressed to the DNAP Program Admissions Committee summarizing experience, with reasons for wishing to enroll in MTSA’s DNAP program in the CRNA completion degree format, as well as the general area for the concept/phenomenon of interest into which the applicant would like to investigate further.
  • Personal Video Submission
    More information including prompts will be sent after completed application has been submitted.
  • References
    Submit three (3) professional references through NursingCAS.  One of these must be from an anesthesia provider.
  • Transcripts
    Official transcripts (issued directly from the institution to NursingCAS) prior to the application deadline. This includes ANY non-degree seeking courses taken at any time since high school. If enrolled in any course between the time of application submission and enrollment, the applicant MUST have an official transcript for this course submitted through NursingCAS. Continued acceptance and enrollment are contingent upon MTSA’s receipt of this official transcript.
  • Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA
    A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA is required for admission. The DNAP Program Screening Committee reviews the entire applicant pool each year to determine the most highly qualified applicants to receive invitations to interview. The DNAP Program Screening Committee will consider offering interviews to candidates whose scores may have been borderline in early years, but whose most recent transcripts show evidence of strong grades.
  • Personal Interview
    A personal interview with the DNAP Program Admissions Committee is available ONLY by invitation from the DNAP Program Screening Committee.

Admissions Deadline

Deadlines may be extended only by special vote of the DNAP Program Screening Committee. Candidates contacting MTSA after the deadline and wishing to be considered need to tell the Admissions Coordinator they want to request special consideration by the DNAP Program Screening Committee.

Graduates who have not achieved licensure as professional Registered Nurses (RN) and as Advanced Practice (Registered) Nurses (APN/APRN) in the United States will not meet the eligibility requirements for admission to MTSA’s DNAP Program in the CRNA completion degree format.

For more information and to schedule a school visit (optional)

Applicants are invited to contact Hallie Evans at for more information and to make an appointment to visit the school.


ALL applicants who are re-applying must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete and submit a new NursingCAS application
  2. Submit a minimum of three (3) NEW professional references through NursingCAS. One of these must be from an anesthesia provider.

Admission Checklist

NOTE: Application and supporting documents must be completed through NursingCAS

  • Submit each of the following within the NursingCAS application system. The deadline for a complete file is March 1.
  • Official National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) transcript from nurse anesthesia educational program
  • Evidence of current active American Association of Nurse Anesthetists membership
  • Copy of current APN/APRN license for each state in which the applicant currently holds an APN/APRN license, including the expiration date for each
  • List of all states in which the applicant has ever held an APN/APRN license
  • Copy of current RN license for each state in which the applicant currently holds an RN license, including the expiration date for each.
  • List of all states in which the applicant has ever held an RN license
  • Evidence of current CRNA practice setting
  • Personal letter to the Admissions Committee, briefly describing your educational background, anesthesia experience, reason for desiring to enroll in MTSA’s DNAP program in the CRNA completion degree format, and the area for the concept/phenomenon of interest into which you would like to investigate further. The letter should be no more than two pages, single-spaced, with 10 or 12 point font.
  • Three (3) professional references (must include at least one anesthesia provider). Please have correct and complete addresses and phone numbers listed on the application form, in the event MTSA needs to contact them for further recommendation or clarification. The applicant is responsible for contacting references with the two-page reference forms provided with the DNAP Program application form. The waiver must be signed and dated with references returned directly to MTSA.
  • Official academic transcripts from EVERY institution of higher learning attended, including transcripts for all non-degree seeking academic courses taken since high school
    • The anesthesia school (cumulative) grade point average must be at least 3.0 based on a 4.0 grading system.
    • Transcripts must demonstrate that all general education curriculum required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to earn the baccalaureate degree were met.

Interview Process

For details regarding MTSA’s interview process, please reference the current DNAP handbook at

Any questions regarding admission requirements should be directed to Hallie Evans at

Academic Summary & Standards

Full-Time, Two-Year Format

A full-time, two-year format was designed by MTSA for practicing CRNAs who are highly motivated and goal-directed, but who may have other simultaneous obligations that would preclude them from completing the outcomes to earn the DNAP degree within a shorter time period.  This format requires the student be enrolled in two courses each semester for the first year, and in one course per semester the second year as they complete a scholarly project.

Students who have not been able to complete all the requirements for the final scholarly project by the conclusion of the sixth semester, at the end of the second year, will be allowed to continue enrollment in the program for one additional semester, during which they are expected to complete all course and program outcomes.

Academic Standards

Advancement of each DNAP CRNA completion program student to the next higher level or semester occurs at semester intervals, upon faculty members’ verification of the student’s successful completion of each quarter’s course requirements. In order to progress unencumbered to the next higher level, the student must meet the following conditions:

  • MTSA expects that all DNAP level coursework should result in a minimum earned grade of “B”.  A course grade of a “C” will result in dismissal from the program.
  • Students will automatically be dismissed from the program for receiving a failing grade for any course.  Failing is defined as any grade below 80%.
  • Students who are placed on any type of probation more than once will be dismissed from the program.
  • Students have the right to appeal decisions by following the MTSA appeal process (see current Student Handbook).
  • Each student is carefully evaluated for academic achievement on a regular and continuing basis. Academic grades are published each semester on the academic transcript. Students shall be advised by their DNAP Program faculty advisor concerning their academic progress no less than each semester.

The MTSA Grading Scale is based on the following 4.0 grading system:

A   = 90-100% (4.0 Quality Points)
B   = 80-89% (3.0 Quality Points)
 = 70-79% (0.0-Failing)
F   = Below 70% (0.0 – Failing)

Additional Grades/Symbols:

I      = Incomplete
W    = Withdrew
WF  = Withdrew Failing
T     = Terminated

Additional Information:

  • Students must keep a current RN license and APN/APRN (as applicable) license for the state in which they reside on file with MTSA during the entire program. Students must also possess a current RN license for any other state in which they choose to participate in educational experiences related to the DNAP program, such as the Scholarly Project.
  • During Academic Faculty Committee meetings at Nurse Anesthesia Program Council (NAP), general observations about each DNAP Completion Degree student are discussed. Any recommendations by that committee are given to the Progressions Committee, which regularly meets. The Progressions Committee makes the final decision relative to any action regarding performance. Should it be determined that there may be a negative decision by the Council (i.e., probation), the student will be offered an opportunity to discuss the performance with the Progressions Committee, prior to any decision.
  • Completion of DNAP Student Portfolio Records: MTSA utilizes an online portfolio to demonstrate DNAP students’ achievement and scholarship. The DNAP curriculum has been developed with the Doctoral Student Learning Objectives (DSLOs) as the foundation.  Each student is responsible for reviewing the program learning objectives and uploading coursework that demonstrates the SLO has been met. Students will review the online portfolio and progression toward meeting the SLOs with their project chairperson. Completion of an online portfolio and successful demonstration of all DSLOs being met is a condition of graduation. The portfolio is part of the evidence-based practice series. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain the portfolio’s accuracy and completion.
  • Other Documentation: All documentation must be kept up-to-date, including but not limited to proof of insurance, and nursing and nurse anesthesia licenses (RN and APN/APRN/CRNA). All of these are kept on file with the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Requirements

DNAP completion students must accomplish each of the following criteria to be eligible to become a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) graduate of MTSA:

  • Satisfactory completion of all DNAP completion program courses, to include a public presentation of the final Scholarly Project, prior to graduation
  • Satisfactory completion of all Doctoral Student Learning Outcomes (DSLOs)
  • Completion of any and all financial obligations to MTSA
  • Completion of the Financial Assistance Exit Interview for students who have borrowed Direct Lending, Stafford, or Grad Plus loans while attending MTSA

Credential Awarded

Upon satisfactory completion of this program of study at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia, the student will be awarded a diploma with the degree Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP).

Outcome Criteria Upon Graduation

Doctoral Student Learning Outcomes / DSLOs

Graduates from MTSA’s Doctor or Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) Completion program shall master additional theory, knowledge, and scholarship skills relevant to the area of academic focus.

Please click here to learn more about the DSLOs for the DNAP Completion Program.