MTSA transitions from Master’s to Practice Doctorate program

New 36-month program represents evolution of academic offering

Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) announced it is phasing out the Master of Science with a Focus in Anesthesia program and will transition to the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) program with the next class, which will begin in January 2018, pending final approval by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

More information about MTSA’s academic programs is available at

“The nurse anesthesia profession is the first, in the family of advanced nursing degrees, to require practice entry-level education to be a doctoral degree by the year 2022,” said Maria Overstreet, PhD, RN, dean at MTSA. “We began preparation for this transition several years ago with the introduction of the DNAP completion degree, beginning in 2013.”

Practice Doctorate Program

Pending COA approval, MTSA will offer the DNAP Practice Doctorate program to registered nurses. The program 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. In addition, students produce a nurse anesthesia quality improvement project in one of the following areas: clinical practice, education, administration or business management.

The Practice Doctorate application cycle opened March 1. The deadline to have all application paperwork submitted is June 30, 2017. The COA is due to make its final decision for accreditation in June 2017.

Doctorate Completion Program

For licensed CRNAs, MTSA is continuing to offer a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree as a “completion” program in a modified online format where students come to campus once per semester for three to four days, then return home to complete the coursework online. The program can be completed in as early as one year of full-time study or part-time over two years.

The application cycle opened on Jan. 1. The deadline to complete the application and have all paperwork submitted has been extended to May 31.

“This move to Practice Doctorate as an entry-level education requirement for CRNAs will change how CRNAs practice. MTSA students will graduate with a Doctoral degree, the highest clinical practice degree in nursing. I look forward to being a part of this education movement that advances nurse anesthetists’ education and practice,” Overstreet said.

About Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia

Founded in 1950, Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) provides graduate-level education and training of nurse anesthetists in a Christian environment born of its Seventh-day Adventist heritage. MTSA is the only independent, fully accredited anesthesia institution of its kind in the nation, instilling excellence through innovative and diverse clinical experience. More than 75% of Middle Tennesseans having surgery entrust their lives to its graduates on a daily basis. A leader in academic, clinical and professional distinction, MTSA is responsive to the needs of its constituents, providing affordable graduate education for students from diverse backgrounds. For more information, visit or call (888) 353-MTSA.

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Jeff Krinks, Prufrock Communications
(615) 478-0267

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