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School of Medicine Columbia

  • DNAP Students at Graduation

About the Program

The USC Nurse Anesthesia Program was established more than 50 years ago, and has been growing and developing nurse anesthetists for the state of South Carolina and beyond for decades.

Our History

Our rich history has made us who we are as a program and guides us into who we are continuing to become. From Master's program to graduating Doctoral students, our mission has always been the same, provide our state and country with the best prepared nurse anesthesists in the nation. (History Page Coming Soon)

Our Program

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia is a 36 month program awarding a Doctor of Nursing Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) in Nurse Anesthesia. Graduates are eligible to write the NBCRNA's National Certification Exam (NCE). With a passing score on this exam, the graduate will become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

The first two semesters of this program are online in collaboration with USC's College of Nursing. This format allows students to delay relocating to South Carolina while they complete introductory and foundational didactic coursework. However, the student must understand that these semesters are full-time in their course load requirements and outside employment may not be possible. The students will meet on campus at the end of the second semester (second week of December) for orientation and simulation activities that will help solidify anesthesia concepts taught in the Fall semester. Once students begin the on-campus portion of the program in January, outside employment is strongly discouraged due to the rigor and time commitment of the program.

From the time the student begins the on-campus portion of the program until graduate on, the program provides simulation and clinical activities to enable the educational experience to be as integrated as possible. Opportunities to observe and practice the concepts taught in the classroom provide the student with hands-on application, enhancing acquisition on of both knowledge and skills.

Throughout the program, the student will complete some courses online in order to increase flexibility with the clinical schedule. The foundational anesthesia content, however, is taught in a face-to-face format in the classroom in order to give the student opportunity for questions and contact with the professors. This continued contact will also allow the student frequent opportunities to seek assistance with the courses that are conducted online, the scholarly project, or any other area in which the student would like additional attention.

With transition to the DNAP, our program will continue to offer the excellent clinical opportunities as did our MNA program. The DNAP program presents additional content in evidence-based practice, leadership, crisis resource management, policy, and other theory based content that increases the graduate's ability to function as effectual professional in the contemporary dynamic health care environment. The student will ultimately produce a scholarly project, with guidance from a faculty committee that represents the knowledge and skills gained while in the program.

Our program is small enough to give you the personal attention you need to successfully complete the program. In addition to regular office hours, our faculty also abide by an open door policy.

We see a wide range of ages and experience levels in our program. We recognize that not everyone takes the same path to our program, which is why we don't limit our program to students with bachelor's in nursing. We also accept students with a bachelor's in science degree, and hold a Registered Nurses license (associate degree in nursing), as long as they meet the other admission requirements.

The University of South Carolina/Prisma Health Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA),

10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906, Rosemont, IL  60018-5603  Phone: 224-275-9130

The program has just been fully accredited in the fall of 2019 and received the maximum 10 year accreditation status. The program's next review by the COA is scheduled for Fall 2029.

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) requires that all students matriculating into a nurse anesthesia educational program on January 1, 2022 or thereafter be enrolled in a program approved by the COA to award a practice doctoral degree.

Further information regarding  may be obtained by contacting the program at:

Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia
School of Medicine University of South Carolina
6311 Garners Ferry Rd.
Building 101, Office 301
Columbia, SC 29208

You can reach us by phone at 803-216-3753 or via email at

  • Attrition Rate after Program Matriculation: 5 percent
  • Employment Rate within Six Months of Graduation: 100 percent
  • Certification Exam Pass Rate for First-Time Takers 2023: 95 percent
  • Average Number of Cases per Student = 830

Each state has its own licensing board with its own requirements for advance practice nursing licensure.  All students must have an active Registered Nurse License in the state of South Carolina to be admitted into the program. The Master’s degree program in Nurse Anesthesia at the University of South Carolina is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA-NAEP), thereby making its graduates eligible to sit for National Board of Certification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)

Students planning to practice in any state after graduation and national certification should check with that state to ensure all requirements for advance nurse practice licensure are met (Please see individual State Board of Nursing and Licensing sites for specific details). 


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