Critical Care and Nursing Anesthesia Exploration

The H3A Programs at Wake Forest University School of Medicine supports the development of prospective nurse anesthesia students, providing valuable learning opportunities that can help foster successful future careers.

Programs for ICU Nurses and Prospective Applicants

H3A: Heads, Hearts and Hands

H3A (Heads, Hearts and Hand) is a developmental program with an overall goal of developing excellent clinicians. The two tracks of the program—Explore and On-board cater to different stages of the career trajectory, but they are both guided by the three critical "Hs" of success:

  • Head: technical knowledge
  • Heart: self-awareness of one's personality strengths and weaknesses
  • Hands: competence with manual skills

The H3A program was made possible with the assistance of the Piedmont Triad Partnership through a Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

H3A Explore

The Explore track is designed for ICU nurses who want to learn more about nurse anesthesia and who are in the process of applying to a nurse anesthesia program.

Topics addressed in the two-day Explore seminar include:

  • Admission to CRNA programs and application tips
  • Improving your resume and interview
  • ICU case study
  • Making learning efficient, effective, and enjoyable
  • Advanced monitoring: bispectral index (BIS), peripheral nerve stimulator, arterial line and invasive pressure monitoring
  • Pathophysiology and treatment of shock
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Airway management and intubation
  • High-fidelity simulation lab experience
  • Ultrasound Skills Lab for ICU nurses
  • Informal discussion session with current students
  • Nuts and bolts of school: planning for finances and family care
  • Role of the CRNA discussion with nationally recognized CRNAs, and program faculty members.

Note that airway, ultrasound, and simulation experiences are offered only in on-site seminars; not available with virtual programs. 

2022 H3A Explore Session Information 

Virtual Session 1: March 31- April 1, 2022

H3A Explore Registration

Our Virtual H3A Explore will be combined with the H3A Mock Interviews session, to offer 1-on-1 interview skills coaching, and to get tips for success in applying to CRNA programs. Our technology provides face-to-face real-time interactions with the CRNA Faculty and also has the capability to host small group discussions.

Comments from H3A participants

"Thank you so much for providing the opportunity and valuable experience I had while attending H3A last week. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed and learned from the two-day course. While I already knew that I wanted to pursue nurse anesthesia, H3A solidified my aspirations. The lecturers and students we interacted with were so knowledgeable, confident and inspiring, and I truly hope to emulate them one day. Personally, the program helped me identify aspects of myself that I can highlight while applying and areas that I want to focus on and enhance as an ICU nurse. I am taking many valuable skills with me back to the surgical ICU, and I have you to thank for that! I look forward to applying to Wake's CRNA program!"

"I was accepted into a CRNA program, and the H3A course definitely helped me. The dose calculations and BIS information that I learned about at H3A were both directly tested during my interview. I also had lots of confidence in my preparation because of the entire experience at the H3A conference."

“I visited from Mayo Clinic for the program. I had a wonderful experience at your program and would recommend it to all my colleagues. Your lectures and simulation experiences really helped me to develop goals and a plan for the future. I learned a great deal about nurse anesthesia as a profession and am so grateful!”

“I felt like I got an ‘inside scoop’ on anesthesia school.”

"This was an excellent program. I feel much better about the application process. Worth every penny!"

"I loved the course experience. It was well worth the time and money! I would recommend this course to anyone interested in anesthesia."