Once relocated to our area in year 2, the Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Program curriculum is an integrated design that’s centered on rich clinical experiences that prepare you for advanced nursing practice.
You’ll complete clinical training that includes approximately 800 cases with over 2,500 hours of clinical practicum experience. These anesthesia cases include pediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics, open heart, neurological, plastic, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, urology, orthopedics, radiological and transplant procedures. Both elective and emergency anesthetics are given.
Students obtain clinical experience at a variety of affiliated sites that provide broad exposure to anesthetic practice.
Clinical education is enhanced by our Center for Experiential and Applied Learning, which includes an anesthesia skills lab, fresh cadaver lab, two human patient simulation labs, a standard patient assessment lab and the opportunity to participate in state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary anesthesia crisis resource management training.
Program Goals and Objectives
Our program maintains a top-ranked position by providing rigorous education and by evolving to capitalize on emerging trends in health care and education. Our guiding vision is "Creating Excellence in Nurse Anesthesia."
We do this by:
- Implementing cutting-edge learning opportunities, such as problem-based learning (PBL) and simulation
- Providing our students with multiple avenues for professional development including global health missions, service learning projects and political mentorship
- Incorporating interprofessional education collaboration with the school of medicine and physician assistant studies
Continuing Education Programs
The Continuing Education Programs at Wake Forest University School of Medicine aim to produce competent nurse anesthesia practitioners and to prepare individuals for a lifetime of success in their careers. We offer programs for:
- High school and college students
- ICU nurses and prospective applicants
- Nurses Admitted to a CRNA program
- Practicing or past CRNAs
The 36-month program consists of academic coursework that is divided into four semesters and two summers. Formal classes begin in August of each year. The clinical component is organized into an “in-residence” model, with clinical education provided year-round, interspersed with academic courses. The three-year curriculum offered after 2021 will consist of one year of full-time online study from home, followed by 2 years (6 semesters) of study on site.
Semester 1 ONLINE (Fall 1)
- Basic Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice
- Biostatistics and Epidemiology
- Professional Role in Nurse Anesthesia
- Conceptual Models in Quality and Safety
Semester 2 ONLINE (Spring 1)
- Foundations of Research Analysis
- Healthcare Policy, Advocacy and Ethics
- Informatics and Data Driven Healthcare
Semester 3 ONLINE (Summer 1)
- Translating Research into Practice
- Leadership and Interprofessional Collaboration
- Healthcare Management, Finance and Law
Semester 1 (Fall 2)
- Physics and Mechanics of Anesthesia Delivery Systems
- Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthesia
- Neuropathophysiology for Nurse Anesthesia
- Basic Pharmacology and Biochemistry of Nurse Anesthesia
- Applied Clinical Learning in Nurse Anesthesia I
Semester 2 (Spring 2)
- Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice
- Cardiovascular Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthesia
- Pharmacology of Common Anesthetic Agents
- Applied Clinical Learning in Nurse Anesthesia II
Semester 3 (Summer 2)
- Clinical Integration Concepts 1
- Doctoral Study I
- Applied Clinical Learning in Nurse Anesthesia III
Semester 4 (Fall 3)
- Respiratory and Cellular Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthesia
- Pharmacology of Autacoids and Other Chemical Mediators
- Doctoral Study II
- Applied Clinical Learning in Nurse Anesthesia IV
Semester 5 (Spring 3)
- Doctoral Study III
- Pathophysiology of Abdominal Systems for Nurse Anesthesia
- Survey of Pharmacotherapeutics
- Applied Clinical Learning in Nurse Anesthesia V
Semester 6 (Summer 3)
- Applied Clinical Learning in Nurse Anesthesia VI
- Clinical Integration Concepts II
The richness of the clinical education we offer has been the strength of our Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Program since its inception.In the first two months of the program, we provide students with an intensive introduction to clinical anesthesia. The remainder of the program is spent merging clinical application with classroom instruction. Many students find that this integration suits their learning style, as they can immediately translate theory from the classroom into clinical application in the operating room.
The richness of the clinical education we offer has been the strength of our Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Program since its inception.
In the first two months of the program, we provide students with an intensive introduction to clinical anesthesia. The remainder of the program is spent merging clinical application with classroom instruction. Many students find that this integration suits their learning style, as they can immediately translate theory from the classroom into clinical application in the operating room.
Our Clinical Affiliates
One particular strength of our clinical program is the diversity of practice models in which students train. We use an array of clinical sites throughout our region of North Carolina to afford students experience with a wide variety of surgical specialties and practice settings.
North Carolina Baptist Hospital (NBCH) Inpatient Surgery
With complex surgical cases in an academic and research environment, experiences at NBCH include fiber-optic airway management, stereotactic surgery, high-tech anesthesia and patient care information systems.
NCBH rotations include a month with our Regional Anesthesia and Pain service learning about regional anesthesia in our pre-operative block area, and learning about pain. Students also spend a month in the pre-operative assessment clinic honing your patient assessment skills.
North Carolina Baptist Hospital Outpatient Surgery
At NCBH Outpatient Surgery, you’ll learn about the unique anesthetic needs for faster-paced surgeries.
Pediatric Surgery in Brenner Children’s Hospital
With three board-certified pediatric general surgeons — the largest pediatric surgical department in the western half of North Carolina — Brenner Children’s Hospital offers advanced techniques for pediatric surgery, including minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Seven suites in the Surgery Center at Brenner Children’s Hospital are dedicated to pediatric surgery. Brenner Children’s Hospital houses the busiest pediatric surgical center in Western North Carolina and is one of only three pediatric surgical centers in the state. Students are exposed to very advanced surgical and anesthetic procedures and given the opportunity to learn pediatric anesthesia from leading experts.
Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast
The Surgery Center at Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast has been recognized nationally for quality surgical services, specifically its outstanding record on cardiac surgery.
The 12 state-of-the-art operating rooms provide students with experience in a wide range of surgical specialties including cardiovascular, neurosurgery, orthopedic and otolaryngology.
Forsyth Medical Center
Forsyth Medical Center provides students inpatient surgery experience in a variety of complicated specialties, including vascular, cardiothoracic and neurologic. Students experience the private practice setting of working with a community corporation of anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists.
High Point Regional Medical Center
At High Point Regional Health System, students receive experience with routine and complex surgeries, including robotic surgery and open heart procedures.
Lexington Medical Center
Part of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Lexington Medical Center provides students with community hospital experience and regional anesthesia experience.
Maya Angelou Women's Health & Wellness Center
At the Maya Angelou Women's Health & Wellness Center, students obtain obstetric anesthesia experience in a busy women’s center that is renowned for research in obstetric anesthesia.
Medical Park Hospital
Medical Park Hospital provides students with experience in a fast-paced private practice setting, where efficiency and patient satisfaction are paramount.
Moses Cone Memorial Hospital
Located on a 63-acre campus, the 535-bed Moses Cone Memorial Hospital is the largest medical center in its four-county region. It is home to Moses Cone Heart and Vascular Center, Level II Trauma Center and The Neuroscience Center.
Students receive experience with complex surgeries in a faster-paced community medical center setting. Surgical specialties experienced include cardiac, thoracic, vascular and neurosurgical.
Rowan Medical Center
Experience at Rowan Medical Center teaches junior students fundamental skills of anesthetic management.
Wesley Long Hospital
Wesley Long Hospital has served the medical needs of the region since 1917. Today it is the home to the Moses Cone Health System Regional Cancer Center.
Other specialized services include DaVinci Robotic Surgery System, Orthopedic/Medical/Surgical Unit, PET/CT scan, Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, Bariatric Surgery Center and Diabetes Treatment Program.
Wilkes Regional Medical Center
Wilkes Regional Medical Center is a 130-bed hospital where students receive experience with a variety of regional anesthetic techniques.
Women's Hospital of Greensboro
The Women's Hospital of Greensboro, the state's first free-standing hospital dedicated to women, provides state-of-the-art, compassionate and personalized care to women in every stage of their lives. The 134-bed hospital has a Level II and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Students learn the practice of obstetric anesthesia in a community hospital setting.
You’ll be expected to develop a habit of excellence and set personal standards of achievement that will bring credit to yourself, your alma mater and your profession.
Grading is on a 4.0 scale, and students must obtain an overall 3.0 grade point average to be eligible for graduation. Other graduation criteria include satisfactory completion of all clinical rotations in the program, payment of all fees and satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination in the final semester of the program.
Criteria for progression include:
- Maintaining a “B” average overall.
- Achieving no more than 8 credit hours of grades below B or a grade below B in any clinical courses.
- Adequate clinical performance, which is evaluated on a daily basis throughout the 24-month clinical program.
Note: Complete details and policy information on grading, academic standards and academic progress are published annually within the student handbook.