The Nurse Anesthesia program is housed in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (EACPHS) building, located near the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) and the Wayne State University School of Medicine (SOM). Being in such close proximity with the SOM and a wide variety of teaching hospitals allows the program to partner with world class researchers in order to collaborate on research ideas that will translate into clinical practice. We have exceptional faculty and clinical instructors dedicated to the profession of nurse anesthesia and the teaching of students using state-of-the-art teaching facility and anesthesia classrooms. We encourage you to peruse our website to learn about the field of anesthesia and ways in which you can pursue a career in Nurse Anesthesia practice. After navigating through our website, feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

History of the Wayne State University Nurse Anesthesia program

The Wayne State University Nurse Anesthesia program began in 1963 in the School of Medicine, Division of Allied Health as an 18-month certificate program, with Detroit General Hospital (DGH) serving as the primary clinical base for nine (9) registered nurses. In 1974, the Division of Allied Health merged with the College of Pharmacy to become the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. In 1980, DGH relocated and became a private entity in a corporate structure named the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), acquiring a new name, Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center. Many hospitals make up the DMC. Harper University Hospital, Hutzel Women's Hospital (serving the obstetric population), and Children's Hospital of Michigan (CHM) are in close proximity to the EACPHS and SOM. Other DMC hospitals located off campus are Sinai-Grace Hospital and Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital.

The Nurse Anesthesia program has provided quality anesthesia education for over 50 years and with over 1000 graduates practicing in the Detroit Metropolitan area hospitals. In the spring of 2002, the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions relocated to its current location on Mack Avenue and John R in Detroit, under its new name of Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The college houses four departments: Fundamental and Applied Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy Practice, and Health Care Sciences. The Nurse Anesthesia program is part of the Department of Health Care Sciences.

In 2019, the program will transition to the DNAP curriculum and will have admitted its first DNAP cohorts in the fall of 2019.

An overview of the field of anesthesia and its practice

The practice of Anesthesia is the process used to render a patient insensible to pain during surgical, obstetrical and some diagnostic procedures. Nurse anesthesia was established in the late 1800s as the first clinical nursing specialty as a result of the growing needs of surgeons for specialists in anesthesia practice.

Nurse anesthesia is an expanded role that implements both nursing and medical functions to a wide patient population for surgical and procedural interventions. Nurse anesthetists are registered nurses who have completed a rigorous master's degree program and taken and passed the National Certification Examination (NCE) to be eligible to practice as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). By 2025 all nurse anesthesia program will be at the doctoral level.  A CRNA takes care of the surgical or obstetrical patients before, during and after surgery and after the delivery of a baby. Because CRNAs have advanced degree as specialists in anesthesia practice, they practice in all 50 states in traditional and non-traditional health care settings.   CRNAs are employed in teaching hospitals, trauma centers, ambulatory, and private facilities and independent practices.  Nurse anesthetists are the sole anesthesia providers in rural hospital facilities.

Becoming a nurse anesthetist

Anyone interested in becoming a nurse anesthetist must first become a registered nurse with a baccalaureate degree in nursing or a related science degree. Individuals must also work in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) before applying to a nurse anesthesia program. The program for nurse anesthesia education is extensive, with a terminal degree of a doctorate in nurse anesthesia practice.

Class of 2015

A typical doctoral degree program includes approximately 36 months of graduate education and clinical practice, with heavy emphasis on the sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, chemistry and physics, pharmacology and related anesthesia classes, procedures and techniques for all types of surgeries and non-surgical procedures.


COA's List of Accredited Educational Programs: https://www.coacrna.org/accredited-programs/Pages/default.aspx

Educational programs administered by the Department of Nurse Anesthesia are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA; 222. S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL, 60068, 847-655-1160). Wayne State University Nurse Anesthesia program received the maximum accreditation status of 10 years in 2014.

Performance Data Class of 2019

  • Certification Examination overall pass rate: 100%
  • Certification Examination first-attempt pass rate:  74%
  • Attrition Rate: 4% 
  • Employment within 6 months of graduation: 100%