What role should accreditation Standards play in regulating the CRNA workforce?

None.  The COA does not and cannot consider workforce (i.e., supply and demand for CRNAs) in its accreditation decision-making process. COA activities in this regard would be inconsistent with U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognition requirements. It would also have antitrust implications. Instead, the COA requires programs to demonstrate substantial compliance […]

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What is the process for granting initial accreditation to new nurse anesthesia programs?

The COA’s process for the accreditation of a new nurse anesthesia program is focused on ensuring the program’s compliance with the accreditation Standards. The process, as identified in the COA’s Accreditation Policies and Procedures, is consistent with the recognition requirements of both the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation […]

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Should a standardized entrance examination(s) be required for applicants to nurse anesthesia educational programs?

A valid, reliable entrance examination, specific to nurse anesthesia, does not exist.  Programs are required to enroll students who are academically and experientially prepared for nurse anesthesia education in the following ways: Applicants have achieved academic success in baccalaureate-level degrees thereby demonstrating critical thinking abilities consistent with that level of education.  Successful completion of the […]

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How did the COA determine the entrance requirements for applicants to nurse anesthesia educational programs, including the requirement for a minimum of one year of critical care experience?

In developing Standards (both master’s and doctoral) related to admissions requirements, the COA strengthened the existing standard and defined “Critical Care Experience” to ensure students enrolled in nurse anesthesia programs possess the appropriate professional preparation. Master’s Standard III, C13b: At least one year of experience as a RN in a critical care setting (see Glossary […]

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