Application Deadline: September 1, 2019

Nurse Anesthetist Program

Students Benefit from Wide Array of Clinical Experiences in Nurse Anesthetist Program

Jason Edwards had a successful career as a critical care nurse and was living in a place that many people consider paradise – Hawaii. Yet he gave it all up and moved to Central Ohio’s unpredictable climate to attend the Otterbein University/Grant Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia graduate program at Otterbein, a collaborative effort between Otterbein and Grant Medical Center.

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Otterbein University-OhioHealth Grant Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program

Be the steady hand and sharp mind patients and physicians are expecting when administering anesthesia


  • Emphasis on strong clinical proficiency and individual professional development 
  • High board pass rates & low attrition rates
  • Partnership between Otterbein University & OhioHealth Grant Medical Center
  • Regional clinical experience excellence
  • Combines lab simulated experience with a high volume of clinical cases and hours
  • Variety of clinical settings -  large metropolitan, pediatrics, Level 1 Trauma, rural etc.
  • Our alumni are highly sought-after
  • Anesthesia coursework in the OhioHealth Grant Medical Center education center, in residence, full time program.

The Otterbein University-OhioHealth Grant Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia program provides a framework that prepares and develops knowledgeable, caring and compassionate nurse anesthetists who are committed to excellence in health care, preserving the dignity and rights of patients, and advancing the specialty practice of nurse anesthesia.  

The CRNA role requires a unique combination of clinical and communication skills, academic ability and personal traits.  Our applicants are assessed during the admissions process to ensure they not only have the critical care knowledge, but also, the motivation to thrive in our program. The art of administering anesthesia is a delicate balancing act.  Therefore, it is important that our students and alumni have the ability to thrive in high-pressure situations in a variety of practice settings.  

We are proud of the successes of our students.  The attrition rate for the program is well below the national average and the board pass rates are among the top in the country.  

Our alumni are sought after by hospitals and healthcare facilities across the nation because of their thorough preparation which includes the opportunity for repeated clinical experiences of nurse anesthesia skills during the program.  

Your Experience at Otterbein

The Nurse Anesthesia courses are taught primarily at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus with clinical sites located throughout central and rural Ohio.  You will thrive in our state-of-the-art facilities located in OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. We ensure you are prepared before entering the clinical experience through simulation and the opportunity to study and practice with your classmates. Our program directors have an open door policy and their offices are at the OhioHealth Grant Medical Center.

When you first begin in our program, you will notice something unique – a focus on character that is as important as your clinical skillset. We believe you need to be prepared for the pressures that come with this career. In addition to the focus on the science and application of anesthesia, we spend time focusing on behavior, emotional intelligence, perseverance and the ability to accept constructive criticism. You will read and discuss literature covering emotional intelligence and other characteristics that employer’s desire.  You will be challenged to take on pressure situations with grace, precision, and a steady hand.

When you complete our nurse anesthesia program, you will be prepared to take on the responsibility of being a well-rounded, strong team member alongside your health care colleagues.


The program holds perfect 10-year accreditation from The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

222 S. Prospect Avenue  Park Ridge, Ill. 60068-4001
Phone: (847-655-1160)
Website address:

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. The Otterbein University-OhioHealth Grant Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program was approved to award the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The program is enrolling its first doctoral cohort of students in May, 2019. Further information regarding this transition may be obtained by contacting the program at 614-823-3272 (Kelly Cornett, Graduate Nursing Recruiter).  Future applications for this entry level DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program must be received by September 1, 2019, with subsequent applicant interviews in October, 2019.



Nurse Anesthesia BSN TO DNP Program

  • Admission Criteria

    Admission Criteria (Nurse Anesthesia)
    1. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an institution of higher education that is fully accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and/or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education(CCNE).
    2. Current, valid and unrestricted license as a registered nurse in the U.S. In addition, an applicant must not have had a previous revocation, denial, suspension, or restriction of their license from any state or country.  Enrolled NA students must have a current, valid and unrestricted Ohio license at least one semester prior to Nurse Anesthesia program clinical course work.
    3. Capacity for graduate study as demonstrated by:
      • A blended cumulative GPA average of 3.0 or higher
      • A blended undergraduate science course GPA of 3.0 or higher
      • A grade of B or higher in an undergraduate statistics course
      • Minimum of one (1) year full time experience as a registered nurse in a critical care unit within the last 3 years by the application deadline. (Experience in interpretation of invasive monitors, titration of vasoactive infusions, management of ventilated patients, and care of acutely ill patients. Operating room, PACU, emergency room and telemetry unit experience are not accepted as critical care experience). Flight nursing experience is accepted only if the applicant has prior ICU experience and actively manages patients on ventilators and vasoactive drips during transports.
      • Current ACLS recognition.
      • CCRN is required by the application deadline. 
      • Ability to articulate one’s professional goals and express one’s self clearly as evidenced by the admission essay and interview.
      • Ability to articulate a clear understanding of the nurse anesthetist’s role.
    4. (Optional)Submission of the Verification of Observation Form  observing a practicing CRNA or anesthesiologist in the Operating Room).
    5. Submission of the Practice Evaluation Form (to document critical care work experience).
    6. GRE is required by the application deadline for applicants with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.5.
  • Application Procedure

    Admission Procedure for Nurse Anesthesia should submit the following to the Graduate School. Materials required for admission to the DNP program must be submitted to the Graduate School at the address listed below. All contents of the admission file become the legal property of the University and are not returnable or transferable.
    1. Complete the online graduate nursing applicationSelect Summer 2020 as the start term. Applicants wanting a start date of 2020 should apply after Sept 2, 2018.
    2. Request separate official transcripts from all previous colleges or universities attended be sent to the Graduate School. In order to be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Graduate School. If hand-delivered, transcripts must be in an unopened envelope from the issuing institution. Allow 2-3 weeks for receipt and processing of ordered transcripts. We do accept official electronic transcripts.
    3. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, science course GPA of 3.0 or higher, completion of an undergraduate Statistics course with a grade of B or higher.
    4. Submit a professional resume (include all educational institutions attended, RN work experience, certifications, professional organization membership, etc). Submit to
    5. Give an Otterbein University Graduate Nursing Recommendation Form to two individuals that can support your application to pursue graduate studies. At least one should be from an employer/supervisor and another from a practicing clinician is preferred. Otterbein University reserves the right to contact persons providing recommendations and to contact a recommender to acknowledge receipt of a recommendation. Scan and email to
    6. Submit a 2-4 page essay (typewritten, double-spaced). The essay should describe your professional goals and how these goals will be achieved in the MSN program. Indicate how your past experiences and reflections have influenced these goals. Describe your understanding of the nurse anesthetist’s role. Identify personal contributions that can be made to nursing and the greater community. Email to
    7. (Optional)Submit completed Verification of Observation form.
    8. Submit completed Practice Survey form. Email to
    9. Submit proof of ACLS recognition. Email to
    10. Provide a current, valid, unrestricted US RN license number on the application for admission form. The Graduate School will verify current RN license and add proof to your file. Active, valid, current, and unrestricted Ohio RN license is required at least one semester prior to the Nurse Anesthesia program course work. .
    11. Provide proof of CCRN by application deadline ( a scheduled date to take the test is not acceptable).  Copy of your certificate is required. Email to
    12. GRE scores required by application deadline for applicants with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.5 (a scheduled date to take the test is not acceptable). Please allow sufficient time for taking the test and having it scored and released to you

    All admission materials including transcripts may be submitted to:


    or Mail to:
    The Graduate School

    Mailing address:
    Otterbein University 
    1 South Grove Street
    Westerville, OH 43081

    Electronic Official Transcripts are accepted by the Graduate School.

    Resume, essay, recommendation forms, etc. may be scanned and sent to

  • Sample Course Grid

    Download the Sample Course Grid (PDF).

  • Faculty and Staff

    Program Director
    Brian Garrett, DNP, MSN, CRNA

    Assistant Program Director
    Kacy Ballard, DNP, MSN, CRNA

    Greg Stockton, DNP, MSN, CRNA
    Patti Rabinowitz, MSN, CRNA
    Danielle Scharpf, DNP, MSN, CRNA
    John Reichert, MSN, CRNA
    Rick Vega, MSN, CRNA

    Medical Director
    Norman Smyke, MD

    For application information, please contact:

    Graduate Nursing Recruiter / Admission Counselor
    Kelly Cornett, BS, ASN, RN
    Graduate Nursing Admission Recruiter
    Office: 614-823-3272 

    For additional information, please contact:

    Program Administrator
    Tina Hugley
    OhioHealth Grant Medical Center
    111 South Grant Avenue
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Attn: Medical Education
    Office: 614-566-8879
    Fax: 614-566-8073

  • Nurse Anesthesia FAQs

    Q. How long is the program?
    A. 36 months, 9 semesters

    Q. How often do you admit?
    A. Once per year in May (summer term).

    Q. How many applicants apply to the program each year?
    A. Over 100 applicants

    Q. How many applicants are interviewed each year?
    A. 50-60 applicants

    Q. What is the average GPA of those accepted into the program?
    A. 3.4 to 4.0 GPA

    Q. How many students do you admit (once per year)?
    A. 17-20

    Q. Can I work during the program?
    A. The average weekly time commitment may approach 60 hours per week. The first year of the program is didactic, there may be opportunity for you to work part-time.

    Q. What type of ICU experience is best?
    A. Critical care experience provides applicants with experience in interpretation of invasive monitors, titration of vasoactive infusions, management of ventilated patients, and care of acutely ill patients. Pediatric critical care experience will be considered. Operating Room, Emergency Department, cath lab and telemetry unit experience are not accepted as critical care experience. Flight nursing experience is accepted only if the applicant has prior ICU experience and actively manages patients on ventilators and vasoactive drips during transports.

    Q. What is the average years of critical care experience of those accepted into the program?
    A. 2 to 6 years

    Q. How much RN work experience is required?
    A. One year full time RN critical care experience in a US or Federal hospital in the last 5 years (COA requirement). CCRN is required by the time of the application deadline (this ensures that the applicant has the minimum COA requirement for critical care experience).

    Q. Is there a part time study option?
    A. No, only a full time program is offered.

    Q. Is there a program track for persons who are not RN's? (this includes allied health professionals, MDs, etc)
    A. No

    Q. Can I apply if I am an associate degree nurse and still completing my BSN?
    A. Yes, as long as you will finish your BSN by the end of the summer term in the year of your application deadline. You should include an additional note in your application regarding your expected BSN completion date. You must also update your transcript demonstrating completion of the BSN degree by the application deadline.

    Q. Can I apply if my statistics grade is less than a B, and I am still in the process of retaking statistics?
    A. You must successfully complete the course with a grade of B or higher by the application date.

    Q. Do you offer a program for CRNAs who earned their certificate prior to the master's being required?
    A. We do not offer a CRNA master’s completion program.

    Q. What times are classes offered?
    A. Nurse anesthesia classes are taught Monday to Friday during the day. Nursing core courses (non-nurse anesthesia courses) are offered in the evening and/or in an on-line format. Clinical courses are generally Monday through Friday. Students may be assigned call shifts (weekends, nights and holidays) beginning in the second year and during specialty rotations. The COA requires programs to provide emergent case experience which can usually be accomplished by call or off shifts.

    Q. Are any courses online?
    A. DNP core courses are offered in an on-line format. All of the nurse anesthesia didactic coursework is conducted in a classroom setting. All coursework will be taken within the 36-month program of study.

    Q. Where will students do clinicals?
    A. Students participate in clinical experiences at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Mount Carmel West Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, Knox Community Hospital, Adena Regional Medical Center, Circleville Berger Hospital, OhioHealth Doctor's Hospital, OhioHealth O' Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Med Central Hospital, and the Wexner Medical Center at the Ohio State University, Springfield Regional Medical Center.
    Students will administer anesthesia for patients of all ages with a variety of pre-existing conditions undergoing a full spectrum of surgical and diagnostic procedures. Clinical experiences include elective and emergent procedures, call experience, OB, cardiac, ICU, regional, pediatric and rural rotations.
    The nurse anesthesia major is organized within the context of the Graduate Nursing Program, and builds on the generalist preparation of the baccalaureate-prepared nurse. Graduates of the program are awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and are eligible to take the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) National Certification Examination (NCE) for initial recognition as a CRNA. The program meets or exceeds the COA's minimum academic and clinical requirements.

    Q. Is there financial aid available?
    A. Applicants should contact the Financial Aid Office to learn about typical sources of graduate student financial aid. Limited funds are available through federally supported Professional Nurse Traineeships and Nurse Anesthesia Traineeships. The AANA Foundation awards more than 50 scholarships for nurse anesthesia students. Requirements for each scholarship and the amounts awarded vary.

    Q. When do admission interviews usually occur?
    A. In October prior to the May start of the program (example, interviews in the fall of 2019 will occur for a May 2020 start).

    Q. What should I be prepared to discuss in the admission interview?
    A. Applicants should anticipate that interviewers will ask a broad range of questions that attempt to elicit the applicant’s understanding of the nurse anesthetist’s role, motivation, goals and leadership potential as well as clinical knowledge. Clinical knowledge includes (but is not limited to) ventilator management, ABGs, vasoactive pharmacology, lab values, hemodynamics, cardiac, respiratory and neurophysiology. Questions will also focus around behavioral attributes such as emotional intelligence and handling criticism. Applicants are not just desired for academic and clinical abilities. Non-academic and non-clinical attributes such as behavioral skills, motivational qualities and adaptability characteristics are highly desired for success in the nurse anesthesia program.

    Q. Do you accept any graduate transfer credit?
    A. We accept up to 2 courses of graduate transfer credit. Syllabi are evaluated after admission to the program.

    Q. Are there any classes I can take as a non- degree student status while waiting to hear if I am accepted to the program?
    A. No.

    Q. Can I enter Otterbein as a graduate student in another major and transfer to the NA program?
    A. No. Otterbein requires you to be admitted to the program you wish to major in, due to space availability. Changing of major into the NA program is not an option.

    Q. Do you accept transfer students from other Nurse anesthesia programs?
    A. Transfer requests are evaluated on an individual basis

    Q. What is the attrition rate for your program?
    A. The five year attrition rate for the program is 8% with 6.3% being for personal reasons (class of 2015 - 5%, 2016 - 15%, 2017 0%, 2018 0%, 2019 5%, 2020 0%). The national average for all nurse anesthesia program is around 10%. Attrition most commonly includes students who step out for personal reasons (illness, family situations, etc). The department does have a leave of absence policy in place for students.  Attrition rates less commonly include students who leave due to academic misconduct, clinical failure and administrative dismissal due to rules violations.

    Q. What is your employment rate for your most recent graduates?
    A. 99% of graduates were offered and accepted employment within six months of graduation (1 graduate chose not to pursue the profession of nurse anesthesia after graduation).

    Q. Does the program offer an in-program review for the certification exam?
    A. Yes, there is an in-program practice certification exam and practice tests in the final year of the program. Students are also required to take the SEE exam twice during the program. This allows the student to identify areas of weaknesses and assist in preparation for the NCE.

    Q. What is the first time pass rate for the National Certification Examination (NCE)?
    A. The pass rate for the Class of 2018 was 100%. The program's five year average is 97%. The 2nd attempt pass rate is 99%. According to the NBCRNA (FY 2017), the national average first time pass rate is ~ 82%.

    • 2018 - 100%
    • 2017 - 100%
    • 2016 - 100%
    • 2015 - 95%
    • 2014 - 94%


    Q. Do you have an on-call list for applicants who are denied?
    A. Applicants may be called from the on-call list up to the start of the program.

    Q. If denied, can I reapply?
    A. Yes, we review your file and make recommendations for strengthening your application. Faculty meet with you and make suggestions specific to your situation. We have had several first time denial applicants complete faculty suggestion activities, apply again and successfully obtain admission to the program.

    Q. Can we meet faculty in preparation for applying to the program?
    A. Yes. We welcome the opportunity to speak with individuals interested in applying to the program. Out of town applicants can request a conference call in lieu of a face-to-face meeting. Please contact the Program Director or Assistant Program director to schedule a meeting.

  • Cost of Program

  • Application Forms

  • Application Deadline

  • Preparation for Interview Guide

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