Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
"Supporting Quality Assessment and Improvement in Nurse Anesthesia Education"
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 Frequently Asked Questions



Important Deadlines and Notices for Programs' Transitions to Award Doctoral Degrees

Two important deadline dates for programs transitioning to award doctoral degrees include: 

(1) Doctoral degrees will be required for the CRNA program administrators (program administrator and assistant program administrator) in all doctoral programs by January 1, 2018. All degrees must be awarded by a college or university that is accredited by a nationally recognized institutional accreditor at the time the degree is conferred.

(2) All accredited programs must offer a doctoral degree for entry into practice by January 1, 2022. On January 1, 2022 and thereafter, all students matriculating into an accredited program must be enrolled in a doctoral program.

Please note the “Programs’ Transitions to Doctoral Level” policy states effective January 1, 2018, programs must demonstrate (via website posting) that they have informed potential applicants and students of the COA’s doctoral transition requirements. Potential applicants and students must be notified that on January 1, 2022 and thereafter, all students matriculating into an accredited program must be enrolled in a doctoral program. This notification to potential applicants and students must be accompanied by an explanation of the program’s plans to apply for COA approval to award a doctoral degree for entry into practice.

​Transition of Nurse Anesthesia Programs to Award Doctoral Degrees

Nurse anesthesia programs continue to transition to awarding doctoral degrees. Based on programs’ 2016 annual reports, the number of doctoral applications planned for submission from 2017 through 2019 has been identified. As of July 17, 2017, there are a total of 62 nurse anesthesia programs approved to offer entry-level doctoral degrees and 24 programs offering post-master’s doctoral degree completion programs for CRNAs. Fifty-eight programs remain to be approved to award doctoral degrees for entry into practice by the deadline of January 1, 2022. 


New Position Statement on International Clinical Experiences

At its June 2016 meeting, the COA developed a statement regarding students’ participation in international clinical experiences.  The COA values international clinical experiences that are intended to be primarily learning-oriented with educational considerations taking precedence over any service delivery or revenue generation; however, international clinical experiences (i.e., cases, hours, procedures, and anesthesia time) cannot be counted towards COA case requirements.  Though the COA will not be developing a formal mechanism for counting international clinical experiences, the COA and its International Issues Special Interest Group have developed a Position Statement on students’ international clinical experiences.   Click here for more information

"Promoting Excellence in Nurse Anesthesia Education for Over 40 Years"

COA and the AANA Education Committee Working to Enhance Nurse Anesthesia Education

From left to right: Francis Gerbasi, PhD, CRNA, Executive Director, COA; Keith Torgersen,
MSN, CRNA, Chair, COA; Scarlett Hinson, DNP, MSN, CRNA, Chair, FY16 Education Committee,
AANA; Bruce Schoneboom, PhD, CRNA, FAAN, COL (Ret), USA, Senior Director, Education
and Professional Development, AANA

 New Whistleblower Policy

The COA is committed to preventing reprisals against employees, volunteers, or any individuals associated with the COA who report activity undertaken by other COA employees or volunteers in connection with the performance of official COA activity that may be in violation of any state or federal law or related regulation, or the COA’s corporate accounting practices, internal financial controls, or audit.  The COA’s “Whistleblower Policy,” which describes the procedures for handling these reported concerns, was revised at the June 2016 COA meeting. .  Click here for more information

 COA Position Statement




Now Available: Crosswalk between COA Practice Doctoral Standards and AANA Scope of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

As part of the development of the Practice Doctoral Standards, the standards were crosswalked with the AANA Scope of Nurse Anesthesia Practice to demonstrate that all elements of the scope are included in the curriculum. 
Click here to view the crosswalk.