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

This FAQ's page, first published in May 2014, is designed to be a dynamic space for addressing current topics in nurse anesthesia accreditation. Content has been added to address member questions related to educational standards. For additional clarification on these FAQs, or if you have other questions, comments or concerns not addressed here, please Contact Us.

Certification Examination Policies and Procedures​

  1. Are the revisions to the “Certification Examination” policy being applied to programs retroactively?
  2. What is the COA’s rationale for including testers who pass the National Certification Examination on their second attempts, provided they retake the exam within 60 days of program completion (i.e., Method 3 in the policy section of calculating pass rates)?
  3. What is the timeline for programs on monitoring?​
  4. What pass rate data must be posted to the program’s website?​

Standards Related to COA Disclosure of Information

  1. What information does the COA provide to the public regarding a nurse anesthesia program’s accreditation status?
  2. Why is information the COA collects and considers in its accreditation decision-making process consideredconfidential?

Standards Related to Clinical Education

  1. Clinical education: What are some examples of nurse anesthesia students being employed as nurse anesthetists by title or function?
  2. How do students obtain clinical experiences outside the regular clinical schedule to meet the call experience requirement?
  3. Does the COA have other requirements regarding student time spent in the clinical environment?
  4. How are “clinical hours” defined?
  5. What types of procedures, techniques, and specialty practice are required to prepare students for entry into practice?
  6. What other types of clinical opportunities are important for students to obtain in order to promote their development as competent, safe nurse anesthetists?
  7. What are the COA’s clinical supervision requirements?

Composition of the COA

  1. What is the composition of the COA?
  2. How is the composition of the COA determined?
  3. What criteria must a candidate meet to serve as a director on the COA?

Development of COA Standards

  1. What was the rationale for establishing a minimum total case number requirement of 600 cases, rather than the proposed 650 cases in the first draft Standards?
  2. What was the rationale for requiring a minimum number of clinical hours?
  3. How did the COA establish the clinical experience requirements for the Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs – Practice Doctorate?
  4. How do the COA Standards support the full scope of nurse anesthesia practice?
  5. What is the Council’s process for a major revision to the Standards?

Programmatic Accreditation

  1. 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?
  2. Should a standardized entrance examination(s) be required for applicants to nurse anesthesia educational programs?
  3. What is the role of the Council in regard to the profit margins of nurse anesthesia programs?
  4. What is the process for granting initial accreditation to new nurse anesthesia programs?
  5. What role should accreditation Standards play in regulating the CRNA workforce? 
  6. How do students "teach others?"
  7. What Are the COA’s Requirements for Scholarly Work Oversight?​

Council Review of Complaints and Concerns

  1. Does the COA receive complaints or concerns and what is the nature of the complaints?
  2. How is a complaint about a program or the COA brought to the attention of the COA?

For additional clarification on the above FAQs, or if you have other questions, comments or concerns not addressed here, please Contact Us.