Anesthetist with students

Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Anesthesia Program

Nurse anesthetists ensure patient safety and comfort before, during, and after complex and routine procedures.  

Campus Location


  • On Campus

Program Duration

  • 27 Months (Seven Semesters)

Upcoming Deadlines

Nurse Anesthesia — MSN Program

The 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 Class of 2023 matriculated in the fall 2021 semester and is the final Nurse Anesthesia MSN cohort at SMU. We are no longer accepting applications for the Nurse Anesthesia MSN Program. 

If you are interested in our Anesthesia-DNP Program please visit the Anesthesia Doctorate of Practice information page. 

MSN Program Requirements & Info

During its October 13 – 15, 2021 meeting, the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) reviewed the outline completed by the program to measure program compliance with the COA’s policy and procedure, "Doctoral Degree Approval (for entry into nurse anesthesia practice)," as described in the COA’s Accreditation Policies and Procedures manual. The COA is pleased to inform the Samuel Merritt University Program of Nurse Anesthesia of the approval of the doctoral degree program for entry into practice. COA directors found the program's response to be in compliance with the Standards and requirements contained in the COA’s policy and procedure for evaluating nurse anesthesia programs as authorized in its recognized scope of accreditation authority. The decision recognizes the program for providing a graduate-level curriculum leading to the award of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

The Class of 2023 matriculated in the fall 2021 semester and will be the final Nurse Anesthesia MSN cohort at SMU. 

MSN Tuition Calculator
There is a tuition calculator that provides a detailed summary of annual tuition, all fees for the MSN program, and a cost estimator for the entire program. 

Tuition Calculator

Clinical Sites

Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno

David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield

Fresno Veterans Administration Medical Center, Fresno

Highland General Hospital, Oakland

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Walnut Creek

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Pleasanton

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Antioch

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Fresno

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Honolulu

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Roseville

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, North Sacramento

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Oakland

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Richmond

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Redwood City

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Clara

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Jose

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Fremont     

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Leandro

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Rafael

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Rosa

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, South Sacramento

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, South San Francisco

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Vacaville

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Vallejo

Mercy Medical Center, Mount Shasta

San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco

San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Francisco

San Joaquin General Hospital, French Camp

Sutter Medical Center Sacramento

Stanford Medical Center, Palo Alto

UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento

UCSF Mission Bay Hospital, San Francisco

UCSF Parnassus Hospital, San Francisco

UCSF Mount Zion Hospital, San Francisco

Kaweah Delta Medical Center, Visalia

Clinical practice rights are granted by reciprocity in all states after successful completion of the NCE. 

MSN Attrition, Certification Exams, Graduation, and Employment Rates

2022 Attrition Rate (COA) 4%
2021 Attrition Rate (COA) 0%
2019 Attrition Rate (COA) 0%

NCE (NBCRNA) Pass Rates (1st Time/Subsequent Pass Rate)

2022 Pass Rates 81%/100%
2021 Pass Rates 82%/100%
2020 Pass Rates 65%/96%

Graduation Rate*
2021-2022 Cohort      96%
2020-2021 Cohort      100%
2019-2020 Cohort      100%

*%  of Entering Cohort Graduated Within 150%  of Expected Time

Employment Rate in the Profession (within six months of graduation)**

2021-2022 graduating class     96%
2020-2021 graduating class     100%
2019-2020 graduating class     93%

**Employment data only includes graduates who responded to SMU Alumni Survey; the employment rate is not necessarily representative of graduates who did not respond to SMU Alumni Survey.


Samuel Merritt University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501; 510.748.9001. 

The  Nurse Anesthesia MSN program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). The Program underwent a reaccreditation review in Fall 2013 and was granted continued accreditation for the maximum period of 10 years effective May 30, 2014. The program was found in full compliance with the Standards of Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and will be scheduled for its next consideration of continued accreditation in Spring 2024.

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
10275 W. Higgins Road Suite 906
Rosemont, IL 60018-5603

The master's programs in nursing at Samuel Merritt University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC., 20001.

Master's Accreditation
Initial Accreditation Date: April 21, 2001
Most Recent Accreditation Date: November 2-4, 2020
Accreditation Term Expires: June 30, 2031
Last On-Site Evaluation: Fall 2020
Next On-Site Evaluation: Fall 2030


The Program of Nurse Anesthesia (PNA) strives to educate outstanding clinicians who demonstrate a high level of competence in the full scope of anesthesia practice. We are committed to providing innovative educational opportunities that engender reasoned, safe, culturally sensitive, evidence-based practice, and practitioners who value integrity and professionalism. The following technical standards, in conjunction with the academic standards, are requirements for admission, promotion, and graduation. The term “candidate” refers to candidates for admission to the PNA program as well as current PNA students who are candidates for retention, promotion, or graduation.

These requirements may be achieved with or without reasonable accommodations, the cost of which will be borne by the institution. These standards should not serve as a deterrent to any candidate with disabilities who desires to pursue a medical education. Candidates with disabilities bring unique perspectives which contribute to the diversity of the student population and will create a diverse healthcare workforce of culturally competent practitioners who can meet the needs of their patients. Candidates with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Resource Center immediately upon acceptance to begin a confidential conversation about possible accommodations necessary to meet these standards. Fulfillment of the technical standards for graduation from the FNP program does not guarantee that a graduate will be able to fulfill the technical requirements of any specific clinical position.

Observational skills:  A candidate must acquire information as presented through demonstrations and experiences in foundational sciences. Also, a candidate must be able to evaluate a patient accurately and assess relevant health, behavioral and medical information.  Candidates must be able to obtain and interpret information through a comprehensive assessment of patients, correctly interpret diagnostic representations of patient physiologic data, and accurately evaluate patient conditions and responses. Also, candidates must have sufficient capacity to make accurate observations, interpret and effectively participate in the context of patient care and simulated learning activities.  

Communication skills:  Candidate must be able to perceive changes in mood, activity, posture; and accurately interpret verbal and non-verbal communications from patients and others. Each candidate must have the ability to effectively communicate with patients, their family members, and other professionals in health care and classroom settings.  The candidate must be able to document patient care to maintain accurate clinical records effectively. 

Motor skills:  The candidate must perform complete physical examinations utilizing multiple types of diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate must be able to perform and assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment utilized in the initial administration, maintenance and emergent of anesthesia for patients. The candidate must possess the stamina to meet the demands associated with satisfactory and safe performance in clinical and classroom settings.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities:  Candidates must be able to learn through a variety of modalities, including but not limited to, classroom instruction; laboratory, including cadaver lab; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of computer technology.  A candidate must effectively interpret, assimilate and understand the complex information required to function within the PNA curriculum including, but not limited to, the ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures; effectively participate in individual, small group, and lecture learning modalities in the classroom, clinical and community settings; learn, participate, collaborate and contribute as a part of a team; synthesize information both in person and via remote technology; interpret causal connections and make accurate, fact-based conclusions based on available data and information; formulate a hypothesis, investigate the potential answers and outcomes; and reach appropriate and accurate conclusions. A candidate must be able to find sources of knowledge and acquire the knowledge through various modalities and possess the ability to be a life-long learner.

Behavioral and Social Attributes:  Candidates must possess the physical, mental and emotional health required for the application of intellectual abilities and the employment of sound judgment appropriately and promptly. Candidates must be able to function effectively under physically taxing workloads and in times of physical and mental stress. Candidates must accept constructive criticism, display compassion, sensitivity, and empathy while maintaining professional integrity, in addition to professional moral and ethical standards at all times.

Why SMU for Registered Nurse Anesthetist?

We've been preparing nurse professionals for success in the field for more than 100 years.


Teacher to Student Ratio

At SMU, we're all about small classes and personalized education.


Graduates Employed Within Six Months of Graduation

Our nurse anesthetists are heavily recruited experts in their field.


Annual Median Salary for Nurse Anesthetists in California

CRNAs are among the highest paid RNs in the field.


Jake Sareerak

Jake Sareerak

DNP, CRNA, CHSE Assistant Professor

Joseph Janakes

PhD, CRNA Program Director, MSN Nurse Anesthesia Assistant Professor
Kevin Hamby

Kevin Hamby

MSN, CRNA Associate Director, MSN Nurse Anesthesia Assistant Professor

Ora Bollinger

MSN, CRNA Assistant Professor

SMU Perspectives

MSN-Nurse Anesthesia, SMU Magazine
Samuel Merritt was there at the very infancy stages of the Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program, and they embraced and invited us to come to campus at a time when others didn't," Wallena Gould, Diversity CRNA founder and director.
Some One Like Me Nurse anesthetists have become more diverse at SMU and nationwide thanks to a pivotal alliance