No. 1 for Nurse Anesthesia

Samantha Bronson, SMU News

Samuel Merritt University is the top college in the country for nurse anesthesia, according to college rankings website College Factual.

The Master’s of Science in Nursing – Nurse Anesthesia program secured the No. 1 spot—ahead of 40 other universities nationwide that offer the degree—based on graduation rates, employment outcomes, and average early-career salary data from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, College Scorecard, and other independent agencies.

The Nurse Anesthesia program is known for its commitment to student success with a 1:8 teacher-to-student ratio, a robust mentoring program, and hands-on clinical rotations that train students to work in a wide variety of practice settings. The program emphasizes diversity, with 64% of graduates being students of color (2018-20) in a field that’s 87% White.

Graduates of the program are in high demand and are heavily recruited, with 93% finding employment in their field within six months. For the 2018, 2019, and 2020 cohorts, the average pass rate of the licensing exam (NBCRNA) was 96%. All students (100%) graduated on time in the 2019-20 graduating class and the program boasts a 0% dropout rate over the past three years thanks to its supportive academic environment.

Nationwide, nurse anesthetists are among the highest paid RNs in the field. The median salary for nurse anesthetists in California is $212,000. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked nurse anesthetist as one of the 15 best jobs in healthcare, and the field is expected to grow by 14% through 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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