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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Admission Requirements

Fall 2014 applications are closed. Contact Che Abram at 510-869-8984 or with questions regarding the fall 2015 cycle.

For a representative Application/Admission Processing Timeline for fall 2014, please click here.

Virtual Drop-Ins Now Available - Join a CRNA Chat Room Online
We are pleased to offer virtual drop ins to prospective CRNA students.  You are welcome to virtually "drop in" and ask quick, general questions of an Admission Counselor.  This is entirely online.  Please click on a date and time below to join the chat! 

April 8, 2014

3 - 4 PM (PST)

May 16, 2014

10 AM - 11 AM (PST)

Please note that all times are Pacific Standard Time (California time zone).

Please click here for more information about the VIRTUAL DROP INS.  After you have reviewed the general chat information and are ready to start the chat click a date and time above to join the live chat. Brief details are below.

CRNA On Campus Events
TBA for 2015  Diversity CRNA Information Session and Airways Simulation
In partnership with Diversity CRNA, Samuel Merritt will be hosting their 2015 Information Session and Airways Simulation. The program is a wonderful way to learn more about the career of Nurse Anesthesia and is desigend for RN's and nursing students. You may register  for one or both days. 

  • Information Session TBA for 2015
    8:00 am - 4:00 pm 400 Hawthorne Ave. Bechtel Room Oakland, CA 94609

    Interested in applying to a Nurse Anesthesia Program? Do you want to be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist? You will meet four Nurse Anesthesia Program Directors, CRNAs, and Nurse Anesthesia Students. Learn comprehensive information about the admission process, rigors of the program, clinical expectations, didactic courses, balancing family and finances, and more!! Receive a copy of the new anesthesia video of CRNAs and SRNAs reviewing the anesthesia machine and related equipment. Continental breakfast and lunch provided.

  • Airway Simulation Lab TBA for 2015
    8:00 am-2:30 pm 450 30th Stree Suite G860 Oakland, CA 94609
    Learn, review and participate on the anesthesia machine, airway equipment, and other modalities at the Samuel Merritt University Nurse Anesthesia Program Simulation Center! Meet Marc Code, CRNA, MSN (Nurse Anesthesia Program Director). Great experience to learn new terminology! As an active participant on one or both of the events, you can write in your essay that you attended the Diversity CRNA Information Session and Airway Simulation Lab! Lunch is provided.

CRNA Information Session and Open House Events
This is an opportunity to meet with the CRNA program facutly, staff, and students. The event begins with a 30 minute overview of the CRNA program followed by an "open house" format hosted in our Health Sciences Simulation Center where you will interact with clinical facutly, admission committee members, an admission counselor, a financial aid counselor, the director of the program, and more. Please click on RSVP to join us. A confirmation will be emailed to you once you reserve your space.

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
3100 Telegraph Avenue 4th Floor, TBA
Oakland, CA 94609

Monday, May 5, 2014
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
3100 Telegraph Avenue 4th Floor, Room 4001
Oakland, CA 94609

CRNA Admission Requirements

Applications may be accepted after the deadline date on a space available basis. Check with the Office of Admission. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • A baccalaureate in nursing from a nationally accredited program. RNs with baccalaureate degrees in other fields will be evaluated individually and additional course work may be required.
  • Current California licensure as a registered nurse.
  • Official transcripts of all previous academic and professional coursework completed or in progress prior to admission.
  • Evidence of experience in clinical practice as a registered nurse with a minimum of 12 months of intensive care unit (any ICU) experience at the time of interview (March of every year) required; Two to three years of critical care nursing experience is preferable in addition to the 12 months of ICU experience. Practice areas that are considered critical care are: surgical intensive care (including trauma, post-cardiovascular surgery and neurosurgical specialty units), medical intensive care (coronary care, pulmonary care, and other medical sub-specialty units), and pediatric and neonatal intensive care units.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (3.5 average for 2013 admission cycle applicants)
  • Minimum last 60 semester or 90 quarter unit GPA of 3.0 or higher; average has been a 3.7
  • Revised Graduate Record Exam (GRE) minimum cumulative score of 290 an average was 310. Please be advised that the scores need to be available at the time of application. Older scaled GRE scores will not be accepted.
  • TOEFL (U.S. citizens or international students) - The need for TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided by applicants on the application for admission, if required, a score of 250 (or 100 for internet-based exam) must be achieved and official score results must be provided.
  • Current ACLS and PALS certification. CCRN strongly recommended.
  • Completion of a 1-2 day clinical shadowing experience with a CRNA (highly preferred) or physician anesthesiologist (in your application you must address why you were unable to shadow a CRNA).
  • A written goal statement (topic listed in the application). This should be a maximum of two (2) pages, typed, and double spaced. This should clearly articulate your academic and professional preparedness for the program and your desire and preparedness to become a CRNA.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required. One letter must be from your ICU manager who can speak to your critical care expertise and critical thinking; One or two letters may be from the following persons: a CRNA who can speak to your preparedness for the career and address your clinical expertise; colleague who can readily assess current levels of clinical expertise;  or an instructor who may speak to your academic preparedness for graduate study.

Prerequisite Courses

Chemistry: content should include organic, inorganic, and biochemistry content (required) 6-8 sesmter units; 8-12 quarter units
Statistics (required) 3 semester units; 4 quarter units
Physics: basic/introductory or general (highly recommended) 3 semester units; 4 quarter units

Admission policies:

  • Not all qualified candidates may be interviewed and not all interviewed candidates will be accepted. Selection of candidates for interview will be based on criteria listed above, quality and presentation of application material, quality and professionalism of communication with the program during the application process and an informed understanding about the role of a CRNA.
  • Faculty reserves the right to interview and accept qualified students at any time after the college priority application deadline of November 1. The applicant may substitute the GRE with successful performance scores on the MCAT.

Application Checklist
To be considered for an interview the following items must be sent in one envelope with your application:

  • Application
  • Copies of all college transcripts (please include legends if available)
  • $50 non-refundable fee
  • Completed goal statement
  • Resume
  • 3 Letters of reference
  • Copy of RN license
  • Copy of all certifications: ACLS, PALS, CCRN, TNCC, Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Please click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

Challenge Exams and Online Courses
please click the following link for a list of exams to test out of college courses and for online course offerings: Challenge Exams and Online.

International Transcripts Evaluation Agencies
For students who have completed a degree internationally, you will need to have those transcripts evaluated for a United States baccalaureate equivalency also known as a course-by-course evaluation/comprehensive evaluation.
We require that the services used be accredited by NACES.  Please click here for a list of agencies.

Admission Statistics/Demographic for Fall 2013
Admission demographics including average GPA and GRE scores about the CRNA program and all of SMU's other programs are listed