Becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is a solid choice for those searching for a growing, lucrative healthcare career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nurse anesthetists earn a median annual salary of $195,610 and that the field will grow by 12% over the next decade.
CRNA programs require graduate-level coursework that can be challenging for busy healthcare professionals. Luckily, hybrid online CRNA programs help students manage the responsibilities of work, school, and home. Although no CRNA program is entirely online, many offer extensive online coursework for increased flexibility and convenience.
This guide offers an overview of hybrid online CRNA schools, what you can expect, and the top CRNA programs offering hybrid options. Keep reading to learn about CRNA degrees and how they can help you expand your career options and increase pay.
Because there are multiple pathways toward CRNA certification, the courses you can complete online vary by program and degree type. Some available options for CRNA certification include:
Philadelphia’s Drexel University offers a DNP nurse anesthesia program where students complete the CRNA program online for the first three quarters, followed by 30 months of on-site work at Drexel’s campus. Similarly, the University of Arizona’s hybrid DNP program blends online coursework with campus-based intensives and clinical placements.
While nurse anesthetist programs vary, you can anticipate that theoretical classes may be offered online while clinical training is completed in person—either on campus or at approved clinical sites. Some standard online courses include general principles of DNP anesthesia, principles of population health, intro to biostatistics, and clinical ethics and health law.
Just as CRNA online program requirements differ, in-person requirements also vary depending on the specific program and the institution. Still, you should expect to show up in person for certain components. Some in-person requirements students may encounter when completing their hybrid CRNA programs include:
It’s quite common for programs to make in-person orientations mandatory. New students can expect to meet faculty and staff, learn valuable information about the program, and tour the facilities. It’s also a great opportunity to meet your classmates and form study groups!
Because CRNA training is clinical, and because that intensive training is hands-on, hybrid programs must require in-person clinical rotations where you gain necessary practical experience. Clinical work typically takes place at affiliated healthcare facilities or approved clinical sites.
It’s also common for hybrid programs to hold campus-based intensives, which are usually multi-day sessions that include focused instruction in specific areas of anesthesia practice. Although it varies, some programs require these once per semester.
While it depends entirely on the program, CRNA students may be required to complete semester-ending exams in person.
Meetings With Faculty and Advisors
Throughout your CRNA program, you may be required to meet with academic advisors and faculty in person to discuss progress, coursework, and career goals.
Understanding hybrid online CRNA programs’ in-person commitments is important because they may impact which school you choose to attend.
1. Drexel University – DNP Nurse Anesthesia
Philadelphia’s Drexel University is no stranger to online programs, and the school offers a hybrid doctor of nursing practice in nurse anesthesia. During the first nine months of this program, students tackle a full-time schedule, completing all their coursework for CRNA school online.
Students complete the last 30 months of this program on campus. The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs accredits Drexel’s DNP in nurse anesthesia program.
2. University of Arizona – DNP Nurse Anesthesia
The University of Arizona is a Tucson-based public institution that is home to a hybrid DNP program with a nurse anesthesia specialization. DNP students can anticipate a mix of online and in-person requirements and must complete a 2,000-hour clinical residency before graduation.
Additionally, hybrid learners must attend an in-person orientation and training sessions. Core classes include methods for scholarly inquiry, nurse anesthesia pharmacology, and health policy and economics.
3. University of Tennessee – DNP Nurse Anesthesia
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is Tennesee’s leading public institution. UTK offers a hybrid online CRNA program that culminates in a DNP degree.
This 123-credit program blends teaching formats, including synchronous and asynchronous online classes and in-person intensives that take place twice per semester. Alongside extensive clinical work, students tackle core classes such as general principles of DNP anesthesia, evidence-based practice improvement, and principles of population health.
4. Wake Forest University – DNP Nurse Anesthesia
Established in 1824, North Carolina’s Wake Forest University is an elite private research institution that offers a hybrid DNP program. Students complete the first year of this three-year CRNA program online.
Upon completing first-year coursework, students dedicate the final two years to on-site instruction and 2,500 hours of clinical work. Online classes include basic principles of nurse anesthesia practice, translating research into practice, and healthcare management.
5. Virginia Commonwealth University – DNAP Nurse Anesthesia
Based in Richmond and established in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University is a public research institution that’s home to a DNP nurse anesthesia degree students can complete in 1 to 3 years.
Throughout this program, students complete coursework both online and at one of three Virginia locations: Richmond, Abington, and Roanoke. Core classes include topics such as leadership in nurse anesthesia education, patient safety, and healthcare ethics.
6. Duke University – DNP Nurse Anesthesia
Duke University is home to a long list of standout degrees, including a nurse anesthesia DNP program. This COA and CCNE-accredited hybrid program challenges nurses to become healthcare leaders and offers the flexibility that working students need.
Throughout this three-year program, students complete a blend of online and on-campus CRNA classes, in-person clinical work, and a multi-semester DNP project.
7. Baylor College of Medicine – DNP Nurse Anesthesia
Operating within the world’s largest medical center, the Baylor College of Medicine is a Houston-based research and teaching institution. Alongside other standout healthcare programs is the school’s DNP nurse anesthesia program that’s available to those holding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. Masters-prepared CRNA students with advanced standing can complete this program in two years.
This program leans heavily on distance learning, with students making few campus visits. Online classes include topics like advanced health assessment, biostatistics, and evidence-based anesthesia practice.