Updated at: 17-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


There is a critical need for CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) in the medical field. Anesthesiologists are doctors who specialize in administering anesthesia to patients prior to, during, and after surgical procedures. Whether it’s a routine procedure or a medical emergency, CRNAs are indispensable. About 43 million anesthetic injections are given safely every year in U.S. hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other healthcare facilities.

A CRNA has extensive discretion and accountability in the delivery of anesthesia care. Their salary reflects this reality. The average salary for a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in the United States is $202,470 per year, as reported by the BLS. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 40% increase in employment opportunities in this sector through 2031. Much greater than the average of the United States. More than 30,000 new jobs in nursing and other health-related fields will open up annually over the next decade.

Best CRNA Schools With Online Programs

Best crna schools with online programs

SUNY Buffalo State

One can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a focus on Nurse Anesthetist at SUNY Buffalo. Only nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can enroll, and the instructors are all Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). When it comes to online CRNA programs, SUNY Buffalo is among the best. Most of the assignments can be done in an online format. And applicants with a Master of Science in Nursing degree are given preference over those with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The program’s curriculum is designed to give you a solid foundation for any specialty within the CRNA field. The master’s program can be finished in as little as three years.

Bryan College of Health Sciences

Bryan College of Health Sciences

The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Clinical Nurse Anesthesia is available at Bryan College of Health Sciences. This program is a hybrid, meaning that it combines online learning with some in-person instruction. Nurses with at least a year of critical care experience are preferred but not required for admission. This is the only similar program in Nebraska and the surrounding states. Graduate students gain experience in real-world healthcare settings through opportunities like specialty rotations. Successful completion of the two-part CRNA program curriculum prepares students for careers in the field. Included are lessons in nursing practice, health policy, and management. The entire teaching staff has doctorates or other advanced degrees.

University of Detroit Mercy

DNP-CRNA program at UDM is highly regarded. COA has given their stamp of approval. Coursework for this degree can be completed entirely online or with limited on-campus attendance. Nursing professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree and some experience in intensive care will benefit most from this program. The program’s ultimate goal is to equip licensed nurses with the skills they’ll need to provide safe and effective anesthetic medical care to their patients. All of the permanent faculty members are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who have made significant contributions to the fields of scholarship, teaching, and patient care. In addition, 91% of program grads are successful on their first try at the national board exam. That’s a nice bump up from the average for the country. Additionally, the program boasts a perfect 100% employment rate.

Florida International University

The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Clinical Nurse Anesthesia is available online from Florida International University. The Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University handles the program. This is a clinical concentration within the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum. It’s entirely web-based, but there’s also a substantial practicum and a dissertation at the end. According to their mission statement, Florida International University is “committed to being recognized for its leadership and excellence in innovative nurse anesthetist education, evidence-based practice, scholarship, service, and as an active force promoting the health and safety of the diverse communities we serve.” There is only a full-time option for this nine-semester long program. Acceptance into the program is contingent upon possession of a Master’s degree or Advanced Practice Nursing Certificate.

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

At Rutgers, the Department of Nursing is in charge of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Anesthesia program. It is one of the most prestigious and challenging online CRNA programs available today. It boasts a 100% employment rate and a 91% pass rate on the National Certification Exam on the first try. Nursing anesthetists who complete this program are qualified to work in a wide range of clinical and administrative roles. Phase one of this hybrid program can be completed entirely online and is worth 32 of the necessary credits for graduation. Many online learners will choose to take this step slowly. In the second stage, the focus is on clinical expertise in anesthesia. It’s enough to pay for the last 53 credits you need. As such, this stage is exclusive to the blended format and will necessitate more time spent on campus. There is a three-year commitment required for the full program.

University of Arizona

On the Tucson campus, you’ll find the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing, which is renowned for its excellent programs leading to various nursing degrees. It is among the top graduate nursing programs, placing in the top 15% nationally.

The goal of this program is to educate and train intensive care unit nurses to safely and effectively administer anesthesia, drawing on their extensive medical and scientific training as well as their clinical experience. A patient’s safety, comfort, and composure before, during, and after surgery are all covered in detail as students learn the ins and outs of anesthesia patient care.

This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is unique in that it combines traditional classroom study with experiential learning in a clinical setting. Students with a baccalaureate degree in nursing or a master’s degree in nursing are usually accepted into this program. Competitive applicants to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) nurse anesthesia program at the University of Arizona must submit not only transcripts and a resume, but also two letters of recommendation. The recommendation letters you submit should be written by people in your field of study who are qualified to comment on your motivation to earn a Ph.D.

There are a total of 85 credits required for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at the University of Arizona, in addition to 2,000 clinical hours and 600 anesthetic hours. You will take both general education and specialty training (in this case, anesthetics) courses as part of your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Human Gross Anatomy, Health Policy and Economics, and Evidence-based Practice Methods are some of the courses you’ll take. Classes in this concentration will cover a wide range of topics, from basic to advanced concepts in anesthesia and pain management.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Located in North Chicago, Illinois, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a prestigious medical and scientific institution. Located on a 95-acre campus just north of Chicago’s downtown, this top-tier educational establishment provides a wide range of programs with an emphasis on the hard sciences and medicine.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science College of Health Professionals is designed for working RNs who wish to advance their education and become certified nurse anesthetists. The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge of nursing and anesthesia over the course of three years (36 months).

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher from all previous academic work is required for admission. In addition to your resume, you’ll need to provide three references who can speak to your professional experience and character in the healthcare field. In addition, you will be asked to provide a brief motivational letter outlining your pursuit of CRNA training.

Success in the nursing field is the goal of this program’s curriculum. You’ll take a wide range of required courses designed to give you a solid foundation in the fields of medicine, nursing, and healthcare. Clinical Anatomy, Principles of Anesthesia, and Advanced Health Assessments are just a few of the interesting and informative options here.

You’ll start taking courses in anesthesia in your first year. During the first year of this program, you will learn the fundamentals of “Advanced Nurse Anesthesia Pharmacology,” and in the following year, you will learn the specifics. In the second year of study, students will finish both parts of the “Principles of Anesthesia” series.

Clinical Seminar, Clinical Residency, and Entry Level Doctoral Immersion Residency III will all be finished by the end of the third year.

University of Iowa

University of Iowa

Graduate students who are also working full-time will appreciate the University of Iowa’s online offerings. The Iowa City, Iowa, public university provides graduate students with challenging coursework and helpful career guidance. Students learn cutting-edge information and expertise in safe and effective anesthetic procedures. Professionals can advance in their careers by pursuing further education at the graduate level, while others can enter entirely new fields by taking advantage of the credentials they have earned.

Experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, help students acquire marketable skills. Academic advising, career services, tutoring, and help applying for financial aid are all examples of the types of support available through the institution. Graduate students can learn more about the job market and prepare for life after graduation by attending career fairs and workshops.

Columbia University in the City of New York

Graduate programs in a wide range of disciplines are offered both on-campus and online at Columbia University in the City of New York. The private New York school requires its students to take challenging academic programs in their chosen fields. In the DNP in Nurse Anesthesia program, students acquire advanced theoretical and practical training. A degree can be used as a springboard into a new career or as a stepping stone in the professional world.

Graduate students can build their skills and resumes through internships, fellowships, and research projects. Graduate students can maximize their educational experience by utilizing the many available campus resources, such as academic advising and career services. Graduate students can use the school’s alumni to help them find work and get advice from people already working in their field.

Wayne State University

Graduate studies in a wide range of disciplines are offered both online and on-campus at Wayne State University. The graduate programs at this public university in Detroit, Michigan, are highly regarded by local professionals. Students who earn a PhD in nursing anesthesia study advanced theoretical concepts and acquire hands-on experience in the field. Earning a graduate degree can boost your earning power and job prospects.

Internships and fellowships are great ways for graduate students to build their resumes and gain experience in the real world. Graduate students can make the most of their time at school by utilizing support services like academic advising and career development. Graduate students can better prepare themselves for the job market by attending career workshops and job fairs before graduating.

University of Southern California

University of Southern California

Graduate programs in a wide range of disciplines are offered both online and on campus at the University of Southern California. Graduate students at the private school are subjected to an intensive curriculum designed to get them ready for professional careers in their chosen fields. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a major in nurse anesthesia take rigorous courses designed to ready them for leadership roles in the healthcare industry. Professionals with a graduate degree typically earn more money and have more employment options than those with a bachelor’s degree alone.

Students can demonstrate their skills and experience through internships and other experiential learning opportunities such as research projects. Students have access to academic resources like advising and tutoring at this school.


What Education Is Needed To Become a Nurse Anesthetist?

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree was once required of all CRNAs. Students will be required to earn a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree beginning in January 2022. They could also earn a DNAP (Doctor of Nursing Anesthesia Practice) degree. It takes about three years to finish one of these nursing programs. The terminal degree in the field of nursing is a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Individuals who have completed these nursing programs are viewed as future leaders in the healthcare industry.

These online nurse anesthesia programs feature rigorous coursework. Nurse anesthetists, on the other hand, can look forward to experiencing personal and professional fulfillment throughout their careers. Those in this field can take pride in the fact that they are relieving others of their suffering. This is a highly marketable skill that will always be in demand, regardless of the economy. It’s profitable, too. The BLS reports that a nurse anesthetist can expect a median annual salary of $195,610.

Is it better to enroll in a 24-month MSN-CRNA or DNAP program?

Graduates of either the MSN-CRNA or DNAP programs will have a much better chance of advancing their careers as registered nurses. However, new guidelines from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners require all CRNA programs to immediately begin implementing curricular changes. According to the new regulations, all CRNA schools must switch to offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree instead of a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia. The AANA specifies that all necessary modifications be made prior to the start of the 2025–2026 school year. Those who graduate from a CRNA program prior to 2025 will be exempt from the DNAP requirement and will be “grandfathered” into the new program.

How Long are Online CRNA Programs?

The time it takes to earn one of these degrees will vary based on a number of criteria, such as the chosen school and method of instruction. (Completely online as opposed to a mix of in-person and virtual instruction.)

Including clinical rotations and other requirements, a Doctor of Nursing Practice program will typically take 36 months to complete. However, this is predicated on the assumption that you are not enrolled in a more time-consuming BSN-to-DNP program in addition to your DNP coursework.

On average, a college education will take three years to complete. Time spent here can be reduced if prior coursework has been completed that is relevant to the degree being pursued. Online CRNA programs can be completed much quicker with the help of summer classes and accelerated programs.


Becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) can be a life-changing endeavor that also pays well. Due to the advanced practical skills needed in the field, most online CRNA programs require at least some time spent in-person. This is something to think about as you evaluate various online CRNA degree programs.