DNP Program, Nurse Anesthesia Specialty: Admission Requirements

Applications for Fall 2021 admission open October 15th

Application deadline January 15th 

Admission to the DNP Program, nurse anesthesia specialty is competitive. The following criteria are used to determine admission to the program:

Course Work and Grade-Point Average

  • Bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing. Present proof of earned baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Nursing in Education (ACEN; formerly known as NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution.
  • Health assessment course. Provide evidence of an academic or an ANCC-COA continuing-education-approved health assessment course.
  • Basic statistics course. Applicants must have completed a course in basic statistics with a letter grade of “C” or better.
  • Grade-Point Average (GPA). Applicants must hold a GPA of 3.00 or above (on a 4-point scale) for admission. GPA will be calculated from the last cumulative 60 hours of nursing undergraduate coursework for applicants with BSN only, or from cumulative graduate coursework for applicants with graduate degree in nursing.
  • Official Transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted either in a sealed envelope or electronically from the sending institution.

Licensure and Residency

  • Registered Nurse (RN) license. Provide evidence of an unencumbered license as a registered professional nurse and/or an APRN in the United States or its territories or protectorates. Applicants will be required to submit a RN license from the state in which they are currently working. Once applicants are accepted into the NAP, they must maintain an active Arkansas or compact state license.
  • Residency Status. Residents from other states who apply, are accepted and attend UAMS may be financially impacted based on residency status. The following policies on residency will apply:
  • UAMS Residence Policy. Standards and Processes for Determining Student Residency Status can be found in UAMS Policies & Procedures. Search by title.
  • Change in Residency Status. Application for Change in Residency Status form can be found in UAMS Policies & Procedures. Search by title.
  • Residency Status of Native Americans. Native American people in other states belonging to tribes which formerly lived in Arkansas before relocation and whose names are on the rolls in tribal headquarters, shall be classified as in-state students of Arkansas for tuition and fee purposes on all campuses of the University of Arkansas. Tribes so identified include the Caddo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Osage, and Quapaw. Non-Resident Tuition for Native Americans Residency Exception can be found in UAMS Policies & Procedures. Search by title.
  • Residence status of Military: Active Military Non-Residency Exception can be found in UAMS Policies & Procedures. Search by title. Employment and Spouse/Dependent In-State Residency Exception for Tuition and Fee Purposes can be found in UAMS Policies & Procedures. Search by title.

Experience as an RN

  • Minimum RN employment: A minimum of two (2) years of clinical experience is strongly recommended prior to application. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires a minimum of 2000 verified experience hours as a registered nurse prior to the application process for advanced-practice licensure. The College of Nursing requires a minimum of 2000 verified RN experience hours prior to enrollment in the Advanced Health Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning theory and practicum courses (NURS 5305 and NURS 5306).
  • Critical care experience: A minimum of one year of full-time critical care experience, or its part-time equivalent, is an accreditation requirement for admission to all nurse anesthesia programs. We evaluate each applicant on an individual basis to determine the quality as well as quantity of critical care skill experience. Also, a minimum of one year of professional nursing experience in critical care (adult, pediatric, or neonatal intensive care units) is required within the two years prior to application to the nurse anesthesia specialty. Additionally, the applicant must show development as an independent decision maker capable of using and interpreting advanced monitoring techniques based on knowledge of physiological and pharmacological principles.
  • Applicants must show proof of 2000 hours of work experience as an RN before registering for any practicum course. The Verification of Employment Form found on the College of Nursing website must be completed and notarized.


  • Life support certifications. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certifications are required at time of application and must be maintained throughout the program.
  • CCRN certification is highly recommended.


Two letters of recommendation are required from persons with knowledge of the applicant’s work performance and experience. Referees must address the applicant’s ability to successfully complete a doctoral program, and can speak to the applicant’s academic potential, clinical skills, knowledge, and involvement in leadership or professional activities. Recommendations from the applicant’s most recent supervisor as one of the referees is preferred. Reference names and e-mail contact information must be provided as part of the application. An email will then be sent directly to each referee with information and instructions for completion and return of references.

Essay and On-Campus Interview

Applicants who meet academic, licensure, nursing experience, and certification qualifications may be invited for on-campus interview and essay completion. Generally, 2-3 times the number of applicants for the available spaces in the nurse anesthesia specialty will be invited for the on-campus assessments.

  • Professional goals statement. The purpose of this statement is to provide the nurse anesthesia faculty further insight into the professional goals, motivation, and expectations of the applicant and to evaluate written communication skills. This statement is to be submitted with the application.
  • Additional Written Responses. Applicants may be asked to provide written responses to a series of questions during their on-campus interview session as a part of the admission process.
  • Interview. Applicants meeting admission criteria and selected for further admission consideration must participate in an interview for the purpose of evaluating communication and decision-making skills, educational goals and current leadership, scholarship, practice roles and activities. The interview will be in-person, face-to-face unless extraordinary circumstances warrant other arrangements. The nurse anesthesia specialty Director is charged with the responsibility for making decisions related to “extraordinary circumstances.”

Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree from the U.S.

The CIA official language field listing is used to determine whether the TOEFL exam is required for international applicants who declare English as their first language. If English is listed as the official language of their country of birth on the CIA listing, the student will not be required to complete the TOEFL exam as an admission requirement. If the applicant was not born in the United States or in a country where English is the official language, the applicant may document their English proficiency in one of two ways:

    • (A) An official TOEFL score of at least 550 or above on the paper-based exam, or 213 or above on computer-based exam, or a minimum score of 20 in each section of the iBT is required. The test must have been taken within the last two (2) calendar years of admission. Official TOEFL exam score report reflecting successful completion must be received no later than one (1) month past the application deadline date. Only TOEFL test scores received directly from ETS will be accepted as valid. Testing information is available at
    • (B) If the applicant’s entire educational experience has been in the United States, the applicant does not have to take the TOEFL. To document this, the applicant must provide records/transcripts from the time that the applicant entered school in the seventh grade through high school, and college. If the applicant cannot provide this documentation, the applicant may appeal first to the College of Nursing Admissions and Progression Committee, and then to the College of Nursing Dean.

Evaluation of Foreign Transcripts. If the degree was earned outside of the United States, the applicant must have all international transcripts evaluated by a credentialing entity that is a member of NACES (The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) (e.g., or The evaluation must include proof of the equivalency of a United States degree and an equivalent GPA that is based on a 4.0 grading system.

Previous graduate nursing school experience. Applicants who have attended a previous graduate nursing school or another health related profession school must have a letter submitted from that school that includes a statement regarding the student’s standing at the previous school. Applicants who have been previously dismissed from a program or who are not in good standing will not be considered for admission. Admission will not be considered for anyone who earned an incomplete “I”, non-complete “NC”, or ”C” in any two graduate nursing courses; or a “D”, “F”, or withdrew with a failing grade (“WD” or “WF”) in any graduate nursing course.


The Nurse Anesthesia specialty accepts applicants for fall enrollment only.

Application Timeline

Application Opens for Fall 2021 AdmissionOctober 1, 2021
DeadlineNovember 15, 2021
Your online application must be completed by this date. All supplemental application materials must also be received by this date.
Application reviewTBD
Admissions Decisions AnnouncedTBD