Best CRNA Schools in 2023 (Online & On-Campus)

Best CRNA Schools in 2023 (Online & On-Campus)

CRNA Schools

Graduate from one of the Best CRNA Schools and enjoy a rewarding career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the expected job growth rate for CRNAs for the 2016 through 2026 period is 31 percent or ‘much faster than average’ for all occupations. What’s more, the starting nurse anesthetist salary for new graduates is generally about $125,640.

Some Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists work independently, while others collaborate with doctors, primarily in a hospital, outpatient care center or surgical center, in educational settings that need CRNA specialized skills and experience, and other types of practice settings. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) explains that CRNAs are typically the sole anesthesia provider in a rural hospital setting and in the U.S. military.

These best CRNA schools provide the advanced education required for CRNAs in the United States.

Choose the on-campus or online degree program that is right for you and get started on your path towards becoming a CRNA today.

Path to Becoming a CRNA

CRNAs are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) that have a variety of responsibilities that require specialized education. Students considering a career as a CRNA start the path by becoming a registered nurse (RN) and maintaining the licensure in good standing. Students need a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in nursing from an accredited college or university (BSN), and a minimum of one year of work experience as an RN in a critical care environment.

CRNA programs help prepare students for the required advanced education, development and application of required skills and knowledge which is typically gained through didactic and clinical instruction, along with the determination and commitment required for a CRNA career. Students that complete the program and pass the National Certification Examination (NCE) have the expertise required for a fulfilling CRNA career.

It is important that individuals considering enrolling in a CRNA program know that there is an upcoming change, which some CRNA schools have already posted on their website. The COA explains that “the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) requires that all students matriculating into a nurse anesthesia educational program on January 1, 2022, or thereafter be enrolled in a program approved by the COA to award a practice doctoral degree.”

1. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University CRNA Schools

Arkansas State University offers the MSN in Nurse Anesthesia, along with the DNAP Nurse Anesthesia program. The DNAP meets the January 2022 requirement that students be enrolled in an approved program that offers a practice doctoral degree. The DNAP program is a traditional face-to-face program and prepares graduates for a career in a nurse anesthetist role at the highest level of clinical nursing practice.

  • Tuition: $333 per credit hour
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA, ACEN

2. Virginia Commonwealth University

The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Nurse Anesthesia faculty members developed and implemented the first Doctor of Anesthesia Practice program in the nation. The school phased those programs out after approval of the Entry to Practice DNAP program. The first two semesters of the program are delivered in a hybrid format. Students complete the third and fourth semesters in a traditional setting.

Graduates of the DNAP Entry to Practice program will have the knowledge and skills required that allow CRNAs to demonstrate leadership, utilize technology and information systems, apply specific theories that promote patient safety, improve nurse anesthesia practice and enhance the delivery of quality care. Students receive direct supervision, instruction, and counseling from CRNA or physician anesthesiologist clinical instructors when participating in clinical experiences. The school offers the post-masters DNAP for practicing CRNAs, building on previous education and CRNA experiences.

  • Tuition: approx. $433.50
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

3. University of Alabama

The University of Alabama Post BSN to DNP Pathway for Nurse Anesthesia program prepares graduates for practice as a CRNA in a wide variety of diverse settings. Students focus on the full scope of nurse anesthetist practice, promote quality in health care and demonstrate leadership skills. Students will also acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to lead health system change.

  • Tuition: $572 per credit hour
  • Program length: approx. 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

4. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia program provides opportunities for graduates to broaden their existing skills, learn new skills as they develop leadership skills through community partnerships and participate in clinical experiences. Clinical experiences take place at a variety of sites, including community hospitals, outpatient facilities, Level 1 trauma centers, and leading pediatric hospitals.

  • Tuition: $640 per credit hour
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

5. Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University delivers requirements for the CRNA program in both traditional classroom and hybrid format. The full-time curriculum prepares graduates for providing anesthesia to patients in all practice settings and for all types of surgeries and other procedures. Students learn to take on expanded responsibilities, exercise advanced levels of thinking and judgment, and practice accountability for implementing and evaluating evidence-based strategies.

  • Tuition: $820 per credit hour
  • Program length: 10 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

6. Central Connecticut State University

Central Connecticut State University developed and implemented the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) program in response to the current high demand and workforce shortage, along with an expected dramatic increase in the need for CRNAs. Students develop advanced critical thinking skills, learn to evaluate and implement evidence-based clinical practices, focus on patient safety, demonstrate ethical decision-making, and develop CRNA leadership roles and clinical excellence.

  • Tuition: $941 per credit hour
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

7. Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University features the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia program for nurses that hold current RN licensure and that hold a bachelor’s degree. Students learn and develop a variety of didactic and clinical knowledge and skills, proficiency in evidence-based practices as it relates to the program, and the ability to serve as CRNA leaders. Gonzaga University offers clinical experiences at primary sites and affiliate locations.

  • Tuition: $975 per credit hour
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA, CCNE

8. Barry University

The Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice in Anesthesiology at Barry University helps students develop expertise in nurse anesthesiology, physiology, and pharmacology. Students expand on existing skills as they learn to work in collaboration with anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists, and other highly qualified health care professionals. 

  • Tuition: approx. $904.16
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

9. University of Iowa

The University of Iowa DNP in Anesthesia program is for students that want to acquire the educational requirements and achieve the expertise necessary to enter into practice as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Students participate in a traditional academic calendar format during the first year of the program. The intense academic study helps prepare students for their clinical experiences during the second and third years. CRNA mentors guide students through their clinical experiences, the advanced clinical experiences bringing an increased level of expectation and opportunity for students to take on cases that are more difficult. Students rotate to locations throughout the state of Iowa, providing anesthesia in a variety of settings and to a variety of patient populations. Students also have a rural clinical experience, learning about CRNA practice within rural settings.

  • Tuition: $1,088 per credit hour
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: CCNE, COA

10. University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh prepares graduates for the highest level of nursing practice through the online CRNA MSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia program. Students develop and focus on organizational, clinical and leadership skills through the entire program. The curriculum focuses on evidence-based practices, nurse informatics, improving patient safety outcomes, health care policy and finance and clinical experiences.

  • Tuition: $1090 per credit hour
  • Program length: 8 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

11. Advent Health University

Advent Health University offers the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia degree for students seeking to provide anesthesia care to patients in various settings, integrate research into practice, and assume leadership roles in anesthesia. Students pursue the degree program through didactic and clinical assignments. Graduates qualify to sit for the appropriate certification test.

  • Tuition: approx. $2722.22 per credit hour
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

12. University of Miami

The University of Miami offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesia Program, preparing graduates for a career as a CRNA with exceptional leadership skills. Students learn to administer anesthesia, monitor patients before, during and after procedures or surgery, and whether in a rural clinic or large hospital setting. The university indicates that the program features core courses, DNP courses, nurse anesthesia specialty clinical courses and nurse anesthesia specialty didactic courses.

  • Tuition: approx. $3153.12
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA

13. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania DNP – NA program prepares graduates for CRNA practice across a variety of diverse settings, and prepares graduates for developing and implementing clinical decision-making and critical thinking skills as they apply to CRNA practice. Graduates gain eligibility to take the NCE exam.

  • Tuition: $5,366 per credit hour
  • Program length: 9 semesters
  • Accreditation: COA


We ranked each school by assigning a unique score for tuition, program length, and accreditation. In the case of a tie, the school with the lower tuition received a higher score.

We do our best to be honest, fair and accurate in our representation of each school. No school can pay us for a higher ranking. Any school wishing to be sponsored is listed separately and clearly labeled SPONSORED.

Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee tuition costs or other information because these things sometimes change. If you would like to have your school listed, please contact us.

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