The Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialty in Anesthesia prepares advanced practicing nurses with a high level of scientific background who have the knowledge and skills to evaluate complex nursing anesthesia situations. Graduates should be able to assume the responsibility to identify and assume the best course of actions and decisions that may have a profound effect upon an individual.

Applications will be available on September 1, 2022.

Mission

Prepare highly qualified, advanced nurse anesthesia professionals at the doctoral level with a solid foundation in evidence-based practice, critical thinking skills, quality improvement, and systems leadership; that lead and foster collaborative efforts, while educating and providing the best quality of anesthesia care to a culturally diverse society.

Academic Degree

Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialty in Anesthesia (DNP-SA)

Curriculum

  • The curriculum has been designed to prepare professional nurse anesthetists with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for delivery of anesthesia through a variety of methods and other anesthesia-related care, as defined in the AANA Scope and Standards for Anesthesia Practice.
  • Didactic: One thousand and seventy-one (1,071) hours.
  • Clinical Practice: Two thousand, five hundred and forty-four (2,544) hours.
  • Clinical Correlational Conferences: Fifty-four (54) hours.
  • Laboratory/Simulation: One hundred and twenty-six (126) hours.
  • Independent Study: Sixty (60) hours.

Admission Requirements

  1. Possess a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program (CCNE or ACEN).
  2. A 3.00 GPA in general education courses, sciences, and nursing courses.
  3. Undergraduate Statistics and Chemistry courses with B grade or better (3 credits each).
  4. English proficiency as evidenced by TOEFL preferably a general score of 80 or above and a specific reading score of 20 or more). Required for students not completing high school or college education in the continental U.S.
  5. Demonstrate Spanish proficiency during the interview process.
  6. Evidence of current license as registered nurse.
  7. To comply with state laws, all students are required to be licensed as a registered nurse in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The license is required at the beginning of the study program.
  8. Must have a minimum of one year (two preferred) of full-time work experience (2,080hours), or its part-time equivalent, as a registered nurse in a critical care setting within the last five years. The applicant must have developed as an independent decision-maker capable of using and interpreting advanced monitoring techniques based on knowledge of physiological and pharmacological principles.
  9. Possess current competency in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support certifications (PALS)
  10. Three (3) letters of recommendation. One (1) from each of the following: a) most recent employer; b) a health care professional, preferably a licensed physician or a CRNA, and c) a teacher that can attest the academic suitability to pursue graduate education. The letters should reflect an accurate appraisal of clinical skills, experience, and independent decision-making. Recommendation Letter Format.
  11. Submit a written commitment to sit for National Certification Examination (NCE) within 120 days after graduation.
  12. Submit an updated Curriculum Vitae.
  13. Complete the Medical Sciences Campus’ Online Admissions Form and submit the supporting documentation required.
  14. Obtain a minimum average of 70% as a result of the total of the following criteria:

Application Deadlines

  • October 31- Early decision (based on a thorough analysis)
  • January 31- Regular decision

Criteria for Students Selection

A minimum avarage of 70% as a result of the sum of the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA 20%
  • Minimum Specific Index 25%
  • Simulation 15%
  • Personal Interview 25%
  • Scientific Paper Analysis 10%
  • Analysis or Curriculum Vitae 5%

Program’s Length of Study

  • Thirty-six (36) consecutive calendar months.
  • Full-time student enrollment requirement.

Accreditations

Nurse Anesthesia Program Statistics

  • Attrition: 9% (1/11)
  • Employment: 100%
  • Certification examination pass rate for first-time takers (Class 2021): 100%

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why the University of Puerto Rico – Nurse Anesthesia Program transitioned to the post-baccalaureate (entry level) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the Master of Science in Nursing?

According to the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), all accredited Nurse Anesthesia programs in the United States and Puerto Rico must transition to a doctoral program by 2022. The UPR-NAP faculty believe, as innovators in Nurse Anesthesia education, that it’s important to be at the forefront of this transition to the doctoral level.

What degree plan does the UPR Nurse Anesthesia Program offer?

The program will provide a graduate level curriculum leading to the award of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with Specialty in Anesthesia degree. The curriculum is designed as a post-baccalaureate to Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN-DNP).

Is the UPR-NAP front-loaded or integrated?

Integrated nurse anesthesia programs typically arrange their curricula so that students participate in didactic and clinical education concurrently. Front loaded program students complete all didactic courses before beginning their clinical experience. The UPR-NAP follows an integrated model.

How long is the UPR-NAP DNP Program?

The UPR-NAP DNP Program is a 36 consecutive months integrated curriculum.

Why should I choose a DNP Program?

A CRNA with a DNP will have the credentials necessary to not only function in the clinical setting, but also assume leadership position in healthcare systems, and to participate in academia and research. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) have adopted the entry-to-practice doctorate degree requirement by 2025 for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. The DNP title is the accepted title for the terminal practice doctorate degree in nursing.

How many clinical sites are affiliated with the UPR-NAP?

The UPR-NAP has more than 12 clinical sites. This number may change as more sites are added to ensure that all students meet the minimum number of required cases set by the COA.

  • Medical Services Administration of Puerto Rico (ASEM) – Main OR, Pediatric University Hospital, Adult University Hospital, Trauma
  • Cardiovascular Center of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
  • Doctor Center Hospital – Bayamón, Manatí, San Juan, and Carolina
  • Bayamón Medical Center
  • Manatí Medical Center
  • San Jorge Children and Women’s Hospital
  • Puerto Rico Children and Women’s Hospital
  • VA Healthcare Caribbean
  • University Hospital UPR-Carolina – Dr. Federico Trilla
  • Mennonite Medical Center – Cayey
  • Auxilio Mutuo Hospital
  • San Juan Municipality Hospital*
  • University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center

Will I be expected to cover call shifts and Holidays?

Yes, to meet the accreditation requirements, the UPR-NAP has provided opportunities for its students to obtain clinical experiences outside the regular clinical hours schedule by a call experience or other mechanism.

Can I work while I am enrolled in the program?

Successful completion of the DNP-SA requires a substantial time commitment during the 36-month program. Historically, given the rigorous nature of the program, students find it difficult to subsidize their educational expenses through part-time employment. We strongly discourage students from working during their time in the program. Doing so could negatively impact your academic and clinical experience. Students are strictly prohibited from working in any capacity that involves the administration of anesthesia.

Does the UPR-NAP-DNP Program curriculum meet the educational requirements for professional licensure as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia?

Yes, once the student complete the graduation requirements, they are eligible to sit to take the National Certification Examination.

Does the Program include simulation?

Yes, high, intermediate, and low fidelity simulators are used throughout the curriculum to provide consistent and safe environment of both routine and unusual anesthesia situations.

Is there a part-time plan of study?

No, our current degree offering is full-time only.

Should I spend time with a CRNA observing cases in the OR?

Yes, we highly encourage all applicants to become familiar with the role of the CRNA. You may ask your own institution to shadow a CRNA and observe the operating room environment. This should be done early in the application process to allow you time to understand the role of the CRNA, the profession to which you are applying. Current nurse anesthesia students may offer a wealth of information from the student perspective to help you prepare.

Is liability insurance required while enrolled in the NAP?

Yes, the liability insurance will be covered by the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus at no additional cost.

Is health insurance required while attending the NAP?

Yes, students are required to have health insurance during the entire program of study. You may choose between the insurance from the University of Puerto Rico or a private insurance.

How do I apply to the UPR-NAP?

The applicant must complete the Medical Sciences Campus’ Online Admission Form and should select the “Master in Science of Nursing with Specialty in Anesthesia” It will be understood that you are applying for the Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialty in Anesthesia Program. Please use the following link to access the online application: https://admisiones.upr.edu

When is the application deadline?

October 31 – Early Decision

January 31 – Regular Decision

What are the requirements for admission?

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program (CCNE or ACEN).
  • A 3.00 GPA in general education courses, sciences, and nursing courses.
  • Undergraduate Statistics and Chemistry courses with B grade or better (3 credits each).
  • English proficiency as evidenced by TOEFL preferably a general score of 80 or above and a specific reading score of 20 or more). Required for students not completing high school or college education in the continental U.S.
  • Demonstrate Spanish proficiency during the interview process.
  • Evidence of current license as registered nurse.
  • To comply with state laws, all students are required to be licensed as a registered nurse in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The license is required at the beginning of the study program.
  • Must have a minimum of one year (two preferred) of full-time work experience (2,080hours), or its part-time equivalent, as a registered nurse in a critical care setting within the last five years. The applicant must have developed as an independent decision-maker capable of using and interpreting advanced monitoring techniques based on knowledge of physiological and pharmacological principles.
  • Possess current competency in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support certifications (PALS)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation. One (1) from each of the following: a) most recent employer; b) a health care professional, preferably a licensed physician or a CRNA, and c) a teacher that can attest the academic suitability to pursue graduate education. The letters should reflect an accurate appraisal of clinical skills, experience, and independent decision-making. Recommendation Letter Format.
  • Submit an updated Curriculum Vitae.
  • Complete the Medical Sciences Campus’ Online Admissions Form and submit the supporting documentation required.
  • Obtain a minimum average of 70% as a result of the total of the following criteria:
    • Cumulative GPA                                                          20%
    • Minimum Specific Index                                            25%
    • Simulation                                                                   15%
    • Personal Interview                                                      25%
    • Scientific Paper Analysis                                            10%
    • Analysis or Curriculum Vitae                                      5%

Who should I contact regarding the application process?

Maribel Ortiz Belmonte
Admissions Officer
maribel.ortiz5@upr.edu
Ext. 5214, 5215

 

Yamil Calderón

Orientation Officer

yamil.calderon@upr.edu

787-758-2525 ext. 1099

 

José L. Bonilla-García

Program Director

jose.l.bonilla@upr.edu

787-758-2525 ext. 2034

How many applications are received each year?

We receive anywhere from 40 – 55 applications, depending on the year.

How many students will be accepted?

We admit a maximum of 17 students.

Is a baccalaureate degree required for admission?

Yes, all applicants must have completed a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing for admission.

How can I verify if my nursing school was accredited?

The institution granting the nursing degree must be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Click here to find CCNE accredited programs.

Click here to find ACEN accredited programs.

Are all undergraduate course grades used to calculate my overall GPA?

Yes, all undergraduate course grades are used to calculate your general GPA.

How is the specific GPA calculated?

The specific GPA is calculated using all nursing course grades and additionally the following courses: Human Anatomy/Physiology, Microbiology, Chemistry.

Are pre-requisite courses required for admission?

Yes, undergraduate Statistics and Chemistry courses with B grade or better (3 credits each).

What are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) requirements?

English proficiency as evidenced by TOEFL preferably a general score of 80 or above and a specific reading score of 20 or more). Required for students not completing high school or college education in the continental U.S.

Do I need to take the GRE or MAT exams for admission?

No.

Do I need to speak Spanish for admission to the program?

Yes, Spanish proficiency will be evaluated during the interview process.

Do you require a Puerto Rico RN license to apply for the program?

Applicants must have a valid unencumbered/unrestricted RN license in one of the 50 United States or Puerto Rico which must be submitted at the time of application. A Puerto Rico RN license is not required at the time of application. Students accepted to the UPR-NAP must possess an unencumbered Puerto Rico RN license for their admission in June and at all times during the program.

How many years of RN experience are required?

Applicants must be currently working as a licensed registered nurse in an area of intensive are nursing (e.g. ICU, CVICU, SICU, MICU, Neuro-ICU, etc.) or Trauma for at least one year (two preferable).

What is considered critical care experience?

Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a US military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse has developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (e.g., pulmonary artery, central venous pressure, and arterial catheters), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to: surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care, pediatric intensive care, and neonatal intensive care. Those who have experiences in other areas may be considered provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.

Does operating room, post-anesthesia care units (PACU) and/or emergency room experience count towards the critical care requirement?

No.

How recent should my critical care experience be?

During the last 5 years.

How do I submit the written commitment to sit for the National Certification Exam?

The written commitment to sit for the National Certification Examination is completed by admitted students during their initial orientation.

What should be included in my CV?

  • Variety of extracurricular courses
  • Experiences of great responsibilities
  • Professional distinctions
  • Professional associations memberships (CPEPR excluded due to compulsory requirement)
  • Scholarly work, research
  • Missionary travel, leadership travel
  • Volunteer work

Are all applicants granted an interview?

Only complete applications (all requirements met) will be reviewed.

When can I expect to be notified if I am granted an interview?

Candidates selected for an interview will be notified between November-December for documents sent by October 31st, or February – March for documents sent by January 31st.

If I do not meet admission criteria in all categories, will exemplary performance in other categories be considered as a replacement for unmet categories?

No.

If I am accepted for admission to the Program, will I be required to make a deposit to hold my position?

Yes, applicants that are accepted in the program are required to make a $25 deposit to secure their position. The deposit will be credited toward the student’s tuition at the time of enrollment.

Do you require CCRN certification for application or admission?

No.

What types of financial aid are available?

Information on financial aid can be found on the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus website (www.rcm.upr.edu) under students > financial aid. Prior to starting the program, the FAFSA will need to be completed. The Office of Financial Aid at UPR-MSC can help you with your choices.

What is the anticipated cost of attendance for the UPR-NAP?

Cost per credit

  1. Puerto Rico Resident – $500
  2. Non-Resident – $700

Annual UPR-NAP Fee – $2,000 (divided during semester 1 & 2 of each academic year)

University Fees (3-year total) – $1,300 (include technology, facility, and laboratory fee)

Clinical Experience

Students will train in a variety of clinical settings covering a wide range of clinical experiences. Students will complete more than 2,500 clinical hours in addition to simulated experiences in our Center for Skills Development

Contact Us

 

Postal Address:
Central Admissions Office MSC
Nurse Anesthesia Program
PO BOX 365067
San Juan, PR 00936-5067

 

Telephone: 787-758-2525

 

José L. Bonilla García, DNAP, CRNA
Program Director
jose.l.bonilla@upr.edu
Ext. 2034

 

Edgardo Lugo, DNP, CRNA
Assistant Director
edgardo.lugo4@upr.edu
Ext. 2714

 

Maribel Ortiz Belmonte
Director Central Admissions Office MSC / Admissions Officer
maribel.ortiz5@upr.edu
Ext. 5233

 

Yamil Calderón López
Orientation Officer
yamil.calderon@upr.edu
Exts. 1099, 1089