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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions

nurse anesthesia

  1. I am an RN with an associate’s degree in nursing and a Bachelor of Science degree in another field. Can I apply to your program?
    The Boston College nurse anesthesia program requires a BSN or an MSN degree for admission.
  2. 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 is to have 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 (such as pulmonary artery catheter, CVP, arterial); cardiac assist devices; mechanical ventilation; and vasoactive drips. Acceptable critical care experience includes ICU, SICU, CCU, MICU, PICU, or NICU. High acuity surgical ICU in a tertiary medical center is strongly preferred.
  3. My application has been submitted prior to the deadline but I may not have completed the GRE exam or obtained all reference letters by that date, will my application be considered?
    All application information including official GRE scores must be received prior to the deadline for consideration. It is the applicant’s responsibility to be sure that their application is complete.
  4. I will complete the one year of critical care experience during the first semester of the program. Is this acceptable?
    The year minimum of one year of critical care experience is an admission requirement and so must be completed prior to the deadline.
  5. I am an experienced ICU RN with an associate’s degree and will complete my BSN in December. Can I be considered for January admission?
    Verification of BSN completion must arrive prior to the application deadline.
  6. How can I obtain an academic reference since I have been out of my undergraduate program for 10 years?
    An academic reference is required and if you contact your school a reference will be written for you based on your academic record.
  7. Do you do rolling admissions? When are interviews scheduled?
    No, we do not have rolling admissions. Interviews will be schedule upon completion of applicant review.
  8. Are all applicants granted an interview?
    All qualified applicants are granted an interview.
  9. What are the average GPA and GRE scores for your accepted applicants?
    Accepted applicants in 2014 possessed an average GPA of 3.7. The average percentile scores on the Graduate Record Exam were 69%, 62% and 68% in verbal, quantitative and analytical writing respectively. Applicants should aim for the 50th percentile or better in each individual section of the GRE.
  10. Is a course in organic chemistry or physics required for admission to your program?
    A specific course is not required. It is assumed that in your undergraduate program you completed a course in health sciences chemistry, which will serve as a foundation for program coursework.
  11. Is it possible to work during the program?
    The decision to work during the program is an individual one but is not recommended. As the program is only offered in a full-time format, the number of credit hours each semester varies but is as high as 15 credits per semester. Once the clinical component begins in the third semester, students are in class one full day and in the operating room four full days with care plans and course work that must be completed in the evenings and on weekends. The workload of the program makes it very difficult to work.
  12. Can I begin taking courses before being accepted into the program?
    You can apply to take 2 courses as a “special student” without being matriculated into the graduate program. The successful completion of these courses does not, however, give you an advantage over other applicants to the program.
  13. I have taken a course that I think is the same as one of your courses. Do I have to retake the course at BC?
    It is possible to transfer up to 6 credits of graduate work earned elsewhere. Only courses in which a student has obtained a grade of “B” or better, and which have not been applied to another degree, will be accepted. Following acceptance into the program you would need to provide the graduate office with copies of course syllabi as well as other documentation so that the associate dean for graduate programs can compare your course to that at BC. All nurse anesthesia courses must be completed at BC.
  14. I am currently working at a hospital that will allow me to go there for my clinical anesthesia experience. Is this allowed?
    No. Clinical sites for the nurse anesthesia programs are facilities for which Anesthesia Associates of Massachusetts provides anesthesia services, with the exception of Children's Hospital, Boston.
  15. Will I obtain experience in regional anesthesia?
    The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs requires a certain number of regional anesthesia experiences and therefore you will obtain this experience.
  16. Does the program offer a stipend?
    The program does not offer a stipend.
  17. Is financial aid available?
    Most financial aid is in the form of student loans.
  18. I currently possess a master’s degree in nursing. Can I apply to the nurse anesthesia program? Would the curriculum be different for me? How long would the program take to complete? Would I be granted a second master’s degree?
    Applicants with a prior master’s degree in nursing are considered for the additional specialty option (post-master’s certificate). Following acceptance into the program prior course syllabi are reviewed for comparison with similar courses at Boston College. It may be possible to be exempt from select core courses after review by the associate dean for graduate programs and the nurse anesthesia program director. The time to completion of the program remains 27 months and upon graduation a certificate of completion is awarded.
  19. What are the tuition costs?
    Tuition for students in the nurse anesthesia program is the same as for other graduate nursing students.

           As of 2014, other costs include:

  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) student membership - $200
  • Malpractice Insurance - $274/per year
  • Typhon Case Tracking System - $60/per year
  • Clinical Lab Fee - $900/per semester (after the first semester)
  • Self Evaluation Examination (SEE) - $135
  • Textbooks - $2000+ (minimum depending on the extent the student wishes to build a professional library)

    21.  I do not have a current Massachusetts nursing license; can I still apply?
          A current Massachusetts nursing license is required upon beginning the program,
          though is not needed for consideration to the program.