Nurse Anesthesia MSN Program Outcome Statistics

Accreditation Status 

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Nurse Anesthesia Program MSN and MSN to DNP completion programs are currently accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs until 2019.  The Program received a 10-year accreditation in 2009 (this is the maximum accreditation length) and received no citations or recommendations for change. 

The Nurse Anesthesia MSN Program is also accredited by the Council on Collegiate of Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing until 2019. The University of Pittsburgh as a whole is accredited by the Regional Accreditor Middle States Commission on Higher Education until 2022.

Accrediting Organizations 

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
222 South Prospect Street
Park Ridge, IL.  60068

Council on Collegiate of Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
1 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC  20036

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The following information describes the most recent information regarding students who were graduated in Fall 2014 and Spring 2018

Attrition for the most recent graduating class 

Attrition is the ratio of number of students who failed to graduate divided by the number of students who were originally admitted.  Our focus is retention which is the % of students graduated divided by those admitted as our goal is to support successful completion of the program. The most recent two classes completed the program in December 2017 and April 2018 with an overall attrition of 4.5%.  These students were interviewed and admitted together and we maintain the statistics of the two classes as one admission cohort.   Over the past seven graduating class pairs, our attrition has been slightly less than 5%.  Reasons for attrition vary but include failure to maintain a 3.0 GPA, inability to perform in the clinical area as well as family and personal illness. Counseling and personalized advising are offered in order to help address these issues. 

Table 1: Fall 2011-Spring 2018 BSN to MSN Student Completion Statistics, University of Pittsburgh

  # Admission Cohort # Graduated Attrition % Retention %
Fall 2017/Spring 2018 44 42 95.5% 4.5%
Fall 2016/Spring 2017 46 44 95.7% 4.3%
Fall 2015/Spring 2016 43 42 97.7% 2.3%
Fall 2014/Spring 2015 47 45 95.7% 4.3%
Fall 2013/Spring 2014 43 40 93.0% 7.0%
Fall 2012/Spring 2013 44 43 97.7% 2.3%
Fall 2011/Spring 2012 49 45 91.8% 8.2%
Total 272 259 95.3% 4.7%

Employment of graduates with in 6 months

The University of Pittsburgh employment rate within 6 months of graduation for the last two graduating classes was 100%.  The historical employment rate within six months since the first graduating class (1991) is 99.9%. 

National Certification Examination (NCE) 1st Time Pass Rate 

All Pitt program graduates are eligible to take the National Certifying Examination (NCE) administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).   The AANA Council on Accreditation has set a mandatory threshold pass rate for first time takers as defined in their policy is 80% of a composite of the previous five (5) years' National Certification Examination pass rate for first time takers.  The national first time pass rate over the last seven years has been 87.5%.  The table below demonstrates the University of Pittsburgh success rate with benchmarking of the national performance statistics and a comparison of the Pitt performance from 2010 to 2017.  In every year, our 1st time pass rate exceeded the national 1st time pass rate with an overall average of 6.3% above the national rate.

Table 2: NCE pass rates

Year # Pitt Graduates Passing 1st
Total # Pitt Graduates Pitt 1st time pass Pitt Overall Pass Rate National 1st Time Pass Rate Diff. Between Pitt 1st Time & 
National 1st Time
2010 37 37 100.0% 100% 88.9% +11.1%
2011 42 43 97.7% 100% 89.1% +8.6%
2012 42 45 93.3% 100% 88.5% +4.8%
2013 40 45 88.9% 100% 88.4% +0.5%
2014 35 38 92.1% 100% 87.8% +4.3%
2015 40 45 88.9% 100% 85.0% +3.9%
2016 41 43 95.3% 100% 84.5% +10.8%
2017 44 42 95.5% 100% 82.6% +12.9%
Total 277 296 93.6% 100% 87.5% + 6.3%
  • Because we admit a cohort in September and then in January- we graduate in December and April.  Therefore 2017 represents the cohort graduating in December 2016+ the cohort graduating in April 2017. 
  • Data on National 1st time pass rates extracted from the NBCRNA National Report to Nurse Anesthesia Programs 2010-2017
  • The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs has now established the mandatory minimum 1st time pass rate as 80%

Additional Evidence of Academic Quality at the University of Pittsburgh


  • U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Nursing Grad Schools: DNP Programs ranked # 5
  • U.S News & Worlds Report's 2019 Best Nursing Grad Schools: MSN Programs ranked # 7
  • Pitt BSN to MSN and BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia Programs (combined) ranked # 4

US Nurse Anesthesia Program rankings began in 1998 with our program ranked #2.  We are very proud that since the rankings began, we have remained in the top ten. For the 2016 rankings the Pitt BSN to MSN Nurse Anesthesia program was ranked #1.  In 2017, the rankings combined MSN and DNP programs and we are currently ranked #4.  

Self-Evaluation Examination and Nurse Anesthesia Program Comprehensive Examination

From the beginning of the Pitt Nurse Anesthesia Program, faculty advisors work with students to guide their overall study and their preparation toward sitting for both the mandatory Program comprehensive examination and the National Certification Examination. This process includes guided development of individualized study plans, use of the Apex™ study system and the incorporation of the national Self Evaluation Examination into the curriculum.  Data from the NBCRNA indicates that the SEE has a positive correlation with NCE if students prepare for the SEE rigorously.  Over the last four years we have asked our students to focus on SEE preparation and the table below indicates our success in this area.  Our average score for 2016 was at the 88th percentile rank of all students who took the SEE across the US. 

Table 3: Pitt SEE Performance 2012-2016

Pitt Self-Evaluation Exam Performance 2012-2016

  2012 Pitt SEE Avg

*National % Rank
of Pitt Avg.

**2013 Pitt SEE Avg.

National % Rank
of Pitt Avg.

***2014 Pitt

National % Rank
of Pitt Avg.

2015 Pitt SEE Avg.

National % Rank of Pitt Avg.

2016 Pitt SEE Avg.

National % Rank of Pitt Avg.

Mean 396.4 46% 413 63% 438 84% 463 96% 448 88%
SD 41.1 40 32 37 34
Max 473 473 515 571 539
Min 300 300 367 415 362

* Represents average percentile rank – of all test takers – year 1-3
**SEE required for grade in NA 2760
*** Prodigy now required

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing also provides time and guidance in taking the Nurse Anesthesia Program Comprehensive Examination which is administered in the last term of study.  This examination measures a student’s mastery of the overall curriculum.