Alert

See latest updates on Pitt's response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Nurse Anesthesia Program Outcomes

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.

Nurse Anesthesia MSN Program Outcome Statistics: 2019 - 2020

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 2030.  The Program received a 10-year accreditation in 2020 (this is the maximum accreditation length) and received no citations or recommendations for change.  This is the third consecutive 10-year, citation-free accreditation review for the program!  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 2024. 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
847-655-1168

Council on Collegiate of Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
1 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC  20036
202-463-6930

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West
Philadelphia, PA 19102
267-284-5000

Historical and Recent Attrition Statistics  

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 class completed the program in December 2019 with a retention rate of 93% (7% attrition).  Over the past ten graduating cohorts, our attrition has averaged ~6%.  Reasons for attrition vary but include failure to maintain a 3.0 GPA, inability to perform safely in the clinical area and family/ personal illness. Counseling and personalized advising are offered in order to help address these issues. 

Table 1: 2012- 2019 Student Retention/Attrition Statistics, University of Pittsburgh

Term and Year of Graduation # Students Admitted #  Students
Graduated
Retention % *Attrition  %
Fall 2012/Spring 2013 44 42 95% 5%
Fall 2013/Spring 2014 43 39 91% 9%
Fall 2014/Spring 2015 47 43 91% 9%
Fall 2015/ Spring 2016 43 41 95% 5%
Fall 2016/ Spring 2017 45 43 96% 4%
Fall 2017/ Spring 2018 44 42 95% 5%
Fall 2018 (last MSN) 36 36 100% 0%
Fall 2019 (first DNP) 28 30 93% 7%
Total 330 316 96% 6%

Employment of graduates within 6 months

The University of Pittsburgh employment rate within 6 months of graduation for the last graduating class (2019) was 100%.  The historical employment rate within six months since our very first graduating class (1991) is 99.9%

National Certification Examination (NCE) 1st Time Pass Rate 

National Certification Exam, 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 meetings every term with guided development of individualized study plans, use of the Apex™ study system and 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.  More recent data indicates the exam should be taken within 4 months of graduation and that the NCE should be taken within 30 days after graduation.  It is critical that students pass the NCE on the first attempt as this is a publicly reported Program metric, a requirement for employment, a factor in gaining state and local credentials and is discoverable in any liability case situation.

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 national first time pass rate over the last 10 years has been approximately 87% although for past three years it has been below 85%.  The table below demonstrates the University of Pittsburgh success rate with benchmarking against national performance statistics. 

Table 3: Pitt vs. National NCE pass rates - a 10 year snapshot

Term and
Year of Graduation
*Admission
Year
#Pitt
Graduates
#Pitt 1st
time pass
Pitt 1st time
pass rate
Pitt Overall
Pass Rate
National 1st
time pass rate
Fall 2010/Spring 2011 2008 43 42 98% 100% 89%
Fall 2011/Spring 2012 2009 47 44 94% 100% 89%
Fall 2012/Spring 2013 2010 44 39 89% 100% 89%
Fall 2013/Spring 2014 2011 39 35 90% 100% 88%
Fall 2014/Spring 2015 2012 41 36 88% 100% 88%
Fall 2015/Spring 2016 2013 43 42 98% 100% 88%
Fall 2016/Spring 2017 2014 44 42 95% 100% 87%
Fall 2017/Spring 2018 2015 42 41 98% 100% 83%
Fall 2018 (last MSN) 2016 37 32 87% 100% 84%
Fall (first DNP) 2017 29 22 76% 100% 84%
  Totals 409 375 91.3% 100% 86.9%
Data on National 1st time pass rates was extracted from the NBCRNA web site at https://www.nbcrna.com/initial-certification/program-administration

Additional Evidence of Academic Quality at the University of Pittsburgh

Rankings:

  • U.S. News & World Report’s  Graduate Nurse Anesthesia Program Rankings (BSN to MSN and BSN to DNP combined) 2017 ranked # 4
  • U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-2019 Best Nursing Grad Schools: DNP Programs ranked # 5

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 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 meetings every term with guided development of individualized study plans, use of the Apex™ study system and 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.  

Degree Program Application Deadlines

Admissions and Applications Information