Nurse Anesthesia Program Outcomes

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 cohorts, our attrition has averaged 5%.  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: Fall 2012-Spring 2018 BSN to MSN Student Retention/Attrition Statistics, University of Pittsburgh

Term and Year of Graduation # Students Admitted #  Students
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 36 ***36 100% 0%
Total 302 286 95% 5%
* Attrition is defined as a student admitted who did not graduate in expected year and term 
** Last MSN Cohort 
*** Anticipated

Employment of graduates within 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 Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs has developed a policy which sets the minimum annual 1st time pass rate for Nurse Anesthesia Programs as 80%.  The national first time pass rate over the last seven years has been approximately 88% although for 2017 it was 82.6%.  The table below demonstrates the University of Pittsburgh success rate with benchmarking of the national performance statistics and a review of the Pitt performance from 2010-2011 to 2017-2018.  On average, our 1st time pass rate has exceeded the national 1st time pass rate by 6% and over the last 3 cohorts by more than 11%

Table 2: NCE pass rates

Term and
Year of Graduation
#Pitt 1st
time pass
Pitt 1st time
pass rate
Pitt Overall
Pass Rate
National 1st
time pass rate
Diff between
Pitt and National
1st Time Pass Rates
*Fall 2010/Spring 2011 2008 43 42 98% 100% 89% 9%
Fall 2011/Spring 2012 2009 47 44 94% 100% 89% 5%
Fall 2012/Spring 2013 2010 44 39 89% 100% 89% 0%
Fall 2013/Spring 2014 2011 39 35 90% 100% 88% 1%
Fall 2014/Spring 2015 2012 41 36 88% 100% 88% 0%
Fall 2015/Spring 2016 2013 43 42 98% 100% 88% 10%
Fall 2016/Spring 2017 2014 44 42 95% 100% 87% 9%
Fall 2017/Spring 2018 2017 42 41 98% TBA 83% 15%
  Totals 343 321 94% 100% 88% 6.0%
* Represents our dual entry program.  For example, admission year 2008 students began the program in Fall 2008 and Spring 2009

Additional Evidence of Academic Quality at the University of Pittsburgh


  • U.S.News & World Report’s  Graduate Nurse Anesthesia Program Rankings (BSN to MSN and BSN to DNP combined) ranked # 4
  • U.S. News & World Report’s 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 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 five 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 2017 was at the 80th percentile rank of all students who took the SEE across the US. 

Table 3: Pitt SEE Performance 2012-2017

 University of Pittsburgh Nurse Anesthesia Program SEE Performance
Year   Average SEE of Pitt
2nd Year Students
1National SEE
Average (overall)
2Percentile Rank of Pitt
Student Average SEE
Score vs. National Cohort
2012 396 400 46% Students were asked to take the SEE.  No other requirement
2013 413 400 63% The SEE was required as the midterm for final NURSAN course
2014 438 397 84% A computerized board preparation program was required (APEX)
2015 463 397 96% Computerized testing (ExamSoft™) was implemented
2016 448 399 88% Continued Midterm, board prep, ExamSoft™, personalized study plans
2017 437 405 80% Continued Midterm, board prep, ExamSoft™, personalized study plans
1: National SEE Average combines scores from year 1, 2, 3
2: The Pitt average score for the entire 2nd year cohort was compared with the overall national percentile rank for years 1-3

Degree Program Application Deadlines

Admissions and Applications Information