The full-time, 36 month DNP-NAP program has been established in response to a new professional standard in the nursing field, requiring nurse anesthetists to hold a practice doctorate by the year 2025. Individuals with a B.S.N. degree and a minimum of one year's experience as a RN in a critical-care setting (emergency room does not fulfill this criteria) may apply to the DNP-NAP program. Students who complete the program earn a doctor of nursing practice degree from the university and a certificate in nurse anesthesia from Bridgeport Hospital. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the certification examination administered by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists.
The program starts in May of each year and operates continuously, independent of the university's academic calendar. After a year of academics, students begin their clinical orientation and clinical practicum. They spend 21 months in the clinical arena working side-by-side with staff CRNAs and anesthesiologists.
The DNP-NAP track joins two other DNP programs at Fairfield: the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner tracks.