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Admission Requirements for DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program

Have questions about the admissions requirements, or want to meet with program leadership and faculty? Attend a virtual Biltmore Park Graduate Open House in-person or on Zoom! You can also learn more about WCU and the application process. For a list of upcoming dates and the link to register, please see the Graduate School website.

The application deadline for the May 2025 start date is October 1, 2024. Around two weeks following the deadline, a limited number of highly qualified applicants may be offered interviews in November or early December. Please contact the program administrative associate, Shannon Miller, for questions about admissions.

  • BSN, MSN, or DNP degree from a regionally accredited college or university and nationally accredited (National League for Nursing (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) nursing program.
  • Complete application for admission to the Graduate School, including unofficial copies of transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Official transcripts will be required following admission.
  • Completion of undergraduate or graduate courses in basic statistics and research with a C or better in each.
  • Personal interview. Applicants should plan to interview face-to-face on our Asheville campus. Zoom interviews are available on a limited basis in extenuating circumstances.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required, with a combined score of 300 or higher (150 verbal and 150 quantitative) preferred. Please send your scores to WCU, School Code 5897. Plan to take your GRE at least one month before the application deadline. Applications missing GRE scores on the October 1 deadline will not be considered.
  • Minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the last 60 hours of coursework and a minimum 3.0 science GPA with at least a "B" earned in general chemistry, microbiology, A&P I and II, or equivalent. Those with less than a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of coursework will not be considered. Those with less than a 3.0 science GPA will not be considered and should retake the respective science courses to improve their application. Only the highest scores will be considered in GPA calculations.
  • Resume and Professional Writing Statement.
  • Three professional references. One reference must be from an unit manager, preferably the most current.
  • Current unrestricted registered nurse license (eligibility to practice as a registered nurse in North Carolina is required by matriculation).

Critical care experience should include a minimum of one year of full-time clinical experience (2,080 hours) within the two years prior to matriculation. These hours exclude time spent in orientation or work performed in a supervisory role. Patient care must be direct and involve the application of critical thinking skills, independent decision-making, working with vasoactive drugs, ventilators, invasive monitors (e.g. pulmonary artery catheters), interpretation of electrocardiographic data, hemodynamic waveforms, and laboratory values (e.g. arterial blood gases, serum electrolytes). Other valuable experience could include active participation in codes, acute airway management, administration of sedatives and nondepolarizing muscle relaxants.

Appropriate critical care experiences include:

  • Surgical, Cardiothoracic, CardioVascular Intensive Care, Neuro-Trauma
  • Medical Intensive Care
  • Cardiac Intensive Care
  • Pediatric or Neonatal Intensive Care

Experience that does not apply includes:

  • Emergency Room
  • Flight Nursing
  • Operating Room
  • Post-Anesthesia Care Unit
  • ICU Step-down or transition areas
  • Radiology/Cath. Lab

Admissions Selection

Selection will be based on the applicant's qualifications including: prior success in undergraduate and graduate studies, recency of courses taken, scholarly accomplishment, communication skills, additional certifications (e.g. CCRN), intellectual curiosity, communication skills, and potential for professional growth. Meeting minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee acceptance for an interview or enrollment into the competitive graduate program.

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