The program was first organized in 1969 as the School of Nurse Anesthetists, thus becoming the first academic program to be implemented in the newly organized School of Allied Health Professions on the MCV Campus.
A letter of intent for a proposed Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program was submitted to the commonwealth’s Council on Higher Education in 1977. When approved in May 1978, the graduate degree in nurse anesthesia became the first such offering within the profession of nurse anesthesia. While of major importance to the university, it marked a significant milestone for the profession of nurse anesthesia. The first class of graduate students was admitted in the fall of 1979 and graduated in the fall of 1981. A second hallmark was achieved in 2007 with approval of the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program. The DNAP program is the first post-master’s practice doctorate for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. A separate combined-degree track is available for students enrolled in the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program. The first students matriculated in the combined degree MSNA-DNAP program in 2007 and the first CRNAs entered the post-master’s DNAP program in January 2008.