Program Summary

The nurse anesthesia graduate program is based on a nursing and a pre-medical background of sciences and involves an in-depth application of these sciences to the art of anesthesia. The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia (DNAP) program consists of 2 tracks: the BS to DNAP and the MS to DNAP track. The BS to DNAP track is open to nurses who have a bachelor's degree in nursing or biomedical sciences. The MS to DNAP track is open to MS prepared practicing nurse anesthestists seeking a doctoral degree. The program is located in Sioux Falls, SD.

Upon successful completion of the National Certification Examination, graduates of the BS to DNAP track are qualified to work in every area of anesthesia as clinical practitioners, researchers, administrators, and educators throughout the United States and in the armed forces.

Each individual is a being with inherent value deserving respect and consideration. This theme is emphasized throughout the curriculum as issues of research, technology and values are discussed.

The Nurse Anesthesia program was preceded by the diploma program at Sacred Heart Hospital (Yankton) in 1942 and the baccalaureate program at Mount Marty initiated in 1971. It was upgraded to a Master's program in 1983.

The BS to DNAP is 36 months in length and consists of 2 phases. The initial didactic phase is 14 months in length (4 semesters), and the clinical phase is 22 months. During the didactic phase of the program, students spend 2 weeks in their primary clinical site. The clinical phase of the program is 90% clinical and 10% didactic in the doctoral program. The program exceeds the courses, hours, and techniques required by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

The didactic classes are typically held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays leaving the other days open for independent or group study and human patient simulation laboratory activity. Students are assigned to a primary clinical site through a matching process. Students spend 8 to 16 weeks at an enrichment site to provide extra experiences.

The 24-month MS to DNAP track will be delivered primarily through distance education formats, with face-to-face time during each semester.

Within the framework of the Mount Marty University Mission Statement, faculty and staff strive to provide quality education within the nurse anesthesia program, promoting personal growth, professional commitment, and service to the community. We believe that we serve all God's people through our profession. We strive to integrate the Mount Marty University core values of awareness of God, community, hospitality and lifelong learning into our lives and into the nurse anesthesia program.


The mission of the Nurse Anesthesia Program is to prepare the next generation of advanced practice nursing professionals committed to excellence in clinical care, advancing the profession, and service to the human community.



The overall objective is to develop nurse anesthetist capable of safe anesthetic management throughout the patient's perioperatie continuum. Excellence in nurse anesthesia practice encompasses independent practice, autonomy, consultation, research, and clinical skill.

The graduate-level Nurse Anesthesia Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906
Rosemont, IL 60018-5603

The program's next review by the COA is scheduled for 2024. Additional accreditation information is available on the COA's List of Recognized Programs.

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs requires all programs to publish the following information regarding the most recent graduating class on an annual basis: attrition, employment of graduates within six months of graduation, and the certification examination pass rate for first time takers. (Standard V, Criterion E3)

Enrollment & Attrition


Employment of Graduates 


Certification Examination Pass Rates 

  • Relevance: All classroom instruction is provided by nurse anesthetists or doctoral prepared registered nursing faculty.
  • Experience: Faculty average more than 10 years of experience as nurse anesthetists and have either earned doctoral degrees or are pursuing doctoral degrees.
  • Simulation: Use of high fidelity simulation throughout the first year of the program reinforces classroom instruction and prepares the student for clinical practice. Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (ACRM) is used throughout the program to prepare students for emergency management in the perioperative setting.
  • Flexible: The program utilizes 37 clinical sites to achieve excellent clinical experiences for students. Primary clinical placements are determined through a personalized matching process.
  • Variety of Experiences: All types of techniques and cases, for patients across the lifespan, are available to the student in either primary affiliation or enrichment rotations.
  • Cohort Program: Students develop student study groups and networks through the cohort system.
  • Distance Education: Students in the MS to DNAP track complete courses through blended offerings of primarily on-line coursework with face-to-face meetings each semester.
  • IFNA Recognized: The program is recognized by the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists (IFNA). This recognition represents the commitment of the program to a common standard for education quality for nurse anesthesia programs around the word. 
  • Two or more years in a critical care unit (ICU, CCU, SICU, MICU, NICU, PICU) within the last three years.
  • Specialty certification such as CCRN
  • Experience as a preceptor or ability to assume charge position duties on a given shift.
  • Complete application satisfying admission requirements.
  • Service to the community, church or nursing unit.
  • Have a good sense of "self."
  • Commitment to the nursing profession.
  • Knowledge of the role of a nurse anesthetist through a shadowing experience.

Mount Marty graduates can be admitted into the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) program, located at our Sioux Falls campus, provided they meet the following requirements:

  • Earned a 3.6 overall GPA from Mount Marty University.
  • Earned a 3.6 GPA in sciences coursework.
    • This includes nursing and other science courses.
  • Completed two years as a nurse in an intensive care unit (adult or pediatric) by the time the DNAP program begins.
    • Example: if a student graduates from Mount Marty in May 2025 and begins as a nurse in an intensive care unit shortly after graduating and and earning their nursing license, they can apply in summer 2026 to start the DNAP program in summer 2027.

Interested students still need to submit the application for admission through NursingCAS.