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Common Questions

Are there any prerequisite courses needed for admission to the program?

No, there are no prerequisite courses to take prior to matriculation. However, completion of a biostatistics course within 2 years is highly recommended.

Do I need to have Letters of Recommendation submitted with my application?

No, the application requires you to upload a current resume/CV that includes the names, titles, and contact information for three professional references. These individuals should come from one or more of the following categories 1) professor or faculty member from your nursing educational program; 2) current immediate nursing work supervisor; 3) a physician whose patients you routinely provide nursing care for in the critical case setting.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required for admission?

No, the GRE is no longer required for application to the program.

When do interviews begin, and what are they like?

The application cycle opens in August, and interviews begin in late October or early November. Please see our “Application Requirements” webpage for the specific cycle dates for this year. Interviews conclude in late February/early March with our final selection of students for the incoming class.

Applicants selected for an interview will receive by email a personalized invitation to complete an online asynchronous assessment through the Kira Talent web portal. This assessment involves answering questions that are designed to identify important competencies for graduate-level study, including attributes of emotional intelligence.

Candidates selected for interview will also be invited to view a Program Overview video and attend a live Zoom meeting with current students and faculty. This meeting provides an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the program and its culture of student support and inclusion. Applicants will be provided access to a virtual University tour and may also visit the campus for an in-person tour.

What is the maximum period allowed to complete the DNP-Nurse Anesthesia degree?

Students much complete all elements of the curriculum and all programmatic requirements within 5 consecutive calendar years from the date of matriculation. Students must also be in full compliance with all program policies to be recommended for graduation.

What elements constitute a “strong” application for admission into the Nurse Anesthesia program?

Key items that help to build a strong application include: 1) a grade point average (GPA) at or above 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale); 2) a natural science GPA at or above 3.0; 3) a minimum of 1 year of critical care experience; and 4) CCRN certification. Additional qualities that are assessed via the application include: diversity, life experience, and leadership experience.

After I interviewed, I received a “hold” decision, what does that mean?

A hold decision means that interviews are still ongoing, and your application is actively under review and consideration for acceptance.

After I interviewed, I received a “waitlist” decision, what does that mean?

A waitlist decision means that the program has received accepted offers of admission, and paid deposits, that fill the upcoming class. However, should a spot open up in the class, you may be contacted with an offer of admission.

After I interviewed, I received a “deny admission” decision--what does that mean?

A deny admission decision means that the program is not able to offer you acceptance for this admission cycle, and your application will not be placed on the current waitlist.

If I am not accepted this admission cycle, what things can I do to strengthen my application?

For an overall GPA near of below 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), consider taking additional graduate level courses for which you receive a grade of “A” or “B”.

For a natural science GPA near or below 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), consider taking additional graduate level science courses (such as Physiology, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology) for which you receive a grade of “A” or “B”. Obtain your CCRN certification (if you have not already done so) Seek additional leadership responsibilities within your present critical care position.

What type(s) of critical care experience will qualify me to apply to the program? 

Critical care experience must be obtained in a critical care area within the United States, its territories or a US military hospital outside of the United States. During this experience, the registered professional nurse has developed critical decision making and psychomotor skills, competency in patient assessment, and the ability to use and interpret advanced monitoring techniques. A critical care area is defined as one where, on a routine basis, the registered professional nurse manages one or more of the following: invasive hemodynamic monitors (e.g., pulmonary artery, central venous pressure, and arterial catheters), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive infusions. Examples of critical care units may include but are not limited to: surgical intensive care, cardiothoracic intensive care, coronary intensive care, medical intensive care, pediatric intensive care, and neonatal intensive care. Those who have experiences in other areas may be considered provided they can demonstrate competence with managing unstable patients, invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.

How many students will be admitted per class?

The Rosalind Franklin University Department of Nurse Anesthesia is currently approved to matriculate 40 students per cohort.

In addition to tuition, I see that there are also student fees charged--what is included in these fees?

The program has negotiated a greatly reduced price for textbooks (due to volume purchase) and assesses a fee that will cover all required textbooks. Student fees also include: 1) Apex and Prodigy National Certification Examination (NCE) board preparation software; 2) student membership in the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA); 3) required educational modules developed by the AANA; 4) Self-Evaluation Examination (SEE) used to assess readiness to sit for the NCE; personally fitted precordial stethoscope and chest piece set; and 5) simulation supplies. Please see the posted breakdown of all student fees.

Will I need an IL or WI license for clinical?

An active unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license in one of the 50 United States is required to apply for admission to the program. Prior to the beginning of clinical residency training, each student is responsible for obtaining both Illinois and Wisconsin registered professional nurse (RN) licensure. Additional state licenses may be needed (based on the clinical rotation schedule), for which the cost will be reimbursed by the program.

Where do your students come from? 

Can I obtain a course waiver or transfer credit for graduate level courses I have already taken?"

The faculty in the Nurse Anesthesia program will review any requests for course waiver or transfer credit from other institutions on a case-by-case basis.  View Didactic Course Waiver or Transfer Credit for the Nurse Anesthesia program policy.

What clinical sites are used by the Nurse Anesthesia Program?

View the interactive map of the program's clinical sites: DNP Program Clinical Site Interactive Map

Does Rosalind Franklin University accept International Students?
Yes. If you completed coursework outside of the US, you must have a course-by-course evaluation completed by This evaluation should be sent directly to NursingCAS. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required if English is not your native language. Official results of the exam should be sent directly to the PTCAS from Educational Testing Service (ETS). This requirement is waived if you have attended a minimum of two consecutive years of college study or higher in the United States or if applicant is a permanent US resident. To learn more about international students at RFU please visit the International Student page.

The program is described as hybrid—with both online and in-person activities. When will I be expected to be in-person?

The program is 36 months in duration, with the first 18 months for didactic education (coursework and simulation), and the last 18 months for full-time clinical residency training. Program Orientation occurs the week prior to the start of the first quarter of study, and all students are expected to attend orientation in-person.

QUARTER 1 & 2 (Summer Year 1=10 weeks and Fall Year 1=12 weeks)

During the first and second quarters of study, students will complete all coursework through distance education (online). Since maintenance of current BLS, ACLS and PALS is required for the program, students will be invited to attend a recertification course for each in concert with their in-person orientation.

QUARTER 3 (Winter Year 1=12 weeks)

Courses this quarter include Clinical Application of Gross Anatomy for Anesthesia, and Advanced Health Assessment. These courses include monthly in-person attendance requirements in North Chicago and/or Huntley, IL. 

QUARTERS 4-6 (Spring Year 1-12 weeks; Summer Year 2-10 weeks; Fall Year 2-12 weeks)

During quarters 4-6, students begin their anesthesia core courses and simulation education. Students will be in-person 2-3 days per week at either the North Chicago campus, or the Huntley, IL campus.


Students begin clinical residency training in the Winter quarter of Year 2 and will be entirely in-person at their assigned clinical site. In addition, students return to campus one to two days per month for required learning activities and doctoral project workdays; those students participating in clinical residency rotations distant to campus will attend these session virtually.

I see you have nearly 60 clinical sites in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Colorado. During my 18 months of clinical residency training, what should I expect for travel and housing for distant clinical sites?

Students are encouraged to view the interactive map of clinical sites available in the “Common Questions” section of the program webpages to understand the location and distribution of current sites. Due to a variety of anesthesia market factors beyond the control of Rosalind Franklin University, clinical site availability is subject to change (with and without prior notice). Students are encouraged to establish a “home-base” residence for clinical training in one of five geographic regions (Chicago; Northwest suburbs of Chicago; Southeast suburbs of Chicago/Northwest Indiana; Milwaukee, WI; Denver, CO). The program is generally able to provide 60-90 days advance notice regarding clinical rotation placements. Should you matriculate into the Rosalind Franklin University Nurse Anesthesia program, you may complete one or more of your clinical rotations (3 to 6 months of your 18-month residency) at a clinical site that is located more than an hour from your "home-base" location. If you choose to reside outside of one of the five geographic regions described, you may travel more than an hour for the majority/all of your clinical rotations. Expansion of program operations in Colorado involve opportunities for students to complete a significant portion, if not all, of their clinical residency training in Colorado.

Distant clinical sites may require additional housing or travel costs. Students who are receiving Financial Aid are generally able to adjust the amount of their financial aid to cover these additional costs (depending on their individual circumstances). Some distant sites provide housing—with or without cost to the student.

I know the nurse anesthesia program is rigorous, but how much time should I expect to spend on a weekly basis for this program?

Students should expect to spend an average of 50-60 hours per week across the three years of this program. Accreditation standards for clinical residency training require that students average no more than 64 hours per week.