Western Carolina University NC may be just the school for you if you have an appreciation for nature or were looking for a nurse anesthesia school in the mountains.
Western Carolina University
WCU Programs at Biltmore Park
School of Nursing
28 Schenck Parkway, Suite 309
Asheville, NC 28803
Shawn B Collins, CRNA, DNP, PhD, Director
CRNA Degree offered
Master of Science in Nursing
28 months, full time
66 credit hours
Entire Program Cost of CRNA School at Western Carolina University NC.
Tuition at most schools increases each academic year. Over the duration of the program, expect to pay a tuition that is 5% to 15% higher than what is shown here.
Cost of In State Tuition: $39,987
*Fees and expenses: $17,753
Grand Total: $57,740
Cost of Out of State Tuition: $72,405
*Fees and expenses: $17,753
Grand Total: $90,158
*This includes the cost of health insurance, books and supplies, test fees, transportation costs and miscellaneous school expenses.
When did this CRNA Program begin?
Western Carolina University NC was first accredited in 2006.
CRNA Program Summary
Are you concerned that Western Carolina University NC’s Nurse Anesthesia Program won’t give you the specific experiences or training you need to be a successful CRNA? Learn what standards CRNA Programs must meet in order to be accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia (COA).
This CRNA program (as well as all others that are accredited by the COA) prepares you to take the CCNA certification exam at the conclusion of the program, allowing you to become a CRNA.
In this fully integrated program, you’ll begin clinical practicum in your first semester (one day a week) and gradually increase in skill and responsibility throughout the program. Your experience with the human patient simulator lab will allow you the freedom to practice theory in a safe and controlled environment.
Your clinical rotations will be at six possible hospitals, all of which are within an hour and a half drive (most are less than an hour). During your clinicals, you’ll gain extensive regional anesthesia experiences.
Looking for something specific? Find CRNA schools categorized by their unique requirements.
Some CRNA schools require much more out of their applicants than others. See how the requirements at Western Carolina University NC compare to most CRNA school’s requirements.
CRNA Program Requirements
Required Bachelor Degree
BSN 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.
Current unrestricted license or eligibility for licensure, to practice as a registered nurse in North Carolina.
Critical care experience should include a minimum of one year of full-time clinical experience (2,080 hours) within the 2 years prior to application. 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
- Working with ventilators
- Invasive monitors (e.g., pulmonary artery catheters)
- Interpretation of electrocardiographic data
- Hemodynamic waveforms
- Laboratory values (e.g., arterial blood gases, serum electrolytes)
Other valuable experience could include active participation in:
- Acute airway management
- Administration of sedatives
- Administration of nondepolarizing muscle relaxants
Appropriate critical care experiences include (in order of preference):
- Surgical, Neuro-Trauma, Cardiothoracic, CardioVascular Intensive Care
- 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
Grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale based on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. Science GPA will also be weighted. Courses calculated in the science GPA are general chemistry, microbiology and two semesters of anatomy & physiology
Satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination. Recommended scores of 1000 or higher combined math (Quantitative) and verbal score (Analytical) for the previous version. A combined score of 300 or higher is recommended for the revised GRE exam.
- BLS (Basic Life Support)
- ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support)
- PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support)
- *CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) – though not required, is definitely recommended
Course Prerequisites – undergraduate or graduate courses in:
- Basic Statistics
- General Chemistry
*You must have a “C” or better in each class
What are they (specifically) looking for in applicants?
Selection will be based on the applicant’s qualifications including:
- Prior success in undergraduate and graduate studies
- Recency of courses taken (e.g., science coursework less than 5 years old)
- Scholarly accomplishment (publications, research)
- Communication skills
- Additional certifications (e.g., CCRN)
- Overall potential for professional growth
- Intellectual curiosity
Each application is looked at on an individual basis. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance for an interview. Nor does having an exception to an admissions requirement mean you are not considered.
CRNA School Performance
CRNA School Rankings – U.S. News & World Report (2011)
2.4 out of 5.0. Ranked 72 out of 107 CRNA programs.
*Please note: CRNA rankings are bias and subjective. Read disclaimer about how CRNA rankings are created.*
Accredited CRNA Programs are reviewed regularly.
Western Carolina University NC Nurse Anesthetist Program was last reviewed 10/2012. It was given 10 years accreditation and will be reviewed again 10/2022. This is the maximum length of accreditation for CRNA Programs.
Pass Rate for CRNA Boards at Western Carolina University NC
Please note: It is extremely rare for a student at any CRNA school to not eventually pass the exam. Most students who don’t pass the first time pass the second. Very rarely does a person ever take it a third time. This statistic only measures how well the program prepares students to pass the test the first time around.
- First-time test takers: 87% (Class of 2015)
- National average (2012): 88.5%
6% (Class of 2015)
100% (Class of 2015)
An average nurse anesthetist salary in North Carolina
North Carolina CRNA salaries are about the same as the national average and range from $140k to $160k.
An average annual nurse anesthetist salary in the US is $163,467 (according to a 2008 study)
- Rural average: $174,214
- Metropolitan average: $164,148
- Suburban average: $156,630
- Average starting CRNA salaries range from: $110,000-$130,000.
All information given on this site about Western Carolina University NC’s Nurse Anesthetist Program was taken directly from their website.
*This page was updated August 31st, 2016.*
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