5 Best CRNA Schools in Texas – 2023

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in Texas, you’ll enjoy a high degree of autonomy within your chosen profession and earn respect from every member of the healthcare team as well as from your patients. Graduates of CRNA programs in Texas are highly sought after, and demand for their services is projected to increase by an additional 25 percent over the next 10 years. CRNAs are also the highest-paid nurses in Texas, earning $208,940 a year on average. Could this be your next career move? Find out by reading about the 5 best CRNA schools in Texas for 2023.



(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 5 Best Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Programs in Texas (Online & Campus).)

1) Baylor College of Medicine - Houston

Programs Offered: BSN-DNP and MS-DNP

About the School: No matter whether you are a certified nurse anesthetist who is keen on achieving doctoral education or an entry-level registered nurse starting out in the field of advanced practice nursing, at Baylor College of Medicine you will be equipped with exceptional inter-professional learning experiences to explore a wide range of opportunities in anesthesia. Ranked among the best CRNA programs in Texas, Baylor’s program also ranks second in the nation as per the U.S. News & World Report. With two CRNA programs, here you can enter the BSN to DNP or MS to DNP, depending on your previous nursing degree. Regardless of the path you enter, both these CRNA programs in Texas prepare you for leadership in clinical practice, research, education, and policy. Known for an education grounded in innovation, technology, and evidence-based approaches, the college provides an enriching interdisciplinary learning environment with students and faculty from other programs rubbing shoulders with each other on the campus of one of the well-known health sciences universities in the nation.

BSN-DNP: If you are a registered nurse who aspires to become a CRNA in Texas, then this program can seamlessly prepare you with doctoral-level education within 36 months. You enter the program with a BSN and leave the college with a DNP in Nurse Anesthesia degree. To qualify for admission, you must have a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0 along with at least one year of work experience in intensive care nursing. Also, your RN license must be currently active in Texas. Upon enrollment, you must complete two phases divided into 18 months each. During the first phase, you complete the didactic coursework which basically takes you through clinical sciences, translational research, leadership, healthcare delivery & policy. Some of the courses are offered online, especially during the first semester of this phase. To put it simply, the didactic first phase of the curriculum mainly comprises courses in advanced practice nursing and anesthesia. The second phase mainly entails completing your clinical training in local, regional, and general anesthesia in various types of clinical settings.

MS-DNP: This MSN to DNP program is designed for certified nurse anesthetists with a master’s in nursing. To be eligible you must have a valid RN as well as CRNA license and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in your MSN. To accommodate the needs of working nurses, the program offers most of the courses online and requires you to visit the campus only three times. During the 24 months of your study, you will master concepts in leading & managing healthcare systems, decision science, translational research, evidence-based anesthesia practice, approaches to healthcare education, and emerging sciences in healthcare. The curriculum also entails completing a DNP project where you must design an innovative solution to address a healthcare issue.

2) The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston – Houston

Programs Offered: BSN-DNP

About the School: Out of all the CRNA schools in Texas, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is the state’s first and only public university to offer BSN graduates a seamless pathway to nurse anesthesia doctoral education. Not only that, the school is counted among the best CRNA schools in Texas for the outstanding professional preparedness and 100% pass rate of its graduates on the national certification exam. If you are a registered nurse in Texas, keen on leaping into your nursing career, then you can consider enrolling into this BSN to DNP program as here, you will be prepared with future-ready skills required in the administration of general, regional, & local anesthesia along with sedation techniques. Also, as a doctorally trained nurse anesthetist, you will be put on a leadership path to enhance the quality & safety of anesthesia practice and provide cost-effective solutions to care for all sections of patient populations.

Admission Requirements: If you are interested in applying to this program, ensure you fulfill the minimum admission criteria which include a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0, a current Texas RN license, and a minimum of one year of work experience in critical care. The average profile of a student who makes it to this program usually has a GPA of 3.6 and around 2.5 years of experience, however since applications are reviewed holistically, to be finally considered for admission several factors are taken into account. To fulfill the criteria, you must also have completed a basic course in statistics and organic chemistry. Furthermore, the college requires you to have a BLS, ACLS, and PALS certification.

Program Overview: This BSN to DNP-Nurse Anesthesia program starts once a year in the summer and takes 36 months to complete. The program is offered as a full-time, on-campus offering. To earn your degree, you are required to complete 112 credits in courses that make you adept at pre-anesthetic assessment & evaluation, anesthesia planning, administration of anesthesia, and taking care of the patient post-anesthesia. Some of the courses you take include advanced anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, physical exam & differential diagnosis, advanced pharmacology & chemistry, essential of anesthesia practice, basic & advanced principles of anesthesia practice, DNP inquiry in nurse anesthesia, and foundations of scholarly nurse anesthesia. You will also go through health policy, politics & ethics, organizations, finance & practice management, healthcare informatics, and evidence-based principles. Additionally, to enhance professional skills, the coursework requires you to complete four practicums and three seminars in anesthesia. Upon graduation, you can take the certification exam and practice as a certified nurse anesthetist in Texas.

3) Texas Christian University - Fort Worth

Programs Offered: BSN to DNP-A

About the School: So, you have worked as a registered nurse and now are ready to take your nursing career to the next level, then what better than advancing to the position of a nurse anesthetist. Not only will you greatly increase your earning potential but as a nurse anesthetist you will find plenty of job opportunities in Texas, almost double of that of what you enjoy currently as a registered nurse. If this sounds like the perfect field for you to jump into, then you must consider enrolling in one of the best CRNA schools in Texas that prepares you for the nurse anesthetist national certification and a rewarding career thereafter. Texas Christian University is one such school that should be on your shortlist as you can directly take your BSN to the DNP-Anesthesia level, seamlessly in the shortest possible duration.

Here, you will be set up for success by going through rigorous didactic classes and extensive simulation learning at its advanced simulation lab that replicates a hospital setting. Additionally, clinical training is provided at various clinical sites ranging from pediatrics to cardiovascular, neurological to obstetrical, and other special areas of anesthesia. So, when you graduate you will have vast experience of all specialties, totaling to an average of 900 hours of clinical practice. One of the few CRNA schools in Texas that boasts of an exceptional performance on the national certification exam, Texas Christian University consistently has all of its graduates pass the exam on the first attempt since the inception of this program in 2003.

Admission Requirements: This BSN to DNP-CRNA program in Texas admits registered nurses with a BSN, having a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, to be eligible for admission you must have at least one year of work experience in critical care, however, it is recommended that you have had worked for two years to enhance your odds of admission.

Program Overview: The program spans 36 months and consists of two phases, with the first phase of 20 months being completely online. During this phase you complete 52 credits through asynchronous classes, so most students continue to work. The program then immediately enters into the second phase which spans 16 months. During this phase, the program format shifts to on-campus learning and requires you to complete a clinical residency while attending didactic classes on a weekly basis. The second phase is intensive and does not allow employment. Upon completing the second phase of the program you will be conferred upon a DNP-A, after which you will be eligible to take the national certification exam and become certified as a nurse anesthetist in Texas.

4) Texas Wesleyan University - Fort Worth

Programs Offered: MSNA, DNAP (Completion), and DNAP (Entry-Level)

About the School: Texas Wesleyan University takes pride in offering the largest nurse anesthesia programs in Texas. With three program options, no matter at what point you start your journey, you will graduate with relevant skills to match your career aspirations. So, depending on your educational background you can enroll in either the MSNA, DNAP (completion), or DNAP (Entry-Level) program. With a faculty of experts and a close-knit environment, here you can expect individualized attention and solid support not only from your instructors but also from the staff who are committed to your success. Furthermore, to ensure you are provided with diverse clinical experiences, this CRNA school in Texas partners with various healthcare facilities across the country. At each of these sites, students are guided by a coordinator who takes them through the learning experience. These affiliate sites include training in a broad range of specialties and local, regional, and general anesthesia.

MSNA: This MSNA program is meant for RNs with a baccalaureate degree in nursing who are now ready to take the next step into advanced practice nursing as a certified nurse anesthetist. The program spans 28 months which are divided into two phases. Phase one mainly entails completing 43 credits in didactic courses that educate you on the principles of anesthesia practice, research methods in nurse anesthesia, advanced health assessment, and pharmacology. Thereafter you progress to the clinical phase that entails completing the remaining 23 credits of the coursework. Upon completion of this program, you will earn your master's and gain the eligibility to take the national certification for nurse anesthetists.

DNAP (Completion): So, you are already a certified nurse anesthetist, who now wants to explore roles out-of-the operating room, then with this DNAP nurse anesthesia program in Texas you can choose from three concentration options in education administration, healthcare administration, and management to expand your role beyond anesthesia practice. Regardless of the concentration option you enroll in, to earn your degree you must complete a total of 32 credits.

DNAP (Entry-Level): As an RN you can go straight to a doctorally prepared nurse anesthetist by enrolling in this DNAP entry-level program. The program spans 36 months and takes you through rigorous didactic and clinical courses. To earn your degree, you will complete two phases and a total of 92 credits. During phase one, you will learn about aspects of anesthesia, advanced pharmacology, human patient simulation, technology in healthcare management, leadership for advanced practice, and health policy. Phase two entails educating yourself on evidence-practice, and nurse anesthesia practice management & finance. The second phase also requires completing a practicum in anesthesia under the supervision of clinical instructors.

5) US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing - San Antonio

Programs Offered: DNP

About the School: Are you searching for CRNA schools in Texas that are affiliated with the U.S. Army? If so, you must look no further than the U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing. For the past several years, the college has been synonymous with preparing high-quality nurse anesthesia graduates who have served the US Army relentlessly, be it during the war, civil unrest, natural calamities, or in times of any humanitarian crisis.

Out of all the CRNA programs in Texas, the nurse anesthesia training at this college stands out for allowing you to work for the military and earn a salary and other benefits while still in school. Also, you can have your education fully funded, provided you commit at least five years to serve in the army post your graduation. With this program, not only do you secure a placement in the U.S. Army, but should you choose to serve beyond the five-year mark, you will continue to rise in rank and earning potential. As a graduate of this Army-affiliated DNP-CRNA program, you will play a key role in providing anesthesia nursing care at various Army & Veterans Administration Hospital sites across the country and in Hawaii, Europe, Korea, or in any other country, if need be.

Program Overview: If you are ready to take up this challenging yet fulfilling role of an active army nurse, then here within 36 months of full-time study you can graduate with the required specialized skills. The program is open to RNs with a BSN or an MSN, having a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, you must have completed courses in statistics and chemistry. Also, like most other CRNA schools in Texas, the college requires you to have at least one year of work experience in a critical care setting. Upon enrollment, you complete the program going through three phases. Well, if you are wondering whether you can transfer credits for DNP courses, then you must know that this CRNA school in Texas does not accept any transfer credits towards the doctoral courses. To earn your degree, you are required to complete courses worth 122 credits. While the first year or phase mainly entails completing didactic courses, in the second year you start with the clinical training along with continuing to take the didactic courses, whereas during the final third year or phase of the program you complete the clinical practicum and the DNP scholarly project. Some of the topics you master during this program include biochemistry for nurse anesthesia, healthcare informatics, introductory concepts & principles of anesthesia practice, research & statistical methods, regional anesthesia & ultrasound, and anesthesia for surgical procedures & special populations.



What are the Total Number of Accredited CRNA Schools in Texas?

As per the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), currently there are 5 accredited CRNA schools in Texas that offer a total of 8 Nurse Anesthesia programs.

Program Type #
Post-Master's Certificate 0
DNAP Completion 2
Total 8

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