Virginia Commonwealth University

Practice Doctorate

The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) Program at Virginia Commonwealth University offers a practice doctorate for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) holding a master's degree. The program focuses specifically on nurse anesthesia and builds upon applicants' previous education and experiences as CRNAs. The DNAP prepares CRNAs to assume leadership positions in education, management, and clinical practice by offering a curriculum concentrating on patient safety and human factors, quality assessment and improvement, health care systems and organizations, leadership, best evidence for practice, and adult education.

Download DNAP booklet

Questions about the program should be directed to Christian Falyar, DNAP, CRNA at (804) 628-3199, e-mail or Suzanne Wright, PhD, CRNA at (804) 828-9808, e-mail

The DNAP Program has been approved by the State Commission on Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

"I am fortunate and honored to be a graduate of VCU's DNAP program. I found the curriculum to be challenging but constructed in a way that made goals attainable for those who were employed or learning via distance education. The faculty, many of which are renowned leaders in the field of nurse anesthesia, were creative, energetic and accessible. It was clear that they were highly invested in the students' success. It was a privilege to be mentored by them. After graduation from this phenomenal program, I approach my personal anesthetic practices with more clarity and precision and I have a broader perspective and keener understanding of the external forces which impact medical care in general. I highly recommend VCU's DNAP program without reservation."
— Marianne S. Cosgrove, CRNA, DNAP, APRN
Program Director
School of Nurse Anesthesia
Hospital of St. Raphael
New Haven, CT
"VCU's DNAP curriculum best matched my interest in advancing safe patient care and developing professional leadership skills. The course work included multiple patient safety initiatives including an evaluation of OR Systems to reduce medical error. An exploration of healthcare ethics and policy issues present in today's changing healthcare environment was enlightening. AANA Board members are faced with a plethora of issues involving CRNA practice and policy. Each course prepared me for my AANA leadership roles as Region Director and Vice President. Finally, I appreciated the interaction of face-to-face classroom time and on-line learning. The Richmond classroom instruction and home-based, self-directed on-line program requirements provided positive input from faculty and support of fellow classmates while maintaining an active career. Would I elect to enroll in the program again? You bet!"
— Janice J. Izlar, CRNA, DNAP
AANA President
DNAP Graduation of 2013

DNAP Graduation 2013 DNAP Graduates (August 2012). D. Blizman, A. Deza, C. Zambricki, M. Hashimoto, J. Marcenaro, C. Gutshall

DNAP graduate students K. Hurley, E. Wyble, A. Snapp and M. Sears enjoying a recent on-campus session.

Dr. Bill Hartland teaching DNAP 712 Nurse Anesthesia Leadership at the summer 2012 on-campus session.

DNAP students K. VanAlstine and M. Saker.

International DNAP student M. Early (Italy) networking with other CRNAs from around the country.

DNAP graduates M. Hirsch, D. Frasca, and M. Tolosa along with Director Dr. Suzanne Wright.

J. Newman DNAP graduate and Assistant Program Director, Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences Nurse Anesthesia Program.