Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
"Supporting Quality Assessment and Improvement in Nurse Anesthesia Education"
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 Frequently Asked Questions



COA Revisions to Clarify Requirements for Clinical Supervision of Nurse Anesthesia Students

At its October 9-11, 2019 meeting, the COA reviewed and revised its accreditation Standards and Glossary definitions related to clinical supervision of nurse anesthesia students. The revisions clarify the well-established requirement that states:

 “Supervision at clinical sites is limited to CRNAs and anesthesiologists who are institutionally credentialed to practice and immediately available for consultation.”

 The definition of “Clinical supervision” found in the Glossary of the Standards was revised to reflect that the CRNA and/or anesthesiologist are the only individual(s) with responsibility for anesthesia care of the patient, and have responsibilities including, but not limited to: providing direct guidance to the student; evaluating student performance; and approving a student’s plan of care. The new language further states that clinical supervision must be consistent with the COA Standards (i.e., clinical oversight is the responsibility of a CRNA or anesthesiologist only), and also now indicates that programs are responsible for ensuring that students are aware of the COA’s requirements and know who is supervising them in the clinical area.

While the COA recognizes there are instances in which different types of anesthesia providers may participate in a case, in these instances the additional anesthesia personnel must have no clinical supervision responsibilities for the SRNA unless they meet the COA’s supervision requirements as specified in the revised Glossary definition of “Clinical supervision.” Please refer to the recently-posted 2004 Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (see Standard V, Criterion E11) and Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs – Practice Doctorate (see Standard F.5) found here for additional information.

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) at the AANA Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress in Chicago, IL. ​

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) provided an update
on its activities to the AANA Education Committee during the Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress
in Chicago, IL. 

Pictured from left to right are Lorraine Jordan, PhD, CRNA, CAE, FAAN, Chief Advocacy 
Officer, AANA; Michele Ballister, DNP, CRNA, APRN, CHSE, Chair, AANA Education Committee; 
Laura Bonanno, PhD, DNP, CRNA, President, COA; Francis Gerbasi, PhD, CRNA, 
Chief Executive Officer, COA.

Nurse Anesthesia Programs Awarding Master's and Doctoral Degrees for Entry into Practice

Nurse anesthesia programs continue to transition to awarding doctoral degrees. As of July 15, 2019, there are 92 nurse anesthesia programs approved by the COA to offer entry-level doctoral degrees and 25 programs approved to offer post-master’s doctoral degree completion programs. Currently 29 programs remain to be approved to award doctoral degrees to meet the requirement that all students matriculated into entry level nurse anesthesia programs on January 1, 2022, and thereafter be enrolled in a doctoral program. 



List of Accredited Educational Programs Nurse Anesthesia

The COA is a member of the Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative (HPAC). The HPAC has collaborated with the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education in the development and distribution of Guidance on Developing Quality Interprofessional Education for the Health Professions. The document provides guidance to academic institutions and programs on meeting accreditors’ interprofessional education standards. 

Please refer to the Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative website for the guidelines document and Frequently Asked Questions.

"Promoting Excellence in Nurse Anesthesia Education for Over 40 Years"

COA Recruiting Onsite Reviewers

The COA is seeking qualified educator practitioner and educator administrator onsite reviewers to conduct visits to educational programs to assess programs' compliance with the COA’s Standards for Accreditation.​ Click here for information.​

Raising the Bar in CRNA Education: 

What the 2025 Deadline Means​

An interview with Frank Gerbasi, PhD, CRNA, CEO of the Council on Accreditation, concerning CRNAs moving to the doctorate degree, was published on the blog. You can read Dr. Gerbasi’s interview here.​  

New FAQ's on Revised Certification Exam Policy


Accreditation Decisions
Nurse Anesthesia Programs

Accreditation Standards, Policies and Procedures, and Guidelines​


Federal Recognition of the COA Has Been Renewed