PD Program Specific Admissions Requirements

A Baccalaureate Degree

A minimum of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited program in nursing OR a licensed Registered Nurse with a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in a related field of science is required for interview and admission to MTSA. If the baccalaureate degree is not in nursing, the applicant must have at least 15 semester hours of biophysical sciences beyond the basic nursing degree (associate degree or diploma graduate).

Current Licensure as a Professional Registered Nurse (RN)

After acceptance but prior to enrollment at MTSA, the student must have either a multi-state Tennessee RN license or hold a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) or enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) license. If the student is maintaining a permanent residence address in their NLC/eNLC license state, they can continue to use their NLC/eNLC license in TN. Students who have a TN Only license must have it changed to a multi-state license as soon as possible. If the student applies for a TN Only license before they reside in the state, they can have it changed by the Tennessee Board of Nursing (TBON) when they have a TN address and TN Driver's License. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website lists the current NLC/eNLC states. The TBN address is as follows:

Tennessee Board of Nursing, Health Related Boards

655 Main Stream Drive, 2nd Floor

Nashville, TN 37243

Phone (615) 532-5166 or (800) 778-4123


Critical Care RN Experience

1.5 years ICU experience (excluding orientation) is preferred by the application deadline, and must be recent (within the last 3 years) nursing experience as a Registered Nurse in a critical care patient setting within the United States, its territories or a U.S. military hospital outside of the United States. Highest priority is given to applicants who have the most recent work in high acuity, large hospital ICU/CCU settings where a broad base of invasive hemodynamic monitoring experience, management of ventilated patients, and administration of frequently-titrated vasoactive drugs in the care of adult patients are likely. A mix of neonatal/pediatric and adult ICU experience may be accepted; however, as most patients cared for in the anesthesia educational program are adults, adult ICU experience is expected. Emergency Department experience alone does not meet the Council on Accreditation ICU requirements.

Verification of Continued Critical Care RN employment

ALL applicants, whether recent RN graduates or RN candidates with additional experience in other areas of nursing, who have had less than one full year of recent critical care experience at the time of the interview, and who are accepted to MTSA will have been accepted ONLY with the contingency that they remain in the critical care area until the month of enrollment at MTSA. To assure MTSA that they have met this continued employment expectation, these candidates are required to have their nursing supervisor validate that they have continued employment in the critical care area up to the month of enrollment (January). The clinical validation of continued critical care must be on hospital letterhead and signed by the nursing supervisor and is subject to verification by MTSA. It is the accepted applicant’s responsibility to obtain and submit such verification to the Admissions Coordinator at MTSA (fax to (615)732-7662).

CCRN Certification

CCRN is recommended for first-time applicants and is highly recommended for all applicants.

Current Certifications

Certifications need to be through the American Heart Association.

Prior to application: Basic Life Support (BLS) andAdvanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Provider status certification is required prior to any interview. This BLS/ACLS certifications must stay current throughout the program.

Prior to enrollment, all students must have Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) . If admitted into the program, the ACLS, BLS and PALS must have an expiration date specified by MTSA, to plan for one recertification on campus to maintain certifications throughout the program.

National Provider Identifier (NPI)

Prior to enrollment:

The NPI (National Provider Identifier) Number is a unique 10-digit number that identifies a health care provider. MTSA requires all students obtain their NPI prior to enrollment. This is federal requirement for MTSA to participate in programs such as the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) grant program, which awards funding to improve and expand health care services for underserved populations.

Obtaining an NPI prior to enrollment also allows students to get ahead of occupational requirements that must be completed to become a CRNA. There is no charge associated with obtaining an NPI, and it takes approximately 10-20 days to process applications.

You can apply for your NPI by visiting the National Plan & Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) website: https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/#/

You can find this and more information about NPI by clicking the link below:



Official transcripts (issued directly from the institution to NursingCAS and not stamped as issued to student) of ALL academic work since high school must be submitted to NursingCAS prior to the application deadline. Please check the website for specific application deadline dates. This includes any non-degree seeking courses taken at any time since high school. If applicant is enrolled in any course between the submission of the application and enrollment, they must have an official transcript for this course submitted to MTSA. Continued acceptance and enrollment are contingent upon MTSA’s receipt of this official transcript.


A minimum of a 3-credit hour college level general chemistry course covering the principles of basic chemistry, biochemistry, and organic chemistry is required. A chemistry course completed as part of a BSN degree curriculum is acceptable to fulfill the chemistry requirement. The admissions committee and the MTSA administration will review a chemistry course not completed as part of a BSN degree curriculum on an individual basis.

Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA

Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (including a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in science areas.) It is highly recommended that the nursing school (cumulative) grade point average (GPA) be at least 3.0 based on a 4.0 grading system, and the science GPA be at least 3.0. Transcripts must demonstrate that all general education curriculum requirements from the baccalaureate degree are met.


Three (3) references are required with your application. These must be from the following individuals: two from current ICU shift leader, team leader, nurse manager, or other nursing supervisor and one from an academic reference.  Applicants will enter the name and email address of the reference in the NursingCAS application and forms will automatically be sent to listed references for completion. References are subject to verification.

Personal Letter

A brief personal letter from the applicant is to address professional experience, desire to become a nurse anesthetist, and why the applicant chose MTSA.  This letter is to be uploaded in the NursingCAS application and is sent to the Admissions Committee for review.

GRE Results

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be completed and results sent to NursingCAS, prior to any interview. To find the nearest testing center, go here (https://www.ets.org/gre). MTSA’s GRE code is 1410.

NOTE: The GRE is waived for applicants who have earned a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States.

Early Interview Criteria

Candidates must have a Science GPA of 3.5, minimum of two years of ICU experience, GRE of 150, and CCRN certification.