Franciscan Healthcare
School of Nurse Anesthesia
Mayo Clinic Health System

Program Description
Program objectives
Course curriculum
Master of Science from University of Wisconsin- La Crosse
Master schedule
Admissions information
General Information
Clinical Affiliations
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nurse anesthetist studentsPhilosophy

The Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia, as a vital part of Franciscan Healthcare, subscribes to the philosophy of that organization. We fervently promote Christian concepts which emphasize the dignity of all human person, their origin, purpose and destiny. Society is a complex and evolving entity within which the common good and the changing needs of groups of individuals must be fulfilled. As a member of society, every person has a basic right to good health care and easy access to health care service.

We believe that certified nurse anesthetists form and integral part of the total health care system by virtue of advanced scientific knowledge and competency in technical skills.

We believe that anesthesia care is an individualized therapeutic relationship which recognizes the individual dignity of the patient and his right to life. We accept that the nurse anesthetist assumes a professional obligation to preserve these concepts in his/her relationship with the patient.

We believe that upon completion the student is prepared to be not only a certified nurse anesthetist, but with graduate education, a potential educator and researcher in the sense that clinical investigations and problem solving are an integral part of nurse anesthesia. As a result, the student will have developed insight and direction for resourceful and constructive professional practice, will regard life-long education as a professional obligation, will use sources of knowledge effectively and fulfill professional, ethical, and societal obligations.

nurse anesthetist studentProgram of Anesthesia for Nurses

The educational program of anesthesia for nurses at Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia operates within the complex of the Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This course of scientific and skill instruction taught in a didactic and clinical setting, requires twenty-seven consecutive months of concentrated study. Upon completion of the course of study the fulfillment of the terminal objectives and other obligations of the program, the student will have achieved eligibility to write the qualifying examination of the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists. The Franciscan Healthcare Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthetist Education (COA), located at 222 South Prospect Ave., Park Ridge IL 60068 (847) 692-7050. The COA is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education.

The University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, our academic affiliate, is able to offer graduate credit for portions of the didactic curricula. Thirty-one graduate credits are offered by the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, a free-standing, autonomously accredited program. Upon successful completion of these course credits, the University will award the students a Master of Science Degree in Biology.

Franciscan Healthcare is a comprehensive medical center providing patient care programs in medicine, surgery, all surgical specialties (except open heart surgery), pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics, gynecology, newborn nursery, Regional Neonatal Center, high-risk maternity care, and mental health. A full complement of diagnostic and therapeutic services support the patient care programs as well as offering the student in the School of Anesthesia unshared availability for clinical experience.

Franciscan Healthcare is a Mayo affiliate accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Hospitals and is a member of the American Hospital Association, Wisconsin Hospital Association, and Catholic Hospital Association. It is approved for General Family Practice residency by the Council of Medical Education of the American Medical Association.

nurse anesthetist studentsProgram Objectives

1. Perform a preanesthetic interview and assessment.
2. Evaluate patient history, physical and appropriate lab and x-ray data
3. Develop an appropriate anesthesia care plan consistent with the overall medical and nursing regime.
4. Administer general anesthesia for all ages and all categories of patients, utilizing a broad variety of techniques and agents.
5. Perform/manage regional anesthesia.
6. Use and interpret a broad variety of monitoring modalities.
7. Manage fluid/blood component therapy within the medical plan of care.
8. Recognize and take appropriate action when complications arise during anesthesia management, consistent with standards of practice and policy of the organization, and referring to a physician all problems beyond these limitations.
9. Position or supervise positioning of patients to assure optimal physiologic function and patient safety.
10. Function as a team leader/member in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and possess ACLS and PALS recognition.
11. Perform arterial punctures, interpret and take appropriate actions with reference to screening pulmonary function and blood/gas determinations.
12. Supervise and/or provide consultation for ventilatory care for patients in acute-care situations.
13. Utilize appropriate principles of basic behavioral sciences in protecting patients from iatrogenic complications.
function of the health care team.
15. Teach paramedical personnel in area of expertise and contribute to community health care education.
16. Recognize personal and professional strengths and limitations and appropriate action consistent with valid self-awareness. nurse anesthetist students
      a. Accept constructive criticism, make appropriate changes, and seek appropriate personnel for advice and consultation.
      b. Practice effective communication skills.
      c. Promote and maintain effective interpersonal relationships.
      d. Maintain an industrious and productive work standard.
      e. Demonstrate understanding, compassion, and empathy.
      f. Recognize own value system and refrain from imposing individual values on others.
      g. Demonstrate ability to perform effectively under stress.
17. Know and function within appropriate legal requirements as a licensed professional, accepting responsibility and accountability for your own practice.
18. Participate in state and national professional organizations in preparation for active involvement.
19. Demonstrate the ability to critically assess and apply research concepts.
20. Develop and participate in anesthesia programs as a skilled educator and researcher. Course Curriculum

1. Basic and Applied Sciences Applicable to Anesthesia

    • Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology (Contact hours=320; Semester Credits=20)
    • Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics Applicable to Anesthesia (Contact Hours=48; Semester Credits=3)
    • Pharmacology of Anesthetic Drugs and Ancillary Drugs Used in Anesthesia Practice (Contact Hours=112; Semester Credits=7)
2. Principles of Clinical Anesthesia
      • Professional Aspects of Practice
      • History of Anesthesia, Ethics, Legal Aspects of Anesthesia Practice (Contact Hours=48; Semester Credits=3)
      • Principles of Anesthesia Practice
      • Physical Assessment, Pre-operative Evaluation, Post-Anesthesia Surveillance, Selection of Anesthetic Agent/Anesthetic Technique, Positioning of Patient, Monitoring and Response to Monitored Information, Management of Altered Physiology (Contact Hours=128; Semester Credits=8)
      • Clinical Practicum
      • Experience in Administering Anesthetics in the Clinical arena, under direct supervision of an MDA-CRNA. Approximately 900 surgical and obstetrical procedures are experienced. Assignment in clinical area coincides with classroom instruction. (Contact Hours=1800)
      • Clinical Conferences and Seminar
      • Discussion of specific topics relevant to student needs. To include related conferences and review. (Contact Hours=64; Semester Credits=4
3. Instruction/Practice in Ancillary Services
  • Ancillary Services to Anesthetic Practice include:
  • Basic Life Support
  • Neonatal Resuscitation
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support

4. Course Curriculum for Completion of Master of Science Degree - Biology

    • Endocrinology (Contact Hours=48; Semester Credits=3)
    • Research (Contact Hours=48; Semester Credits=2)

nurse anesthetist studentsMaster of Science Degree - University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

UW-L, our academic affiliate, is a free-standing autonomously accredited program. Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia and UW-L Biology Department have collaboratively developed a program specifically for the educational needs of the nurse anesthetist student.

All students must apply for admission in the Biology Graduate Program at UW-L. Acceptance in UW-L's program does not guarantee acceptance in the School of Anesthesia. GRE scores are required. Processing of the application will not occur until the files are complete at both institutions.

Upon successful completion of the science courses within the School of Anesthesia, UW-L will award the student 31 graduate credits from the Department of Biology. All students must follow the Graduate Student Guidelines - Department of Biology. Completion of the M.S. degree is mandatory for graduation from the School of Anesthesia.

Master Schedule

First Year
First Summer Session    
Bio 501 Anatomy 6
ESS 782 EKG 3
Anes Physical Assessment 2
Semester I    
Bio 718 Advanced Human Physiology 4
Anes Seminar 1
Anes Pharmacology I & II 4
Anes Basic Concepts  3
Anes Clinical Practicum I  
Semester II    
Bio 719 Advanced Human Physiology II 4
Anes Seminar 1
Anes Advanced Concepts 3
Anes Pharmacology III 3
Anes Clinical Practicum II   
Summer Session    
Anes Professional Aspects 3
Anes Clinical Practicum III  

Second Year
Semester I    
Bio 570 Endocrinology 3
Bio 715 Pathophysiology I 3
Anes Seminar 1
Anes Clinical Practicum IV  
Semester II    
Bio 717 Pathophysiology II  3
Chem 520 Chemistry 3
Anes Seminar 1
Anes Clinical Practicum V   
Summer Session    
Anes Clinical Practicum VI  
Bio 720 Research for Anesthesia 2

Admission Requirements

Admission Prerequisites

Applicants for admission to Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia must be a currently licensed registered nurse with a B.S.N. degree or a Bachelor's Degree in a Basic Science, who can meet the following requirements, without regard to gender, age, race, creed, color, or national origin. Each applicant must:

      • Be a graduate of an accredited school of nursing that offered at least 30 hours of nursing education, with additional credit in biophysical sciences including microbiology - 1 semester, anatomy/physiology - 2 semesters, chemistry and/or physics - 2 semesters.
      • Be eligible for licensure by the Wisconsin Department of Nursing.
      • Have at least 18 months (24 months preferred) of nursing experience in a critical care setting (ICU, CCU, SICU, NICU) completed prior to application.
      • Have an undergraduate Grade Point Average of at least 3.00 on a 4.0 scale.
Admission Procedure
  • Submit a completed application for admission to Franciscan Skemp Healthcare School of Anesthesia including and $20 processing fee. Download the application here.
  • Submit a completed application for admission in the graduate program of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Department of Biology including a $56 processing fee. You can now apply electronically at
  • Submit GRE scores to UW-La Crosse Department of Biology (General exam only, not subject exam). Send an "unofficial"copy of your GRE scores to the School of Anesthesia.
  • Submit three letters of reference - one must be from your current supervisor. They others may be from colleagues, physicians, or college professors of your choice. ( A "Confidential Report on Applicant" form may be used if desired). Download this recommendation form here.
Submit official transcripts of undergraduate educational experience from college and/or school of nursing directly to:
1. Director, School of Anesthesia
700 West Ave
La Crosse, WI 54601
2. Submit a completed application for admission in the graduate program of the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Department of Biology including a $56 processing fee. You can now apply electronically at
  • Submit a copy of your current license to practice nursing
  • Deadline for application is October 1st. Note: Applications are accepted between July 1 and October 1 for each June admission date.
  • Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • A personal interview of eligible candidates will occur in November with the Admission Committee of the School of Anesthesia
  • Any questions contact Barbara Jochman at or call Franciscan Skemp Healthcare Medical Center @ 608-785-0940 pager #0750
nurse anesthetist students
General Information

Classes begin in late May or June corresponding with UW-L class schedules. Enrollment is limited to ten students each year. The course requires twenty-seven months of continuous study. Attendance for didactic and clinical experience is mandatory.

Anticipated Costs

The costs of the program are as follows:

Application Fee $20; Acceptance Fee $750. (The application fee must accompany the application. The acceptance fee is payable only after one is accepted to the school, and it is applicable to the tuition but not refundable.)


Tuition costs for the School of Anesthesia are $750 yearly. Tuition for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse varies from semester to semester depending upon the credit load. Total costs for the entire program are approximately $15,000 for students who are Wisconsin residents and $33,000 for out-of-state students.

Tuition payment for the School of Anesthesia are due on a yearly basis in August while UW-L payments are on a semester basis.

Refund Policy

Should any student withdraw for any reason or should any student be dismissed for any reason, the school will have tuition refunded according to the following schedule:

For Student Leaving Before Amount Refunded

December 31 (first year) $300.00

December 31 (second year) $200.00

Franciscan Healthcare will not offer refunds on books and has no control over tuition and fees paid to UW-La Crosse.

Textbook Costs

The cost of required textbooks, syllabi and duplicating services for the full program is approximately $500. This cost is payable upon entering the program.

Loans and Grants

Applications for financial aid can be obtained from the University of Wisconsin Financial Aid Office. A small stipend for clinical rotations is offered.

AANA Membership

Upon entering the school, all students are jointly registered with the Council on Accreditation and Council on Certification. The fee is $100 for the duration of the program. After twenty-seven months of training, all graduates are required to apply for the Council on Certification Examination.

Student Employment

Because of the heavy study demands of the program, students are limited to accepting outside employment only on those weekends when they are not committed to the program. Furthermore, students may not work an 11 to 7 shift when they must report to the program at 0700 hours the following day. NO STUDENT MAY BE EMPLOYED AS A CRNA BY TITLE OR FUNTION WHILE IN STUDENT STATUS.

Student Time Commitment to the Program

This program provides for flexible integrated time commitment management. The program commitments include:

    • Didactic class and home study. Class preparation and study requires approximately 2 hours of study for each 1 hour of class.
    • Clinical Experience.
    • Call time. Students rotate in-house call experience and are required to take call on weekends and holidays when their rotation requires.
    • Pre-operative evaluations and post-operative rounds.
All students will be allowed up to 20 days of student time off (STO) each academic year. The STO is managed by the student and used at his/her discretion with clinical coordinator approval. The STO program combines the benefits traditionally identified as vacation, floating holiday, sick, conference time, and funeral time. STO allows a student to manage his/her time off consistent with lifestyle needs. Holiday in-house coverage will be shared as weekend coverage is. nurse anesthetist studentsClinical Affiliations

Additional clinical experience in general surgery and specialized procedures (open-heart) is obtained at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center during the second year of study. This rotation is approximately 4 weeks in length. Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center is within walking distance of Franciscan Medical Center. Clinical rotations are also available with Community Memorial Hospital in Winona, Minnesota and Vernon Memorial Hospital (CRNA only practice) in Viroqua, Wisconsin. These sites provide students with regional anesthesia experiences in a diverse practice style. Both sites are approximately 35 miles from Franciscan Medical Center. Available to second year students, transportation is the student's responsibility. Two additional clinical sties have been established and scheduled for 'off class time periods' (semester breaks and summer sessions). One is located in Burlington, Wisconsin which is approximately 250 miles from Franciscan Medical Center. This rotation provides students experiences in a pain management clinic at the Memorial Hospital of Burlington. The second site is at Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. This is also a CRNA only practice site offering the student experiences in regional and pain management services. A stipend for travel and room and board expenses is available for clinical rotations

Non-Discrimination Policy

Franciscan Healthcare is an Equal Right, Non-Discrimination employer. The Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia prescribes to the Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination Regulations mandated by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Human Services. With respect to students recruitment, admission, education, employment, assignments and promotion of teaching and non-teaching personnel, with respect to student and faculty activities conducted on the premises, Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia shall not discriminate in favor of or against any person on account of his/her race, creed, color, sex, religion, age, ancestry, marital status, political affiliation, or national origin.

For additional information contact:

Barbara Jochman, Program Director
School of Nurse Anesthesia
700 West Avenue South
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
608-785-0940, email
  Last updated July 22, 2011