#20 – DNP: The Future of CRNA Education – Shawn Collins, DNP, PhD, CRNA

Jon talks with Dr Shawn Collins, DNP, PhD, CRNA about the transition of CRNA education from a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).  We discuss the history, rationale and implications of the change and compare various doctoral degrees CRNAs may obtain such as DNP, DNAP, PhD and EdD.

Dr Shawn Collins currently serves as the Director of the Graduate Nurse Anesthesia Program and the Interim Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Western Carolina University (WCU).  Dr Collins completed his anesthesia training at the Erlanger Medical Center at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga and went on to obtain his Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Rush University before obtaining his PhD in Leadership from Andrews University.  He maintains his clinical practice at several CRNA-only clinical sites in both North Carolina and Iowa.  At WCU, he was integral in the development of the WCU Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and served as its first director.  He is currently developing WCU’s DNP program for entry-level education for CRNAs.

Please see the links below for a detailed history on Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees and the process of CRNA training moving from MSN preparation to a DNP.


2014 Trial Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs: Practice Doctorate. Published by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, Park Ridge, Illinois. Revised on 5/30/14.

Hawkins, R., & Nezat, G. (2009). Doctoral Education: Which Degree to Pursue?AANA Journal77(2), 92-96.

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2 comments on “#20 – DNP: The Future of CRNA Education – Shawn Collins, DNP, PhD, CRNA
  1. David Floyd says:

    Great discussion. Well done. Thank you for your thoughts and efforts in this venue.

    David Floyd,CRNA
    Pres-elect, South Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists

    • admin says:

      David, Thanks for your positive feedback and for checking out our show on doctoral education of CRNAs! Best wishes in providing leadership down in South Carolina! – Jon

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