Become an Anesthesiologist Assistant: CAAHEP-Accredited A.A. Program

While all Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) programs strive to prepare you for board certification and practice, only Nova Southeastern University (NSU) AA programs rise above the rest as national standouts. Here’s how to become an Anesthesiologist Assistant with the added expertise and confidence to stand out amongst your peers:

Accelerate Your Learning: Leading-Edge Tech

  • Only program in the U.S. with four high-fidelity anesthesia simulators
  • Two fully functional operating rooms with high-fidelity simulation training
  • Adult and pediatric human patient simulators
  • Medical exam rooms
  • Highly equipped regional anesthesia labs
  • Preoperative and postoperative labs
  • Dedicated course and lab in regional anesthesia techniques

#1 in U.S. for Clinical Rotation Choices

  • More rotation sites than any A.A. program in the U.S.
  • Clinical rotation opportunities in various countries outside U.S.

More 1:1 Faculty Mentoring

  • Class size strictly limited so professors can give you more individualized support
  • Every professor is a licensed Anesthesiologist or Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant
  • All have built successful clinical practices, in addition to their specialized educator skills

 

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Testimonials

Why Choose NSU?

  • Fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health and Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Evening/weekend schedules: won’t disrupt your career
  • Smaller classes/individualized attention
  • No GRE needed

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Fast Facts

$153,850 Average annual starting salary for Anesthesiologist Assistants

Source: 2019 survey conducted by NSU

100% NSU A.A. graduates pass their Anesthesiologist Assistant certification exam on the very first attempt

Data source for claim: past 4 consecutive years of graduating classes and 7 out of 8 past consecutive years of graduating classes.

Important Tips Before You Apply

Please note that there are two different applications you’ll need to submit as part of the A.A. program admissions process.

  1. Submit your CASAA application.
  2. Once NSU approves your completed CASAA application, you’ll then get a link to the supplemental NSU application.

Prefer to speak with someone directly?

Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville

Email Kandee Griffith, your Admissions Counselor, or call her at (904) 245-8913.

Tampa Bay

Email Reyhan Lyles, your Admissions Counselor, or call her at (813) 574-5271.

Download Resources

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Master of Science in Anesthesia Brochure - Fort Lauderdale
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Master of Science in Anesthesia Brochure - Tampa Bay
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Master of Science in Anesthesia Brochure - Jacksonville

M.S. in Anesthesia: Program Details

The Master of Science in Anesthesia program has partnered with the Central Application Service for Anesthesiologist Assistants (CASAA), to collect and manage applications to the Anesthesiologist Assistant Program. The NSU AA program matriculates students each May.

Once your CASAA application has been verified and received by Nova Southeastern University, a supplemental application will be made available online. Please follow the instructions to complete and submit the NSU supplemental application and fee by the specific deadline. Please note, applications cannot be reviewed until both the CASAA and the NSU supplemental application has been completed and received. 

Important Dates

CASAA Application Deadline January 15
GRE/MCAT Score Submission Deadline January 15
NSU Supplemental Application Deadline

February 15

The Admissions Committee begins interviews as early as September of the preceding year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as the CASAA application opens to afford the best opportunity to receive an interview.

Application Procedures

  1. Apply to CASAA.
  2. Send supporting documents to CASAA.
  3. Submit a non-refundable, $50 application fee with your supplemental application.

Prospective Master of Science in Anesthesia students are selected by the Committee on Admissions (COA), which considers the overall qualities of the applicant. Areas of consideration include interpersonal skills, personal motivation, knowledge and understanding of the AA profession and the Anesthesia Care Team, academic performance and level of achievement, life experiences, and recommendations. Personal interviews are offered to the most qualified applicants to assess interpersonal and communication skills, altruistic attitude, maturity, and commitment to the AA profession and anesthesia care team model.  

CASAA application and all application materials due by January 15. NSU supplemental application due by February 15th.

  1. Baccalaureate degree from a nationally recognized and regionally accredited college or university, including above average performance in courses required in a premed curriculum. (Refer to required courses below.)

    Note: a "C" or better is required in all prerequisite classes. In order to meet pre-requisite requirements, math and science courses must include sufficient rigor and detail in the discipline (Introductory, survey, or business courses will not satisfy the requirements).

    • Required and cannot be survey courses
      • English - 3 semester hours
      • General Biology with Lab or Anatomy and Physiology with Lab - 8 semester hours
      • General Chemistry with Lab - 8 semester hours
      • Organic Chemistry with Lab - 4 semester hours
      • Biochemistry - 3 semester hours
      • General Physics with Lab - 8 semester hours
      • Calculus - 3 semester hours
    • Preferred but not required
      • Cell & Molecular Biology - 3 semester hours
      • Organic Chemistry - 4 semester hours
      • Microbiology - 3 semester hours
      • Physiology - 3 semester hours
      • Anatomy with lab - 4 semester hours
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work.
  3. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 grading scale. A minimum GPA of 3.2 is preferred.
  4. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores must have been taken with the past five years and must be taken early enough for official scores to be received by admissions office by the application deadline of February 15. Information can be obtained from the GRE website and the MCAT website.
  5. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's prior academic performance, potential, character, work habits, and suitability for graduate study leading into a career in clinical practice.
  6. At least eight hours of documented anesthesia exposure by observation in the operating room.
  7. Summary of an article published in a current anesthesia journal.
  8. All applicants must show evidence of computer skills through coursework or self-study prior to the end of the first semester. Students may obtain instruction through the NSU Student Microcomputer Laboratory or other training facilities.
  9. The applicant who has graduated from a college or university of a country for which English is not the primary language, regardless of United States’ residency status, must take the computerized Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An official set of scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, to NSU’s EPS.

Note: Curriculum is subject to change as directed by the department.

Semester I

Course Title & Description Credit Hours
ANES 5048: Medical Terminology
This is a self-study, online course. Use of medical language for appropriate and accurate communication in patient care. Course includes terminology and symbols, word formation, body systems and disease terms, abbreviations, and procedures.
1
ANES 5081: Introduction to Clinical Anesthesia
Prepares and educates the student to work within the anesthesia care team. Introduction to induction, maintenance, and emergence from anesthesia. Includes history of anesthesia, types of anesthesia, universal precautions and infection control, layout of the operating room, sterile fields and techniques, interacting with patients, starting intravenous catheters and arterial cannulae, obtaining arterial blood samples, and application of ASA-standard monitors. Students will use an anesthesia simulator to gain the basic knowledge and usage of monitors.
2
ANES 5301: Anesthesia Laboratory I
A state-of-the-art laboratory and anesthesia simulator will prepare the student for the usage and complete understanding of the monitors and practice of anesthesia. Students will apply their didactic knowledge to scenarios on the anesthesia simulator. Patient modalities—such as pulse oximetry, capnography, and blood pressure monitoring systems—are explored. Laboratory experiments will develop students’ understanding of anesthesia delivery systems, various types of breathing circuits, fresh gas flow effect, theory of dilutional methods of cardiac output monitoring, and relations between mean circulatory filling pressures and central venous pressure. A vascular sonography lab will allow a unique and comprehensive understanding of transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, cerebrovascular testing, and venous and peripheral arterial testing.
3
ANES 5328: ECG for Anesthesiologist Assistants
This course presents a comprehensive approach to perioperative emergency and advanced cardiac life support, including monitoring, interpretation, and management of pathologic conditions affecting the circulatory and pulmonary systems. Relevant anatomy, physiology, neurophysiology, pharmacology, and medical equipment will be included. Emphasis is placed on rhythm strip analysis and evidenced-based perioperative applications.
2
PHS 5400: Physiology
Clinically relevant physiologic principles of the major organ systems covered in Anatomy. Pathological changes that occur in the human physiology in the disease process.
4
ANA 5420: Anatomy
Gross structures of the human body. Integrates topographic and radiographic anatomy to stress the application and importance of clinical anatomy. Develops the knowledge of the human anatomy necessary for the practice of the profession.
4
ANES 5621: Principle of Airway Management I
This course will provide an opportunity to learn and appreciate structure, function, pathophysiology, disease, and management of the human airway. The basic and advanced principles of elective and emergent airway management, including equipment and techniques, will be covered. Examination, recognition, techniques, and management involved in pediatric and adult difficult airways will be discussed. Course will correlate with laboratory work for a better understanding and use of bag/ mask ventilation, oral and nasal airways, oral and nasal intubation techniques, lightwands, fiberoptic intubations, double lumen tubes, surgical airways, and application of laryngeal mask airway.
2
Total: 18

Semester II

Course Title & Description Credit Hours
ANES 5302: Anesthesia Laboratory II
This course is a continuation of ANES 5301. A state-ofthe-art laboratory and anesthesia simulator will prepare the student for the usage and complete understanding of the monitors and practice of anesthesia. Students will apply their didactic knowledge to scenarios on the anesthesia simulator. Patient modalities—such as pulse oximetry, capnography, and blood pressure monitoring systems—are explored. Laboratory experiments will develop students’ understanding of anesthesia delivery systems, various types of breathing circuits, fresh gas flow effect, theory of dilutional methods of cardiac output monitoring, and 206 College of Health Care Sciences—Department of Anesthesia relations between mean circulatory filling pressures and central venous pressure. A vascular sonography lab will allow a unique and comprehensive understanding of transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, cerebrovascular testing, and venous and peripheral arterial testing.
3
ANES 5462: Pharmacology for Anesthesia I
Emphasizes drugs specifically related to the practice of anesthesia, including inhaled anesthetics, opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, anticholinesterases and anticholinergics, neuromuscular blockers, adrenergic agonists and antagonists, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, antidysrhythmics, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, antihistamines, and antimicrobials.
2
ANES 5601: Applied Physiology for Anesthesia Practice I
Pathophysiology in a systems approach—cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, neuro, metabolic, and endocrine. Emphasizing hemodynamics, Starling forces, pulmonary responses, renal hemodynamics, temperature regulation, blood gases/pH, and maternal and fetal physiology. Also emphasizes those systems that affect evaluation and planning for anesthesia and that are affected by the administration of anesthesia.
3
ANES 5622: Principle of Airway Management II
This course is a continuation of ANES 5621. This course will provide an opportunity to learn and appreciate structure, function, pathophysiology, disease, and management of the human airway. The basic and advanced principles of elective and emergent airway management, including equipment and techniques, will be covered. Examination, recognition, techniques, and management involved in pediatric and adult difficult airways will be discussed. Course will correlate with laboratory work for a better understanding and use of bag/mask ventilation, oral and nasal airways, oral and nasal intubation techniques, lightwands, fiberoptic intubations, double lumen tubes, surgical airways, and application of laryngeal mask airway.
2
ANES 5801: Instrumentation and Monitoring
Practical principles, application, and interpretation of various monitoring modalities including ECG, invasive and noninvasive blood pressure, oximetry, cardiac output, respiratory gas analysis, respiration, and instrumentation as they pertain to anesthesia practice. Also includes intraoperative neurophysiology monitoring, temperature, renal function, coagulation/hemostasis, neuromuscular junction, transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, cerebrovascular testing, and venous and peripheral arterial testing.
2
ANES 5901: Anesthesia Principle and Practices I
Principles involved in the formulation of anesthetic plans based upon data obtained during the preoperative evaluation. Includes the formulation and practices of different anesthetic plans and techniques as related to specific surgical procedures and pathophysiology.
2
ANES 5104: Principles of Life Support*
This course provides for the certification of Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). It will focus on the assessment and management of adults, children, and infants in cardiopulmonary crisis. ACLS and PALS certification will be obtained during this semester.
3
MHS 5205: Writing for Medical Publication 3
Total: 20

* Basic Life Support Certification and Advanced Cardiac Lifesaving will be obtained during this semester

Semester III

Course Title & Description Credit Hours
ANES 5001: Clinical Anesthesia I
Developmental skills and foundations of the clinical practice of anesthesia are gained through one-on-one supervised instruction in the operating room and other ancillary anesthetizing locations. Participation and responsibilities increase through the year as knowledge and skills develop.
3
ANES 5303: Anesthesia Laboratory III
This course is a continuation of ANES 5302. A state-ofthe-art laboratory and anesthesia simulator will prepare the student for the usage and complete understanding of the monitors and practice of anesthesia. Students will apply their didactic knowledge to scenarios on the anesthesia simulator. Patient modalities—such as pulse oximetry, capnography, and blood pressure monitoring systems—are explored. Laboratory experiments will develop students’ understanding of anesthesia delivery systems, various types of breathing circuits, fresh gas flow effect, theory of dilutional methods of cardiac output monitoring, and relations between mean circulatory filling pressures and central venous pressure. A vascular sonography lab will allow a unique and comprehensive understanding of transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, cerebrovascular testing, and venous and peripheral arterial testing.
3
ANES 5463: Pharmacology for Anesthesia II
This course is a continuation of ANES 5462. Emphasizes drugs specifically related to the practice of anesthesia, including inhaled anesthetics, opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, anticholinesterases and anticholinergics, neuromuscular blockers, adrenergic agonists and antagonists, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidysrhythmics, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, antihistamines, and antimicrobials.
2
ANES 5602: Applied Physiology for Anesthesia Practice II
This course is a continuation of ANES 5601. Pathophysiology in a systems approach—cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, neuro, metabolic, and endocrine. Emphasizing hemodynamics, Starling forces, pulmonary responses, renal hemodynamics, temperature regulation, blood gases/pH, and maternal and fetal physiology. Also emphasizes those systems that affect evaluation and planning for anesthesia and that are affected by the administration of anesthesia.
3
ANES 5802: Instrumentation and Monitoring II
This course is a continuation of ANES 5801. Practical principles, application, and interpretation of various monitoring modalities, including ECG, invasive blood pressure, oximetry, cardiac output, respiratory gas analysis, respiration, and instrumentation, as they pertain to anesthesia practice will be discussed. The course also includes intraoperative neurophysiology monitoring, temperature, renal function, coagulation/hemostasis, neuromuscular junction, transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, cerebrovascular testing, and venous and peripheral arterial testing.
2
ANES 5902: Anesthesia Principle and Practices II
This course is a continuation of ANES 5901. Principles involved in the formulation of anesthetic plans based upon data obtained during the preoperative evaluation. Includes the formulation and practices of different anesthetic plans and techniques as related to specific surgical procedures and pathophysiology.
2
ANES 5101: Student Lecture Series I
This course provides the opportunity for students to explore a special topic of interest under the direction of a faculty member. Arrangements are made directly with the appropriate faculty member and the program director. Topic exploration is governed by the needs of the program and the educational goal of the student. Possible topics involve clinical and nonclinical aspects of the practice of medicine in the United States.
1
Total: 16

Minimum clinical experience: 150 hours (anesthesia rotations in hospital)

Semester IV

Course Title & Description Credit Hours
ANES 5000: Professional Issues in Anesthesiologist Assistant Practice
This course examines the current professional and ethical issues that exist within the health care industry associated with the practice of anesthesia and patient care. Course topics include beneficence, non-maleficence, and respect for autonomy, as well as political and legal issues contained in closed claims examinations and current issues regarding anesthesiologist assistant practice.
2
ANES 5002: Clinical Anesthesia II
This course is a continuation of ANES 5001. Developmental skills and foundations of the clinical practice of anesthesia are gained through one-on-one supervised instruction in the operating room and other ancillary anesthetizing locations. Participation and responsibilities increase through the year as knowledge and skills develop.
3
ANES 5304: Anesthesia Laboratory IV
This course is a continuation of ANES 5303. A state-ofthe-art laboratory and anesthesia simulator will prepare the student for the usage and complete understanding of the monitors and practice of anesthesia. Students will apply their didactic knowledge to scenarios on the anesthesia simulator. Patient modalities—such as pulse oximetry, capnography, and blood pressure monitoring systems—are explored. Laboratory experiments will develop students’ understanding of anesthesia delivery systems, various types of breathing circuits, fresh gas flow effect, theory of dilutional methods of cardiac output monitoring, and relations between mean circulatory filling pressures and central venous pressure. A vascular sonography lab will allow a unique and comprehensive understanding of transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography, cerebrovascular testing, and venous and peripheral arterial testing.
3
ANES 5903: Anesthesia Principle and Practices III
This course is a continuation of ANES 5901. It discusses the principles involved in the formulation of anesthetic plans based upon data obtained during the preoperative evaluation and includes the formulation and practices of different anesthetic plans and techniques as related to specific surgical procedures and pathophysiology.
2
ANES 5102: Student Lecture Series II
This course is a continuation of ANES 5101.
1
ANES 5107: Internship
The student will complete 80 hours of internship in an area of interest within a healthcare organization outside of their regular places of employment. The final product of this internship is an in-depth SWOT analysis of the unit or healthcare organization. The internship site requires prior MHSc faculty approval.
5
ANES 5603: Applied Physiology for Anesthesia Practice III
The course is a continuation of ANES 5602. Pathophysiology in a systems approach-cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, metabolic, and endocrine will be covered. Special emphasis will be applied to those systems that affect evaluation and planning for anesthesia and that are affected by administration of anesthesia.
2
Total: 18

Minimum clinical experience: 144 hours (anesthesia rotations in hospital)

Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Lifesaving will be obtained during this semester.

Semester V

Course Title & Description Credit Hours
ANES 6001: Clinical Anesthesia III
Encompasses the student’s clinical experience in required rotations through all sub-specialty areas of anesthesia. Clinical rotations are assigned in two-week and four-week intervals and will require being on-call during some nights and weekends. Clinical practice of anesthesia is gained through one-on-one supervised instruction in the operating room and other ancillary anesthetizing locations. Monthly required readings are assigned. Monthly comprehensive examinations are administered. Each course’s grade is composed of clinical evaluations and comprehensive examination scores.
13
Total: 13

Minimum clinical experience: 675 hours (anesthesia rotations in hospital)

Semester VI

Course Title & Description Credit Hours
ANES 6002: Clinical Anesthesia IV
This course is a continuation of ANES 6001. Encompasses the student’s clinical experience in required rotations through all sub-specialty areas of anesthesia. Clinical rotations are assigned in two-week and four-week intervals and will require being on-call during some nights and weekends. Clinical practice of anesthesia is gained through one-on-one supervised instruction in the operating room and other ancillary anesthetizing locations. Monthly required readings are assigned. Monthly comprehensive examinations are administered. Each course’s grade is composed of clinical evaluations and comprehensive examination scores.
15
ANES 6110: Anesthesia Review
Lectures, required readings, and discussions with faculty members, visiting faculty members, and current residents on clinical and research topics. Includes correlation of case management and complications.
2
Total: 17

Minimum clinical experience: 675 hours (anesthesia rotations in hospital)

Semester VII

Course Title & Description Credit Hours
ANES 6003: Clinical Anesthesia V
This course is a continuation of ANES 6002. Encompasses the student’s clinical experience in required rotations through all sub-specialty areas of anesthesia. Clinical rotations are assigned in two-week and four-week intervals and will require being on-call during some nights and weekends. Clinical practice of anesthesia is gained through one-on-one supervised instruction in the operating room and other ancillary anesthetizing locations. Monthly required readings are assigned. Monthly comprehensive examinations are administered. Each course’s grade is composed of clinical evaluations and comprehensive examination scores.
12
Total: 12

Minimum clinical experience: 356 hours (anesthesia rotations in hospital)

Curriculum is subject to change as directed by the department.

National Credentialing Examination Performance 100%
Job Placement 100%
Retention 90.91%
Attrition 9.09%
National Credentialing Examination Performance 99.10%
Job Placement 100%
Attrition 9.50%

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