Finding the most affordable nurse anesthetist programs can be of real benefit to students interested in pursuing a career in this fast-growing and well-paid field. Certified registered nurse anesthetists work in hospitals, clinics and urgent care facilities to provide pain management and support for surgical procedures and other emergency treatment options. These advanced practice nurses take on responsibility for administering anesthetics to patients in operating rooms, clinical settings and in private medical offices and are often the sole providers of these services in rural areas. Certified nurse anesthetists are in high demand throughout the medical industry and can command six-figure salaries in most areas.

In most cases, aspiring nurse anesthetists must complete a master’s degree in the subject at an accredited institution of higher learning and must pass the national certification examination to qualify for these advanced nursing positions. Discovering and implementing ways to reduce the cost of these advanced study programs can help nurses achieve a higher degree of responsibility and increased remuneration for their talents.

To assist students in the search for the right nurse anesthesia programs, we have compiled a list of the 30 most affordable certified nurse anesthetist programs in the U.S. We derived our data from reports released by the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator and compared the in-state tuition and fees for 77 schools that offered these advanced studies in nursing. Here are our results and a few key facts about each of these programs.

30. Texas Wesleyan University

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Texas Wesleyan University

Texas Wesleyan University offers an affordable program for aspiring certified registered nurse anesthetists

Website

Tuition and Fees: $14,434

One of the nation’s largest nurse anesthesia programs is also considered one of the best. Texas Wesleyan University touts its ability to produce independent practitioners in the nursing field. The institution’s front-loaded curriculum is designed for completion in 28 months. The first year is focused on theory and study in the classroom or online environment; students then embark on a 16-month clinical nurse anesthesia residency at one of the 21 designated hospitals participating in the program.

29. Westminster College

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Converse Hall (view from the east), Westminster College (UT)

Westminster College is among the most affordable nurse anesthesia schools

Website

Tuition and Fees: $13,356

Nurses can pursue their studies at the only private comprehensive liberal arts college in the state of Utah. Westminster College is known for its focus on hands-on learning and practical experience for students. The Nurse Anesthesia master’s degree program from this institution is designed to be completed in 29 months. Space is limited to fewer than 20 students each year, making this a highly competitive venue for these advanced healthcare degrees.

28. Saint Vincent College

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Saint Vincent College

Saint Vincent College offers great value for aspiring nurse anesthetists

Website

Tuition and Fees: $13,126

A proud successor to the Benedictine tradition of education, Saint Vincent College offers its master’s degree in nurse anesthesia in conjunction with Excela Health. This highly competitive program enrolls just 30 students each year and accepts applicants from across the spectrum of nursing practice. The small size of classes allows students to enjoy direct interaction with their instructors throughout this nearly 28-month program. Currently, nurse residencies can be performed at 23 clinical sites approved by this private Pennsylvania college.

27. University of South Carolina

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

University of South Carolina Columbia

University of South Carolina figures among the most affordable nurse anesthesia programs in the United States

Website

Tuition and Fees: $12,424

Nurses work with patients from the first semester in this hands-on nurse anesthesia program. The University of South Carolina offers a 27-month program designed to instill the knowledge and the practical experience needed for nurses entering the anesthesiology field. The school takes pride in its 92 percent employment rate and 92 percent certification examination pass rate for students in this advanced nursing degree program.

26. Virginia Commonwealth University

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth is a top-ranked affordable option for nurse anesthetists

Website

Tuition and Fees: $12,399

Virginia Commonwealth University is ranked fourth by U.S. News and World Report among national nurse anesthesia programs. One of the most affordable nurse anesthetist programs, the master’s degree curriculum at Virginia Commonwealth University allows students to test their skills using advanced medical simulators. Online courses are available to ensure added convenience for working adults and nurses already juggling work schedules and other responsibilities.

25. Webster University

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Webster University

Future certified registered nurse anesthetists will want to consider Webster University

Website

Tuition and Fees: $11,970

Webster University maintains small class sizes and attracts students from around the globe to create an international experience. The 95 percent first-time pass rate for Webster University students taking the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist examination is proof positive that this affordable nurse anesthetist school has the right stuff. Participants must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and can earn no more than one C grade in their coursework to complete this advanced nursing program successfully.

24. Mount Marty College

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Mount Marty College

Mount Marty offers affordable nurse anesthetist schooling in a faith-based environment

Website

Tuition and Fees: $11,736

Mount Marty College offers in-depth training for aspiring certified nurse anesthetists in a faith-focused environment. The affordable nurse anesthetist program at Mount Marty College is divided into two phases. The 11-month didactic phase is spent primarily in classroom settings; after that, students progress to a 19-month clinical phase in which they practice the skills learned from instructors and gain greater confidence in their newly acquired knowledge.

23. The University of Tennessee

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

University of Tennessee Knoxville

U of T is among the most affordable of nurse anesthesia schools

Website

Tuition and Fees: $11,602

This 31-month program is highly competitive and requires applicants to submit their paperwork 11 months in advance of beginning coursework. The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine is an established and affordable nurse anesthetist school with stringent requirements for applicants. One year of relevant ICU experience along with a 3.0 grade point average and a graduate-level statistics course are among the primary qualifications needed for acceptance to this highly regarded program.

22. SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

SUNY Downstate

Experienced nurses can affordably access a nurse anesthetist degree at SUNY Downstate

Website

Tuition and Fees: $10,995

Students are accepted once yearly to the nurse anesthesia program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center; applicants must have at least two years of current critical care experience to apply. The master’s degree program in nurse anesthesia at SUNY Downstate Medical Center can be completed in 27 months of full-time graduate study. After completing the 61 credit hours and 550 cases required by the university, students are eligible to sit for the certification examination and to pursue their career goals in this lucrative field.

21. University of Scranton

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

University of Scranton

University of Scranton boasts a high-quality and affordable nurse anesthesia program

Website

Tuition and Fees: $10,856

The University of Scranton offers a number of graduate programs for aspiring certified nurse anesthetists that can pave the way to a well-paid career in the healthcare industry. Students can select from two degree paths when pursuing their nurse anesthetist certification at the University of Scranton. The master’s degree track requires 63 credit hours and the required 550 cases; nurses who already hold a master’s degree in advanced nursing practice have access to a certificate program that requires 51 credit hours of coursework.

20. National University

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

National University

National University in Fresno figures among the most affordable nurse anesthesia programs in the U.S.

Website

Tuition and Fees: $10,638

Located in Fresno, California, National University offers specialized training through its affordable certified registered nurse anesthetist programs. The two-phase program at National University focuses on classroom teaching and simulations for the first full year before shifting to clinical practice during the final fifteen months. Students will be well-prepared to take the certification examination and to take on the duties required in the medical environment.

19. University of Iowa

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

University of Iowa

Nurse anesthetists will find high-value training at University of Iowa

Website

Tuition and Fees: $9,687

The first program on our list to break the $10,000 barrier, the University of Iowa’s affordable certified registered nurse anesthetist program has been ranked ninth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. A joint program of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Department of Anesthesia and the University of Iowa College of Nursing, this program accepts applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing and are looking to take their careers to the next level.

18. University of Michigan-Flint

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

University of Michigan Flint

The University of Michigan Flint is an affordable choice for nurse anesthetists

Website

Tuition and Fees: $9,679

Students enrolled in the University of Michigan-Flint master’s program will spend two years of full-time study before taking the examination to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Offered through a joint program of the Hurley Medical Center and the University of Michigan-Flint, this master’s degree typically requires more than 40 hours each week and cannot generally be pursued in conjunction with part-time or full-time employment. Clinical experiences and classroom hours are combined throughout the first part of the course to help students gain a more complete understanding of their future role in the medical environment.

17. Clarkson College

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Clarkson College

Clarkson College’s nurse anesthetist schooling boasts very small class sizes

Website

Tuition and Fees: $9,630

With class sizes limited to just 12 students, this Omaha-based program ensures that its students get plenty of face time with instructors. Clarkson College prepares aspiring certified nurse anesthetists for careers in the medical community and boasts a 100 percent employment rate in the field after graduation. According to statistics compiled by the institution, 83 percent of students pass the certification examination on the first try and 100 percent complete it successfully on their second try — a testament to the expert instruction and comprehensive approach of this program.

16. University of Kansas

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

University of Kansas

University of Kansas figures among the most affordable nurse anesthetist programs

Website

Tuition and Fees: $9,614

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Kansas is offered in conjunction with KU Medical Center and the University of Kansas Hospital. The KU School of Health Professions is located in Kansas City, Kansas, and is part of the metropolitan Kansas City area. Students have access to some of the most cutting-edge research facilities and spend three years in study and clinical practice before attempting the national certification examination. This allows a more thorough grounding in all aspects of this essential field.

15. The University of Tennessee Chattanooga School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

University of Tennessee Chattanooga

Aspiring nurse anesthetists will find superior value at the University of Tennessee

Website

Tuition and Fees: $9,516

The UTC/Erlanger Nurse Anesthesia Program is a demanding 27-month commitment that culminates in the required national certification examination. The University of Tennessee Chattanooga School of Nursing has partnered with the North Mississippi Medical Center to provide a comprehensive approach for prospective nurse anesthetists. The program boasts impressive first-time pass rates and features smaller classes to ensure adequate one-on-one time with instructors and professors.

14. Barnes Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Barnes Jewish College of Nursing

Barnes Jewish College figures among the top affordable nurse anesthetist schools

Website

Tuition and Fees: $9,390

A private institution in St. Louis, Missouri, Barnes Jewish College offers a wide range of options for nursing students in the area. The master’s degree in nurse anesthesia offered by the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College achieved accreditation in October 2014, making it one of the newer entries in this list. The program takes approximately 28 months to complete and includes an anatomy course with a working cadaver laboratory.

13. Lourdes University

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Lourdes University

Lourdes University’s nurse anesthetist schooling is a top value

Website

Tuition and Fees: $9,100

Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Lourdes University is located in Sylvania, Ohio, and offers a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum in addition to its nursing programs. According to statistics compiled by Lourdes University, 100 percent of students in the nurse anesthesia program passed the certification examination on their first or second try. The master’s degree program also boasts a 100 percent employment percentage within three months of graduation.

12. Newman University

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Newman University Wichita

The MSN at Newman is a very affordable choice for nurse anesthetists

Website

Tuition and Fees: $8,764

A Catholic university located in Wichita, Kansas, Newman University provides a well-rounded educational experience for students of all faiths. The master’s degree in nurse anesthesia offered by Newman University takes two years to complete. Clinical experience begins during the second semester of the first year and continues through the conclusion of the program and the completion of the required certification exam. For the past three years, students who have successfully completed the program and the exam have enjoyed 100 percent employment six months after graduation.

11. University of North Dakota

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

University of North Dakota Health Sciences

Nurses with a bachelor’s in nursing should consider the affordable nurse anesthetist program at UND

Website

Tuition and Fees: $8,225

Grand Forks, North Dakota, is the location of the University of North Dakota and the home of its nurse anesthesia program. The master’s degree program in nurse anesthesia at the University of North Dakota comprises 28 months and 76 credit hours of intensive study. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing and must have completed coursework in statistics, college algebra and biochemistry along with a year of full-time work in a critical care unit or setting.

10. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

LSU’s training is nurse anesthesia constitutes an excellent value

Website

Tuition and Fees: $8,029

Located in New Orleans, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center offers an advanced degree for students interested in pursuing a career in the nurse anesthesia field. Students in the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program at Louisiana State University must complete 143 credit hours of coursework over the three-year duration of this program. The degree program is designed to provide comprehensive training to allow nurses to work independently in underserved and rural areas.

9. Truman Medical Centers School of Nurse Anesthesia

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Truman Medical Center

Truman is among our top ten most affordable nurse anesthesia programs

Website

Tuition and Fees: $8,000

Located in the Kansas City area, the Truman Medical Centers offer healthcare for residents of this vibrant Midwestern city. This degree program is a joint effort between the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Nursing and Health Studies and the Truman Medical Centers. Students attend courses at UMKC for three years and perform their clinical hours and practicums at Truman Medical Centers in this region.

8. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

St. Mary's University of MInnesota

Aspiring nurse anesthetists will want to consider the affordability of Saint Mary’s

Website

Tuition and Fees: $7,668

Designed specifically for adult learners, the master’s degree offered by Saint Mary’s University prepares students for a career in the field of nurse anesthesia. Both informal and formal instruction is incorporated into the seven-semester program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Students will complete at least 64 semester credit hours at the Twin Cities Campus and can perform their clinical practicums at numerous affiliate hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

7. Southern Illinois University

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Southern Illinois offers an excellent value among nurse anesthetist programs

Website

Tuition and Fees: $7,524

The Edwardsville campus of Southern Illinois University is the home of its innovative Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree program. Nurses who have earned their bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and have completed at least one full year in the adult intensive care environment are eligible to apply for this advanced program, which requires a final project worth eight credit hours toward the student’s degree.

6. University of Alabama

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

University of Alabama Birmingham

Nurse anesthetist schooling is at its most affordable at University of Alabama Birmingham

Website

Tuition and Fees: $7,090

The low cost and excellent reputation of the graduate nursing programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have made it a popular choice for students across the country. Students can choose from five regional locations to pursue their master’s degree in nurse anesthesia: Dothan, Huntsville, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and, of course, the main campus location in Birmingham. Coursework in descriptive statistics, chemistry, microbiology, physiology and anatomy are also required prerequisites for admission into this program.

5. Union University

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Union University

Union has proven to be a top value for future certified nurse anesthetists

Website

Tuition and Fees: $6,566

This private Tennessee university maintains three campuses and provides a Christian educational environment for nursing students. Students at Union University complete nine semesters of coursework and clinical practicum experiences with a faith-based focus. During the third year of studies, nurses must complete a doctoral project while performing the last two-thirds of their fellowship requirements and serving a clinical residency at an affiliated hospital or medical facility.

4. Augusta University

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Geogria Regents University

Augusta University offers a very affordable option for the aspiring anesthetist nurse

Editor’s note: Augusta University now offers a nurse anesthetist program in the form of a DNP.

Website

Tuition and Fees: $6,216

Ranked and recognized as a top nursing program nationwide, the Augusta University master’s degree in nurse anesthesia offers real benefits for students. Nurses who sign on for the Augusta University program enjoy a 100 percent pass rate for the certification examination and achieve 100 percent employment by six months after their graduation. Simulations are a large part of the curriculum and provide added practice opportunities for aspiring nurse anesthetists.

3. The University of Texas Health Science Center

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia and Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

University of Texas Health Science Center Houston

University of Texas is a top affordable choice for nurse anesthetist schooling

Website

Tuition and Fees: $6,071

The acclaimed UTHealth School of Nursing SIM Lab is an ideal place for students to practice their anesthesia skills. With an average of 20 full-time students in each class group, the University of Texas Health Science Center provides a thorough grounding in the principles and fundamentals of anesthesia. Students can opt for a master’s degree or for the new nine-semester BSN-DNP option when pursuing their career goals in this fast-growing field.

2. Arkansas State University – Main Campus

Master of Science in Nursing in Nurse Anesthesia

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State offers one of the most affordable nurse anesthesia programs

Website

Tuition and Fees: $5,576

Jonesboro, Arkansas, serves as the setting for this advanced nursing program and the other degrees offered at Arkansas State University. As one of the most affordable certified nurse anesthetist programs in the U.S., this master’s degree program is designed for completion in 28 months. Students must complete 88 credit hours and extensive clinical practice to ensure that they are fully prepared for the certification exam and for the challenges of a career in the nurse anesthesia field.

1. Missouri State University

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice

Missouri State University

Missouri State is the most affordable of all nurse anesthetist schools

Website

Tuition and Fees: $5,388

Missouri State University is the most affordable certified registered nurse anesthetist program we found among accredited nurse anesthetist schools in the U.S. Small classes and a solid reputation for quality set the nursing programs at Missouri State University apart from the crowd. Missouri State University is located in the heart of the Midwest in Springfield, making it an affordable choice in terms of the cost of living as well as the ultra-low tuition rates. Students must hold a current and unencumbered nursing license and must have critical care experience to qualify for admission to the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program at this university.

By opting for one of these lower-cost options when pursuing a degree in the nurse anesthesia specialty, students can enjoy a top-quality education at a price they can manage. This list of the most affordable certified nurse anesthetist programs can serve as a solid starting point in the search for the ideal degree program in this well-paid and in-demand career.

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