Programs for ICU nurses and prospective applicants

We realize that students undergo many transitions to become part of a nurse anesthesia program and to move into this career. To help smooth the transition to becoming an anesthesia student, we provide a number of resources to prospective students.

H3A: Heads, Hearts, and Hands

H3A is a unique program to foster the success of nurses who aspire to be excellent anesthetists. Development is focused on the three critical "H's" of success: technical knowledge (head), self-awareness of one's personality, strengths and weaknesses (heart), and competence with manual skills (hands). There are two tracks of the H3A program, titled Explore and On-Board. Each is for a different stage of the career trajectory, but all serve as your directional compass to success in anesthesia.  

The Explore track is designed for the ICU nurse who wants to learn more about anesthesia as an advanced practice specialty, or for those who are already in the process of applying to a nurse anesthesia program. Explore provides an introduction to the role of a CRNA, and useful practical tools for gaining admission in the highly competitive environment of anesthesia school applications. Participants learn advanced ICU skills that can either bolster their competence in their current role, or which can serve as the foundation for advanced nursing practice later.  

Topics addressed in the two-day Explore seminar include:

  • Professional role of the CRNA
  • Pathophysiology of shock
  • Advanced airway management
  • Advanced ICU pharmacology 
  • Arterial blood gas interpretation and ventilator management
  • Advanced monitoring: BIS, peripheral nerve stimulator, arterial line, invasive pressure monitoring
  • Nuts and bolts of school- planning for finances and family care
  • Admissions and curricula of CRNA programs
  • Personality type/self-assessment. "Is CRNA right for me?"
  • Characteristics and challenges of graduate study in nurse anesthesia.
  • Different formats of anesthesia programs- "Which one is best for you?" 
  • Application writing and personal statements tips.
  • Learn what top programs most value in applicants. Discuss the "golden applicant".
  • Candid discussion with other prospective and current students.
  • High fidelity human patient simulation lab experience- The Ultimate ICU Challenge. Pit the skills of your team against this robotic patient! 

Read some comments from H3A participants: (This group had a mean ICU experience of over 3 years)

    "Thank you so much for providing the opportunity and valuable experience I had while attending H3A last week. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed and learned from the two day course. While I already knew that I wanted to pursue nurse anesthesia, H3A solidified my aspirations. The lecturers and students we interacted with were so knowledgable, confident, inspiring, and I truly hope to emulate them one day. Personally, the program helped me identify aspects of myself that I can highlight while applying and areas that I want to focus on as an ICU nurse and enhance. I am taking many valuable skills with me back to the SICU, and I have you to thank for that! Thank you again for such a wonderful opportunity and I look forward to applying to Wake's CRNA program!"

     "I was accepted into a CRNA program, and the H3A course definitely helped me. The dose calculations and BIS information that I learned about at H3A were both directly tested during my interview. I also had lots of confidence in my preparation because of the entire experience at the H3A conference."

    "This is a great course that I will recommend to other prospective applicants. I learned about areas of weakness I need to improve and a better idea of how to prepare for the CRNA journey."

     “I visited from Mayo Clinic for the program. I had a wonderful experience at your program and would recommend it to all my colleagues.  Your lectures and simulation experiences really helped me to develop goals and a plan for the future. I learned a great deal about nurse anesthesia as a profession and am so grateful!  Thank you again!”

“Enjoyed the pharmacology lecture and interview skills. Very helpful and informative. I can use in my ICU practice. The Sim lab was a great experience where I learned and experienced how to do an induction.”

“I felt like I got an “inside scoop” on the anesthesia school.”

"This was an excellent program. I feel much better about the application process...Worth every penny!"

"Overall, I loved the course experience. It was well worth the time and money! I would recommend this course to anyone interested in anesthesia."


The H3A program was made possible with the assistance of the Piedmont Triad Partnership through a WIRED grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. 




H3A Explore


Seminar Dates for 2017 will be available January 1, 2017:  

Seminar Fee:  $399







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Nurse Anesthesia Program

(T) 336-716-1411
(F) 336-716-1412


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Wake Forest School of Medicine
Nurse Anesthesia Program
525 Vine Street, Suite 230
Winston Salem, NC 27101  
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.