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.

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H3A: Tri-Development in Nurse Anesthesia

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 three tracks of the H3A program, titled Gateway, Portal, and Segue. Each is for a different stage of the career trajectory, but all serve as your directional compass to success in anesthesia.  

The Gateway track is designed for the ICU nurse who wants to learn more about anesthesia as an advanced practice nursing specialty, or for those who are already in the process of applying to a nurse anesthesia program. Gateway 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 Gateway seminar include:

  • Professional role of the CRNA
  • Pathophysiology of shock
  • Advanced airway management
  • Advanced ICU pharmacology- CNS depressants
  • Arterial blood gas interpretation and ventilator management
  • Advanced monitoring: BIS, Nerve stimulator, Arterial line, invasive pressure monitoring
  • Nuts and bolts of school- planning for finances and family care
  • Admissions and curricula of CRNA educational programs
  • Personality type/self-assessment. Is CRNA right for me?
  • Characteristics and challenges inherent in graduate study of nurse anesthesia.
  • Different formats of anesthesia programs- which one is best?
  • Application writing and personal statements. View some sample "winning" applications.
  • 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 who is intent on checking out and see how long you can "ride the bull".

Read some comments from H3A Gateway 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!”

“Very informative. Enjoyed the “real life” students’ feedback. Many useful hints and tips. Excellent source of clinical information.”

“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 course has given me insight about the application process, interview process, and transition being a professional nurse to nurse anesthesia student,"

    "Very informative. The course will greatly help someone to know if this is the right field for them and help in the interview process."

"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."

"I got a realistic look at what it takes to get into a top program and what I should focus on in the next year to become a better nurse and stronger applicant."

    "I met my objective of learning more knowledge to take back to my ICU unit as well as a better understanding of what CRNAs do on a daily basis."

    "The entire course was very informative. I enjoyed the review of the ICU information. The information on interviewing (the 'golden applicant') will be helpful when applying for school. The interaction with the current CRNA students was very informative and I felt gave me a real insight into the program."


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 Gateway 2016 -  Both Seminars are FULL


Seminar Dates:  

June 9-10, 2016  - Full

June 16-17, 2016 - Full

Seminar Fee:  $399







Quick Reference

Nurse Anesthesia Program

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


7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Mailing Address 
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Nurse Anesthesia Program
525 Vine Street, Suite 230
Winston Salem, NC 27101  
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Last Updated: 06-02-2016
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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.