Incoming students already accepted to a CRNA program


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 On-Board track is specially designed for the individual who has already been accepted into a nurse anesthesia program and serves as the introduction to a successful path as a student. This course is based on a nationwide survey we conducted of nurse anesthesia students to determine the most important areas of learning need for new students. Years of faculty experience in observing both more- and less-successful students also informed the content and approach to this seminar. Participants learn basic anesthesia nursing knowledge and skills, receive an introduction to the study of nurse anesthesia, and they are provided sound, specific advice to put them on a pathway to success in their upcoming anesthesia program.  

Topics addressed in the two-day seminar include:

  • Academic skills for success
  • Learning style assessment and its application to successful academic skills
  • The challenges involved in the study of nurse anesthesia
  • Invasive airway management- routine and emergency techniques 
  • Anesthesia pharmacology
  • Physics of compressed gases, oxygen, and inhaled anesthetics. Live demonstration of gas laws and physical properties of gases.
  • Neurologic system anatomy and assessment.
  • Pulmonary physiology and management of mechanical ventilation.
  • Hands-on experiences with advanced skills such as: laryngoscopy, cricothyrotomy, spinal and epidural injections, and other anesthetic techniques. Laboratory experiences will include practice on human specimens (subject to materials availability).

Also included:

  • A "role-model luncheon" including discussion with accomplished CRNAs of national stature, and program administrators.
  • Candid discussion with other prospective and current students.

For those who have been granted admission to the Wake Forest Nurse Anesthesia Program, this seminar is highly recommended. By completing this seminar, you will have gained meaningful exposure to the challenges of being a student nurse anesthetist. You will also be armed with an understanding of your own additional learning needs, so that you may undertake additional individual preparation before you begin the program. The goal of this seminar is to improve your chance of success in the nurse anesthesia program, and also to make the transition smoother and less stressful. Due to the perceived value of this program in fostering success of anesthesia students, development of the H3A program was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.



In the H3A course, future nurse anesthesia students learn critical student success factors in the realms of academic and clinical skills.

Read some comments from participants in H3A: 

  • "Far exceeded expectations- I can't wait for August!"
  • "I didn't expect the level of exposure we would get- Great job!"
  • "All of the labs were outstanding!"
  • "This seminar was amazing. It would also be helpful for those considering the profession to solidify their decision."
  • "This whole course was excellent!"
  • "This course exceeded my expectations by far!"
  • "I would definately recommend this course to my peers! It was very well thought-out and executed.
  • "It very much exceeded my expectations."
  • "Overall great way to start off school."
  • "The course was excellent. It really helped me realize what I need to do to be better prepared for school."
  • "The interactuve lectures allowed me to learn to much! The cadaver lab was exceptional." 
  • "It made the next two years seem less scary!" 
  • "The seminar helped motivate me for school and to go from being terrified to being excited."

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H3A graduates excited to embark on the pathway to success in their nurse anesthesia programs.            

H3A laryngoscope logo



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.


The H3A On-Board course for Wake Forest School of Medicine incoming students is scheduled for:

July 31 - August 1, 2017


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: 08-29-2016
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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.