Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. (COA)—The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) approved its first guidance document on scholarly projects for nurse anesthesia programs offering practice doctoral degrees. The COA’s  Board approved the document, “Scholarly Work for Practice Doctorate Nurse Anesthesia Programs: Current State and Guidance” this past fall and released it for publication on January 21, 2020.  

“The white paper represents the COA’s timely response to nurse anesthesia programs’ requests for guidance about scholarly work,” said Shari Burns, EdD, CRNA, Chair of the COA’s White Paper on Scholarly Work Special Interest Group. 

The document includes sections on CRNA faculty oversight of scholarly work, titling, key elements of the scholarly work, evaluation and dissemination. It touches on common areas of discussion including team projects, academic portfolios, original research and scholarly project resources, and it features a review of the literature as well as a review of the scholarly work requirements of 18 other practice doctorates in health-related professions. 

“With the majority of nurse anesthesia programs having transitioned to the practice doctorate for entry into practice, the COA was in a pivotal position to examine the current state of scholarly work and produce a document to guide programs’ development of criteria for scholarly work as defined in the Standards for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs: Practice Doctorate,” stated Francis Gerbasi, PhD, CRNA, Chief Executive Officer of the COA.  

The final white paper was the culmination of work by a special interest group appointed by the COA Board. The group’s work consisted of a survey to nurse anesthesia programs offering doctoral degrees regarding the current state of the scholarly work in their program, a focus session with CRNA educators and a call for comment to the community of interest on the first draft of the white paper.   

The white paper is available on the COA’s website at All questions or comments on the white paper maypractice be directed to the COA at [email protected] or 847-655-1160
About the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs:  
The Council’s mission, through its accreditation activities, is to grant public accreditation recognition to nurse anesthesia programs and institutions that award post-master's certificates, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees that meet nationally established standards of academic quality; assist nurse anesthesia programs and institutions in improving educational quality, and grant public accreditation recognition to educational programs, institutions, and individuals that award postgraduate certificates, diplomas, and award education credit for fellowships that meet nationally established standards of academic quality.