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Anesthesia School

The Excela Health School of Anesthesia, in conjunction with Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, now offers a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice entry level degree program. Graduates of the school are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination administered by the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

Students experience a “family” type environment with individualized support from staff, clinicians and their cohorts. Competition here is driven from within the individual, not among students. Faculty advisors are provided, as well as mentors from the senior class to offer a supportive environment for learning.

Excela Health anesthesia students are well recognized in the field as professionals who are well-prepared and ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s health care world.

Our Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) entry level program will begin January 2020. Please see the Admissions Criteria tab for more information.

We currently have more than 20 clinical affiliation sites in the tri-state area where our students obtain a wide variety of anesthesia experiences.

Mission Statement

Excela Health School of Anesthesia is a graduate level institution that provides education in the art and science of nurse anesthesia. Our primary goal is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop as competent and safe quality anesthesia practitioners. We strive to assimilate new members into our profession through mentoring, serving as role models. We seek to provide quality experiences that enhance the learning experience through clinical hours as well as simulation experiences. We strive to produce the highest quality professionals to serve as future generations of nurse anesthetists.


In November 1954, the Westmoreland Hospital School of Anesthesia for Nurses was founded by Dr. Frank D. Edgar Jr., Chief Anesthesiologist and Medical Director of Westmoreland Hospital.

The program affiliated with Latrobe Hospital in 1965 under the direction of Dr. U.W. Sipe, Chief Anesthesiologist, and became known as the Westmoreland-Latrobe Hospitals' School of Anesthesia.

By 1991, under the leadership of Director Howard F. Armour, MS, CRNA, the program became a Masters of Health Science in Nurse Anesthesia in association with LaRoche College, Pittsburgh, Pa. The first class of masters-prepared nurse anesthetists graduated in 1993.

In 2006, the school's name changed to Excela Health School of Anesthesia and formed a joint graduate level program with Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa.

In October 2018, the school received approval to transition to a doctoral entry program and will grant the degree of Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia practice to graduates entering the program beginning January 2020.


Education is viewed as a continuing process that enables the individual to mature intellectually and culturally. Through motivation and guidance offered by the faculty, students are encouraged to develop qualities which will enhance their contribution to the profession and society. Students will be encouraged to expand their base of knowledge, advance their clinical skills, and establish their commitment to continual learning as they evolve into the next generation of nurse anesthetists.

This 36-month educational program is designed to provide students with the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to become proficient in the administration and management of anesthesia, in an effort to serve the communities in which they pract

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