Resident Registered Nurse Anesthetist (RRNA)



The Program’s goal is to prepare the Resident Registered Nurse Anesthetist (RRNA) on a graduate level to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) who is ready to assume an advanced role on the health care team. Completion of a senior project will demonstrate the student’s ability to fulfill some of the advanced professional requirements contained in the Scope and Standards of Nurse Anesthesia Practice. The three different types of projects are designed to address:

1. Evidence Based Practice: The RRNA shall incorporate into practice new techniques and knowledge, which have been acquired through formal, self-directed study and participate in the advancement of the specialty.


A. Evidence Based Projects

1. Evidence-based Practice (EBP). Explore or update controversial and dynamic topics in the practice of anesthesia. Examples of such papers might include the role of monitors upon anesthesia outcome, new anesthetic drugs, or techniques or evidence based evaluation of an element of anesthesia practice. A literature review paper should provide new information to practicing anesthesia providers that would not typically be taught in a basic anesthesia program. This paper cannot be a review of a textbook. Research articles referenced in this paper should be evaluated for their strengths and limitations not simply listed along with their findings and conclusions. (The review of current literature is an individual project).


An Excellent Handbook: Introduction to the AMA 10th and Other Writing Tips for Nurse Anesthesia, has been provided for your use by Cheryl Prentice of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. This booklet has excellent information on AMA format and good professional writing practices. We are grateful that Ms. Prentice was willing to share all of her hard work. Please note that there are some requirement differences between the handbook and this assignment and any questions must be directed to your advisor and not to the University of Minnesota.
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AMA formatting rules can also be obtained at the official AMA Internet site ( and is available for purchase.

The student will receive their paper/project evaluation from their assigned advisor. Your senior project grade will be 40% of your Clinical final grade. Papers will be graded according to the rubrics included with the project guidelines.

Late work is not acceptable at the graduate level. A 5% per day penalty will be assessed for any portion of the project that is not submitted on time and in the correct format. Unless, prior approval in writing from your project faculty advisor is obtained.

Step 1: “Deal Breakers”

If the paper submission doesn’t pass the “deal breakers” test it will be returned to the student without a grade. Please keep in mind that there will be up to a 10% penalty for submissions that must be returned for revision.
a. The paper must be legible and coherent enough to express an idea.
b. The paper must meet length criteria: 12-20 pages of content excluding; Title page, charts, graphs, reference pages and appendix.
c. Professional terminology and presentation: by now you will have read several articles from the anesthesia literature, this is the level of work expected. Writing quality should be third person, with well-developed sentence structure, readable, with developed transitions, excellent grammar and structured into paragraphs.
d. Citations should be current, relevant to topic and drawn from peer-reviewed journals. Over reliance on textbooks and non-anesthesia literature, or non-professional Internet sources will not be acceptable.

Step 2: Grading Rubric:

There is a grading rubric included with the guidelines for each type of project. Take the time to read the rubric that will be used to grade your project; it will provide insight into what your faculty advisor is expecting.

Required Drafts and Final Submission Dates

Due Dates are for completed work submitted in the appropriate format. Late work is not accepted without prior approval in writing from your project faculty advisor.

March 1st: Topic
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E-mail your topic choice to your faculty advisor for approval.

April 30th: Proposal
Refer to the proposal guidelines that apply to your type of project and use appropriate AMA formatting guidelines.

July 1st: Literature Review
Refer to the guidelines that apply to your type of project and use appropriate formatting; Literature Review for EBP.

September 15th: Rough Draft
Electronically submit (e-mail) a rough draft of your project to your faculty advisor. Refer to the rough draft guidelines that apply to your type of project.

November 30, 2014: Final Project Submission

1. The final paper is electronically submitted on or before November 30th, in formal AMA format.

The final project submission will be examined by plagiarism detecting software. Plagiarism is an egregious violation of the GPNA Code of Conduct and subjects the perpetrator to dismissal from the program. Violators will be reported to the Council on Accreditation rendering them unqualified to register for the qualifying exam.

Evidence Based Projects

March 1st: Topic
A summation of your topic idea needs to be discussed.

April 30th: Proposal (a minimum of 2 paragraphs per heading)
1. Title Page
2. Introduction
3. Problem Statement
4. Purpose of the project
5. Significance to anesthesia

July 1st: Literature Review
Preliminary bibliography with at least 10 articles pertaining to your topic. The bibliography will contain appropriately formatted AMA reference listing for each article, a brief summary, and a Level of Evidence evaluation.
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Format AMA Examples:

Pain is defined as, “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience caused by actual or potential tissue damage.” 15 Pain has adverse effects on almost all body systems and can lead to hypertension, tachycardia, atelectasis, ventilation-perfusion mismatch, hyperglycemia, sodium and water retention, decreased immune function, hypercoagulation, and gastrointestinal and genitourinary dysfunction. 15

The term neuraxial anesthesia encompasses central blockade of nerve conduction via the spinal, epidural, and caudal spaces. 6 Although there are no absolute indications for neuraxial anesthesia, the implementation of this type of anesthetic is a method of choice in certain clinical situations due to patient preference or physiology or the type of surgical procedure. 1

Melnyk and Fineout’s evidence rating scale may be easier to apply to some of your resources. Rating System for the Hierarchy of Evidence: Quantitative Questions
Level 1: Systematic review or meta-analysis of all relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs), or evidence-based clinical practice guidelines based on systematic reviews of RCTs
Level 2: Evidence from at least one well-designed RCT
Level 3: Evidence from a well-designed controlled trial without randomization
Level 4: Evidence from well-designed case-control and cohort studies
Level 5: Evidence from systematic reviews of descriptive and qualitative studies
Level 6: Evidence from a single descriptive or qualitative study
Level 7: Evidence from the opinion of authorities and / or reports of expert committees

September 15th: Rough Draft
I. Title Page
II. Introduction
III. Problem Statement
IV. Purpose of the project
V. Significance to anesthesia
VI. Literature Review
VII. Reference
VIII. Appendix

November 30, 2014: Final Project
I. Title Page
II. Introduction
III. Problem Statement
IV. Purpose of the project
V. Significance to anesthesia
VI. Literature Review
VII. Recommendations
a. Recommendations for Anesthesia Practice
b. Recommendations for Academia Leaders
c. Recommendations for Future Research
VIII. Reference
IX. Appendix



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