New Resources - PhD/DNP/DNAP Potential Research Topics

In response to requests by the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) community, the NBCRNA Evaluation and Research Advisory Committee (ERAC) has developed the following research topics related to CRNA continuing education, certification, and recertification. These topics are intended to serve as a resource for anesthesia students and practicing CRNAs who are seeking a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD), Nursing (DNP), or Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP).
Note: NBCRNA does not provide support for the development of questions and projects.


Topic Categories

  • Research

    1. What is CRNA perception of Core Module impact on improvement of practice?

    2. What are feasible measurement tools of CRNA procedure skills – clinical or simulation?

    3. Is there a relationship between performance (test scores; performance/passing standard) on the National Certification Examination (NCE) and Continued Professional Certification Assessment (CPCA)?

    4. What is the perceived value of certification and maintenance of certification (the CPC Program)? Development and implementation of a survey on the value of the CPC Program to certificants?

    5. What are the predictors of the clinical performance of CRNAs? 

    6. Is there a difference in success on the SEE and NCE based on whether the NAEP is integrated or front loaded? 
  • Quality Improvement

    1. Use of simulation in CRNA recertification, related to crisis management. 

    2. Survey of CRNAs on knowledge and utilization of CPCA practice questions. Develop a survey to examine mode of delivery and frequency of CPCA Practice questions with the goal of developing recommendations for changes to CPCA Practice question delivery. 

    3. What are the benefits of simulation to enhance remediation of low CPCA scores?

    4. What is the effectiveness of targeted remediation on core knowledge for CRNAs who do not meet the CPCA performance standard?

    5. Utilization of CE in clinical practice performance – how are Class A credits used in practice? 

    6. What is the most effective remediation for not meeting the CPCA performance standard? Development of a CE-targeted learning protocol.
  • Systematic Review

    1. Conduct a systematic review comparing remote-versus-live proctoring in high-stakes exams. What is the NBCRNA doing compared to other professions?

    2. Conduct a systematic review to examine if rigorous post CE/CME improve performance on subsequent recertification examinations.

    3. Conduct a systematic review to identify an instrument/checklist with high reliability and validity for use on a recertification simulation examination for CRNAs. (Duke is currently doing this.)

    4. Review of current CEU utilization.

    5. Review the influence of age on knowledge, skills and abilities to practice in health care.

    6. Review of age influences on the requirements for licensure and certification in health professions. Should practitioners over a certain age (>60) be required to demonstrate clinical proficiency?


    1. What is the perceived performance, observations, attestations from program directors and peers concerning CRNAs?

    2. Conduct a systematic review examining clinical outcomes registries used by healthcare providers. What is out there, how do they collect data, and how do they use the data collected to inform changes in practice? Is there a relationship between clinical registry outcomes and recertification?

    3. How DNAP programs evolve and complement the medical programs for the anesthesiologists.

    4. Increases the healthcare provider supply and reduces the time and cost in training.

    5. Has use of sugammadex influenced the incidence of post-anesthetic respiratory incidents?

    6. What changes have occurred in the diversity of the nursing and nurse anesthesia workforce in the last 20 years?

    7. What does the research show about satisfaction in CRNA practice?

    8. What is the value-add of the DNP versus the MSN or masters in nurse anesthesia?

    9. Introduction of cognitive aids to anesthesia workstations.

    10. How does accrued educational debt influence choice of employment immediately after graduation?

    11. Do the age demographics of the CRNA population contribute to substitution of anesthesiologist assistants or anesthesiologist services?

    12. What are the requirements and what is the process for obtaining RN licensure in Canada?  Do the requirements vary for each of the (10) provinces?

    13. What is the scope of RN practice in Canada and do they have any APRN classifications?


Video: What is a Logic Model?

This video describes what a logic model is and how the NBCRNA is using them to guide the evaluation and improvement of its credentialing programs. A Logic Model is essentially a simplified picture—a road map—to both depict and help answer key questions such as: what are we putting into a program and what are we trying to achieve? The NBCRNA is using logic models to evaluate the effectiveness throughout their credentialing programs. 
See More at our Youtube channel!