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How to Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

The term CRNA is known in medical field as a nurse who specializes in anesthesia. The first found was in Civil War when nurses gave anesthesia to wounded soldiers. Today, a nurse anesthetist works in more various fields such as hospitals, dental offices, plastic surgery centers, public health centers, outpatient surgery centers and pain management centers.

There is a significant different between certified registered nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist; that is CRNA graduates the degree-level nurses, while anesthesiologist is medical doctor. However, in some states, CRNAs practice without any physician supervision. So, what are the appropriate schools for CRNA? How long will it take to become a CRNA? And at the end, how is its career? Find out more here. Clinical Nurse Specialists

Nurse Anesthetist Schooling

As a matter of fact, CRNAs are the advanced-practice registered nurses who have graduated from MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) or DNP (Doctoral Nursing Program). To enhance the degree, a student first must complete an accredited nursing program by completing a BSN.

Both online and classroom programs are available for the students. To decide which one, you should consider conducting some research based on your need. Some graduate programs require nurses to have a few years clinical experience before enrolling to the school, but some schools allow nurses to work while studying. One of the requirements for CRNA to complete is having the general advanced-practice courses, they are: Advanced pathophysiology, health promotion and maintenance and pharmacology for advanced practice nurses. Critical Care Nursing Certifications

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Salary

It is said that the certified registered nurse anesthetist salary is one of the highest paid for advanced-practice nurses. Based on the Payscale data, the salary range is around $96,175 to $184,547. The average is $139,838 per year. The top CRNA salaries in some states are Montana, Wyoming, California, Oregon and Nevada. Still, the salary depends on the city and state of residence, the organization of employment and years of experience.

What Does a Nurse Anesthetist Do

CRNAs hold an important role in anesthesia delivery because the medication used for anesthesia could be hazardous. Therefore, they need nursing skills and knowledge of the medications to take care the patient safely to get the desired effect of the medicine. The specific duties of CRNA are:

  • Having a physical assessment
  • Recording a patient history
  • Acknowledging the patients and families on the anesthetics used, such as the desired effect, potential adverse reactions and the common side effects
  • Administering the various anesthetic such as local, spinal, intravenous or sedation
  • Getting informed consent before the procedures
  • Monitoring patients during the process including the ventilation, oxygenation, temperature, cardiovascular status, neuromuscular status and positioning
  • Inserting central or peripheral lines
  • Managing airways of patient using intubation, pharmacological support and mechanical ventilation
  • Inserting epidurals for obstetric patients
  • Recovering the patients after the anesthesia procedure

How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Anesthetist?

The period of earning an MSN depends on the nurse’s starting point:

  • The nursing students registered in a BSN program should be completed in about four years
  • RN to BSN is completed in about two years
  • BSN to MSN takes about two years
  • BSN to DNP is completed in three to four years
  • MSN to DNP should be taken one to two years

How Many Years to become A Nurse Anesthetist?

Based on the details of the education period above, to be a nurse anesthetist from early nursing to doctoral level, you need about ten years to complete. It depends on your choice to take BSN to MSN or directly BSN to DNP.

How Much Does a Nurse Anesthetist Make an Hour?

Although the CRNA salary is different from state to state, the national means salary for a CRNA is $78.86 per hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A CRNA will also get some additional benefits such as overtime, allowance, and profit sharing.

Finally, being a CRNA isn’t easy. But once you earn high education in this field, as well as the experience, you will get an outstanding salary which is good for your future.