There are several certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) programs in the U.S. Some universities go through hospitals to market these programs. Nurse anesthetists are healthcare professionals who provide anesthesia services to patients.
Job Duties and Career Opportunities for Nurse Anesthetists
Nurse anesthetists primarily work in surgery centers and hospital operating departments. Many find work providing operative care to patients at private surgical centers and independently owned surgeon practices. The CRNA is responsible for assessing and evaluating the well-being of a patient who is under anesthesia. Typical job duties include collaborating with healthcare team members, maintaining medical records, administering medications, monitoring hemodynamics, respiratory system maintenance, and resolving clinical issues.
Nurse Anesthetist Educational Requirements
Nurse anesthetist students must hold an active RN license, a BSN degree, and have several years of acute care and intensive care experience as a nurse. Most CRNA programs are going to the doctoral level, but Master’s level programs still exist. To gain entry, you must hold a minimum of a BSN, an active nursing license, and at least one year of nursing experience, preferably in critical care.
Most nurse anesthetist programs are two to three years in length. Upon completion of the program, the graduate must take and pass the national certification examination offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
Courses of Study of a Nurse Anesthetist Program
CRNA programs do offer online courses, but there are clinical requirements as well. You will not be required to attend campus-based classed every day, but clinical rotations require long hours in a hospital or surgical center setting. Typical courses of study include advanced health assessment, pharmacology, principles of anesthesia, pathophysiology, chemistry, biochemistry, nursing research, and extensive practicum requirements.
CRNA Healthcare Professional Salaries
Nurse anesthetists are probably the highest paid nursing professionals. Salaries range from $85,000 to $170,000 annually, according to most web sources. Pay depends on years of experience, place of employment, degree level, and location of practice.
ANA (2013): http://www.nursingworld.org/
ANIA (2013): https://www.ania.org/
BLS (2013): http://www.bls.gov/
Nurse.Org (2013): http://www.nurse.org/orgs.shtml
NBCRNA (2013): http://www.nbcrna.com/Pages/default.aspx