Nursing is a fulfilling and exciting profession that allows you to form bonds with patients and other healthcare professionals. Nursing is a popular career choice for many people because of the numerous prospects for progression. A career as a certified registered nurse anesthetist, or CRNA, is one option to consider. You’ll be able to continue delivering exceptional care to your patients while also contributing to the medical team in this advanced nursing specialization.
An advanced practice nurse who administers anesthesia to patients is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). A CRNA differs from an anesthesiologist in that the former has a graduate degree while the latter is a medical doctor (MD). Due to the significant criteria, it takes several years of school to become a nurse anesthetist.
What Degree Do You Need to Be a Nurse Anaesthetist?
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an approved college is required before you can work as a nurse anesthetist. This degree program takes two years to complete. You must have a 3.0 GPA in all four semesters to consider the program. You must also have one year of clinical experience, preferably in a surgical intensive care unit or an emergency room, in addition to your BSN. Because this experience is required, you can begin your course as soon as possible.
You must acquire licenses to practice in your state after earning your BSN. You must be a graduate of a recognized nursing program and be at least 18 years old. RNs must also have worked in an ICU, completed an advanced cardiac life support course, and learned how to utilize delicate ICU equipment. Working as a nurse anesthetist in a hospital can also add experience-based shadowing to your graduate school application. This will demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are serious about pursuing a career in anesthesia.
You can apply to be a nurse anesthetizer once you have the relevant experience. A bachelor’s degree in nursing from a CCNE-accredited school is required to work as a nurse anesthetist. A year of critical-care nursing experience is required to obtain a credential.
A BSN degree is required before you can work as a nurse anesthetist. Students must fulfill a general education requirement, including math, literature, statistics, psychology, communications, and other subjects. Although these courses are unrelated to nursing, they will prepare you for the demands of a nursing career. When a problem emerges in an anesthetic setting, you must be quick and effective.
What Are Some General Tips to Become a Nurse Anesthetist?
A BSN is required before applying for nurse anesthetist programs. Anesthesia and pain management will be covered in detail throughout the BSN program. The DNP program will take three to four years to complete. You can apply for the DNP and complete it in a few years if you already have a BSN. To work as a nurse anesthetist, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination.
To work as a nurse anesthetist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In most circumstances, a high school graduate can acquire a bachelor’s degree in nursing. It is, nevertheless, feasible to obtain a DNP or DNAP in nursing. The latter is the most advanced degree of practice and is required to work as a nurse anesthetist.
A bachelor’s degree in nursing is required to work as a nurse anesthetist, and you will need to take the NCLEX exam after completing your undergraduate degree. The National Council Licensure Examination for Nurse Anesthetists (NCLEX) is a national certification exam that can help you gain a career in anesthesia. A BSN, DNP, or DNAP is required to work as a nurse anesthetist. If you want to work as a nurse anesthetist, you’ll need a master’s degree.
A BSN is an initial step toward becoming a nurse anesthetist. Additionally, you may pursue an MSN in nursing, which is available as an online degree. If you want to work in anesthesiology, the BSN is an excellent option, but make sure you get a vital education before you start.
The most frequent degree for a nurse anesthetist is a BSN, the same as an MSN. A DNP or DNAP is required to practice as a nurse anesthetist.
To work as a nurse anesthetist, you’ll need these credentials. A nursing license and a master’s degree in anesthesia are required to work as a nurse anesthetist at a hospital.
What Does a CRNA Do?
A CRNA is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who administers anesthetics, checks vital signs, and offers post-operative care to patients. CRNAs operate in emergency rooms and intensive care units in hospitals, among other places. They work in clinics and other outpatient settings as well.
A CRNA’s primary responsibility is to provide critical care to patients who need pain relief by safely administering anesthetics. The CRNA will monitor the patient’s vital signs during a surgical operation, supervise the anesthesia process, and give specialist care afterward. A CRNA’s daily schedule may also involve the following:
- Examining each patient’s medical history.
- Customizing anesthetic plans.
- Anesthesia preparation and administration (local, regional, and general).
- Vital indicators are being monitored.
- We provide medication and life support promptly during an emergency.
- We are educating patients about potential pharmaceutical side effects and hazards.
In addition to these responsibilities, CRNAs may be required to conduct administrative chores to support their core responsibilities. These experts may be in charge of making financial decisions for their department, such as maintaining an inventory of medical goods needed to deliver care. Some CRNAs assist medical professionals with training during development courses or serve on a nursing board.
After Getting the Degree, What Is the Next Step to Becoming a Nurse Anesthetist?
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is the first step toward a CRNA (BSN) career. This undergraduate program takes four years to complete on average. Still, if you already have a diploma or associate degree in nursing, you will be able to complete it much faster. Maintaining a 3.0-grade point average while completing a BSN is critical as you prepare to apply for a CRNA degree in the future.
Obtain RN Licensure in Your State
If you don’t already have a nursing license, you’ll need to get one once you’ve finished your BSN. You must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses to get licensed (NCLEX-RN).
It would help if you studied for the NCLEX in the state where you want to practice nursing and become familiar with its initial and renewal licensure criteria.
Obtain Experience in a Hospital Setting
Before applying to a nurse anesthesia program, plan to work in an acute care setting for at least a year. While all programs require at least one year of acute care nursing experience, working in the critical care area increases your chances of acceptance. You’ll gain experience in an Intensive Care Unit or an Emergency Department, which will prepare you for the kind of care you’ll provide as a CRNA, such as managing artificial airways and titrating drips.
Earning your Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification (CCRN) while working as an RN is another approach to boost your chances of acceptance into a CRNA program. This resume-boosting qualification is strongly recommended for anybody applying to CRNA school. However, it is not required for all programs. You must have spent 1,750 hours in the last year caring for acute or critically ill patients to sit for the CCRN exam.
Get Your Master’s Or Doctorate in Nursing
Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), which means they must have a master’s or doctoral degree to work. Currently, applications are being accepted for a Master of Science in nurse anesthesia degree, which takes two years to finish.
However, by 2025, a Doctorate of Anesthesia Practice will be the minimum prerequisite for employment as a CRNA (DNAP). CRNAs with a master’s degree will be able to continue working in the profession at that time, while newly employed CRNAs will require a DNAP.
- Whatever program you choose, you’ll almost certainly need to meet the following requirements
- A valid RN license is required.
- One to two years of experience as an ICU RN with a BSN degree and a 3.0 overall GPA in BSN courses.
- College transcripts and job shadowing with a CRNA or anesthesiologist
- Certifications in a specific field
- Personal statement or goal essay
- Upon admission, a background check is performed.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Anesthetist?
After high school, you’ll need roughly eight years of education to become a nurse anesthetist. The amount of time required is comparable to that of a medical degree. You might be able to speed up your education by working full-time while in school and finishing in three years. Your time as a graduate student is split between classroom instruction, lab work, and clinical experience.
Expect the requirements for becoming a nurse anesthetist to include a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree by 2025. Most master’s degree programs anticipate that all CRNA students will enroll in a DNP program in 2025.
You can take the three-hour certification exam after eight years of education. This test is administered on a computer at a designated testing location, and the test assesses both your general knowledge and your talents and abilities.
The human body and its systems, including anatomy, physiology, and disease, account for one-third of the test. The remainder of the exam is divided into three sections, covering basic principles, administration methods, and possible difficulties. The CRNA exam is valid for the first two years as a nurse anesthetist, and you must also complete 40 hours of anesthesia-related continuing education during that period.
Although some parallels exist between a license and a certification, they are not the same for a nurse anesthetist. Certification signifies that you’ve demonstrated your ability to provide anesthetic treatments in the proper setting. A license allows you to work in the state of your choice, and you would take the exam in the state where you plan to work if you reside and work in separate states. You can apply for a license after passing the exam.
Nurse anesthesia is a distinct specialization, and there is no further distinction
once you are a CRNA. You can choose from various specializations, such as pediatrics or oral surgery. You can undergo clinical rotations in your chosen field to strengthen your skills.
As a CRNA, you could earn as much as $177,692 a year on average. Your payment will vary depending on your employer, degree of education, experience, and geographic area. Relocation aid, health insurance, disability insurance, and employee stock purchase programs are all standard perks for this job.
Anesthesiologists have a long history of addressing surgical pain, but non-surgical pharmacology for chronic pain management is a relatively recent discipline. Non-surgical pain management is a specialization of the NBCRNA. You can administer neurological or neuraxial blocks and alternate approaches for treating acute and chronic pain if you have this additional certification.
CRNAs are in higher demand than they have ever been. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists are expected to increase substantially faster than the average for other jobs. According to their reports, the total employment of CRNAs and nurse practitioners, in general, is predicted to increase by 45 percent between 2020 and 2030.
Given the global battles against COVID-19 and its variants and a slew of other health issues in recent years, it’s no wonder that healthcare facilities and professions are likely to enjoy the most significant job growth in the following years. To be a CRNA, you must have academic, ethical, physical, and emotional abilities that ensure you clearly understand your obligations and how to carry them out successfully.