A nurse anesthetist must be certified as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), which requires at least a master's degree and passing a national certification examination. Read on to learn about the educational and career options in this fast growing field.
Inside Advanced Practice Nursing: Nurse Anesthetist
A nurse anesthetist is an advanced practice registered nurse who is certified to administer anesthesia. Becoming a CRNA takes at least seven years of experience and education. Individuals first need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or in a related field and have at least one year of experience working as a registered nurse in acute care nursing. Following undergraduate work, prospective nurse anesthetists can earn a Master of Science (M.S.) degree, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from a school of nurse anesthesia. These programs include clinical experience with training in multiple methods of anesthesia. After that, nurse anesthetists must pass a national certification exam.
In addition to giving anesthesia-related care, a nurse anesthetist administers pain management and emergency aid, including airway management. CRNAs are the only providers of anesthesia in more than two-thirds of U.S. rural hospitals, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (www.aana.com). PayScale.com reported that in August of 2011, the average salary of nurse anesthetists was $130,777. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the number of employed advance practice registered nurses would increase by 22% from 2008 to 2018 (www.bls.gov).
Learn More About Advanced Practice Nursing: Nurse Anesthetist
Nurse anesthetists require specialized education programs and may have a variety of career options. Education-Portal.com has information on degree programs, career paths and online options to help you achieve your education goals.
Advanced practice nurses have the option of continuing their schooling, earning all the way up to a doctorate in nursing.
The vocational path of a CRNA usually involves experience working in other nursing fields. Here are some of the options available for those interested in a career in nursing.
Distance Learning Options
Although a CRNA degree or certification cannot be completed online, both online and hybrid programs are available in the nursing and anesthesiology fields. If you would like to pick up some credits online while working on your degree, here are some of the options available.
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