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How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist: Job Description, Salary In 2022

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist: Job Description, Salary In 2022

A nurse anesthetist is an advanced level registered nurse who helps patients cope with pain before and during surgery, injury, and during epidural delivery. They also provide emergency services such as airway management, they work in a high stress environment, as most of their patients are in severe pain.

More than two-thirds of hospitals in the United States have nurse anesthetists as the primary source of anesthesia within their facilities. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), nurses first administered anesthesia to wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

So if you have ever thought about becoming an anesthesiologist and you want to know the title, you must have it. And what are the career and job prospects like as an Anesthetist or what will your salary be when you get your certification.

This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to become a nurse anesthetist and an overview of the education you need to become a nurse anesthetist. 

Who is a nurse anesthetist?

A Registered Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is an advanced level practicing nurse who is certified in anesthesia.

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), nurses gave anesthesia for the first time to wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Today, nurse anesthetists work in a variety of settings, such as.

  • Hospitals (operating room and obstetric care)
  • Dental offices
  • Pain management centers
  • Public health centers
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Plastic surgery centers

According to the AANA, when anesthesia is administered by a certified nurse anesthetist, it is considered nursing practice. If administered by an anesthesiologist, they are considered to be practicing medicine.

However, anesthesia is administered in the same way by both professionals.

The difference between certified nurse anesthetists and certified anesthesiologists is that CRNAs are graduate nurses and anesthesiologists are physicians. In many states, CRNAs can practice without medical supervision.

What is an anesthesia nurse?

Anesthesia is a state of controlled temporary loss of sensation or consciousness that is induced for medical purposes. It can include analgesia, paralysis, amnesia, or loss of consciousness. A patient under the influence of anesthetic drugs is called anesthetized.

What does a nurse anesthetist do?

Nurse anesthetists play an important role in the administration of anesthesia. Medicines used for anesthesia can be dangerous.

CRNAs must use their nursing skills and knowledge of medications to maintain patient safety and achieve the desired effect of the medication. Specific duties may include:

  • Take a physical evaluation
  • Taking a patient history
  • Educate patients and families about the anesthetics used: the desired effect, common side effects, and possible adverse reactions
  • Obtain informed consent before procedures
  • Use medications, fluids, and other supportive treatments to maintain cardiorespiratory fitness and fluid balance if necessary
  • Maintain / manage patients’ airways through intubation, mechanical ventilation, and pharmacological support
  • Insert peripheral or central lines
  • Epidural Insertion for Obstetric Patients
  • Recovery of anesthesia patients.
  • Administer the anesthetic that can be:
  • Local, intravenous, spinal or sedation.
  • Monitoring of patients during administration to include:
  • Oxygenation, ventilation, cardiovascular status (including fluid balance), temperature, neuromuscular status, or positioning.

Job prospects and salary of nurse anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists have had a long and strong history that has grown into a highly respected and sought-after career. They are typically the only anesthesia provided in less populated communities, leading to greater access to care and therefore better patient outcomes.

Certified and Registered Nurse Anesthetists are one of the highest paid advanced practice nurses. According to PayScale, your salary can range from $ 96,175 to 184,547.

The median salary is approximately $ 139,838 per year. The states that pay the most for CRNA are Montana, Wyoming, California, Oregon, and Nevada. Other factors that can affect salary are city and state of residence, years of experience, and organization of employment.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CRNA’s projected employment is expected to grow 19% by 2024, which is faster-than-average growth.

Currently, the states with the highest level of employment for CRNA are Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida. For a more detailed understanding, check out this breakdown of a nurse anesthetist salary

How to become a nurse anesthetist?

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

To become a CRNA, aspiring nursing anesthetists must first earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). They may have to finish two years of prerequisites before applying for a bachelor-level nursing program.

Some students become school nurses,  through a diploma or associate degree programs, and gain some experience before completing a program from RN to BSN.

Course topics include basic nursing skills, health assessment fundamentals, human anatomy, biology, psychology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology.

Students complete clinical rotations in major health departments such as women’s health, pediatrics, mental health, and surgery. Nurse anesthetists programs often require applicants to have maintained an overall GPA and a scientific GPA of 3.0 or better.

Step 2: Obtain a State License

All states require that nurses pass the National Council for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) Licensing Examination and obtain a license before they can practice.

Individual states may have additional requirements. A registered nurse’s license must be in good standing to apply for a nurse anesthetist program.

Step 3: Get Experience

Master’s programs in anesthesia nursing require applicants to have a minimum of one year of professional and practical experience in critical care nursing. RNs can gain experience working in an intensive care unit, a cardiac care unit, or a surgical intensive care unit.

Applicants must be certified as a Critical Care Registered Nurse. Many master’s programs in anesthesia nursing suggest that applicants obtain certification in this specialty area.

Having this certification shows that nurses are knowledgeable and competent in critical care. Eligibility requirements include a valid RN license and at least 1,750 hours of direct critical care in the past two years.

Shadow of work to a nurse anesthetist. Anesthesia nursing programs emphasize that it is important to have a genuine interest in a career in anesthesia. The programs suggest that prospective students follow the CRNAs before applying.

Step 4: get a master’s degree

A master’s program in anesthesia nursing requires a minimum of 27 months of full-time attendance.

Students learn to operate anesthesia equipment and handle surgical and emergency situations that require anesthesia.

Course topics commonly include anesthesia pharmacology, anesthesia pathophysiology, anesthesia biochemistry, geriatric anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, and pain management.

Students complete many supervised clinical experiences involving various anesthesia situations, from eye surgery to plastic surgery to open heart surgery.

Step 5: Become a CRNA

Obtaining the CRNA credential is necessary to practice. Individuals with master’s degrees in anesthesia nursing from accredited schools and unrestricted RN licenses are eligible to take the National Certification Exam, which is administered by the National Certification and Recertification Board for Nurse Anesthetists. Some states also require CRNA to obtain specialty license status.

Applicants must maintain credentials. Nurse anesthetists must keep their RN licenses valid, which requires periodic professional development. Individual states establish regulations.

Every two years, they must complete 40 hours of approved continuing education and present valid license documentation and employment history to maintain the CRNA designation.

Step 6: Gain Experience

A CRNA is an advanced RN position, but additional advancement is an option for enterprising CRNAs.

With leadership acumen and formal business education, CRNAs can move up to managerial or senior levels. administrative positions  within hospitals or medical centers.

Alternatively, more academically focused CRNAs may wish to pursue a Ph.D. and conduct research or be part of a research team.

Frequently Asked Questions: How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

How long do you have to go to school to be a nurse anesthetist?

All nurse anesthetists must complete an accredited program that takes 24 to 36 months. While these students graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree, 16 of the 113 programs in the US award a doctorate. All anesthesia nursing programs have courses such as pharmacology of anesthesia

Is CRNA an excellent career option?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of all advanced practice nurses, such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, is expected to grow 31% by 2024. That’s good news for registered nurses they intend to keep improving. your nursing careers by becoming a CRNA.

Can CRNA have its own practice?

You are in!
Therefore, in these opt-out states, CRNAs can legally practice without medical supervision. As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs practice with great autonomy and professional respect.

Can a nurse anesthetist become an anesthesiologist?

Certified nurse anesthetist entitled
Instead of following a career as an anesthesiologist requires eight additional years of school and then a bachelor ‘s residence, an RN could choose advanced practice CRNA career. … The median annual salary for anesthesiologists was $ 232,830.

Can a nurse anesthetist become a doctor?

A nurse anesthetist, more correctly called a registered certified nurse anesthetist, is a registered nurse, not a physician. Although some CRNAs have a Ph.D., they are not medical doctors. … Any nurse who wants to become a doctor must go to medical school.

How long does it take to become a nurse anesthetist?

Nurse anesthetists complete a BSN (4 years), an MSN (2 years), and with the new mandate a DNAP (4 years). Including an average of 2.6 years of critical care experience, this amounts to an estimated 11 years to achieve certification.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you have ever thought about becoming an anesthetist and want to know what title you should have. Also, what is the career and job outlook of an Anesthetist or what will your salary be when you get your certification.

This article will give you a complete guide on how to become a nurse anesthetist.

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