It’s that time of year again…No, I’m not referring to Inauguration Day or MLK Day but rather to National Nurse Anesthetist’s Week.  I talk a lot about becoming a nurse practitioner, but if you are a nurse seeking an advanced degree, the nurse anesthesia profession is certainly also worth considering.

What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

Nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia before, during and after surgical, diagnostic and obstetric procedures.  They administer medications and provide services such as pain management and airway management.  Nurse anesthetists carry a lot of responsibility.  They hold an important role in in the hospital environment collaborating with anesthesiologists and other health care providers.  They may even be the sole anesthesia providers in smaller, rural hospitals. 

How Do You Become a Nurse Anesthatist?

To become a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) you must first complete a four-year bachelor’s degree.  Then, you must become a registered nurse employed in critical care.  Most CRNA programs require at least two years of critical care nursing experience before applying.  Nurse anesthesia programs are very competitive and prospects should consider applying to multiple schools.   Although the CRNA educational path is quite rigorous, graduates can expect to earn over $150,000 annually. 

Happy National Nurse Anesthetist Week to all the CRNA’s out there.  Thank you for the commitment to your profession and the hard work you have put in to achieve an advanced nursing degree.  Also, a big congratulations to my sister who is currently applying to CRNA programs and has been called back for an interview.  Good luck!!

What is it like to work as a CRNA?  Let us know by commenting below!

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