Nurse Anesthetist

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who safely provide more than 32 million anesthetics for surgical, obstetrical and trauma care each year in the United States.

Education level required for career

In order to be accepted into an accredited nurse anesthesia program, you must be a currently licensed RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate baccalaureate degree and at least one year of experience in an acute care setting. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs, which lead to a master’s or doctoral degree, take two to three years and include clinical training in university-based or large community hospitals. Following graduation, you must pass the national certification exam before you can begin practice. However, certification is not a one-time accomplishment: In order to maintain their certification standing, CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education every two years.

Future outlook for career

Employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is expected to grow 31 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur because of an increase in the demand for healthcare services.The number of individuals who have access to health insurance will increase due to federal health insurance reform legislation.

Salary range for career

  1. CRNAs carry a heavy load of responsibility and are compensated accordingly. The reported average annual salary in 2012 was approximately $157,000 with more experienced CRNAs earning up to$214,000 each year.

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