Among the different types of registered nurses, nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are among of the highest paid on average. According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists earn an average salary of $189,190 per year ($90.96 per hour). The estimate will vary depending on where you work and the state where you are employed. The demand in your geographical area can heavily influence the average pay. In some states, CRNAs make $200,000 or more on average.
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Job outlook for CRNAs
The job outlook for certified nurse anesthetists is very good; employment for nurse anesthetists is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What you need to know about a career as a CRNA
If you are considering this acclaimed and lucrative career option, there are a few things you will need to know.
What does a certified nurse anesthetist do?
A nurse anesthetist is an in-demand type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) play an important role in a variety of medical procedures. They help ensure the safe administration of anesthesia and work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare professionals. In addition to administering anesthesia during surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic, and obstetric procedures, CRNAs perform epidurals and nerve blocks, providing patient care before, during, and after anesthesia and more.
Where do nurse anesthetists work?
CRNAs often work in a variety of settings, including medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient clinics, physicians’ offices, and military facilities. They can often be found in operating rooms, where they provide anesthesia for emergency surgery or scheduled outpatient procedures. CRNAs may also be found in maternity wards, where they provide epidurals during childbirth.
What is the difference between a nurse anesthetist and an anesthesiologist?
The biggest difference between CRNAs and anesthesiologists is CRNAs receive nursing education, while anesthesiologists are physicians who receive medical education. An anesthesiologist must earn a bachelor’s degree, complete medical school, and complete a residency in anesthesiology.
What educational requirements you need to become a CRNA?
A certified nurse anesthetist must have five key requirements: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, a registered nurse licensure for your state, two or more years of critical care nursing experience, and a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia. You will also need to pass the National Certification Examination (NCE).
How can I become a CRNA?
Here are the steps to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist:
- Learn about the job
- Become an RN with a BSN
- Enroll in a master's degree CRNA program
- Pass the National Certification Exam
- Start your new career
You’ll need to gain experience in an acute care setting, such as an ICU or the emergency room of a hospital or ambulatory center. Two or more years of experience is typical and will help you develop practical skills and gain experience in urgent care situations. Then you much complete an accredited nurse anesthetist master’s degree program. This typically takes between 24 and 36 months. Herzing University does not currently offer an MSN program for CRNAs; you can find a program near you by searching this list.
The last step is to pass the National Certification Examination (NCE). This computer exam typically takes three hours, and students must answer between 100 and 170 questions. Once you’ve successfully passed, you can start looking for a job and begin your rewarding career as a certified nurse anesthetist.
Become possible with Herzing University
If you’re considering advancing your career in nursing and looking ahead to becoming a CRNA, Herzing University can help you take the first step and earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing. We offer several different options (check campus availability near you):
Our mission is to empower you to reach your career goals. Take the leap with Herzing University and start pursuing your dream job.