A nurse in anesthesia nursing is simply defined as one specializing in administering anesthesia. A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in the United States is a nurse who is at the advanced practice level and who has earned board certification and obtained education at a graduate level.
The national association of this field of nursing is the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ and represents over 92 percent of the United States’ 40,000 anesthesia nurses. According to the Practice Profile Survey in 2009, these professionals administer an approximate 32 million anesthetics to patients on an annual basis within the United States.
What Are Some Expectations of Anesthesia Nurses?
CRNAs are rural America’s primary anesthesia providers and enable health care facilities to offer a range of services in medically underserved areas. These services include the trauma stabilization, surgical and obstetrical areas. These types of nurses are responsible for providing anesthesia in collaboration with qualified healthcare professionals such as podiatrists, dentists, anesthesiologists and surgeons. These professionals work in every type of setting in which anesthesia is involved. This includes obstetrical delivery rooms, traditional hospital surgical suites, offices of pain management specialists, ambulatory surgical centers and critical access hospitals. When a nurse administers anesthesia as part of their nursing job, it is recognized as a nursing practice, but when an anesthesiologist administers the anesthesia, it is considered a practice of medicine. The technique for administering the anesthesia is done the same way no matter what level of education is held.
What Educational Requirements Are Needed To Become An Anesthesia Nurse?
In order to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, a certain amount of education and experience is required. Firstly, you must have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. You can also earn a degree at the same level that is in a related field of study through online nursing programs. You must also be currently licensed as a registered nurse. In addition to the educational and credential requirements, you must also have worked in a nursing setting for acute care for at least one year. Additionally, you must earn a degree at the graduate level from a school that is accredited for nursing anesthesia. These nursing programs usually range between 24 and 36 months and offer graduates a master’s degree after completion.
All of the programs that offer this option also require clinical training as a part of the curriculum. This clinical training will be held at large community hospitals or hospitals that are university based. Once all of the educational and clinical requirements have been met, you must then sit for the certification examination. In total, it will take you at least seven years of experience and education in order to be prepared to become a CRNA. On average, a student works a minimum of 1,694 hours in a clinical setting and administers over 790 anesthetics. Each year, 1,300 to 1,700 students graduate to become nurse anesthetists and pass the certification exam.
Once you have become a CRNA, you must continue your education and becoming recertified every two years. These are the first nurses of a specialization to require this continuing of nursing education. You must meet the practice requirements and enroll and complete at least 40 credits for continuing education. The National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) governs the certification and recertification process. This is a non-profit organization in an effort to prevent any sort of conflicts with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).
What Is The Average Salary For An Anesthesia Nurse?
CRNAs have continuously been reported as the single specialty within the nursing industry that pays the highest salary in the United States. The median annual salary in 2009 for this specialty was $157,724. This annual wage was reported by the AMGA Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey.
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists: This professional association represents over 42,000 CRNAs as well as students who are studying nurse anesthesia. This site provides you with information on the career of a nurse anesthetist and how you can become a member of the AANA and related organizations.
- American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses: This is a link that directs you to the official site for the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. This site serves nurses that practice in all areas of preanesthesia and postanesthesia care, pain management and ambulatory surgery.
- Nurse Anesthesia Career Overview: This is a link to in-depth information from the Mayo Clinic including career opportunities, earning potential, professional organizations and two programs offered: Master of Nurse Anesthesia and the Nurse Anesthesia Internship program.
- Anesthesia Nursing Program: This links to in-depth information from the University of Iowa’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. This specific portion of the program is the anesthesia nursing specialization and provides you with information on what to expect from this type of advanced nursing program.
- American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification: This links to the official site of the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification. This site offers a wealth of information on CPAN and CAPA certification, recertification, news, events and resources in the nursing industry.
- International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists: This site provides you with a wealth of information on the anesthetists’ specialization of nursing at an international level. This site shows a list of nursing programs that are officially recognized by the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists.
- Nurse Anesthesia: This link provides you with nursing program information at the graduate level from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.
- School of Nurse Anesthesia: This is the home page of the School of Nurse anesthesia at TCU Harris College. From this page you can navigate to find out more information on the master’s degree program and the doctorate program that this school offers.
- US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing: This links to the main page of the graduate program that is offered by the William Beaumont Army Medical Center. This provides you with information on the program including clinical sites, expected curriculum you will be required to complete and information on recent graduates.