Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNAs) provide critical care at the most important times in their patients’ lives. They are responsible for the patients’ comfort and safety, administering anesthesia safely before a patient’s medical procedure. This career requires extensive education and experience
What does a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Do?
A CRNA spends most of their time with patients. The following is a list of tasks they might carry out:
- Examining a patient’s medical history and requesting diagnostic studies
- Coming up with an anesthetic plan appropriate for a patient
- Discussing risks of procedures and side effects with the patient and their family
- Performing spinal, epidural, or nerve blocks
- Monitoring a patients’ vital signs during and after they undergo surgery to prevent complications as well as manage if there are any
- Prep and administer anesthesia
CRNAs must work together with fellow doctors and nurses to develop the best pain management plans for each patient. While becoming a nurse anesthetist requires time and attention, the effort is well worth it. CRNAs not only work autonomously, but they also earn the most money of all advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
How to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Becoming a CRNA requires extensive education. A master’s degree and national certification are currently required to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist, but this will change in 2025, when a doctoral degree will be required. By January 1, 2022, all CRNA degree programs must include a doctorate degree, according to the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. At that time, all students enrolled in CRNA master’s degree programs must transfer to a doctoral program. Because it takes two years for a student with an MSN to get a doctorate, those intending to meet the DNP deadline in 2020 would have to be well into their doctoral program’s first year. While the new certification standards do not specify what type of doctoral degree CRNAs must get, the Doctor of Nursing Practice is expected to be the most popular option (DNP). Other possibilities include:
How much do Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists make?
A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist’s salary can have multiple factors that determine how much they make per year, such as education, certifications, and how much experience they have. But the average salary for a CRNA in the United States as of 2021 is $183,580 but can range from $133,970 to $223,451.