How to Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Pathways to Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
RN to MSN
Doctor of Nursing Practice
BSN to DNP
Should I Become a Nurse Anesthetist?
Roles and Responsibilities
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Certification
National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)
Continued Professional Certification Assessment (CPCA)
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Resources
Related Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) Careers
Nurse anesthesia programs range from 24-51 months, depending on the institution. Programs include clinical settings and experiences. CRNA program graduates have an average of 12,593 hours of clinical experience.
Overall, CRNAs achieve seven to eight years of education, training and work experience. By January 1, 2022, all CRNA students will be enrolled in doctorate rather than master’s level programs, according to the AANA Fact Sheet on CRNAs.
A nurse anesthetic administers anesthesia to render a patient wholly or partially unconscious so another healthcare practitioner can perform surgery or other procedures. CRNAs are also involved in pain management and specific techniques such as intubation and are called on to consult by other providers.
You can find a nurse anesthetist in any setting that requires anesthesia, such as a surgical or obstetrical suite, outpatient surgery centers, with dentists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons and the U.S. military, and at Department of Veterans Administration healthcare facilities.
The CRNA path is different from that of many other nurse careers because there is less patient contact and little day-to-day patient care. However, it can be a rewarding career in terms of compensation and involvement in challenging, exciting work.
For 18 years in a row, nursing was identified as the most honest and ethical profession according to a recent Gallup poll, the AANA reported.
A CRNA and a Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN) deal with patients at different points in their healthcare experience. The CRNA will interact with the patient before administering anesthesia and monitor the patient during the procedure. When the procedure is finished and the patient begins to recover from the anesthesia, the patient is moved to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) or recovery area. There, the CPAN monitors the patient’s condition as they regain consciousness from the anesthesia.