A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is a nursing professional who has credentials that allow them to administer anesthesia. They work in any environment where anesthesia is administered, and currently, these professionals administer over 33 million anesthetics to patients every year in the United States. As this number continues to grow and as the health care industry as a whole continues to grow, there will be more jobs for people who have a degree in this field.
How to Become an Anesthesiologist Nurse
People who are interested in becoming CRNA must first become a registered nurse (RN). Most RN programs are offered as part of a four year degree program, and in most states, there is a certification procedure that must be followed at the completion of that program. A nurse who is willing to do extra training can further their career by enrolling in a graduate program. There are a few different types of nursing graduate programs. Some prepare a nurse to administer anesthesia as a CRNA while others allow a nurse to oversee prenatal and maternity care as a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife). Still others give nurses other advanced skills and training.
In short to become a CRNA, an individual must have a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) or other relevant bachelor’s degree. They must be currently registered as a nurse, and they must work for at least a year as a nurse. Then, they must enroll in and graduate from an accredited nurse anesthesia graduate program.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Anesthesiologist
CRNA programs can last from two to three years. Currently, there are over 100 accredited CRNA programs in the United States, and these programs include internships at over 1,800 approved clinics. This time, of course, is in addition to the time that the individual must spend getting their first degree and their first year of nursing. Therefore, the total time spent working toward becoming a CRNA can range from seven to nine years.
Classes Required to be Nurse Anesthesiologist
During their degree program, prospective CRNAs will take classes that teach them how to give anesthesia, how to accurately watch their patient’s vital signs, and how to oversee their patient’s recovery. They will learn how to administer anesthesia on their own, and they will also learn skills on how to assist anesthesiologists and other professionals like doctors and dentists.
After completing their degree program, CRNAs must pass a national certification exam. This certification lasts for two years. At the end of that time frame, the CRNA must document that they have completed an additional 40 hours of continuing education. They must also prove how much practice they have had administering anesthesia, and they must prove that they have not got any health conditions that could impair their ability to administer anesthesia. Once this information is in order, they will instantly be re-certified.
Special Scholarships to Help Some Become a CRNA
There are various grants and loans that are available to people who wish to pursue a degree to become a nurse, and these programs can be invaluable for someone who is just starting the journey to become a nurse. However, if an individual is already a nurse and they want to become a CRNA, they need to look for special scholarships.
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) offers some scholarships each year. The deadline for submitting an application is in February of each year. In order to apply, candidates must have completed at least six months of their CRNA courses.
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs also offers scholarships for CRNAs. To qualify for one of these scholarships, the individual must promise to provide at least a year of service after completing their degree. They must apply directly to the U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, and they must spend a year of their training at Fort Sam Houston.
Other scholarships are available, and many can be obtained directly form the school that is offering the CRNA program. Schools like University of Michigan in Flint, the University of Pittsburgh, and VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) and many others offer scholarships.
How to find Job as a Nurse Anesthesiologist
Once an individual has a CRNA certification, they can start looking for work. To find a job, they can check local job listings. However, they should also check with the nursing board in their state, and they should directly contact all of the hospitals in their community to learn about unadvertised job opportunities.
Can a Nurse Anesthetist Become an Anesthesiologist
A CRNA can become an anesthesiologist, but in order to do so, they must attend medical school. They must apply and be admitted just like any other medical student. However, their professional experience will act as an advantage to them.