Nurse Anesthetist - How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse Anesthetist

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Nurse Anesthetist Job Description

 

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) provide safe anesthetics for more than 32 million patients. These advanced practice nurses are a vital part of advanced care teams, such as trauma care, surgical or obstetrical teams in the United States. They can administer anesthesia of any type and work in every type of practice setting to provide care during any type of operation or procedure, from simple pain management programs to open heart surgical teams.

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Responsibilities

 

CRNAs collaborate with other members of the health care team, such as anesthesiologists, surgeons, podiatrists, dentists and others. Since they are registered nurses capable of advanced practice, CRNAs are given a high degree of professional respect and autonomy.

Anesthesia has been provided to patients by nurse anesthetists for over 125 years in the United States. The practice began with their care of wounded soldiers during the American Civil War.
Today, the United States is home to more than 36,000 nurse anesthetists. While only 8 percent of the nursing profession as a whole is made up of men, approximately 45 percent of the CRNAs in the U.S. are men.

In approximately two-thirds of the rural hospitals in the U.S., CRNAs are the sole providers of anesthesia to the facility’s patients. This enables these rural health care facilities to offer services they may not otherwise be able to provide, such as obstetrics, surgical and trauma stabilization. CRNAs are the sole providers of anesthesia services in nearly all of the rural hospitals in some states.

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Skills

 

Memorization

Must know and be able to recall information about drugs and their uses. You must remember what side effects certain drugs have and possible interactions. You must be able to recall everything you learned in school and keep current on practices.

Attention to Detail

Must pay attention. If you get the anesthetic wrong, you could kill somebody. It's important that you strive for perfection and are methodical about your practices.

Math & Science

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Preparing Anesthesia

Must know how to prepare and administer anesthesia.

Drug Knowledge

Must know how most drugs work, what they interact with, side effects, generic names, administration, alternatives, and allergic reactions.

Interpersonal

Must possess the skills and ability to communicate with people of all walks of life on any given day.

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Working Conditions

 

CRNAs may be found working in any of the following positions where anesthesia is delivered:

  • Hospital general surgical departments

  • Delivery rooms in obstetrics

  • Critical access hospitals

  • Outpatient and ambulatory treatment centers

  • Dentists offices

  • Podiatrist offices

  • Ophthalmologist offices

  • Plastic surgeons offices

  • Pain management centers

  • U.S. military health care facilities, Veterans’ Affairs and Public Health Service

Job opportunities for CRNAs are expected to be abundant for the foreseeable future. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts there to be a significant and growing need for CRNAs in all areas of the country. Because of the heavy load of responsibility carried by a CRNA, they are generally compensated accordingly.

 


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How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist:

 

Accredited nurse anesthesia programs only accept individuals who are currently a licensed RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or other baccalaureate degree that is deemed appropriate. In addition, the RN must have a minimum of one year of experience in an acute care setting.

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

To become a CRNA, you need to hold a BSN degree. A conventional BSN program takes 4 years to complete. A popular movement now finds more and more colleges and universities offering students who already hold a bachelor’s in another field an accelerated route to nursing-program graduation. These accelerated BSN programs take between 12 to 18 months to complete. If you already have your RN from an Associates Degree, you can do the RN-to-BSN program in 2 to 3 years, which can open you up to more opportunity and growth. 

  

2. Complete a CRNA Program (3 Years)

 

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs are master's programs that can take up to three years to complete. The programs include clinical training in a university-based or large community hospital. Upon graduation, the RN must pass the national certification exam before you can begin practice as a CRNA.

Nurse Anesthesia programs are not offered in every state, so you might have to travel or move to go to one of the CRNA programs. Since the schools are super competitive, you want to make sure you complete volunteer work, have intensive care nursing experience, and excellent transcripts to give yourself an advantage. 

Curriculum of the programs is governed by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) standards, which means all CRNA students are provided with a similar scientific, clinical and professional foundation. Most CRNA programs are pretty intensive and exceed standards.

You need to spend time preparing your application materials which should consist of:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university

  • Current RN license

  • Standardized Tests scores, such as the GRE or the MAT

  • Official Transcripts

  • Two or more letters of recommendation from two healthcare professionals who have supervised your clinical experience

  • Application and fee

  • English proficiency requirement

  • Resume listing critical care experience including type, location and duration

Once you get into the program you can expect to take intensive courses to prepare you for the field. Curriculum includes:

  • Physiology for Health Sciences

  • Principles of Anesthesia I, II

  • Physical-Chemical Basis of Anesthetic Action

  • Health Assessment

  • Practicum in Nurse Anesthesia

  • Biomedical Pharmacology

  • Biomedical Sciences for Nurse Anesthesia

  • Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia

  • Practicum in Nurse Anesthesia

  • Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia

  • Clinical Practicum (noncredit)

  • Clinical Problems in Anesthesia I, II

  • Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia

  • Practicum in Nurse Anesthesia 

 

3. Earn the Required Certification

 

The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) certifies the nurse anesthetist by a national certification exam. The NCE for registered nurse anesthetists is a variable-length computerized adaptive test that takes up to 3 hours and is a minimum of 100 questions: 70 questions represent NCE content and 30 non-graded pretest questions. The max number of questions is 170 questions.

The test is made up of multiple choice responses, multiple correct response questions, calculation questions, drag and drop, hotspot questions where you click on and highlight correct answers, and graphic and video questions. 

The questions are presented one at a time on a computer screen. Each question may be viewed as long as
the candidate wishes, but the candidate cannot go back to previous questions once an answer choice has
been recorded; nor can the candidate leave a question unanswered.

 

4. Maintain Certification Through Continuing Education

 

This certification is not a one-time accomplishment, however. Recertification is also required every two years. The NBCRNA re-certifies Nurse Anesthetists by reviewing their current licensure, their 40 required CE credits, and verifies that the nurse has been actively working in the field.

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
The staff nurse anesthetist reports to the Director of Anesthesia and the Medical Director of the O.R. Supervises Anesthesia Technicians and support staff when anesthesia needs are present. Works closely with all O.R. personnel to ensure...
12.05.2016
Basic function: Responsible for the administration of anesthesia employing a variety of techniques to render persons insensible to pain during a variety of surgical, dental, obstetric, and diagnostic procedures. Evaluate the effectiveness of...
12.05.2016
Graduate of an accredited school of nursing BLS certification required Certification/Licensure/Registration MN RN licensure prior to start JOB SUMMARY The Nurse Anesthetist is responsible for providing anesthesia to and/or monitoring of...
12.05.2016
Position Summary: Performs the primary functions of a certified registered nurse anesthetist and administers anesthetics to surgical, obstetrical, dental, and emergency patients. Observes the patient's condition and monitors the patient who are...
12.05.2016
Evaluates and prepares patients for required anesthetic to be administered; administers anesthetics as required by the supervising physician; performs post-anesthesia duties in accordance with departmental policies. Will share call rotation among...
12.05.2016
This position administers inhalation anesthesia along with intravenous, spinal, and other types of anesthetic agents. Evaluates the patient with the anesthesiologist and/or surgeon, determines the safest technique and agent for surgical...
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
Works under the supervision of the Manager/Coordinator and the medical direction of the physicians. Provides age specific patient care for patients in developmental stages neonate (0-28 days) through geriatrics (72+ years) using established...
12.05.2016
The CRNA will employ multiple modalities, including regional anesthesia, MAC sedation and general anesthesia, in the operating room as well as teh obstetric suite to provide adequate analgesia or anesthesia during surgical procedures. The CRNA...
12.05.2016
The CRNA will employ multiple modalities, including regional anesthesia, MAC sedation and general anesthesia, in the operating room as well as the Labor & Delivery suite to provide adequate analgesia or anesthesia during surgical procedures....
12.05.2016
Provides pre operative, intra operative, and post operative safe and comprehensive anesthesia care to patients during surgical procedures, pain relief, airway management, obstetrics, cardioversions, x ray procedures, and emergency room treatment....
12.05.2016
Graduate of approved & certified school of anesthesia ACLS and PALS certification required. Position Summary The CRNA is directly responsible to the CRNA Manager or his/her Assistant Manager, and to the supervising Anesthesiologist for...
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
  1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Florence, SC McLeod Health
    The staff nurse anesthetist reports to the Director of Anesthesia and the Medical Director of the O.R. Supervises Anesthesia Technicians and support staff when anesthesia needs are present. Works closely with all O.R. personnel to ensure...
  2. Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Basic function: Responsible for the administration of anesthesia employing a variety of techniques to render persons insensible to pain during a variety of surgical, dental, obstetric, and diagnostic procedures. Evaluate the effectiveness of...
  3. Nurse Anesthetist-Unscheduled Duluth, MN St. Luke's Hospital
    Graduate of an accredited school of nursing BLS certification required Certification/Licensure/Registration MN RN licensure prior to start JOB SUMMARY The Nurse Anesthetist is responsible for providing anesthesia to and/or monitoring of...
  4. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Oxford, NC Granville Health System
    Position Summary: Performs the primary functions of a certified registered nurse anesthetist and administers anesthetics to surgical, obstetrical, dental, and emergency patients. Observes the patient's condition and monitors the patient who are...
  5. Nurse Anesthetist Fort Dodge, IA UnityPoint Health-Fort Dodge
    Evaluates and prepares patients for required anesthetic to be administered; administers anesthetics as required by the supervising physician; performs post-anesthesia duties in accordance with departmental policies. Will share call rotation among...
  6. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Rochester, MN Olmsted Medical Center
    This position administers inhalation anesthesia along with intravenous, spinal, and other types of anesthetic agents. Evaluates the patient with the anesthesiologist and/or surgeon, determines the safest technique and agent for surgical...
  7. Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Minneapolis, MN Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
  8. Nurse Anesthetist - Anesthesia Wilmington, NC New Hanover Regional Medical Center
    Works under the supervision of the Manager/Coordinator and the medical direction of the physicians. Provides age specific patient care for patients in developmental stages neonate (0-28 days) through geriatrics (72+ years) using established...
  9. Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Rocky Mount, NC Nash Health Care Systems
    The CRNA will employ multiple modalities, including regional anesthesia, MAC sedation and general anesthesia, in the operating room as well as teh obstetric suite to provide adequate analgesia or anesthesia during surgical procedures. The CRNA...
  10. Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Rocky Mount, NC Nash Health Care Systems
    The CRNA will employ multiple modalities, including regional anesthesia, MAC sedation and general anesthesia, in the operating room as well as the Labor & Delivery suite to provide adequate analgesia or anesthesia during surgical procedures....
  11. Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Roanoke Rapids, NC Halifax Regional
    Provides pre operative, intra operative, and post operative safe and comprehensive anesthesia care to patients during surgical procedures, pain relief, airway management, obstetrics, cardioversions, x ray procedures, and emergency room treatment....
  12. Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Gallipolis, OH Holzer
    Graduate of approved & certified school of anesthesia ACLS and PALS certification required. Position Summary The CRNA is directly responsible to the CRNA Manager or his/her Assistant Manager, and to the supervising Anesthesiologist for...
  13. NURSE, ANESTHETIST (EXEMPT) Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
  14. NURSE, ANESTHETIST (EXEMPT) Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
  15. NURSE, ANESTHETIST (EXEMPT) Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic