Nurse Anesthetists, CRNAs, are specialists who provide anesthesia care for their patients before, during, and after their obstetrical and surgical procedures.When deciding upon a career path many people take the salary for a career into consideration. Salary may not be more important than the career path, but a lucrative salary can be very beneficial to a career. Nurses make some of the most generous salaries of all professions. Advance Practice Nurses such as Nurse Anesthetists are right at the top of the salary scale in the nursing profession.
Nurse Anesthetist Overview
As stated above, nurse anesthetists are specialists who provide anesthesia care for their patients before, during, and after their obstetrical and surgical procedures. They administer medications so that patients can remain pain-free or asleep during their procedures. The CRNA has the added responsibility of constantly monitoring the important functions of these patients’ bodies. CRNA provide care for life-saving and common medical treatments for more 26 million patients each year in the United States.
CRNAs are more cost-efficient than Anesthesiologists are. Medical facilities can receive the same quality services at a fraction of the cost by hiring CRNAs. Some medical facilities will only allow CRNAs to work in conjunction with an Anesthesiologist, while others will allow them to work alone. Nurse Anesthetists have provided anesthesia care for over 100 years in this country.
These medical professionals have graduate level training in anesthesiology. They have a tremendous amount of responsibility on their jobs. The field of work is clinically and academically stimulating for CRNAs. Over 30,000 CRNAs currently practice in the healthcare system. Surgical clinics, emergency rooms, hospitals, dental offices, the military, outpatient surgical facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, psychiatric institutions, private practices, plastic surgeon’s offices, obstetric delivery room, podiatrist’s offices, and respiratory therapy departments employ CRNAs.
Education Requirements for CRNA
The requirements to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) are as follows:
- Students must first earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) before beginning a CRNA program. Some programs may allow students to begin the CRNA program with other appropriate bachelor’s degrees, but it varies by individual program.
- They must hold the credentials of Registered Nurse before entering a program. Students must complete a specified number of years of work after graduating to become a licensed Registered Nurse.
- They must have at least one year of nursing experience in acute care nursing. Acute care nursing experience can include emergency nursing, coronary care, intensive care nursing.
CRNA programs consist of 24 to 39 month programs. The program length includes coursework and clinical experiences. Students can choose from one of over 90 accredited CRNA graduate programs to earn their degrees. CRNA programs usually require that students complete approximately 1000 hours of clinical experiences to complete their respective programs, but the number of hours may vary by program. Students sit for the certification exam to become CRNAs after they graduate. They must participate in a state specified number of continuing education hours every two years to maintain their certification.
How Much Does a Nurse Anesthetist Make?
Certified Nurse Anesthetists can make mean annual salaries of $120,000 or approximately $68.50 per hour. CRNAs with years of experience can make salaries over $144,000 annually. The actual CRNA salary depends greatly on location, industry, position, and experience.
The top paying metropolitan areas that employ CRNAs are Baltimore, Maryland; New York, New York; San Jose, California; San Francisco, California; and Oakland, California.
The top industries that hire the most CRNAs are offices of physicians, employment services, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities, and surgical and general medical hospitals.
The top paying industries for CRNAs are business support services, other support services, employment services, legal services, and federal governments.
CRNAs have the greatest opportunities to make money in high needs areas that do not have Anesthesiologists or CRNAs on the medical staff.
CRNAs are valuable assets to any medical facility. They have the same level of skill as Anesthesiologists but cost medical facilities substantially less money to hire. Their salaries are by no means small. CRNAs are one of the highest paid nursing professionals due to their high level of knowledge about anesthesia. It is necessary to receive a graduate level education in order to become a CRNA. The programs are extremely rigorous and time consuming, but CRNAs have a great responsibility when it comes to administering anesthesia.