A certified registered nurse anesthetist or CRNA is going to be an advanced practice nurse who will specialize in administering anesthesia to patients during different procedures to help with their health. They may also provide care for patients both before and after an operation has occurred. It is common to discuss medications and medical history with the patient too.
There is a lot of exciting work that happens when you decide to become a CRNA as your profession, but you will need to have the right education and experience to get started. Knowing some about the profession and how it works can make a world of difference as well. Some of the facts you should know about a career as a CRNA includes:
What Does a CRNA Do?
The CRNA is going to be the professional who will provide anesthesia to patients during a surgical procedure. Due to the nature of the medication, you will need to have graduate-level education to do this. But the right professional will be able to ensure the patient gets the right medication to not have pain during their operation or procedure.
There are many places that you could work, it is common for these professionals to be found in a healthcare facility where anesthesia will be utilized to help the patient out.
The CRNA is not just going to administer the anesthesia to the patient. They will also work to assess the patient to look at their medical history, to create and implement the right care plan for the patient, and discuss the side effects of the different care plans with the patient and their family.
The CRNA is also going to work with the patient as well as their family like any other nurse. You may spend some time explaining a procedure to the patient before it happens. Once the operation is done, the CRNA could provide the patient with any necessary information and the right protocols to follow to keep safe.
When it comes to administering the anesthesia, the CRNA is going to be able to administer various types, monitor the status and vitals of the patient, maintain the medication throughout the procedure, give additional medications and fluids, and even perform nerve blocks, spinals, and epidurals when necessary.
To do this job well, the CRNA is going to need to have a good deal of experience and education to help them do well. They will also need to work closely with the physicians and surgeons in their medical facility to make sure the patient is able to get the best in care at any given time.
What Education Do CRNAs Need?
Because of the nature of the work that a CRNA is going to do, you will find that you need a high level of education and training to succeed. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, or AANA, notes that the requirement for being a CRNA is to have a BSN degree or some similar degree and then get a license as a RN.
You will also need to look at getting your Master’s degree as well. You can get this after you are done with the MSN degree as well. This will ensure that you have the right mixture of experience and education to handle the unique work that someone in this position will need to know.
With this education done, you will need to also work with taking the right certifications. This shows potential employers that you have finished your education and are qualified to administer the medications and help patients in the role. You must also go back through and recertify as time goes on, usually every four years, to make sure you are up to date.
How Do I Become Certified as a CRNA?
To become certified in your role as a CRNA, you will need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. This can be done when you have earned the BSN portion of your studies. You will need to check eligibility requirements for your state since these can often vary based on where you live.
After you are done with your MSN degree to become a CRNA, you will then be able to take the certification exam that will help you be registered in this professional role. The National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists will offer this credential. You will need to go through recertification as well to help you maintain your career.
How Much Do CRNA’s Make?
The amount that you will be able to make as a CRNA will depend on the amount of experience you have, where you work, and the type of schedule you would like to work with as well. No matter where you start your career though, you will find that a CRNA is able to make a good salary for their knowledge and skills.
It is estimated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a CRNA is at $174,790. This can depend on all of the factors as well. There are some areas that have a huge shortage of CRNA professionals, some who are willing to pay more to bring some in, and other places that may be more rural and will offer a lower salary.
Either way that you look at it, the CRNA professional is going to make a good living and be able to get a higher pay than many other nursing professionals, no matter where they choose to begin their careers.
Choosing to Become a CRNA
There are many great options that you can choose when picking out your career in the nursing field. But knowing all of the facts can make it a little bit easier for you to determine whether this is the right career choice for you to go with or not. Take a look at some of the facts you need to know to help you get started as a CRNA.