When considering a career in nurse anesthesia, individuals often have questions about the profession. The following includes answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and suggestions on where to get answers to other questions you may have. It is hoped that you will find this information useful in considering a career as a nurse anesthetist.
What are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)?
Nurse anesthesia is an advanced clinical nursing specialty. As anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer approximately 65% of the 26 million anesthetics given to patients in the U.S. each year.
How does a nurse become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)?
A nurse attends an accredited Nurse Anesthesia Education Program to receive an extensive education in anesthesia. Upon graduation, the nurse must pass a national certification exam to become a CRNA.
What does a Nurse Anesthesia Education Program include?
30 to 36 months of graduate course work including both classroom and clinical experience with:
The classroom curriculum emphasizing anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics and pharmacology as related to anesthesia. The major clinical component providing experience with a variety of anesthesia techniques and procedures for all types of surgery and obstetrics. Currently, a few Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs grant a professional certificate while the majority confer a master’s degree in nursing, allied health, or biological and clinical sciences. Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs are modifying their curricula to meet the requirement that all programs offer a master’s degree beginning in 1998.