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How to Become A Crna

 
A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is an advanced practice nursing professional specializing in anesthetics who administer anesthesia and related care before, during and after various medical procedures.

 
What does a CRNA do?
A nurse anesthetist administers anesthesia to the patient and then monitors him/her throughout the surgery as well as after it. The general responsibilities of a CRNA include:
·  Conducting a physical assessment of the patient prior to surgery
·  Educating the patient about the effects of anesthesia after the procedure and how the recovery will go
·  Administering anesthesia during surgery and closely monitoring the patient’s response to it
·  Handling the patient’s recovery from anesthesia
 
Where do CRNAs work?
According the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), a CRNA can work independently and is free to choose to practice in institutional or corporate settings. Nurse anesthetists may be found working in clinics, hospitals, dental offices and surgery centers. They can work in the military, the private or the public sector.
 
Educational requirements
To become a nurse anesthetist, you need to have an undergraduate degree in nursing or a related field and current license of a registered nurse. Other than that, you should have at least a year of experience in acute care settings. You can then enroll for an approved two or three-year Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The coursework is followed by clinical training which involves attending to patients who need medical, dental, obstetrical, surgical and pediatric procedures in a community or university-based hospital.
 
Certification
After graduation, you need to pass the national certification exam before getting a license to practice. However, to maintain certification, it is necessary to attend at least forty hours of continuing education every two years. This also helps to stay abreast of latest developments in the field.
 
Job outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012-2013 handbook, there is a 26% expected growth in the job market for registered nursing professions by 2020.
 
As far salary goes, nurse anesthetists are amongst the highest paid nurses with an annual average of around $160,000.
 
 

Ask an Expert

Q:Where can you normally find a nurse anesthetist?

A:You can normally find nurse anesthetists in clinics, dental offices, and surgery centers. They can also choose to work in private or public sector, or join military. According the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), a nurse anesthetist can work independently and is free to choose corporate or institutional settings.

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