How to Become A Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists are medical specialists, whose duties include administration of anesthesia, monitoring of patient’s vital signs, and post op patient recovery. These professionals administer anesthesia in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, birthing centers, maternity wards, and plastic surgery facilities. The details of their job prior to surgery may vary, but generally include the following:

  • To collect medical data from patients prior to surgery, particularly the data related to patient’s history with surgery and anesthesia;
  • To educate patients about the medical process;
  • To interview the patient and analyze medical files to determine if the patient is allergic to any drugs or medications;
  • To set up arterial lines and IVs for the patients before the operation; and
  • To calm patients down and hold pre-surgery interviews to answer their questions.


During surgery the nurse may perform the following tasks:

  • To assist doctors with administering of medications;
  • To check reports to ensure the patient is under anesthesia throughout; and
  • To ensure patient safety during the surgery process

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage of nurse anesthetists was $ 148,160 in May 2012. Those who want a challenging career in nursing may find becoming a nurse anesthetist rewarding.

How to become a nurse anesthetist

In order to become a nurse anesthetist one needs to complete special educational requirements along with rigorous training and testing. Here you can find a step-by-step guidance on how to become a nurse anesthetist:

  • Acquire a relevant Bachelors Degree: Students should begin with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. They may choose to major in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Mathematics. Maintaining good grades is necessary to successfully clear eligibility exam and enter nursing graduate school.


  • Become a Registered Nurse: In order to get registered, candidates are required to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam tests entry-level nursing knowledge and skills. Please note that each school may have its own admission requirements.


  • Get hands-on Experience: Most schools require few years of clinical experience so ensure that their respective requirements are met.


  • Acquire a Master’s Degree: This is the most important step in becoming a nurse anesthetist. Students must meet Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score requirements of their respective schools. They must also meet GPA, letter of recommendations, and admissions interview requirements. The masters program will include stringent training in coursework and clinical hours. Courses may focus on areas such as anatomy, pharmacology, physiology and biochemistry. Practical classes provide hospital experience in anesthesiology.


  • Get Licensure: The final step is to apply for a license in order to practice independently. Candidates may also need to meet some specific licensing requirements of the state they wish to practice in. The certificate exam is administered by Council for Certification of Nurse Anesthetists. Also, candidates are required to renew their license every two years after it has been issued, by re taking the examination.



Ask an Expert

Q:What are the necessary steps to becoming a nurse anesthetist in USA?

A:To become a nurse anesthetist, you need to complete a series of steps. First of all, you need to earn a nursing degree and also complete a BSN degree with specialization in this particular field. You can then apply for a license by clearing the NCLEX examinations in your state. Nurse anesthetists are required to hold a certification and complete the training hours needed to join the field.

Q:Nurse anesthetists are trained to perform what kind of tasks?

A:Nurse Anesthetists are skilled healthcare professionals who perform various anesthesia related tasks. The job duties usually include the following: administer anesthesia before and during a surgery, administer intravenous anesthesia, oversee the patient's response to anesthesia, and assist surgeons and physicians. For more information, feel free to take a look at our page.

Q:Is there any minimum training requirements? What can you tell me on how to become a nurse anesthetist?

A:Nurse Anesthetists are healthcare professionals who perform anesthesia on patients and assist other physicians during an after surgery. To become a nurse anesthetist, you must have at least a bachelor degree with specialization in this area, and also a certification. The minimum training and licensing requirements will vary from state to state.

Q:Is graduate level education necessary for certified nurse anesthetist jobs?

A:Yes, nurse anesthetists are required to complete graduate level education in this field. The AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetist) is one of the leading boards that offer certification in this nursing specialty. You must also undergo formal training and acquire a professional license for practicing nursing. Browse through our page for more detail.

Q:Nurse Anesthetist programs will cover subjects such as?

A:In a nurse anesthetist program, students will cover a wide array of subjects such as basic principles of anesthesia, pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, ethics for nursing, applied statistics, leadership and healthcare systems, physical diagnosis, and more. It is important to remember that the curriculum may vary a little from place to place.

Q:How to become a certified nurse Anesthetist and make a good income level?

A:To become a nurses anesthetist, you must have at least a bachelor degree in nursing along with a certification in this specialization area. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetist made a median annual income of $96,460 in 2012. BLS has also predicted a very fast growth rate for these professionals in the coming few years.

Q:Can you tell me about the work environment of a certified registered nurse anesthetist?

A:Certified registered nurse anesthetists are typically employed by surgical units in hospitals. They mostly work in operating theaters and assist physicians during a surgery. These professionals are among the highest paid in the industry. Certified registered nurse anesthetists specialize in administering anesthesia and ensure a patient's recovery from anesthesia. Take a look at our page for more information.

Q:What is nurse anesthetist schooling like?

A:To become a nurse anesthetist, individuals must have training in this field, and a certification. There are many schools offering nurse anesthetist programs. The main purpose of schooling is to allow students to develop skill and expertise. Students will learn about different anesthesia methods, medication, pain management, and more. Take a look at our page for detail.

Q:While I was searching for information regarding certified nurse anesthetist salary, I came across the median wage of this healthcare field. Can you tell me?

A:According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of certified nurse anesthetists is $151,090. The employment in this field is expected to grow in the coming years. These nurses perform anesthesia and offer support services to physicians and doctors. Certified nurse anesthetists can be found working in the surgical units of hospitals.

Q:Can you tell me exactly how long does it take to become a nurse anesthetist?

A:The exact time needed to become a nurse anesthetists will depend upon the academic route you pursue. Nurse anesthetists are required to hold a certification and at least a bachelor degree in the field. The program's duration will depend upon which school you choose to enroll in. Take a look at our page or more information.

Q:What are nurse anesthetist schools teaching?

A:Nurse anesthetist schools specialize in providing nursing anesthesia education. Individuals who plan to become a nurse anesthetic are required to earn a degree in this field. The program will emphasize anesthesia procedures, techniques for administering anesthesia, patient's diagnosis, and more. Take a look at our page for detail about such schools.

Q:In a nurse anesthetist degree, what will I learn to do?

A:During a nurse anesthetic program, you will learn how to implement anesthesia medical programs, perform pre-anesthetic patient assessment, administer anesthesia, assist doctors during surgery, assess patient progress, monitor patient under anesthesia, manage anesthesia equipment, and more. Nurse anesthetists are among the highest paid healthcare professionals. Browse through our page for detail.

Q:Certified registered nurse anesthetist schools will help me prepare for what career?

A:By enrolling in a certified registered nurse anesthetist school, you can prepare for the career of a nurse anesthetist. The program will equip you with theory based knowledge and practical skills. You will learn how to administer anesthesia, monitor patient progress, manage anesthesia dosage, maintain medical equipment, and more. Browse through our page for detail.

Q:Are there any basic nurse anesthetist requirements I may have to complete?

A:The requirements for becoming a nurse anesthetic will depend upon the state you live in. You must earn a degree in this field and complete the minimum training hours. Nurse anesthetics must also hold a certification and a license issued by a recognized board. Take a look at our page for more detailed information.

Ask your Question

* All Fields are Required