do you want to become a nurse anesthetist? by reading this guidem you will learn the educational choices you should make and the process to becoming a certified nurse anesthetist.
how to become a nurse anesthetist education
before you can become a nurse anesthetist, you will have to become a registered nurse. the anesthetist training is a specialization offered to registered nurses. in order to become a registered nurse, you will have to start by getting a high school diploma, or get you ged. you should pay special emphasis on courses in the sciences, like biology and chemistry, to assess your aptitude for a career in medicine. the next step involves earning a bachelor's degree in nursing. these are typically 4-year programs which involve subjects like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and microbiology. you will also be taught nursing theory and the art of patient care. the latter part of your degree will focus on clinical training, which will give you practical experience.
with rising education costs, a campus-based program is not feasible for everyone. the good news is that there are several online degree programs available, which offer a complete bachelor's degree curriculum to students. these programs are offered by accredited universities. you can complete the coursework on a flexible schedule, while maintaining your other commitments. this is a highly recommended option for those who want to transition into a career in nursing from another field, but are unable to attend a program as a full-time student.
licensing exams and advanced studies
once you complete the bachelor's degree, you will have to take the national council licensure examination in order to become a licensed registered nurse. following this, it is recommended that you gain employment within an er unit or a specialized acute care facility for at least a year. this experience is generally considered when you apply for a graduate program in anesthesia. these programs will confer a master's degree on you, and tend to focus on topics in chemistry, pharmacology, and anatomy. you will learn how to vary anesthetic dosage based on surgical requirements, and gain clinical experience to practice.
the last step is to take an official examination, much like the nclex-rn, in order to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (crna). when you clear this exam, you will officially be able to practice your profession in the united states. tests are administered several times a year, so you can choose a date suited to your convenience. anesthesia is a complex field to work in; it requires pinpoint accuracy and lots of patience. you must be able to maintain a close watch on your actions, and know exactly what variation is needed based on the situation presented to you. a rising population means that there is an increased demand for medical professionals across the board. with your advanced qualification, you will be able to maintain greater job security, earn higher pay, and have the satisfaction that you are helping people.
nurse anesthetists are highly specialized professional nurses who work with doctors, surgeons, and physicians in the administration of anesthesia to patients. they work with patients to determine the amount of anesthesia required before the procedure, and administer this dose during the surgery. the nursing profession as a whole is experiencing rising growth in the united states. as a result, nurse anesthetists are in high demand; coupled with the technical expertise required for entry into this profession, nurse anesthetists could enjoy a secure, high-paying job within the healthcare industry.
the education and licensing required
the first step in the process is to complete a bachelor of science in nursing (bsn) degree, which is a four-year program that will train you in the basic skills needed to be an effective nurse. topics covered in the bsn degree program include anatomy, physiology, and humanities and social sciences. the latter two areas are touched upon to enhance the analytic and interpersonal skills of the nurses, which helps them to be more effective leaders in the workplace. following this, you will have to take the national council licensure examination to become a registered nurse (rn). through this position, you are required to spend at least a year of practical experience in an acute care facility, like in an emergency room or an intensive care unit.
the specific training for nurse anesthetists is offered at a graduate level, and your experience as an rn and your undergraduate degree will help you secure an admission into these programs. typically, master of science in nursing (msn) programs last two to three years, but may vary depending on whether you join an accelerated program or complete your degree on a part-time basis. during your masters training time, you will learn about the various techniques used in the administration of anesthesia and develop greater familiarity with the instruments used in the process too. the last step in the process is to complete the certified registered nurse anesthetist licensing exam, which will allow you the right to practice your profession legally. the entire process could take up to eight years, during which you can gain more practical experience by interning at various hospitals.
what is the payoff?
you can now safely answer the question how long does it take to become a nurse anesthetist?, but the next most obvious one is how much these professionals make. according to the us bureau of labor statistics (bls), the mean annual wage in 2012 for nurse anesthetists was $154,390, much higher than the national average. typically, these professionals work in hospitals or private offices, and may also gain employment with dentists in their practice. states in the northeast, such as pennsylvania, new york and virginia are among those with the highest employment opportunities for these professionals. your salary will vary depending on the employer, region, and personal expertise.