How To Become A Nurse Anesthetist

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 Master's 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.


Q:What do I need and how long does it take to be a nurse anesthetist?

A:To become a nurse anesthetist, you must have at least a bachelor degree in nursing. This program can take four years to complete and is also available online. Apart from this, you may also have to earn a certification in anesthetist nursing. Certificate programs can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months, depending upon which school you choose to enroll in.

Q:How many years of school to become a nurse anesthetist?

A:The time it will take to become a nurse anesthetist will depend upon which academic route you pursue. You will first have to earn a bachelor degree in nursing which typically takes four years to complete. Apart from this, you must also acquire a certification in nursing anesthesia. The duration of each program will depend upon which school you enroll in.

Q:What does it take to become a nurse anesthetist in today's tough economy?

A:To become a nurse anesthetist, you will need to complete a degree in nursing and acquire a certification with specialization in anesthesia. The program will not only build nursing skills, but will also provide you in-depth knowledge about the specialty field. You may also have to take a licensing examination in your state.

Q:Will certifications boost a Nurse Anesthetist Salary?

A:Certifications are in high demand nowadays. These short courses help boost skills and knowledge that can increase career opportunities. Many employers prefer hiring certified individuals. Those who are working as nurse must understand that certifications can be helpful in upgrading skills and advancing in the field. In today's competent healthcare industry, one must increase credentials every now and then to move ahead and boost income potential.

Q:What is the difference between a nurse anesthetist and an anesthesiologist?

A:A nurse anesthetist is a nurse who specializes in the administration of anesthesia. An anesthesiologist on the other hand is a specialist physician who is trained in anesthesia. The difference between the two is that one is a registered nurse with a specialization who may assist doctors while the other is a doctor who is authorized to practice. They both differ in terms of their educational, training, specialization, and practice requirements.

Q:Which are the certified nurse anesthesia schools in California?

A:There are many renowned nurse anesthetist schools in California which are helping students prepare for careers in this field. If you plan to enroll in a nurse anesthetist school, make sure you select a school that is accredited and offers quality education services. You can also check factors such as: student reviews, faculty and qualifications, programs offerings, and costs.

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