Nurse Anesthetist Programs

What Is A Nurse Anesthetist?
The nursing profession has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. The profession has become highly specialized resulting in different sub-specialized fields. For example, neonatal nursing, orthopedic nursing, pulmonary nursing, nurse anesthetists and many more, are all various different types of nurses.

Nurse anesthetists are those nurses who:

  • Administer anesthesia
  • Monitor patients' vital signs
  • Oversee patients' recovery from anesthesia

They work in hospitals, physicians' clinics, and other healthcare facilities; and assist anesthesiologists, physicians, surgeons, and dentists.
How To Become A Nurse Anesthetist?
Nurse anesthetists are licensed registered nurses qualified to practice in their state. Furthermore, nurse anesthetists have academic credentials and training specifically in the field of anesthesia. In order to qualify as a registered nurse, a person must obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)degree. The degree is also the prerequisite for becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). A student in a BSN program is exposed to a wide variety of courses from various disciplines like liberal arts, social and behavioral science, psychology, nutrition, chemistry, microbiology, physiology, anatomy, and general and specific nursing courses. A four-year degree, a BSN also includes supervised clinical experience in various hospital departments like surgery, pediatrics, maternity, and psychiatry.
Online BSN v Traditional BSN Programs
The degree is offered in both settings, and as long as the online institute and its nursing program are accredited, it makes no difference to the employer whether the recent graduate holds a traditional BSN degree or an online degree. Online education has many advantages over traditional education though. For example:

  • Online education is more flexible in terms of class schedules and some deadlines, while traditional on-campus programs could be rigid
  • Online courses can be accessed from the comfort of one's own home, and coursework is emailed to the student or can be accessed from an online source. Interaction with professors and other students will be done through the internet: video conferences and online project management software.
  • Online courses/programs may be cheaper than traditional courses and programs
  • Online education is for those students who prefer to study alone and cherish their independence
  • Online education is popular among older students who may not want to study on-campus for a variety of reasons
  • Online education is distance learning while traditional education requires commuting to the campus to attend classes on a regular basis

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
A CRNA is a registered nurse with expertise in anesthesia administration. In order to become a CRNA, in addition to holding a BSN, the registered nurse must have the following qualifications:

  • License to practice (the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN)
  • At least one year experience of working in an ER or in an ICU
  • Pass the National Certification Examination
  • Pass an accredited Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program (24-36 months of graduate course work, including both classroom and clinical experience)

Job Outlook
CRNAs are one of the best paid nurses. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the professionals were earning well in excess of $100,000 per year. There are more than 40,000 CRNAs in the United States and their numbers are expected only to grow in the coming years.

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