Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist - CRNA Career
Nurse Anesthetist: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), administer anesthetic agents to patients. CRNAs are highly skilled advanced practice nurses. Almost half of all CRNAs are men, which is interesting considering less than ten percent of the entire nursing profession in the United States is male. Because of the critical nature of a CRNA's role, they hold a lot of responsibility, and are compensated accordingly.
The main duties of a CRNA include:
- Performing preoperative evaluations of patients.
- Administering anesthesia to patients undergoing surgical procedures.
- Working closely with anesthesiologists, surgeons, podiatrists, dentists, and other healthcare professionals.
- Monitoring a patients vital signs during the surgical procedure.
- Ensuring that the patient awakens from the anesthesia comfortably.
- Advising the relevant physician of any adverse reactions.
- Providing postoperative follow up and patient evaluation.
- Maintaining medical records.
- Working as part of the surgical team in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
- Assisting in the training of medical personnel in CPR, Anesthesia and Respiratory Care.
Where they work: CRNAs can work in any setting where anesthesia is administered e.g. Hospital Surgical Rooms, Delivery Suites of Obstetrical Departments, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Dental Clinics, Podiatrists, Ophthalmologists, Plastic Surgeons, Public Health Services and the U.S. Military.
Qualifications: Before applying to become a CRNA, you must have:
- A Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) or international equivalent
- A current Registered Nurses (RNs) license
- A minimum of one years experience working in an acute care environment
If you possess the minimum requirements you can join an accredited Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program. The “Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs”, is the accreditation body for CRNA programs. Courses can take between 24 – 36 months to complete. Successful students graduate with a Master’s Degree. Following graduation CRNAs must pass a national certification examination to allow them to practice.
Certification lasts for two years at which time CRNAs can recertify by completing 40 hours of approved continuing education. CRNAs can also continue to earn a PhD in Nursing. With a PhD, CRNAs can choose to pursue a career in many more areas such as education or research.
Find a Nursing School near you: Use the Further Your Career zip code search box, to find schools and colleges in your area that offer nursing programs.
Below is a list of some of the various types of medical nurses / assistant nurses: