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How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Many people are opting for the career of a nurse anesthetist, since it offers complete job satisfaction and also holds many opportunities. To become a successful nurse anesthetist, you must be aware of the educational qualification and job responsibilities this profession demands...
Marlene Alphonse
The health care industry is booming with a number of new careers that are up-to-date with advanced technology. These days nursing is not only confined to patient care, or pre and post operation. Many specialty fields in the nursing profession have come into existence. One such field is that of a nurse anesthetist, which is quite exciting and also completely satisfying. This profession is fast gaining wide acclaim as there is a high demand for nurse anesthetists in various hospitals across the globe. If you are also inclined on choosing this profession as your career, then you must carefully consider it before taking the decision.

Steps to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist assists the anesthesiologist in administering anesthesia to the patient undergoing surgery. Seems quite simple, but it is not. There are certain requirements to be fulfilled in order to qualify as a nurse anesthetist.
  • The first step towards becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist is to enroll for a four-year bachelor's degree in Science. A degree in nursing will be an added advantage for becoming a nurse anesthetist. You can also take up a master's program once the graduate program is over. The duration of the master's degree is two years.
  • The master's degree i.e. Master of Nurse Anesthesia degree may include specialization in a field like anesthesia. Internship may also be included in the accredited master's program, which may involve the student receiving clinical training in a hospital setting. The duration of the training may be for one year, where the candidate is made aware of the duties and responsibilities of a nurse anesthetist.
  • After the completion of this program, the candidate may have to clear the national certification exam, conducted by the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetist (NBCRNA). Once the candidate has passed the test, he (or she) may be certified as a nurse anesthetist and can work in a hospital.
  • For obtaining the license to practice as a registered nurse anesthetist, the prospective candidate should get in touch with the state agency. Specifics like education and examinations required for the license may vary accordingly from state to state. Once the criteria is met, the person can obtain the license and practice as a nurse anesthetist.
  • The duties of a nurse anesthetist is to help the chief anesthesiologist in administering anesthesia and other medication to stabilize the patient during a surgery. Apart from this, the nurse also makes sure that the proper arrangements like anesthesia and oxygen are made prior to the surgery. Apart from hospital operating theaters, the nurse anesthetist may be required to work in a physician's office, ambulatory surgery centers, military hospitals and pain clinics etc.
  • After the surgery, the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) may also be required to supervise the post operative care of the patient. They work closely with surgeons and dentists also. They keep the physician updated with the condition of the patient regarding recovery and response to the treatment administered.
  • Since the job prospects of a nurse anesthetist are excellent, the salary earned by a nurse consists of a handsome amount. The average salary for a nurse anesthetist on an annual basis is approximately USD 166,380. In order to update the license, it is necessary to take a recertification course program after every two years.
Since this profession requires the person to be on one's toes always, being active, vigilant and dedication is required. Wish you luck!