If you’re interested in becoming a nurse anesthetist, you’ll need to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing and have a current RN license. You’ll also need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. After that, you’ll need to complete a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia, which will require about 36 months of full-time study.
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The Basic Requirements
Perhaps you have been a registered nurse for many years and are now ready to move into a more specialized area of nursing. Or, you are a recent nursing graduate who knows you want to work in a critical care area. Nurse anesthesia is one of the most demanding, yet rewarding, nursing specialties. If you are interested in becoming a nurse anesthetist, there are several educational requirements you must meet.
A four-year degree
To become a nurse anesthetist, you need to have a four-year degree in nursing. Once you have your degree, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become licensed as a registered nurse (RN). After you become an RN, you will need to complete a master’s or doctoral degree program in nurse anesthesia.
RNs who wish to become nurse anesthetists must first complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, although many CRNAs now have a master’s degree. RNs who wish to become nurse anesthetists must complete an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program that leads to certification.
All programs include clinical experience in which students work under the supervision of licensed nurse anesthetists in a variety of settings, such as medical centers, hospitals, and outpatient surgery centers. Upon completion of their educational program and passing a national board examination, individuals are awarded the credential Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
The Educational Process
If you are interested in becoming a nurse anesthetist, you will need to complete a few steps. First, you will need to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. After you have completed your BSN, you will need to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a nurse anesthetist specialization. Finally, you will need to pass the National Certification Examination to become a certified nurse anesthetist.
An accredited school
To become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), you must first earn your RN license and then complete an accredited graduate-level nurse anesthesia program. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), as of 2017, there were 224 accredited nurse anesthesia programs in the United States. These programs typically last between 24 and 36 months and culminate in a master’s degree or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.
To be accepted into an accredited nurse anesthesia program, you must first earn your RN license. You can do this by completing an accredited nursing program, which will typically take two to four years, depending on the type of program you choose. Once you have your RN license, you can then apply to an accredited nurse anesthesia program.
Once you’ve completed an accredited nurse anesthesia program, you will be eligible to take the certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Upon passing this exam, you will be a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).
A nursing program
There are many types of nursing programs, but the one you will need to become a nurse anesthetist is a four-year degree in registered nursing (RN). This type of program will prepare you for the licensing exam and provide you with the clinical experience needed to work as a nurse anesthetist.
The National Certification Examination
The National Certification Examination (NCE) is a formal, proctored test that evaluates a candidate’s knowledge and skills related to the practice of nurse anesthesia. The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) administers the NCE.
The NCE is a computer-based exam consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions. The exam is offered in two four-hour sections, with 100 questions in each section. Candidates are given three hours to complete each section.
The Future of the Profession
The demand for nurse anesthetists is expected to grow by 31% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations1. In response to the increased demand for these services, many schools have developed educational programs to prepare students for this exciting and rewarding profession.
The job market
The job market for nurse anesthetists is expected to grow by 26% from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth is much faster than the average for all occupation. The BLS projects that there will be a need for 4,800 new nurse anesthetists during this 10-year period.
The salary for a nurse anesthetist is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for nurse anesthetists was $169,450 in 2019. This means that half of all nurse anesthetists earned more than this amount and half earned less. The top 10% of earners made more than $208,000 while the bottom 10% made less than $131,700.