Nurse Anesthetist

Associate Professor Program Director Nurse Anesthesia   More Names
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Chief Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Chief CRNA), Chief Nurse Anesthetist, Chief Nurse Executive, Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP), Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Anesthetists, Professor/Nurse Anesthetist, Senior Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Senior CRNA), Staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Staff CRNA), Staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Anesthesia Service (Staff CRNA, Anesthesia Service), Staff Nurse Anesthetist
Description

Administer anesthesia to patients to induce total or partial loss of sensation or consciousness during surgeries, childbirths, or other medical and dental procedures.

During surgeries, nurse anesthetists work with the other members of the surgical team to monitor and assess a patient's vital life functions, including heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing.

Outside of the operating room, they provide pain relief in the post-surgery intensive care unit and in other settings for those who suffer from chronic pain.

Nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals. They prepare prescribed solutions and administer local, intravenous, spinal, and other anesthetics using careful methods and procedures. They assess patients' medical histories to project anesthesia responses and develop anesthesia care plans. They monitor patients under anesthesia and respond to life-threatening emergencies by opening airways, administering drugs or fluids, and giving basic or advanced CPR. They also select, prepare, and use equipment, monitors, supplies, and drugs as required throughout their work.

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), when anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is recognized as the practice of nursing; when administered by an anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine. Regardless of whether their educational background is in nursing or medicine, all anesthesia professionals give anesthesia the same way.

Nurse anesthetists practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical units; child birth delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and the U.S. military, U.S. Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities. The AANA finds that nurse anesthetists are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, and trauma stabilization services. In some states, they are the sole providers in almost all rural hospitals.

As advanced practice nursing professionals, nurse anesthetists - along with, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives - are at top level of the nursing career pathway. They are highly-skilled, licensed professionals who require very specialized advanced degree education and training.

In summary, certified registered nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who safely provide more than 32 million anesthetics for surgical, obstetrical and trauma care each year throughout the United States.

Credentials Needed: A nurse anesthetist is required to be licensed by the state in which they practice. Information about each state's licensing requirements can be obtained by contacting their State Board of Nursing. A convenient list of State Boards of Nursing is available under the Nursing Universe career resource.

While the particular requirements for state licensure vary from state to state, the criterion for licensing in California may offer an example. In making license application, a candidate must verify their nurse anesthetist professional certification and their academic education and credentials; list any misdemeanor or felony crime convictions and provide evidence of successful rehabilitation; and pay the application fee.

Some Key Things to Remember: Nurse Anesthetists are highly-skilled licensed professionals who require very specialized advanced degree education and training. They administer anesthesia to patients to induce total or partial loss of sensation or consciousness during surgeries, childbirths, or other medical and dental procedures. They provide pain relief in the post-surgery intensive care settings and for those who suffer from chronic pain. Completing an accredited postsecondary education program that results in a master's degree is among the key requirements for becoming a nurse anesthetist along with certification and state licensure.

Reviewed for content and accuracy by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, February 8, 2012.

More Details
Job Growth and Wages
Percent Job Growth:  
19% - Faster than average
Typical Wages (National):  
Annual: $137,800 - $189,880    Hourly: $66 - $91
Physical/Medical/Health Requirements

No specifc requirement is identified at this time.

Legal Requirements
General/Nationwide
State-Specific
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(Data Drawn from O*NET)
 
      

Career Snapshot

Typical Education:

Master's and Above (High School + 6 or more Years)
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Percent Job Growth:

19% - Faster than average
Find Jobs

Typical Wages:

Annual: $137,800 - $189,880

Hourly: $66 - $91