What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

In honor of National Nurses Week which begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, we thought we would take a minute to share about a career as a Nurse Anesthetist.

If you’re exploring different paths to advance your nursing career, you may be considering becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). A CRNA can work in a variety of settings, and in collaboration with a variety of other medical professions, to administer anesthetics to patients who need it. It is an area of nursing with a long and respected history. About 54,000 nurses currently work as CRNAs.

Advanced Practice Nursing

In order to become a nurse anesthetist, one must first be a registered nurse (RN). A CRNA is one of the four types of advanced practice nursing specialties. Advanced practice nurses (APRNs) are nurses who hold advanced nursing degrees, either at the masters or doctoral level. In addition to nurse anesthetists, an advanced practice nurse (APRN) may be a nurse midwife, a clinical nurse specialist, or a nurse practitioner.

In general, in order to become a CRNA, a nurse must have at least a year’s practice in an acute care setting such as an ICU or an emergency room. This is in addition to masters or higher-level education. Once a nurse has gained the experience and education needed, they can take the required certification exam. After becoming a CRNA, they need to document their practice and do a certain number of continuing education hours every two years in order to maintain certification.

The Role of a CRNA

The delivery of anesthesia is a necessary and beneficial part of many medical and surgical procedures for patients, helping to lessen pain and increase comfort. Many different settings call for the possible administration of an anesthetic, from surgeries to pain management, to childbirth, and even dental procedures.  CRNAs may work in all kinds of medical settings, from trauma centers to obstetrics units to dental offices. They are trained to know how to properly administer the necessary anesthetic in a given setting, at times they work in conjunction with a doctor or other medical practitioner depending on the setting. It’s an important role, and can be an especially important one in rural hospitals where there may not be other anesthetists available.

A Respected and Well-Paid Position

The CRNA position is a highly respected nursing position, in part because of the importance of the work done and the fact that sometimes CRNAs are the main provider of anesthesia. Within the profession, it is also understood that the quality services CRNAs provide help facilities to reduce patient and insurance expenses. Men make up more than 40 percent of the ranks of nurse anesthetists, a disproportionate percentage compared to men in other nursing areas. This may be due to the level of independence and respect afforded to many nurses in this role, along with the high compensation, on average, for CRNAs. The job outlook for CRNA is also strong.

Though the work of a CRNA is demanding, the rewards and job satisfaction make it an avenue worth looking into as you contemplate the next steps of your nursing career.

Opportunities as an Independent Contractor

CPR Anesthesia, Inc. is a leading national practice, with ever-growing relationships with a multitude of hospitals and health care facilities. You’ll be able to locate a rewarding CRNA opportunity, whether you want to work across town, across the state or across the country.

When you apply for a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist job with CPR Anesthesia, Inc. you have a wide array of choices in locations and facilities. We offer CRNA opportunities in traditional surgical suites, critical care hospitals, obstetrical delivery rooms, ambulatory surgical centers, plastic surgery facilities, and more. The need for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is growing and we have the CRNA jobs you want. Check out our job board or Feel free to reach out to us at providers@cprinc.biz.