What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

If you’re looking for an exciting career in the healthcare industry, becoming a nurse anesthetist could be perfect for you. As a specialty within the nursing field, nurse anesthetists play an important role in patients’ lives. We’ve done some research and compiled all the information you need to know about what a nurse anesthetist is and how you become one.

What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

Nurse anesthetists are also known as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, or CRNAs. This specialty fits into one of four kinds of nurses in the advanced practice nursing field. According to Discover Nursing, nurse anesthetists are among advanced practice nurses – RNs that hold advanced educational credentials and considerable clinical training.

These types of nurses provide care that is related to anesthesia and pain management. They work with patients that are usually undergoing some sort of surgery or medical procedure. These procedures can include emergency surgeries, childbirth, testing procedures, and chronic pain cases. Nurse anesthetists are also experts in the areas of airway management and critical care.

Nurse anesthetists care for all types of patients, from all walks of life. They administer anesthesia and other medications, monitor patients, and care for patients under/recovering from anesthesia.

What is the Salary and Job Outlook of a Nurse Anesthetist?

Nurse anesthetists are among the highest paid in the nursing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists earn a median wage of around $164,000 per year. Most of these types of nurses work in a physician’s office environment, while the second-most work in hospital settings.

Like other fields within the healthcare industry, this type of nursing career is only expected to grow. As more and more people need surgeries and care, there will be more demand for educated, trained nurse anesthetists. Job prospects are part of a much smaller pool than your standard RNs however, because there just isn’t as many necessary specialty nurses as there are regular nurses.

How Do You Become a Nurse Anesthetist?

In order to become this type of nurse, you must obtain your RN degree and be certified by your state. CRNAs are a specialty within a nursing degree, in which you must acquire a master’s degree that focuses on anesthesia. You must also complete a slew of clinical training and pass an exam that is approved by the National Boards of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists.

A nurse anesthetist must be quick-thinking and be able to work in a wide variety of settings. They deal with patients that are suffering from all sorts of situations, from schedules procedures to emergency trauma surgeries. It’s important to first become a RN and gain significant clinical experience before considering this type of career, as it can be demanding and challenging.

In order to become a RN, you must complete a reputable nursing program that combines classroom and clinical experience. Upon completion, you must sit for a RN exam and become certified by your state. Many nurses graduate with associates or bachelor’s degrees. Moving on after to earn your master’s degree guarantees you a spot on the list with the other advanced practice nurses.

Related Resource: How Do You Become an Informatics Nurse?

Nursing is an occupation that is both necessary and life-saving. Nurses are kind, quick-thinking, and are willing to care for patients with the utmost concern. Nurse anesthetists must help guide patients through some of the most difficult times in their lives. If you have a desire to help these types of patients, nurse anesthesia may be right for you.