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Guest Post: Why You Should Consider Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Posted Nov 24 2010 8:15pm
Why You Should Consider Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Many registered nurses can tell you about the stress that comes with a profession where being overworked and under appreciated comes with the job. However, there is one nursing specialty where nurses report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs, their patients, and their salaries- Nurse Anesthesia. A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is a registered nurse who has completed his or her Masters of Science in Nursing degree specializing in anesthesia. Today, between sixty and seventy percent of anesthetics are given by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Thanks to the high skill level required by the position, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are highly independent, very well paid, and in demand all over the country.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists say that the field requires a lot of upfront commitment to receive the training required of nurses in this field. However, once you have completed your training, there are endless job opportunities, and the job satisfaction
levels among nurses is very high.

CRNA’s practice anywhere where anesthesia is administered, such as operating rooms, obstetrical delivery rooms, surgery centers, and in the offices of private practice physicians such as dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and other physicians. In many states, a CRNA can administer anesthesia without the supervision of a physician, which means that a CRNA does nearly the same job as an anesthesiologist.

CRNA’s who work in the field say that the bond formed with patients is a huge reward, and knowing that they are able to relieve a patient’s pain helps nurses to feel a real sense of satisfaction. Unlike other nursing positions where you are often running from patient
to patient, working as a CRNA means that you will focus exclusively on one patient at a time, not only providing anesthesia but comforting injured or ill patients.

More so than other nursing positions, working as a CRNA can offer flexible hours. Many who work as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have a full time position but also accept on-call positions at other facilities. The demand for Nurse Anesthetists is so
high that these positions are easy to find.

As with most nursing jobs, the need for Nurse Anesthetists in rural areas is extraordinarily high. In many rural areas, a Nurse Anesthetist is the only option for anesthesia provision in the area. Working in these areas takes a high level of dedication, but the payoff is equally large.

Becoming a CRNA does take a significant amount of training, but there are more than one hundred programs in the US that you can attend. In general, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree and at least one year of nursing experience in an acute care setting. Most programs last between two and three years and include clinical training. Upon completion, a CRNA must pass a national certification exam. When you begin working, you can expect to make more than $100,000 annually, and the demand for CRNA’s is so
high that you can work virtually anywhere you want to.

This was contributed by Sandra Stevens. Sandra writes about CNA Training and
Certification on her blog over at CNA Training Help .
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