Is the CRNA Path Right for You?

This guest article was contributed by Catherine Santos who frequently writes about Nursing education like CRNA Schools.

When choosing the right nursing career path to follow, one must consider several things. The individual must first be passionate about the job duties of the selected occupation. The candidate must also be willing to put forth the time and effort to obtain the proper training for the position. In addition, the salary must match the individual’s personal desires. CRNA is one of many nursing jobs a person seeking a career in nursing can pursue. Making a decision to enter this field requires a close look at all aspects of the position.

What is a CRNA?

A CRNA is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. This person has specialized training in administering anesthesia to patients. He or she works closely with the anesthesiologists and fills in when there are not enough of these specialists on duty. By providing his or her advanced services, the CRNA allows the surgeons to perform a greater number of operations.

A majority of CRNAs work in hospitals preparing people for surgery. They may also continue to provide services after surgery. They will answer questions for patients and may also assist in making them comfortable during the process. These individuals will also provide assistance to the obstetrician and the patient during child delivery.

CRNA Training

In order for an individual to become a CRNA, he or she will have to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in the nursing field. The individual must then become a registered nurse by passing the nursing exam. To advance to the position of CRNA, the newly licensed nurse will need to gain at least one year of experience working with patients. After gaining such experience, the nurse can apply for a graduate nurse anesthetist program.

The acceptance rate for the CRNA programs is between 2.7% and 25%. Most schools have acceptance rates that fall into the 10%-15% range. The length of training in this specialized program is approximately two to three years. After completing that program, he or she must pass another exam for legal CRNA recognition. The training is very extensive for this position. CRNAs can usually begin practicing legally after approximately eight years of training.

CRNA Salary

A CRNA can earn a very appealing salary. The average salary for this type of position is $160,000 per year. This salary is more than many doctors earn per year. Therefore, it is an excellent career for those seeking a high-end income.

Administering anesthesia is a huge responsibility. Stress levels for this position have the potential to reach medium to high heights. The stress can come from a patient’s fear, an adverse reaction to the anesthesia, a heavy workload or the inability to contact the anesthesiologist when a problem arises. CRNAs are responsible for people’s lives and well-being. The responsibility can be quite stressful. Additionally, the job can dictate a person’s life if the hiring facility has a short staff. However, the salary appears to be well worth the extensive training and the extra hours.