Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Many do not know that nurses have administered anesthesia for many years. This task dates back to the years of our American Civil War and the brave soldiers who relied on the care of these highly skilled nurses.

Our nursing staff these days can become educated and trained to perform some of the most skilled duties that we have been under the impression that only doctors could perform. More and more nursing personnel are choosing to excel into the higher echelon of nursing degrees due to their responsibilities and notoriety as well as the very handsome salary that accompanies these highly trained jobs.

A certified registered nurse anesthetist or otherwise known as a CRNA, has been trained in the advanced studies of anesthesia. These nurses can be found working in many different medical environments. Anywhere from the smaller hospitals, emergency medical care facilities, elderly nursing care hospitals, surgery centers, dental offices, pain management clinics and even physicians’ offices. As a nurse who specializes in anesthesia, one would work very closely to the anesthesiologist, helping to monitor a patient, administer anesthesia, record vital signs and be prepared to step into the anesthesiologist’s shoes, if needed.

Education And Training

One can start their career as a registered nurse, but if one would so desire advancement to the anesthesia degree, one must be prepared to endure much more education and training to fulfill the requirements of this very specialized career.

The United States has some requirements that are mandatory throughout. This is good because if one chooses to work in various locals in the U.S., ones requisites would be fulfilled, which makes transferring from one state and working just as easy as ever.

For the nursing anesthetist degree, one would need to have or have enrolled in a nursing program and finish the program with a bachelor’s degree in the nursing field or the equivalent in degree. It is helpful if one is already working within the nursing field, practicing all that has been learned. Most curriculums’ advice that the (RN) nurses have at least one full year experience of hands on work, and preferably in the acute and emergency room departments. With ample experience one could pursue their advanced education in the nurse anesthesia program, which could take an additional 24 months to 3 years. The nurse would then graduate with a master’s degree with a specialized degree in anesthesia. All schools that offer this highly specialized degree prepare their candidates with extensive training.

What is good to know is that all of the nurse anesthesia educational programs are certified by the Council on Accreditation, so no matter where one goes, as far as colleges, the programs that are taught have all been designed out by the council to adhere to all the stringent guidelines and requirements needed for the career in nurse anesthesia.


To consider the dynamics of the NA career, by taking people’s lives in one’s hands by the administering of medicines to sedate, would include quite a risk. But, being sufficiently educated and trained as well as being mentored under one with impeccable credentials, would definitely command a high salary. The salary ranges for an experienced nursing anesthetist would be about $150,000 or more per year. That does not even include bonuses or benefits or incentives that can be offered. With the medical field booming and always growing, this is a great way to have a comfortable lifestyle.

Yes, there is quite a bit of education from the start, but the career of a nurse anesthetist can certainly be acquired, even if the additional education is proceeded upon in phases, all while working as a RN. It is highly respected by one’s colleagues and peers when they learn that you are working toward a higher education, and with the increased salaries that are privy to those positions, one would have the best achievements of all.