Certified registered nurse anesthetists, or CRNAs, administer anesthesia (both general and regional/local) and related care to patients before, during, and after surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic, and obstetrical procedures. Before any surgery begins, CRNAs will talk to patients about their current medications, allergies, and illnesses so they will be able to safely provide anesthesia. It is the CRNA’s job to administer the required anesthesia so the patient will not feel pain. They also monitor patients’ vital signs during the procedure and adjust anesthesia as needed. Additionally, CRNAs may also provide pain management and some emergency services.
CRNA Education & Requirements
CRNAs are advanced practice nurses and must earn a master’s degree from an accredited program. However, prior to obtaining the master’s degree, individuals interested in becoming CRNAs must earn their RN credential and complete a year of critical care experience. Lastly, to earn the CRNA designation, individuals must pass the national certification exam.
CRNA Jobs Outlook
Job prospects for CRNAs are projected to be excellent. The demand to fill CRNA jobs is expected to grow 31 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — that is much higher than the average for all occupations. This projected growth is based on the market’s demand, including the health needs of our large, aging population.
CRNA Job Salary
Median annual salary for CRNAs is $160,270, according to the BLS, and the type of facility the CRNA is working in can have an impact on the amount.