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What is the specific process to becoming a CRNA?

I am a current junior in high school who hopes to become a CRNA. I have done research on the career but still want more information.

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Shinah becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), takes at least 7-years of experience and education. Individuals first need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or in a related field and should have at least one year of experience working as a registered nurse in acute care nursing. Following undergraduate work, prospective nurse anesthetists can earn a Master of Science (M.S.) degree, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from a school of nurse anesthesia. These programs include clinical experience with training in multiple methods of anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists can work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and outpatient settings; anywhere that anesthetics are used in medicine. Those who work in hospitals or nursing homes may work in shifts that include nighttime hours. Emergency situations that require anesthesia may be stressful, and this job can be emotionally demanding. Anyone considering becoming a CRNA must think carefully about their own emotional responses to stress and how they think they will cope with potential emergencies occurring on the job.

• STEP 1: EARN YOUR BACHELOR'S DEGREE – To become a CRNA, aspiring nurse anesthetists must first earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Coursework topics include basic nursing skills, health assessment fundamentals, human anatomy, biology, psychology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and much more. Students complete clinical rotations in major health departments, like women's health, pediatrics, mental health, and surgery. There may be some opportunities to learn about anesthesia during this time, and those interested in CRNA positions ought to pursue those opportunities should they arise.

• STEP: 2 EARN YOUR STATE LICENSE – All states require nurses to pass the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and obtain licensure before being allowed to practice. Individual states might have additional requirements, so be sure to research your state or the state in which you want to work when preparing your educational goals. One's RN license must be in good standing to apply to a nurse anesthesia program.

• STEP: 3 GET YOUR EXPERIENCE – Nurse anesthesia master's degree programs require applicants to have a minimum of 1-year of professional, hands-on experience in critical care nursing before applying. RNs can acquire experience by working in an intensive care unit, cardiac care unit, or surgical intensive care unit after passing their NCLEX-RN examination.

• STEP: 4 EARN YOUR MASTER'S DEGREE – A master's degree program in nurse anesthesia requires a minimum of 27 months of full-time attendance. Students learn to operate anesthesia equipment and manage surgical and emergency situations that require anesthesia. Course topics commonly include anesthesia pharmacology, anesthesia pathophysiology, anesthesia biochemistry, geriatric anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, and pain management. Students complete numerous supervised clinical experiences involving diverse anesthesia situations, from eye surgery to plastic surgery and open-heart surgery.

• STEP: 5 ATTAIN YOUR CRNA CREDENTIAL – Individuals with master's degrees in nurse anesthesia from accredited schools and unrestricted RN licenses are eligible to take the National Certification Exam, which is administered by the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. Some states also require CRNAs to obtain specialty licensure status.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners can expect a job growth of 45% between the years of 2019 and 2029, which is far faster than average. Over 100,000 new jobs are expected to open up in these careers over the next decade. This is due in part to the aging population in the United States, and the resulting increase in need for healthcare professionals. The average Certified Nurse Anesthetist salary in the United States is $187,400 as of October 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $172,200 and $204,500. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Hope this was helpful Shinah

John recommends the following next steps:

Best advice I can give you when you’re in high school is to do well in math and science (chemistry especially – statistics is really the only math class you need to do well in and you won’t take that till college). Once you’re in college, keep your GPA above a 3.0 and keep your science classes above a 3.0 as well. Ideally, you should maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Job shadow a nurse anesthetist. Nurse anesthesia programs stress that it's important to have a genuine interest in an anesthesia career. Programs suggest that prospective students shadow CRNAs before applying in order to see what the job is really like on a day-to-day basis.

Mr.Frick, Thank you so so much for all this information. It is so nice to just have it in chronological order to set some future goals for myself. You give really detailed answers that are always super beneficial to the person asking them. This platform is amazing, I can just ask a question and get a genuine answer from a genuine person who actually cares as well as knows what he/she is talking about. Again, thank you so much for this! It means a lot! Shinah K.

Your Welcome Shinah, It was my Pleasure. If you talk about it, it’s a dream. If you envision it, it’s possible. If you plan it, it’s real. John Frick

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