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What are the proper steps to become Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Working towards GED, thinking what steps I need to take to become CRNA.

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Reba’s Answer

Hi Marco!

To become a CNA you need to first obtain your Bachelors in Nursing which is a 4 year college degree. Once you are an RN and pass your boards you would need to have 4-5 years experience in a unit with high acuity. Most Masters programs for CRNA like to see 3-5 years post-bachelors experience working in an ICU setting (preferably adult ICU but some school accept pediatric ICU or ER experience). Once you have this experience you can apply to a CRNA program. This program typically takes 2-4 years to complete based on your enrollment status (FT or PT) and the set up of each program. Most schools do not want you working as the program is rigorous and you will need to complete many clinical hours so I would plan to set aside funds while gaining the necessary ICU experience to apply. I hope this helps! It is a long road to become a CRNA but the hard work will pay off in terms of salary and work/life balance.
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Amy’s Answer

Hello Marco! Congratulations on working towards your way to a better future.

I am currently a registered nurse and I work in the cardiovascular ICU and am in the process of completing my steps towards applying for CRNA school.

Typically, most schools would like for you to obtain your BSN and have a minimum of 2 years experience in the ICU setting. Some schools may accept ED or PACU (post anesthesia care unit), but it isn’t a guarantee. The reason for the preference of ICU experience is because it is similar in care for the patients you will be taking care of while working as a CRNA.

Many schools may require you to get certified in that specialty - obtaining a CCRN (critical care registered nurse) certification, which takes about 1750 hours of direct critical care experience before you can even take the test for certification. This kind of goes back to the 2 years of experience of ICU experience.

Many schools may also require the GRE, which is an exam to get into a graduate program. There are many CRNA schools that don’t require it. Most of the information needed to apply to a specific school is on the school’s website.

You will also need to obtain your basic life support, advanced cardiovascular life support, and pediatric life support certifications before starting the program.

While you’re working on all of this, you will need to build a CV/resume and work on a personal statement/essay. Many schools will require a chemistry class of some sort (mostly general or organic). The chemistry course you take in nursing school for nursing majors typically don’t count. So if you want to be ahead of the game, you can take a general chemistry course while working towards your associates or bachelors degree.

There are many resources and organizations you can join to help your journey. AACN, AANA, CRNA prep school academy are just a few organizations that can aid you in your journey.

I hope this answer helps. I, too, worked my way from getting my GED and now am in the final steps of turning in my application. It can be done. Good luck to you!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Marco
Thank you comment icon Absolutely. One more thing I forgot to add - you will need to shadow a CRNA before starting a program to see if it is something you would be interested in. Amy Stiffler, BSN, RN, CCRN
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Analisa’s Answer

Hello Marco V.!
1) Google "How to become a Nurse “Anesthetist/CRNA”.
2) Speak (in person) to the career services advisor for the schools that offer that certification/degree. Ask questions.
3) Find the National Association for this specialty. 
AANA is the American Assoc. of Nurse Anethesiology. They are there to help. Start there. Talk to someone and ask your questions. Find out all you need to know from someone who is actually doing the thing you want to do. This sheds light on the good and the bad.

Good Luck!!!
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