What is a Nurse Anesthetist

A Nurse Anesthetist, also known as a CRNA, is tasked with working and generally aiding an anesthesiologist or a different kind of doctor or physician in the safe administration of anesthetics.

Before a patient can be put under, the Nurse must examine and report on the patient's medical history, looking either for allergies, illnesses, or other defects or possible abnormalities that might make the use of anesthesia dangerous or ineffective. They also must prepare the patient, both physically and mentally, in a way that informs them of the risks and other key information related to the surgery, the post-op recovery, and other related matters.

Finally, the Nurse must follow the patient during and after the anesthetic has been implemented and their recovery for days or weeks to come. As this is a key role, with dangers and responsibilities upon the shoulders of those filling it, the Nurse must have at least a Master's degree, along with additional experience. A license is required, too, and possibly other certifications. Good communication skills and continuous learning are important as research and studies come out.

What Does a Nurse Anesthetist Do

Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. The scope of practice varies from state to state.

Learn more about what a Nurse Anesthetist does

How To Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), must earn at least a master’s degree in one of the specialty roles. APRNs must also be licensed registered nurses in their state and pass a national certification exam.

Education

Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners must earn a master’s degree from an accredited program. These programs include both classroom education and clinical experience. Courses in anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology are common as well as coursework specific to the chosen APRN role.

An APRN must have a registered nursing (RN) license before pursuing education in one of the advanced practice roles, and a strong background in science is helpful.

Most APRN programs prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, some schools offer bridge programs for registered nurses with an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. Graduate-level programs are also available for individuals who did not obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing but in a related health science field. These programs prepare the student for the RN licensure exam in addition to the APRN curriculum

Although a master’s degree is the most common form of entry-level education, many APRNs choose to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Ph.D. The specific educational requirements and qualifications for each of the roles are available on professional organizations’ websites.

Nurse anesthetists must have 1 year of clinical experience as a prerequisite for admission to an accredited nurse anesthetist program. Candidates typically have experience working as a registered nurse in an acute care or critical care setting.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states recognize all of the APRN roles. In states that recognize some or all of the roles, APRNs must have a registered nursing license, complete an accredited graduate-level program, and pass a national certification exam. Each state’s board of nursing can provide details.

The Consensus Model for APRN Regulation, a document developed by a wide variety of professional nursing organizations, including the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, aims to standardize APRN requirements. The model recommends all APRNs to complete a graduate degree from an accredited program; be a licensed registered nurse; pass a national certification exam; and earn a second license specific to one of the APRN roles and to a certain group of patients.

Certification is required in the vast majority of states to use an APRN title. Certification is used to show proficiency in an APRN role and is often a requirement for state licensure.

The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) offers the National Certification Examination (NCE). Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) must recertify every 2 years, which includes 40 hours of continuing education.

The American Midwifery Certification Board offers the Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM). Individuals with this designation must recertify every 5 years.

There are a number of certification exams for nurse practitioners because of the large number of populations NPs may work with and the number of specialty areas in which they may practice. Certifications are available from a number of professional organizations, including the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Advanced practice registered nurses must be able to communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals to ensure that the appropriate course of action is understood.

Critical-thinking skills. APRNs must be able to assess changes in a patient’s health, quickly determine the most appropriate course of action, and decide if a consultation with another healthcare professional is needed.

Compassion. Nurses should be caring and sympathetic when treating patients who are in pain or who are experiencing emotional distress.

Detail oriented. APRNs must be responsible and detail- oriented because they provide various treatments and medications that affect the health of their patients. During an evaluation, they must pick up on even the smallest changes in a patient’s condition.

Interpersonal skills. Advanced practice registered nurses must work with patients and families as well as with other healthcare providers and staff within the organizations where they provide care. They should work as part of a team to determine and execute the best possible healthcare options for the patients they treat.

Leadership skills. Advanced practice registered nurses often work in positions of seniority. They must effectively lead and sometimes manage other nurses on staff when providing patient care.

Resourcefulness. APRNs must know where to find the answers that they need in a timely fashion.

Advancement

Because the APRN designation is in itself an advancement of one’s career, many APRNs choose to remain in this role for the duration of their career. Some APRNs may take on managerial or administrative roles, while others go into academia. APRNs who earn a doctoral degree may conduct independent research or work in an interprofessional research team.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. University Hospitals Jobs (5)
  2. Kaiser Permanente Jobs (5)
  3. Mayo Clinic Jobs (6)
  4. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Jobs (6)
  5. Ridgeview Medical Center Jobs (2)
Average Salary
$130,665
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
26%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
68,614
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Average Salary for a Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse Anesthetists in America make an average salary of $130,665 per year or $63 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $279,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $61,000 per year.
Average Salary
$130,665
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Nurse Anesthetist? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Nurse Anesthetist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Nurse Anesthetist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Nurse Anesthetist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume
Nurse Anesthetist Resume

Nurse Anesthetist Demographics

Nurse Anesthetist Gender Statistics

female

63.9 %

male

36.1 %

Nurse Anesthetist Ethnicity Statistics

White

84.4 %

Asian

6.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

3.8 %

Nurse Anesthetist Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

58.3 %

Turkish

8.3 %

Azerbaijani

8.3 %
Job Openings

Find the best Nurse Anesthetist job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Nurse Anesthetist Jobs You Might Like

Nurse Anesthetist Education

Nurse Anesthetist Majors

70.0 %
7.0 %

Nurse Anesthetist Degrees

Bachelors

52.9 %

Masters

23.8 %

Diploma

9.3 %

Top Colleges for Nurse Anesthetists

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

10. Chamberlain College of Nursing - Arlington

Arlington, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$19,375
Enrollment
506
Job Openings

Find the best Nurse Anesthetist job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Nurse Anesthetist Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Nurse Anesthetist That You May Like

Medical Emergencies: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation
coursera

In this course, you will develop the knowledge and skills to assess and stabilize certain types of patients for transport. By the end of this course, you will be able to: 1) assess a basic medical patient 2) describe general pharmacologic principles and the skills associated with medication administration, 3) explain airway physiology, the assessment of the airway and available interventions for airway management, 4) identify, assess and formulate a plan to stabilize a patient with a respiratory...

Introduction to Integrative Nursing
coursera

This course is designed for nurses who are drawn to practice in a different way - nurses who value whole-person care and know that the essence of nursing practice is truly caring and healing. You will learn about the principles and practices of Integrative Nursing and how you can be a healing presence to all you serve. Then, you will do an integrative assessment and apply the principles of Integrative Nursing to improve symptom management and overall patient outcomes. Finally, you will explore w...

Trauma Emergencies and Care
coursera

Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body ma...

Show More Nurse Anesthetist Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Nurse Anesthetist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.7% of Nurse Anesthetists listed Crna on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For a Nurse Anesthetist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Nurse Anesthetist. The best states for people in this position are North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Utah. Nurse Anesthetists make the most in North Dakota with an average salary of $181,854. Whereas in Oregon and Washington, they would average $155,659 and $155,304, respectively. While Nurse Anesthetists would only make an average of $153,933 in Utah, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Nurse Anesthetist Jobs:
408
Highest 10% Earn:
$264,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Washington

Total Nurse Anesthetist Jobs:
3,136
Highest 10% Earn:
$236,000
Location Quotient:
1.25
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. South Dakota

Total Nurse Anesthetist Jobs:
593
Highest 10% Earn:
$224,000
Location Quotient:
1.61
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Nurse Anesthetists

How Do Nurse Anesthetist Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Nurse Anesthetist? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Nurse Anesthetist?
Rate how you like work as Nurse Anesthetist. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Nurse Anesthetist Employers

Nurse Anesthetist Videos