What Education Do I Need to Become A Nurse Anesthetist?
The typical “boiler plate” path towards becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist can be found on the site of almost any University that offers a CRNA program. However, I would almost always recommend speaking to someone who is already working in the field and has gone through the admissions process and knows what it takes to accomplish this tedious goal. Our friend J. Keith, CRNA has compiled his path to becoming a CRNA in what we consider to be the most comprehensive, down to earth, guide to becoming a Nurse Anesthetist available today. If you interested in an insiders guide to these topics click on any of the links below:
As mentioned, this Guide is hands down, the best we’ve seen online because it is written from the standpoint of our friend J. Keith, CRNA who has lived it, and shares his first hand experience with how it all works from start to finish. I strongly encourage you to take a look HERE
If you’d just like to know the basics regarding what the minimum requirements for most CRNA programs are here they are:
EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A NURSE ANESTHETISTA typical program of study used by most Nurse Anesthetist is comprised of the following:
- A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from an Accredited University
- Currently hold a License to Practice Nursing
- A least 2 years experience in a Critical Care and/or an Acute Care area
- Completion of an Accredited Graduate School of Nursing Anesthesia Program and obtained a Master’s Degree
- Satisfactory completion of all Clinical Coursework
- Pass the National Examination for Nurse Anesthetists
All of the above points are not indicative of all CRNA programs in the United States. You should check with the accredited program of Study that you’re interested in prior to application. It should also be noted, that most schools require applicants to have between 1-2 years of experience in a critical care environment. GPA admission requirements also vary from school to school.
On average, it takes around 7 years to become a Nurse Anesthetist. You have approximately 4 years of Undergraduate work, along with approximately 3 years of the Nurse Anesthetist program which includes many clinical hours. During the graduate studies of a CRNA program, most students find that the program is so time consuming, that work outside of the program isn’t possible, and most schools discourage it.
After completion of the Nurse Anesthetist Program, prospective CRNA’s are required to pass a National Board Exam for licensure.
Once you achieve licensure, and complete the CRNA program, a continuing education component is required each year. Currently, you must achieve a minimum of 40 continuing education hours annually.
According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, as of October 2011, there are 112 Nurse Anesthesia Programs with more than 1,800 clinical sites in the United States. Traditionally, these programs are operated through a health science or nursing department of a University.