Nurse Anesthetist Careers and Training – Money Pacers
Nurse Anesthetist Careers and Training

Nurse Anesthetist Careers and Training

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist  (CRNAs) either administer or help doctors provide anesthesia and related care before and after surgery. They also help perform therapeutic, diagnostic and obstetrical procedures. In addition, they provide pain management and emergency services, such as airway management.  Nurse Anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who safely provide more than 32 million anesthetics for surgical, obstetrical and trauma care in the United States. They administer every type of anesthetic, work in every type of practice setting and provide care for every type of operation or procedure; from open heart surgery to pain management programs.

What does Nurse Anesthetist Do?

CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered:

  • Traditional hospital surgical suites
  • Obstetrical delivery rooms;
  • Critical access hospitals;
  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Offices of dentists
  • Podiatrists, ophthalmologists, and plastic surgeons
  • Pain management specialists
  • Healthcare facilities of the military
  • Public Health Service and Veterans’ Affairs.


The reported average annual salary in 2012 was approximately $157,000 with more experienced CRNAs earning up to $214,000 each year.

Required Education* B.S.N
Total jobs* 39,000
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 3%*
Average Annual Salary (2015) $157,450 – $214,000*

The prospects for finding a good job in this field are excellent for the foreseeable future. In additions, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says there is a significant and growing need for CRNAs across the country.

Education and Training

Generally, the path to becoming a CRNA begins with a 4-year undergraduate degree in nursing or another field.  A current license as a registered nurse is required to enter a nurse anesthesia program. After acquiring the necessary experience in an acute care setting students enter a doctorate program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). Clinical residencies afford supervised experiences for students during which time they are able to learn anesthesia techniques, test theory, and apply knowledge to clinical problems. Students gain experience with patients of all ages who require medical, surgical, obstetrical, dental, and pediatric interventions. Get more in at

Graduates must then pass the national certification examination. Re-certification is required of CRNAs on a biennial basis.  The requirements of the additional licensing examination for a nurse anesthetist again vary by state. But the state requirements are similar enough that taking a set of relevant courses from any institution is likely to suit your purpose.

Don Briscoe
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Don Briscoe

Finance educator, advisor, and leading voice in the global financial literacy movement.Founder and editor of lives and enjoys life with his family in New York.
Don Briscoe
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