A nurse anesthetist is a specialized Registered Nurse who has undergone extra training and certification to administer anesthesia. They may be involved in minor surgery, labor and delivery, and during diagnostic procedures. They are trained to care for the patient before, during, and after the procedure and handle any related emergencies such as; airway management. The official title for this type of nurse is Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist or CRNA.
Patient care prior to surgery including; patient intake, history, medications, and allergies
Performs initial patient assessment and obtains vital signs
Prepares patient for anesthesia
Administers anesthesia before procedure and monitors anesthesia for acceptable levels during procedure
Graduation for an accredited School of Nursing Anesthesia that offers a Master's Degree
Clinical training in a campus or large community hospital
Passing score on the national certification examination for CRNA
It takes a nurse anesthetist about 7 years of education combined with working experience for a total of 2,500 hours of preparation.
Job Outlook And Opportunities
Nursing jobs that employ a nurse anesthetist are plenty. Nurse anesthetists can administer epidural injections in labor and delivery, work in hospital and outpatient surgery centers, and doctors offices. This career field is expected to grow 31% in the years 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than average. They are adding over 47,000 nurse anesthetists to the field during this time period.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual pay for a Nurse Anesthetist is $96,460. This equals around $46.37 per hour.
Average Pay: $96,460
Education: Master's Degree
Number of Jobs 2012: 151,400
Employment growth 2012-2022: 31%
On-the-Job-Training: 1,651 Clinical Hours
Work Experience: Current Practice as a Registered Nurse