Considering a Master of Nurse Anesthesia program? Nurse anesthetists play a critical role in providing quality care to patients of all ages and backgrounds. Nurse anesthetists provide patient care before, during, and after surgical procedures. Some of their responsibilities might include; pain management consultation, pre-surgery consultation, and post-surgery recovery instruction. Nurse anesthetists are able to administer general or local anesthesia. They also sometimes participate in the surgery itself monitoring the patient’s vital signs and adjusting the anesthesia when needed.
Common Coursework for a Masters Nurse Anesthetists
The path to becoming a nurse anesthetist is similar to that taken by nurses pursuing careers in other specializations. The main difference is that nurse anesthetists may require some unique training and coursework in order to become qualified to provide their specific form of care.
According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, licensing to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist typically requires at least a bachelor's degree in nursing1. In addition to this basic requirement, prospective nurse anesthetists must also earn their licensure as a registered nurse, accumulate at least one year of experience in an acute-care environment (such as an intensive-care unit) and pass a certification examination.
Apart from the professional certifications, graduate programs in nurse anesthesia focus on advanced health sciences, and most programs consist of both a classroom and a clinical component2.
Nurse Anesthetist Salary Potential and Job Outlook
Nurse anesthetists work closely with doctors and surgeons before, during and after patient operations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists earned a 2012 median annual salary of $96,460, with jobs expected to grow by 31 percent through 2022.3
Due to the highly specialized nature of the training involved in becoming a CRNA, career opportunities for those with the proper certification tend to center around the specific field of nurse anesthesia. However, for those who don't choose to pursue a concentration in nurse anesthesia, the BLS reported that registered nurses earned a 2012 median annual salary of $65,470, with jobs expected to grow by 19 percent through 2022.4
Is Earning a Master’s Degree in Nurse Anesthesia Right for You?
Nurses that are interested in developing a highly specialized skill set, or working in an operating and surgical environment might enjoy pursuing a career as a nurse anesthetist. These professionals play an essential role in providing quality patient care for individuals undergoing planned or emergency surgery.