Accredited Nurse Anesthesia Programs

May 16, 2016
CRNA Scrub Cap

More specifically, CRNAs play additional roles such as interviewing and assessing patient needs, formulating a plan, collaborating with other healthcare professionals to minimize pain, optimizing recovery and serving as a patient advocate.Unlike anesthesiologists, they do not make a mean annual pay somewhere in the $230, 000s. However, their pay is still substantially high, possibly the highest of all types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) at $157, 690, according to May 2013 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 1956, the credential for the CRNA came into existence. (In fact, the first nurse anesthesia program in the U.S. became available in 1909.) National certification is granted to RNs who have at least one year of experience in an acute care setting, who have graduated from one of the accredited nurse anesthetist schools and who have passed the certification exam given through the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

Nurse Anesthetist Programs Prerequisites and Specializations

Students interested in one of the nurse anesthetist programs will find options for the Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, the post-master’s certificate, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and possibly other doctoral degrees. Generally, admission requirements for an MSN necessitate nurses to already have a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) degree and a minimum level of experience, such as one year in critical care, like the University of Pittsburgh requires. Other admission requirements might include:

  • Academic transcripts
  • An essay
  • A phone interview
  • GRE scores
  • Personal statement
  • Professional references
  • Scholarly papers

Students who do not have a BSN may be able to complete an alternative, more comprehensive bridge program, such as an RN-to-MSN. Students will find they have some 113 accredited to choose from, according to the AANA. These include 16 programs available at the doctoral level. These programs are typically two to three years of full-time length, depending on the requirements of the college or university. The programs have arrangements with more than 2, 220 clinical sites, including at community or university-based hospitals, to give students training in the field of anesthesia.

Courses and Curriculum for Nurse Anesthetist Programs

Like other nurses studying to be an APRN, students in nurse anesthetic schools take fundamental classes to advance their core knowledge. These may include Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pathophysiology and Advanced Physiology. As they advance in their learning, students in a nurse anesthetic program will learn more about anesthesia, including it use in treating different patients types, and regional application. Students could take classes such as:

  • Basic Principles of Anesthesia
  • Chemistry and Physics of Anesthesia
  • Pharmacology of Anesthetics
  • Pediatric Anesthesia
  • Regional Anesthesia
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