A certified registered nurse anesthetist, or CNRA, isn’t the most prominent nursing profession since they often work behind the scenes instead of walking the wards visiting patients. However, they are among the most valued and appreciated by patients and peers alike. That is but one of the reasons to consider joining this field. Here are four more reasons you should consider becoming a nurse anesthetist.
1. Demand is Growing
Demand for certified registered nurse anesthetists is expected to grow by a third over the next ten years. This is twice as fast as the overall demand for RNs. This will create plenty of job openings for those who enter the field. Demand is growing because a nurse anesthetist can do everything an anesthesiologist can do. Employers are also turning to nurses with specialized training because they can earn the certification much faster than doctors, increasing the supply of skilled professionals, though demand isn’t keeping up with either the MD or the CRNA supply.
2. They’re Well Compensated
The average CRNA earned more than 150,000 dollars a year on average. This is roughly ninety thousand dollars a year more than the average registered nurse. It is about half the pay rate physician anesthesiologists receive, though, and that is one of the reasons why hospitals and clinics are desperately seeking CRNAs instead. Also, note that pay rates can vary based on where you live.
CRNAs enjoy a very flexible schedule, and you could earn as much working part-time as a CRNA as you would as a full-time RN. You can work part-time, full-time, as-needed or on-call. Others are attracted by the ability to work autonomously. For example, in many areas, they’re the only anesthesia providers. No one is looking over their shoulder or telling them what to do.
3. You Can Earn the Certification Incredibly Fast
If you are already an RN, you can become a well-paid and highly appreciated CNRA in just two to three years. Know that most masters of nursing programs require at least a year or more of RN experience before they’ll accept you into the program. This then allows you to work in pre-op, post-op, outpatient and pain management settings. You’ll be able to make a world of difference incredibly fast.
4. It Is Easy to Maintain Your Certifications
Note that you will need to get recertified even if you already have nursing anesthetist certifications. Nurse anesthetists are required to get certified and maintain certifications, but this is nowhere near as time-consuming or difficult as other fields. You’ll only need to take 100 hours of continuing education over four years.
Institutions like Valley Anesthesia offer CE for the CRNA courses that could get you credits towards your AANA certification. You’ll also get to stay in a luxurious resort so you can enjoy the time you aren’t in class. And the cost of the classes plus accommodations is probably less than you’d pay for a vacation elsewhere, so this is definitely a choice you should consider.
Becoming a CRNA could take your career to the next level, and you’ll be making a world of difference for every patient you serve. Make sure that you consider the option if you’re already a nurse, or if you’re looking for a lucrative, exciting, and rewarding career in healthcare.
About The Author:
Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.