Nursing Degree & Career – CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist)
Those interested in becoming an APN may want to pursue a specialization as a CRNA. CRNAs administer anesthesia to patients who are having a wide range of surgical procedures. In fact, in a majority of rural hospitals, the military, and to expectant mothers, it is CRNAs who administer the anesthesia to patients and ensure they are put out and awaken healthy and without complications. Getting a CRNA degree can be a long an arduous process, but the rewards include respect within the healthcare community, high pay, and a satisfying and challenging career.
Salaries for CRNAs can be substantial, and often more than a majority of other nursing professions. With average salaries ranging from $120,000 to $150,000 a year, CRNAs are extremely well compensated for their work. Of course, what salary each CRNA can expect to make will depend largely on the individual career path they choose. Certain areas of the country may have a higher demand for CRNA skills and will be willing to pay more, so professionals looking to maximize monetary rewards for their careers should do their research before accepting a position.
Becoming a CRNA isn’t an easy path, however. Students can expect to begin their careers as RNs with their BSN degrees and later work towards APN certification. This generally means getting a degree at at least the Master’s level. Those who desire to eventually become a CRNA will generally have spent at least a few years actively working in the medical profession to learn about the range of specializations and options available to them especially in the acute care field. Additionally, CRNAs will need to pass an exam to be licensed and will need to continue to take classes and work in the field to maintain this licensure.
Because the need for medical professionals at all levels in growing in the United States, those with a CRNA degree should be able to find employment with relative easy upon graduation. While opportunities will vary depending on geographic location and experience, CRNAs will have many options available to them in hospitals, private practices, dental offices and even in the military where they will work autonomously or with an anesthesiologist to administer anesthesia and care for patients.