Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)

What is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist?

Certified registered nurse anesthetists’ primary duty is to administrate anesthetic to a patient who will have surgery. State law differs on whether a CRNA can work independently of a physician or anesthesiologist, but in many situations, an MD will make the final decision on dosage, and the CRNA will administer it. The CRNA provides an extra layer of protection for the patient. Because anesthesia can be so harmful if dosed or administered improperly, it is safer to have two experts, both an MD and a CRNA, working on the process together. Some regular duties of a CRNA might include:

  • Preparing a patient to receive anesthesia by explaining the effects of the specific drug being used, and disclosing the risks and benefits of it. Often, nurses will ask the patient to count down or say the alphabet backwards, to distract them from the effects of the anesthesia and make it easier for the doctor to tell when it has taken full effect.
  • Cleaning the site of injection, delivering tablets or capsules, or opening an intravenous drip, depending on the method that the CRNA and MD have agreed upon for administering the anesthetic.
  • Being with a patient when they come out of the anesthesia to explain what has happened and offer pain medication or even sedation. Some patients come out of anesthesia kicking and screaming, and need to be eased out of it safely.

How Much Do Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Earn?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t report detailed salary data for CRNAs, but a ballpark salary can be inferred based on the average salary of RNs, which is $69,110, nationally. Anesthesiology is one of the fields where doctors are most exposed to malpractice suits and other legal risks, so MDs in the field usually charge quite a lot. The mean annual wage of an anesthesiologist is $234,950.

Based on the above facts, it is likely that CRNAs will make significantly more money than general RNs, though they certainly won’t earn as much as anesthesiologist MDs. Other factors such as experience level, credentials, and even geographic location can influence a CRNAs earning power.

The Best Online Nurse Practitioners Degrees

A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who provides primary and specialty care to patients. A nurse practitioner is responsible for administering both nursing and wider healthcare services; and, they are licensed to prescribe medications. Becoming a nurse practitioner requires the completion of a master's degree program. Below are the most popular colleges offering online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees.

Walden University RN to MSN: Adult Gerontology NP
RN to MSN: Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP
Walden University - The Walden University Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program offers study in the advanced methods of practicing nursing throughout the healthcare industry. Registered nurses with bachelors in nursing are able to obtain their diploma in an accelerated format. Students can also specialize in various aspects of nursing, including Adult Gerontology, Adult Gerontology Acute Care, and Nurse Leadership.
Kaplan University MSN: Nurse Practitioners
MSN: Nurse Administration
MSN: Nurse Education
MSN: Nurse Informatics
Kaplan University - The Kaplan University MSN for Nurse Practitioners and RN to MSN programs offers students the opportunity to explore nursing methods in a dynamic healthcare environment. Courses include Advanced Nursing Roles, Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing, and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in a Diverse Community. MSN specializations are offered in nurse administration, nurse education, and nurse informatics.
Catholic University of America Doctor of Nursing Practice
Catholic University of America - At the Catholic University of America, students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program will participate in an online format that confers an advanced degree in the management of healthcare. Graduates leave CUA with the education and confidence to tackle the most pressing medical management challenges.
Grand Canyon University MSN: Nurse Leadership
MSN/MBA: Nurse Leadership
Grand Canyon University - The Grand Canyon University College of Nursing and Health Sciences provides students with a variety of master's programs tailored to meet the students specific interests. Specializations include Education, Leadership in Health Care Systems (also available as an MBA).
Simmons College MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
RN to MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
Simmons College - For students who want to advance their careers and quickly accomplish life goals, Simmons College offers two degrees to help students become nurse practitioners. The first allows students to specialize as Family Nurse Practitioner while the second program is an accelerated option for registered nurses interested in family nurse practice. Both degrees are accredited and through online courses, they can be accomplished in two years.
Georgetown University MSN: Midwifery and Women's Health
Georgetown University - Graduates of the Georgetown University online MS of Nursing in Midwifery and Women's Health will have more than just a degree to their name upon completion. Students will have the skill and knowledge to help advance their profession, and medicine as a whole, while serving as sponsors of the well-being and overall health of each of their patients.

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