The following guest blog post was written by Catherine Santos, a writer for a website dedicated to CRNA Schools. Visit her site if you're interested in learning more about what nurse anesthetists do and how to become one.
A CRNA is and advanced registered nurse specialist that provides anesthesia to patients prior to, during and following obstetrical and surgical procedures. These nurses give out medication to patients so they can be pain free during surgery or to keep patients asleep while constantly monitoring certain functions of the patient's body.
CRNA provide anesthesia to patients along with dentists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and additional health care officials. These nurses practice in various settings to include critical access hospitals, obstetrical delivery rooms, traditional hospital suites, dentist offices, plastic surgeon offices and much more.
CRNA EducationA CRNA is required to complete graduate level studies in addition to a board certification in anesthesia. In the United States a CRNA must complete a bachelor of Science in Nursing or a bachelor's degree that is in a science related field. These registered nurses are required to have one year of full time experience in an acute care location such as a surgical ICU or a medical intensive care unit.
When the applicant has completed their acute care requirement, they can apply to COA (Council on Accreditation) nurse anesthesia accredited program. It is not a requirement of a CRNA to have a master's degree, however, these programs lead to masters degrees because they are graduate programs. There is also education on the master doctoral degree offered. The length of the program ranges from 24-36 months. Candidates must pass the NCE (national certification examination) after graduation. The CRNA must at least 40 hours of approved continuing education every 2 years, maintain their current state license, keep records of their anesthesia practice, and provide information that they have not acquired a condition that would affect the career in order to be certified.