A certified registered nurse anesthetist, or CNRA, can work in a few different healthcare settings. Hospitals, clinics and dental offices all employ CRNAs. These nurses are capable of administering anesthesia and monitoring patients during its use. There are a few benefits that cause many to wonder how they can become certified registered nurse anesthetists.
There are a few reasons to become a CRNA. Those who choose this nursing specialty are known to receive relatively high pay. Many employers need someone who can administer anesthesia. This makes finding a job easier and may also increase a nurse's current job security. Some simply enjoy the work or like to work with a surgical team. This advanced specialty does require some specific training and education.
Usually those who choose to pursue this specialty are already RNs. These nurses are considered advanced practical nurses, so they must have a bachelor's degree in nursing or a related field before beginning training to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Most programs require an RN to have at least one year of experience before being trained in this field.
A CRNA graduate program typically requires two to three years of additional schooling. This is a master's degree program in which a Master of Science in Nursing diploma is awarded at completion. These programs include a combination of practical training and classroom learning. Physics, biochemistry, chemistry and other such subjects are covered along with anesthesia and advanced nursing classes. Practical experience is often completed during clinical training. Student CRNAs will be expected to help and learn during real surgeries and infant deliveries before they complete the program.
After completing his education, it is necessary for one of these nurses to become certified. There is a national CRNA certification exam that is administered by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists. This exam tests the knowledge and skills that a CRNA will need when working with patients. Students are encouraged to study and practice skills before attempting the certification exam. All certified registered nurse anesthetists are required to recertify every two years. In order to recertify, these nurses must complete an application and continuing education as well as meet all other requirements.
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