As a certified registered nurse anesthetist, you’ll likely work as part of a team of anesthetists and other nurses to develop and administer an anesthesia plan for a patient who needs a procedure where it is best to block pain. This could range from small-scale, localized anesthesia to numb specific areas of the body to use that is more difficult to manage, such as anesthesia during a very long operation. Your certification also allows you to work without the direct supervision of an anesthetist, though specific tasks you are and are not allowed to do vary by state.
Salary and Career Options
Certified registered nurse anesthetists, on average, make the highest salaries of all advanced practice nurses. The exact amount you’ll make depends on your employer, your location, and a number of other factors, but on average, nurses in this field make about $130,000 annually. Along with working in a clinical setting as a nurse, you can also take on an administrative or management role, become an educator, or work in anesthetics research.
The first step to becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist is to earn a bachelor of science in nursing, or BSN, which you can do through an LPN to RN program or a typical RN program. You’ll then need to earn a master’s degree in the field through an accredited university, which entails both classroom learning in areas such as pain management and anesthesia administration and hands-on training in a clinical setting. After you earn your degree, you’ll need to take your state’s certification exam to receive your nurse anesthetist license and begin working in this field.
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