These days, nursing is a high-order job because of the demand in healthcare for people. However, have you ever asked what the hardest role of nurses is? The answer is the object of this article – certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Today, we are going to bring a narrow-down acknowledgment of CRNA, why it is hard and how to become one. 


nclex nurse anesthetists
nurse anesthetists plays an important role in healthcare system

1. What is a Certified registered nurse anesthetist?


Commonly, a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is an advanced registered nurse (RN) who provides anesthesia and other treatments for patients. They are also in charge of taking care of the undergoing and recuperating from surgery sufferers. In fact, the majority of anesthesia cases in the US are undertaken by CRNA. It is a unique point of CRNA apart from other nurses because their job is nearly as a physician with skillful tasks. 


2. Where do Certified registered nurse anesthetists work?


Typically, CRNA is most often found in hospitals or healthcare centers with operating rooms, emergency departments, and intensive care units. Some common places where you can find a certified registered nurse are:

  • Medical and surgical facilities
  • Hospitals with limited access
  • Centers of mobile surgery
  • Centers of outpatient care
  • Facilities for nursing research
  • Plastic surgeons’ offices, dentists’ offices, ophthalmologists’ offices, pain management experts’ offices, and other medical professionals’ offices
  • Military medical institutions in the United States

Additionally, along with practice jobs, there are also available administrative positions for nurse anesthetists. Personnel and resource management, financial management, quality assurance, risk management, department meetings, continuing education, and staff development are all possible managerial roles.

Moreover, CRNA may also work with state and federal government agencies such as state boards of nursing, the United States Food and Drug Administration, and professional testing organizations like the American Society for Testing and Materials.


3. What are Certified registered nurse anesthetist duties?

Admittedly, CRNA plays a vital role in the surgery and post-surgery process. They often work in teams, mostly with anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists, and other physicians to serve patients who are taking the anesthesia. There will be scheduled and unscheduled cases, which require certified registered nurse anesthetists to work late at night, at weekends, or even on holidays.

Normally, CRNA duties are included: 

  • Observing the patient’s reaction to anesthesia
  • Identifying potential dangers to the anesthetized patient, such as allergies and overdosage
  • Controlling accurate dosages
  • Educating patients pre and post-anesthesia

In addition, many CRNAs also perform administrative duties such as ordering medications, managing budgets, and onboarding new personnel. They might teach development courses, work for state nursing boards, or be involved in medical standards-setting groups.

Certified registered nurse anesthetist
Certified registered nurse anesthetist

4. How to be a Certified registered nurse anesthetist?


CRNA is considered one of the most advanced nurses in the nursing field due to the high demand for medical skills and responsibilities. Besides, the requirements of CRNA are complex too. You must meet all the qualifications below to be a CRNA:


4.1. Becoming a Registered Nurse


A nurse who desires to work as a certified registered nurse anesthetist must be a registered nurse in one of the United States states or territories. You may need to complete an authorized registered nursing education program and pass the NCLEX-RN test to become a registered nurse.

You can get an associate degree, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) by completing an accredited nursing program (MSN). The requirements for RN licensing differ from state to state.

>>See more: How To Become A Registered Nurse?

4.2. Complete a CRNA Program


The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs accredits CRNA programs (COA). A GPA of 3.0 or above, as well as a cumulative score of 300 or higher on the Graduate Record Examination, are standard admittance criteria in addition to RN license and practice requirements (GRE). Check the specific admittance criteria for the programs you’re interested in.

Certified registered nurse anesthetist programs vary in length based on the school that offers them. Students in online CRNA programs may have more flexibility in their schedules and have the opportunity to engage in live classroom discussions. The accrediting standards for online programs are the same as for on-campus programs.


4.3. Archive the National Certification Examination (NCE) from the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)


The major goal of the certification test is to guarantee that nurse anesthetist has the information and abilities necessary to perform safely and efficiently. It also safeguards the CRNA credential’s value. During their educational program, students can sign up to take the Self-Evaluation Examination to assess their progress and prepare for the National Certification Examination. CRNAs must take the Continued Professional Certification Exam every four years after passing the original exam.


4.4. Take the CRNA Licensure of Practice


CRNAs are allowed to work in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. CRNAs are categorized as advanced practice registered nurses in several states and must be licensed by the appropriate state licensing authority. You can check your state’s nursing licensing requirements to know whether you need it or not.

Steps Requirements Duration
1 Registered Nurse 5-7 years (includes 4 years in university)
2 CRNA Program 2-3 years
3 National Certification Examination 1 year
4 CRNA Licensure of Practice 1 year









crna job growth
CRNA job growth is estimated to be 45 percent between 2020 and 2030

5. What are Certified registered nurse anesthetist’s salaries and Job outlook?

5.1. Nurse anesthetist salary 


Certified registered nurse anesthetists are among the highest-paid advanced-practice nurses. Depending on a lot of factors the number might be not the same, for example, states or gender. However, the income might range from $110,000 to $203,000 and the average annual wage is $158,000.

>>See more: Nurse salary: How much do nurses make?


5.2. Nurse anesthetist job outlook


A nurse anesthetist has a lot of work opportunities. More patients are seeking medical treatment as a result of healthcare laws, increased emphasis on preventative care, a rising number of insured patients, and an older patient population.

CRNA job growth is estimated to be 45 percent between 2020 and 2030, far greater than the 12 percent expected for RNs, according to the BLS. As previously stated, many rural regions are already employing a large number of CRNAs when they are available, and this trend is projected to continue. Due to affordability and availability, several organizations are using them in place of anesthesiologists.

In summary, Certified registered nurse anesthetist is a both stressful and rewarding job. If you are interested in becoming a CRNA, make your first step on the NCLEX Practice Test now!