Because of their advanced nursing degrees, high level of autonomy and the ensuing load of responsibility, nurse anesthetists command some of the highest salaries in the nursing arena today.
Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are the only anesthesia providers in many care facilities.
They can even be directly reimbursed by Medicare.
CRNAs practice in hospital surgical suites, dental offices, ambulatory surgical centers, military facilities and nearly any other place anesthesia is administered you can think of.
The first step to becoming a CRNA is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and continue with a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia. Certification is gained by taking a national exam and recertification is required every two years.
Competition to obtain entry into CRNA programs can be quite stiff, and CRNAs often work long hours. However, for a CRNA, the financial rewards as well as the personal rewards of helping see patients safely through a vulnerable time can be very substantial.