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CRNA Income – Nurse Anesthetist Salary and Career Information


Name: Terry Freemark
Job Title: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Where: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Employer: Hospital
Years of Experience: 10+
Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science
Salary: See the PayScale Research Center for the median Nurse Anesthetist Salary.

Nurse Anesthetist Salary and Career Information

If you asked most people, they probably wouldn't be able to give you a nurse anesthetist job description. In this Salary Story, nurse anesthetist Terry Freemark solves the mystery. He describes his nurse anesthetist career and sheds light on nurse anesthetist study programs, the typical nurse anesthetist work schedule and factors that can affect the average nurse anesthetist salary.

If you’re looking for a challenging profession in a medical field, a nurse anesthetist career may be the perfect choice. As you will soon read, preparing for a nurse anesthetist career requires intensive study and training, but the outcome is a rewarding nursing position that plays a critical role in health care.

Nurse Anesthetist Job Description:

Administering Nurse Anesthesia is advanced practice nursing at its finest. Nurse anesthetists deliver over 27 million anesthetics annually in this country. They provide collaborative care with surgeons, dentists, anesthesiologists, podiatrists and with other healthcare professionals. CRNAs perform pre-operative evaluations, assessments and implement anesthetic plans.

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They also select and administer anesthetic techniques, including general, regional, local, and conscious sedation; utilize non-invasive and invasive monitoring modalities; manage the patient’s airway status and ventilation, including intubation and extubation; administer proper pain, fluid, and homeostatic management; administer pain relief therapy, including labor epidurals; respond to airway crises and basic/advanced cardiac life support.

Can you tell us about nurse anesthetist study programs?

Becoming a nurse anesthetist requires experience (at least one year) in critical care nursing; a bachelor of science degree either in nursing or an appropriate science; completion of an accredited nurse anesthesia program, and the successful completion of the certification examination.

Can you recall any humorous moments from your nurse anesthetist career?

I remember one patient who began telling the OR suite a joke as I began administering his anesthetic medications to go off to sleep. As he was progressing with the story, his delivery of the joke became increasingly impaired, but he was valiant – and just as he delivered the punchline, he became unconscious. Everyone in the room had been waiting with bated breath, wondering if he would get to the punch line before he was asleep, and he did not disappoint. We were all quite amused.

Any advice for those preparing to become a nurse anesthetist?

Nurse anesthesia is a very rewarding career, and if you are interested in pursuing it, try following a nurse anesthetist around for a day to see just what the job entails. You will find anesthesia school to be one of toughest endeavors you will ever undertake – yes, it is hard.

You must be willing to dedicate a huge chunk of your life to your education – the information and data you learn will be voluminous; the many hands-on skills require practice, experience, and tenacity. It is a career that demands diligence and watchfulness, clinical acumen and the ability to integrate the didactic with the clinical arena.

What is the future of nurse anesthetist employment?

The employment outlook for nurse anesthetists has never been better. There is presently a shortage of CRNAs in the marketplace. Nurse anesthetists provide affordable and high quality health care. Approximately eight CRNAs can be educated for the price of one anesthesiologist.

What factors affect the average nurse anesthetist salary?

Nurse anesthetist salaries can be affected regionally, but generally speaking, the main determining factor in salaries is need. A city or region that is saturated with CRNAs may not command the same salary as an area that has greater need.

How does your salary compare to a nurse anesthetist salary?  The PayScale Salary Calculator is a quick and easy way to compare positions. But when you want powerful salary data and comparisons customized for your exact position, be sure to build a complete profile by taking PayScale’s full salary survey.

Matt Schneider
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