A nurse anesthetist specializes in providing pain relief medication to patients. More specifically, they offer anesthesia to patients before, during, and after surgery if deemed necessary. On the surface, this may seem like a simple task. In reality, if this process isn’t treated with care and respect, there can be very serious consequences.
This article will focus on the responsibilities of the job and how to become a nurse anesthetist.
What Exactly Does a Nurse Anesthetist Do?
A nurse anesthetist plays a major role within a medical team. They work alongside doctors, surgeons, and anesthesiologists to provide anesthetics to patients of all ages. Without the support of anesthetics, many surgeries would be extremely painful.
A nurse anesthetist can work in surgical clinics, emergency rooms, outpatient care centers, doctors’ offices, respiratory therapy departments, or within the military.
Here are some of the specific roles of a nurse anesthetist:
- Physically assessing patients before a procedure to ensure they are prepared and able to receive anesthesia without serious side effects
- Offer preoperative teaching, so patients have a full understanding of what to expect
- Administering anesthesia to the patient while comforting and supporting them
- Maintaining the anesthetic consistently throughout the procedure
- Assisting patients in postoperative recovery
The average salary for a nurse anesthetist is around $195,000 per year. APRNs are currently in very high demand. With experience, it is possible for a nurse anesthetist to move into a managerial or educational role.
Nurse Anesthetist Schooling: What is Needed to Become a Nurse Anesthetist
Some people confuse a nurse anesthetist with an anesthesiologist. While both play an important role on a medical team, their background and schooling are quite different.
An anesthesiologist is considered a doctor, meaning they went to medical school and have a residency training background. On the other hand, a nurse anesthetist is considered an advanced nurse with a nursing education and professional background.
Nurse anesthetist schooling can begin in high school. Those that want to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist are encouraged to take chemistry, biology, geometry, algebra, psychology, nutrition, and health courses. These will provide important information that will be used in the occupation.
Individuals seeking to become nurse anesthetists are required to pursue higher education as well. A nurse anesthetist is considered an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), which requires 6 to 8 years of higher education.
Here is a list of expectations before someone is able to work as a nurse anesthetist:
- Earning a bachelor of science degree (BSN) or an associate degree (ADN) in nursing
- Earning an RN license by taking and passing the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN)
- Before becoming a nurse anesthetist, you must have at least one full year as a working RN. Currently, it is also expected for an APRN to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). This includes administering anesthesia in a supervised clinical setting at least 600 times in addition to 2,500 clinical hours.
- Starting in 2025, a nurse anesthetist will be required also to have a doctoral degree
- After completing all required degree programs, an APRN must pass the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists exam (NBCRNA). You must take and pass this exam every two years to continue practicing. This includes 40 hours of continuing education.
Nurse Anesthetist Jobs: Apply with CynaMed Today
Are you a nurse anesthetist seeking employment? CynaMed is here to help! We are a healthcare staffing solution designed to connect employers with high-quality employees. Whether you are looking for a part-time, full-time, short-term, or permanent position, CynaMed has opportunities for you.
Apply today, and you could be working in as little as 24 hours!