nurse anesthetist     

The Nurse Anesthetist is an advanced practice registered nurse who administers anesthetics to patients undergoing medical, dental, surgical, and obstetrical procedures.

The role of the Nurse Anesthetist
According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Provide preoperative patient and family teaching.
Explain upcoming medical procedures and anesthesia to patients.
Assemble and test the medical equipment they will need to administer anesthesia.
Prepare prescribed solutions and start intravenous injections, as well as general, regional, and local anesthesia.
Administer prescribed anesthetics and medications.
  Managing a patientís airway and pulmonary status using current practice modalities.
Observe patients to ensure that anesthesia is maintained.
Monitor patients for warning signs during anesthesia and assist attending physicians with emergency procedures if necessary by providing air-way management.
Administration of emergency fluids and drugs, and using basic or advanced cardiac life support techniques.
  Record each patientís condition before, during, and after the surgery.
  Discharge patient from a post-anesthesia care area and provide post-anesthesia follow-up evaluation and care. 
Implement acute and chronic pain management modalities.
(CRNA, 2001) and (Qualifications, 2001)

Starting pay: Figures range from $70,000 to $94,000 a year.
(Q&A: A Career in Nurse Anesthesia, 2001) and (Guttman, 1997)

Requirements to be a Nurse Anesthetist:
A bachelorís of science in nursing or other appropriate baccalaureate degree is required. Licensure as a registered nurse, and working in an acute care setting for at least a year, although most sources imply requirement of 2-3 years, is also required. To become a Certified Nurse Anesthetist, a student must attend an anesthesia masterís program. This includes 24-36 months of course work, and 800 or more clinical hours of experience. Courses include anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics and pharmacology as related to anesthesia. 

Finally a national certification exam by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists must be passed. Recertification and continuing education is required every two years thereafter. 
(Virginia Health Careers '96-'98, 1997) and (Nurse Anesthetists at a Glance, 2001)

Chance to be involved with the patient from the beginning to the end of treatment. 

Where would I work?

  • Hospitals
  • Dental Offices
  • Inhalation Therapy Departments
  • U.S. Military
  • Emergency Rooms
  • Psychiatric Institutions
  • Outpatient Surgery Facilities
  • Pain clinics

You are not alone!
There are 27,000 practicing Nurse Anesthetists in the United States.
(Nurse Anesthetists at a Glance, 2001)

 For more information: