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Nurse Anesthetist Salary in 2021

Nurse Anesthetist Salary in 2021

If you’re interested in a rewarding career in the health care field, you may be considering training as a nurse anesthetist. These registered nurses work with doctors and surgeons to administer anesthetics and monitor patients during surgery or medical procedures. 

The role is perfect for compassionate individuals who have good communication skills and like helping others. You’ll need an eye for detail, be able to stay calm in stressful situations and make well-informed decisions even under pressure. Becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) involves completing a nurse anesthetist program.

The Nurse anesthetist job is exciting and challenging. There are currently about 43,000 CRNAs practicing across the United States. Let’s explore the requirements for becoming a certified nurse anesthetist. We’ll provide you with the facts about certification and licensure requirements, as well as salaries and potential job growth. 

What a nurse anesthetist does

A Nurse anesthetist is a clinical nurse specialist who has undergone additional training to allow them to administer anesthetics to patients and look after them during medical procedures. The role also involves coordinating patient care by liaising with other medical professionals. 

The Nurse anesthetist will monitor a patient from the pre-operative stage throughout surgery and into recovery. The job involves checking the patients’ vital signs and ensuring that they are kept safe and comfortable during surgery. 

Nurse anesthetists are employed in various capacities, including surgery clinics, hospitals, private practices, and even dental clinics. They care for many different patients, which makes the job varied and interesting. On a weekly basis, a nurse anesthetist may care for trauma victims, surgery patients, obstetrics patients, as well as those managing chronically painful conditions. 

How is the care provided by a certified registered nurse anesthetist unique?

The certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) helps patients with pain management during medical procedures such as operations by providing sedation and anesthesia. The roles of the job vary slightly depending on the state-specific scope of practice. 

Gathering information

CRNAs generally view patients’ medical records and assess them to determine whether they have any special needs or concerns about anesthesia. They will also complete a basic physical exam before surgery and may order tests or schedule additional procedures. The role also involves creating a care plan for patients undergoing anesthesia. 

It’s vital that nurse anesthetists are meticulous when gathering information about a patient to ensure the best care can be offered. Before delivering anesthesia or prescribing medication under a pain management plan, the CRNA will need to obtain consent either from the patient or from a family member. A legal document must be signed to ensure the patient or their family understands the benefits and risks of anesthesia. When discussing a care plan with the patient and their family, the nurse anesthetist will also answer any questions that may arise. 

During surgery

During the medical procedure, nurse anesthetists will administer and make adjustments to the anesthesia and evaluate the patient’s response. The patient will require ongoing monitoring during the operation. 

Recovery

After surgery, the CRNA may teach the patient about pain management and prescribe medication. They will also consult with nurses and other professionals to provide the correct care. The patient will need to be closely monitored during the recovery process, whether a local or general anesthesia has been administered.

The nurse anesthetist may also need to give the patient reversal agents to ensure they are awake and stable. Once the patient has come round, they will be moved to the post-anesthesia care area (PACU). The CRNA will continue to oversee the patient’s care and instruct nurses, prescribe medications, and deal with any issues if they arise. The CRNA will provide acute pain management and evaluate the patient once they’ve recovered to see if they can be discharged or transferred.

 Once the patient is ready to go home, the nurse anesthetist will provide the patient or their family with advice about ongoing pain management.

Other responsibilities

The role will also involve selecting, ordering, and administer pre-anesthetic medications. 

CRNA’s have varying degrees of independence when administrating medication depending on their license, which state they work in, and the healthcare providers’ regulations. Often an anesthesiologist will verify the treatment plan before any medications are prescribed. Many CRNA’s are also involved in selecting fluids and blood products for their patients. 

Education

Nurse anesthetists may also involve conducting or participating in research studies. Many CRNA’s get involved in education or training. Those with leadership skills can become a nurse educator and help train student on work experience while other may act as a guest lecturer at an education establishment. Nurse anesthetists that choose to take a leadership role will be responsible for educating their colleagues and keeping the team up to date with new research or techniques. 

Using technology

Nurse anesthetists use technology, including ultrasound, to guide patient’s line placement. Depending on where they work, they may also use a fiber optic scope to intubate a blocked airway patient. This technique can be used to help resuscitate patients in an emergency. 

Palliative care

CRNA’s work with palliative care teams to administer sedation medications and help patients with pain management. The nurse anesthetist will work with patients and their family’s to create goals and create a tailored treatment plan. 

Order further treatments 

Some patients will require further treatment to allow them to manage chronic pain effectively. Nurse anesthetists will consult with other healthcare professionals such as physical therapy, psychiatric nurse practitioner, occupational therapy or pediatric nurse to decide on the correct type of treatment for the patient.

Labor and delivery

Nurse anesthetists also work with the nurse midwife team to help make expectant mothers comfortable by offering pain management during labor and delivery. A certified nurse midwife will oversee the work of the CRNA during labor.

Trauma stabilization 

If you’re looking to work in a fast-paced environment where you have to think on your feet and can save people’s lives, you may like to consider working in an emergency department or trauma unit. Nurse anesthetists help stabilize trauma patients by monitoring their vital signs and keeping them safe during emergency surgery. 

What is a certified registered nurse anesthetist?

Due to the sensitive nature of the job, nurse anesthetists must be certified to practice. To become a nurse anesthetist, you’ll need to study towards a master’s program. Most people begin their careers with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). This nursing program combines theory-based classroom learning with practical work experience in a clinical setting. You’ll then need to take the National Council Licensing Examination, and after passing, you’ll be a registered nurse practitioner (RN). 

If you’re looking to become a nurse anesthetist, you’ll need to do additional study and should apply to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for nurse anesthetists, also known as a nurse anesthesia program or a CRNA program. For some programs, you’ll need to gain experience by working as a nurse, while others integrate classroom learning with clinical experience. 

Whichever route you take, you’ll gain anesthesia experience, which will prepare you for the exam to become certified. The exam is organized by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists and is a nationally recognized qualification for nurse anesthetists. You’ll be able to take the exam after you’ve successfully completed a master’s degree program.

How many hours a week does a nurse anesthetist work?

Surgeons have hectic schedules and are often booked up months in advance to complete operations. They also have to respond to emergencies and carry out lifesaving procedures. As CRNAs support surgeons, they also have a busy schedule as they are required to be present for the surgeries. The workload will depend on the healthcare department where the CRNA works. Those working in obstetrics hospitals are likely to be the busiest.  

The number of hours a CRNA works will vary and depends on several different factors. Things like contracted hours, where they work, whether overtime is available, and whether the hospital is short-staffed all affect the nurse anesthetists hours. Sometimes a CRNA will be expected to be on call or increase their hours at short notice due to operating hours and patient load. Other factors such as whether a colleague calls in sick can also increase the nurse anesthetists hours.

Clinics or private practice

Where the nurse anesthetist works will affect working hours. For example, many health clinics or private practices have official hours, and the CRNA will only work these hours and won’t be required to do overtime. The official hours could be between 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays. Most nurse anesthetists will work between 40 and 50 hours a week. 

Hospitals

Nurse anesthetists working in hospitals are likely to work longer hours. They commonly do shift work of between eight and sixteen hours, depending on the hospital’s demands. Overtime may also be available. 

Nurse anesthetists generally have longer shifts than other types of nurses. They also work fewer weekly shifts. On average, a nurse with an eight-to-twelve-hour shift will do three to five shifts weekly. Those working 16 hours shifts will likely work two or three times a week. 

How to become a nurse anesthetist

As nurse anesthetists have high salaries, and the work is varied, and interesting competition for nurse anesthetist schools can be fierce. To become a nurse anesthetist, you’ll first need to train as a nurse by completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and passing a state license. 

After a year working as an RN in a hospital, you can apply for a nurse anesthesia educational program such as a Master of Nursing in Anesthesia. This degree generally takes between twenty-four and thirty-six months and includes clinic experience. The program consists of nursing specialty courses in pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, and pathology. You’ll also do work experience in a clinical setting and gain knowledge of managing patient’s anesthetic and fluids during operation and monitoring vital signs.

The course will also cover emergency care, including providing patients with cardiac assistance and opening and managing the airways. You’ll be taught to advise patients and provide after-care. Many programs require that you do research and write a thesis. This is beneficial if you plan to pursue advanced research in the future. 

After completing your master’s degree, you’ll be required to pass your state certification exam. Exams include questions in different formats, including multiple-choice, written answers, and calculations. There will also be graphic diagrams that you’ll be required to analyze. Once you’ve achieved your certification, you’ll be qualified as a nurse anesthetist and will have to study for continuing education credits and take the certificate every two years. 

Most people who decide to become a nurse anesthetist are already trained as or working as a nurse. Many wonder whether they can study to become a CRNA while working full time. This generally wouldn’t be possible as the anesthetist’s programs are all full-time and will require your concentration. Some studies may be completed online, and it might be possible to work part-time, depending on your program of study. 

Which qualities do successful nurse anesthetists have? 

To become a successful nurse anesthetist, you’ll need to first succeed as a registered nurse. Nursing will provide you with the basic skills required and allow you to have a solid foundation to build your CRNA career. CNN’s and student nurse anesthetists must be passionate about what they do and devoted to the profession. They should aim to achieve professional excellence and must be hardworking and motivated to complete the necessary studies to advance their careers. 

Nurse anesthetists also require critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills. They must be able to work as part of a team and have good communication skills, but should also be able to function independently. CRNA’s need to be able to quickly and accurately assess the situation and make appropriate decisions. They also need to be well organized and good at planning. Nurse anesthetists also require good interpersonal skills and should be compassionate. They will have to accurately relay information to various people, including doctors and other health care professionals, the patients, and their families. 

As nurse anesthetists are required to keep patients safe during medical procedures, they need to be accurate and apply attention to details. The CRNA must detect minute changes in the patient’s condition.

What is the difference between nurse anesthetists and a nurse anesthesiologist?

Nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists both deal with anesthesia. However, they have slightly different skill sets as they have undertaken different training. 

A CRNA is a registered nurse with at least a years intensive care experience. Becoming a nurse anesthetist takes further study of between two and two and a half years and consists of both didactic and clinical training. 

An anesthesiologist has a higher level of training. The role requires four years of college and then a further four years at medical school. An anesthesiology student will then need to complete either four years of training or a residency and then apply for a nurse anesthesia fellowship which will take a year. 

Anesthesiologists are highly qualified and will often oversee the work of the nurse anesthetist and approve their pain management treatment plans. A physician anesthesiologist is also responsible for caring for more critical patients. 

Starting salary of a nurse anesthetist

The starting salary for new graduates is generally about $125,640. This works out at an average hourly rate of $60.40 or a monthly salary of $10,470. This figure may vary depending on which area of healthcare the nurse anesthetist is working in and the state in which they live. 

The national average CRNA salary for a fully qualified and experienced nurse anesthetist is about $169,450. While the starting salary may seem low, most graduates will quickly rise up the pay scale. After five years of employment, most graduates are earning the national average, with some making a lot more. 

Highest salary for a nurse anesthetist

Nurse anesthetist’s salary range are dependent on many things. Some CRNAs work as an advanced practice nurse as they specialize in specific areas, which allows them to benefit from a higher salary. For example, a practitioner trained in neuro-anesthesia will be paid a higher average salary than a general practitioner. 

Many nurse anesthetists will boost their paychecks by taking on extra shifts or by participating in clinical ladder programs. Nurse practitioner salary depends on education as well as experience. Those who have a doctorate will also earn more than nurses with a master’s degree. CRNA’s who have completed extra leadership training and are responsible for supervising or training other employees also earn more. 

Which companies pay certified registered nurse anesthetists the most?

About 47% of nurse anesthetists work in physicians’ offices, while 27% are employed by hospitals and a further 8% in outpatient care centers. About 4% work as professors, assistance, or research advisors in colleges and universities, and 3% work in the offices of other health care providers such as plastic surgeons or dentists. Let’s look at the most common registered nurse salary:

Offices of physicians

Nurse anesthetists are often office-based and work in a clinic, plastic surgery offices, podiatry, gastroenterology, or dental surgery, providing anesthesia to patients undergoing minor procedures. Many doctors offer basic medical procedures from their office as this is more cost-efficient than sending the patient to the hospital. It’s also convenient for the patient. Nurse anesthetists are employed in doctors’ offices to ensure that the patient is safe while the procedure takes place. The average nurse anesthetist salary for a CRNA’s employed full-time in physicians’ offices is approximately $162,430 annually.

Hospitals

Hospitals are a significant employer of nurse anesthetists, and they provide vital care for patients undergoing surgery. CRNA’s in hospitals provide anesthesia for various medical procedures in different departments, including radiology, obstetrical suites, emergency care, or neonatal ICU. The salary for CRNA’s working in hospitals is generally above the average. Hospital nurse anesthetists earn an average of $184,590 annually, with senior employees earning more. 

Outpatient care centers

Nurse anesthetists also work in outpatient care centers where small operations are performed that can’t be completed in the doctor’s office. Salaries in this area of work are generally above the national average as the nurse anesthetist must take on many roles. The pay will be approximately $194,400 to reflect the increased responsibilities.

Colleges and universities 

CRNAs also work in academic settings as program directors, professors, guest lecturers, assistant professors, and clinical coordinators. Taking on a teaching role sees nurse anesthetists earning a lower wage than the national average. Professors will earn an average of $148,210, with pay scales determined by individual universities.

How much do nurse anesthetists earn in different states?

Texas

Texas has a growing healthcare industry, and the outlook for medical professionals is good. It’s expected that there will be a 25.77% growth rate in the health care sector in Texas over the next ten years. The average annual salary for a nurse anesthetist in Texas is $152,510, which is lower than the national average. However, the cost of living is slightly lower in Texas, and homes are cheaper. 

Ohio

Ohio is an excellent state from which to launch your nurse anesthetist career. There are seven graduate schools with nurse anesthesia programs. CRNA’s employed in Ohio will make about $159,000 annually, which is slightly below the national average. However, the state is considered an affordable place to live.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has many service projects that help people in the community, as well as nationally and globally. In Pennsylvania, CRNA’s generally earn the national average of $162,980. Employment growth in the state is slightly slower than in other states of America, and there are already 3,000 nurse anesthetists employed in hospitals and private clinics. 

New York

CRNA jobs in New York City are the highest paid in America, with annual salaries likely to be upward of $181,340. There’re also many opportunities across New York and a large projected job growth rate. 

California

CRNAs working in California operate under slightly different policies than other states. Nurse anesthetists can practice without physician supervision due to the introduction of a policy that was created to improve patient care. 

As nurse anesthetist has added responsibility and liability, their income is high. CRNA pay in California is generally around $217,230, and this amount has been adjusted to meet the cost of living. 

Florida

Florida is a state where employment opportunities for health care workers and CRNAs are growing due to the aging population. Many people choose to move to Florida after they retire and need care and operations as they age. The state, therefore, has an excellent expected job growth rate. The top-paying hospitals include Mayo Clinics, the Tampa General, Florida hospital, and the UF Health Shands. A Nurse anesthetist salary is likely to be $172,500 annually in Florida.

Georgia

Nurse anesthetists working in Georgia earn $145,210, which is less than the national average. The state expects to expand its healthcare industry which will result in a larger than the average growth rate. There are many opportunities for employment in Georgia, including the Emory University Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital, and Children’s Health Care of Atlanta. 

Washington

Nurse anesthetists working in Washington state don’t have to be supervised by a physician and therefore have more independence and responsibility than those doing the same job in other states. Those working in Washington city will have high wages of approximately $194,000 annually. However, it’s worth noting that the living costs across Washington state are more expensive than anywhere else in America, with the cost of housing exceptionally high. 

Job and salary outlook for nurse anesthetists

What is the job market outlook for a nurse anesthetist?

Becoming a nurse anesthetist is an attractive career path for many people. After qualifying, you’ll benefit from both a high salary and a rewarding career with a high level of professional independence. 

CRNA’s are generally well paid as they have obtained a high degree of education, and there is significant industry demand for practitioners. All areas of healthcare have seen a considerable rise in the last decade due to the baby boomer generation retiring and beginning to age. There is also likely to be an increase in the need for hospital care and operations, which means nurses’ and CRNA’s outlook is good. 

If you’re looking for a diverse career that will last well into the future and allow you to make a difference in people’s lives, a career as a nurse anesthetist may be for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an increase in the number of people working as registered nurse anesthetists to increase faster than any other industry in the next decade. 

Conclusion

Nurse anesthetists deal with anesthetics and help keep patients safe and comfortable while they’re undergoing operations or medical procedures. The role is unique compared to other nursing professions and many people find a CRNA job very rewarding. 

CRNAs generally work long shifts, primarily if they are employed in a hospital that is open 24/7. Nurse anesthetists with hospital experience are highly employable and sought-after. Those who decide to train as a nurse anesthetist will have good career prospects across America as healthcare is an industry that’s set to see a massive increase in job opportunities. This is due to the baby boomer generation who need care well into retirement. The pay for a nurse anesthetist is more than for hospital nurses. 

Training to become a nurse anesthetist takes dedication and years of study. You’ll need to complete a master’s degree and then pass a certification to become registered as a CRNA. 

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Degree Finder
RNtoBSNProgram.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.