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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Career Highlights

  • Be part of a rapidly growing profession
  • High-demand position
  • Provide a vital service to patients

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Career Summary

A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is a registered nurse who has completed additional training in anesthetics. Their job is to provide anesthesia or sedation before and during surgery and other procedures. This can include general, regional or local anesthesia, or complete sedation.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists work in a variety of settings and with many different health care professionals, including dentists, surgeons, podiatrists, obstetricians and military doctors. Depending on state laws, they may work under the supervision of a physician or doctor, or they may work independently. They may also choose to work alongside an anesthesiologist, which is a physician specializing in anesthetics. This is termed an Anesthesia Care Team.

According to annual salary reports, CRNAs are the highest paid nursing specialty, earning an average annual salary of over $140,000.

Nurse anesthetist training

Becoming a nurse anesthetist first requires a license to practice as a registered nurse, which usually involves obtaining a bachelor's degree in nursing.

Further training is then required, as entry-level CRNA positions are typically at the master's degree level. With recent changes in legislation, this is due to increase to the doctorate level for new entrants by 2025. National certification is also required.

The certified registered nurse anesthetist profession is largely unknown to most health students, and even health care professionals, unless they work with practicing CRNAs. This makes it a rather uncommon career path, though those in the field would agree its rewards are well worth the work of getting there.

More information can be found via the Additional Information links below.




Requires a degree in:

Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing

Career Skills

  • Good crisis manager
  • Like working with technology and machines
  • Committed to life-long learning
  • Can concentrate for long periods
  • Able to analyze and problem-solve

Additional Information

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  1. bob

    this was helpful but i need to know how long i would be in school for this career

  2. thx

    this website was really helpful and to decide what i want to do and i might as well just do this for career

  3. this was very informing for doing my junior thesis and it really helped me

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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.