Nursing Anesthetist Post Rn

A nurse anesthetist administers pain-blocking drugs during surgical procedures and monitors the patient's status before and after surgery. Specially trained, advanced-practice nurses are in charge of giving and monitoring the anesthesia in more than half of the medical interventions in the country. A role established in the late 19th century, nurse anesthetist was the first clinical nursing specialty.

There is a high demand for professionals in this field, and graduates from accredited programs face little difficulty in finding employment. The median salary for nurse anesthetists is around $148,000.

There are just over 110 nurse anesthetist programs in the country. The Council for Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) is the accreditation body for this field. Graduates from accredited programs become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (C.R.N.A.s) by taking the national exam administered by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (A.A.N.A.).

Nurse Anesthetist Master's Programs

In order to become a nurse anesthetist, a student must complete a program of graduate studies, participating in either a master's program or a doctoral program. Completing the nurse anesthetist master's program takes around two to two-and-a-half years. In most cases, a student who intends to enter a nurse anesthetist program must already have earned a bachelor's of nursing (B.S.N.). Some schools, however, accept students with an associate's degree in nursing (A.D.N.) if those students also have a B.S. in a different, related field.

Also required for admission is a year of clinical practice as an R.N. in an emergency room, cardiac cath lab, operating room or other acute care setting. Nurse anesthetist schools ask that applicants submit standardized test results, usually the G.R.E., but in some cases the M.A.T. The accreditation board requires that applicants be certified in advanced life support methods, such as A.C.L.S. and P.A.L.S..

Beyond these general standards, each school has its own particular requirements for admission, such as a minimum GPA for the bachelor's degree or the completion of an undergraduate course in statistics. Competition to enter nurse anesthetist programs is intense. A good grade point average from the undergraduate years, as well as strong letters of recommendation, give applicants a great advantage.

The curriculum of a nurse anesthetist program increases the R.N.'s familiarity with aspects of anatomy and physiology that have bearing on the use of pain-blocking drugs. In addition, pharmacology becomes an important focus of study.

  • Principles of Anesthesia
  • Anesthesia Pharmacology
  • Anatomy
  • Physical Assessment
  • Clinical work

Institutions that provide up-to-date facilities and serve a diverse population provide useful experience in real-world issues. The hours of clinical practice give nurse anesthetist students valuable experience with various methods and tools. Working in a wide variety of clinical sites, with many different sorts of patients, also helps to expand the nurse's knowledge set.

A nurse anesthetist with a master's degree may seek a position in a number of different settings.

  • Hospitals
  • Emergency rooms
  • Psychiatric institutions
  • Outpatient surgery centers
  • Dental surgeon's offices

Doctoral Degree as a Nurse Anesthetist

Over the next decade, upon the advice of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (A.A.C.N.), the Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) will be phased in as the entry-level degree for nurse anesthetists. In anticipation of this change, many schools have eliminated the M.S.N. program in favor of implementing a D.N.P. program. Around 80 schools now offer D.N.P. or comparable curriculums (D.N.A.P., Dr.N.A.P., or D.M.N.A.P.). This degree is suited to individuals who intend to seek leadership positions within the field, or to work as clinical faculty at universities or nursing colleges. It takes around two years to earn a D.N.P.

Coursework for the D.N.P. includes classes that deal both with subjects directly related to patient care and classes that provide a wider look at healthcare practices and management.

  • Evidence-based practice
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Economics
  • Biostatistics
  • Healthcare Law and Ethics

Ph.D. as a Nurse Anesthetist

A Ph.D. in the field involves additional hours of research, and is sought by nurse scientists who intend to work in academia or research institutions as teachers or administrators. This degree requires a dissertation, and takes around five-and-a-half years to complete. Some schools offer combined programs that unite the specialization of the D.N.P. with the research of the Ph.D.

Coursework for the PhD is much like that for the D.N.P., but with the addition of research-focused classes leading to the completion of a dissertation.

  • Theory of anesthesia practice
  • Research methodology
  • Health Informatics

Earning a doctoral degree in nursing anesthesia prepares the student for a number of professional roles.

  • College professor
  • Program director
  • Independent researcher

Featured Schools

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

We found 41 schools offering nurse anesthetist degree programs in the U.S.

>> See all 41 Nursing Anesthetist Post Rn Colleges in the U.S.

Nurse Anesthetist Schools Ranked By US News and World Report

Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA  |  Total Enrollment: 24066

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Rush University
Chicago, IL  |  Total Enrollment: 1282

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
University of Pittsburgh - Main Campus
Pittsburgh, PA  |  Total Enrollment: 26329

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX  |  Total Enrollment: 1192

Degrees Offered: Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sci
Bethesda, MD  |  Total Enrollment: 843

Degrees Offered: Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Wake Forest University
Winston Salem, NC  |  Total Enrollment: 6173

Degrees Offered: Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Barnes - Jewish College of Nursing and Allied Health
Saint Louis, MO  |  Total Enrollment: 413

Degrees Offered: One but less than two years, Associate's, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH  |  Total Enrollment: 9304

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Albany Medical College
Albany, NY  |  Total Enrollment: 641

Degrees Offered: Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH  |  Total Enrollment: 9304

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree

Browse All 41 Colleges With Nurse Anesthetist Programs

Title City State Enrollment
Barry University Miami FL 8650
Baylor College of Medicine Houston TX 1192
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland OH 9304
Gannon University Erie PA 3377
Gooding Institute of Nurse Anesthesia Panama City FL 20
Mayo School of Health Related Sciences Rochester MN 248
Mcp Hahnemann University Philadelphia PA 2500
Medical College of Georgia Augusta GA 1932
Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia Inc Madison TN 112
Missouri State University Springfield MO 17703
Montgomery Hospital School of Nursing Anesthesia Norristown PA No Data
Mount Marty College Yankton SD 1125
Northeastern University Boston MA 23897
Oakland University Rochester Hills MI 15235
Ravenswood Hospital Medical Center - Sch of Anesth Chicago IL 24
Saint John Fisher College Rochester NY 2739
Saint Josephs University Philadelphia PA 6961
Saint Mary S University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN 3200
Saint Marys University of Minnesota Winona MN 5010
Samuel Merritt College Oakland CA 693
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Edwardsville IL 12193
Suny at Buffalo Buffalo NY 24830
Suny Health Science Center at Brooklyn Brooklyn NY 1470
Texas Wesleyan University Fort Worth TX 3133
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Houston TX 3143
Truman Medical Center School for Nurse Anesthesia Kansas City MO 33
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sci Bethesda MD 843
University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham AL 14951
University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati OH 27327
University of Detroit Mercy Detroit MI 6023
University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City KS 2409
University of Michigan - Flint Flint MI 6316
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis MN 45481
University of New England Biddeford ME 2684
University of Pittsburgh - Main Campus Pittsburgh PA 26329
University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 29194
Villanova University Villanova PA 10017
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond VA 24066
Wayne State University Detroit MI 30408
Webster University Saint Louis MO 13783
Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans LA 3797