How much does a nurse anesthetist make ?


Nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), of the several types of registered nurses, are among the highest paid on average. Nurse anesthetists make an average of $189,190 per year ($90.96 per hour), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics from 2020. The amount you’ll be paid will vary depending on where you work and where you live. The average pay can be strongly influenced by the demand in your location. CRNAs make an average of $200,000 or more in some states. 

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Nurse anesthetists are essential members of the medical team, performing tasks such as delivering anesthesia, monitoring patients’ vital signs, and managing their recovery from anesthesia. A registered nurse with specialized graduate education is required to work as a nurse anesthetist. However, taking the extra preparation may pay off in the long run, as this profession appears to have a promising future. Nurse anesthetist employment is predicted to grow by 26% from 2018 to 2028, substantially faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook. 

What is the role of a nurse anesthetist? 

Before, during, and after surgery, a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) administers and offers anesthesia-related care to patients. CRNAs collaborate with a wide range of medical professionals, including surgeons, dentists, and podiatrists, and serve as a link between the patient and their primary care physician. CRNAs are critical in providing all parties with a complete understanding of how a procedure should be approached to ensure optimum safety and comfort for each patient, thanks to their regular communication with both patients and doctors. 

How much of a demand for nurse anesthetists is there? 

There is a continuing demand for nurse anesthetists across numerous disciplines due to the aging US population and ever-changing healthcare legislation. As a result of these reasons, there has been a noticeable increase in surgical operations conducted in ambulatory surgery facilities and doctors’ offices, necessitating an increase in the number of CRNAs on staff. 

In fact, a growing number of hospitals are relying on CRNAs as primary anesthetic providers. This is partly due to studies and reports that revealed little to no significant differences in skill, education, or function between CRNAs and physician anesthesiologists, whose primary role in the operating room is to supervise CRNAs. 

As a result, by eliminating physician anesthesiologists from the equation, healthcare institutions can reduce total procedural costs without affecting patient care quality. CRNA jobs are expected to rise by 26% between 2018 and 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thus your employment as a CRNA is likely to be stable.

The advantages of being a nurse anesthetist are numerous. 

Salary Increase 

CRNAs are often just as well compensated as physicians because they require further study, a more advanced skill set, and are heavily involved in the care process. 


CRNAs must stick to a fixed routine in order to anticipate and prepare for every event that may arise throughout the day. 


A CRNA’s days are never the same because they’re frequently called to work on a wide range of surgical procedures and specialties. Cases, patient personalities, and day-to-day coworkers all vary on a regular basis, thus CRNAs must be adaptive, communicative, and quick thinkers. 

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Independent CRNAs must be able to think independently, especially in emergency situations. CRNAs generally work alone in hospitals and smaller medical offices, and they are largely reliant on them to design specific care structures that work best for them, the doctors they work with, and their patients. As previously stated, certain states allow CRNAs to practice without the supervision of a licensed physician. 

CRNAs are important components of a medical team. This might not be the speciality for you if you don’t consider yourself a self-starter or if you don’t mind troubleshooting or working alone for long periods of time.

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CRNAs must be able to think independently, especially in emergency situations. CRNAs generally work alone in hospitals and smaller medical offices, and they are largely reliant on them to design specific care structures that work best for them, the doctors they work with, and their patients. As previously stated, certain states allow CRNAs to practice without the supervision of a licensed physician. 

CRNAs are important components of a medical team. This might not be the speciality for you if you don’t consider yourself a self-starter or if you don’t mind troubleshooting or working alone for long periods of time.

How to Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) 

Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. 

Though there are various paths to becoming a Registered Nurse, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing is the one that will provide you with the most opportunities and the educational background that is quickly becoming the standard (BSN). 

This four-year program gives you a solid foundation in topics including health assessments and pathophysiology, as well as anatomy and pharmacology. Clinical rotations in various care areas in hospitals and clinics are included in BSN programs, exposing you to a diverse spectrum of patients and colleagues and providing you with a well-rounded nursing education. 

Keep in mind that early academic excellence will be rewarded with more possibilities and options in the future when you pursue your undergraduate degree. The better your grades and recommendations from undergraduate instructors, the more likely you are to be accepted into your preferred accredited nurse anesthetist school. 

Become a Registered Nurse by obtaining a license. 

You will be qualified to take the exam to become a Registered Nurse once you have completed your Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) administers the NCLEX-RN, or National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCSBN). Every state has its own licensing standards and exam registration process, so be sure you’re aware with the ones that pertain to you and your location. 

Obtain Priceless Experience Working as a Registered Nurse in an Intensive Care Unit 

Despite the fact that your undergraduate clinical rotations exposed you to a variety of care settings, nurse anesthesia programs favor individuals with relevant experience, such as those who have worked in an intensive care unit (ICU) with adult patients. 

If you have a minimum of one year (more than one year is desired) of experience working in an adult intensive critical care unit, you will be in the best position to be accepted to a program (ICU). 

Certifications that reflect this experience (such as a Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification) will improve your resume and make you more appealing to individuals reviewing your nurse anesthesia program application. 

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Shadowing a working nurse anesthetist is another approach to improve your chances. This will not only show your dedication to the field, but it will also give you vital insight into your future as a nurse anesthetist. 

Apply to and be accepted into a Nurse Anesthesia Program that is Accredited. 

The number of certified nurse anesthesia programs has increased in tandem with the need for nurse anesthetists. CRNAs have previously been able to obtain an MSN or DNP; but, by 2025, they will require a doctoral degree. 

Attend a Nurse Anesthesia Program that is Accredited. 

In recent years, an increasing number of authorized nurse anesthesia schools have evolved beyond the traditional educational model of preparing students for a Master’s degree and instead offer a didactic level targeted toward a PhD degree. 

Earning your degree will take between two and three years, depending on the certified nurse anesthesia program you are accepted into and choose to attend. It will include both high-level classroom study and clinical experience. 

Take the National Certification Exam for Nurse Anesthetists and pass it. 

Passing the National Certification Examination is the final step before applying for an entry-level position as a nurse anesthetist (NCE). 

This three-hour computer-based test assesses the information, skills, and abilities provided by every authorized nurse anesthesia program. 

After passing the exam and becoming a CRNA, you must recertify every four years and take a new test every eight years to keep your certification. Recertification involves 100 hours of continuing education in areas such as pathophysiology and anesthetic technologies.

Nurse Anesthetist Programs at Universities 

Rush University is a private university in New York City 

The Rush University nursing anesthesia DNP program prepares a small group of students to work as highly proficient nurse anesthetists in a variety of medical and clinical settings. Rush University has been preparing nurses for this specific area of nursing for nearly 50 years. Applicants must have one to two years of recent adult critical care experience as a registered nurse in order to be considered. The curriculum is available full-time, on-campus, and lasts 36 months. Major publications have praised Rush University’s nursing anesthesia program. In fact, according to a recent ranking by U.S. News & World Report, Rush is the fourth top nursing anesthesia program in the country. $36,788 in tuition and fees. 

Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The master’s in nursing – nurse anesthesia program at Drexel University is a 28-month, full-time program that equips nurses with the skills they need to excel in the profession of nursing anesthesia. Drexel’s unique curriculum provides significant anesthesia case experience in renowned clinical centers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Many of the MSN necessary courses are taken online prior to full-time enrollment. Working nurses are drawn to this degree because of the early master’s level section of the curriculum. Students graduate to full-time enrolment after completing the part-time classes. U.S. News and World Report ranks Drexel’s nurse anesthesia program #43 out of 177 programs examined. $34,995 in tuition and fees 

University of Detroit Mercy is a Catholic university in Detroit, Michigan. 

The University of Detroit is a public research university in Detroit, Mercy’s nurse anesthesia program has been named the 10th top nursing anesthesia program in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. The curriculum is COA-accredited, and alumni have a 100% employment placement rate within six months after completion. Admission to this top-ranked program is extremely tough. A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a recognized ACEN or CCNE nursing school, a minimum of one year experience as a professional RN in a critical care setting within the last five years, and a solid undergraduate academic record with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are some of the entry requirements. $28,422 in tuition and fees 

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Keiser University is a private university located in Keiser, 

The nurse anesthesia program at Keiser University lasts 28 months and is divided into two stages: didactic and clinical. The didactic stage lasts for the first 12 months of the program, while the clinical stage lasts for the remaining 16 months. Attendance in the classroom is required for certification and graduation. U.S. News and World Report ranks Keiser University as a top private university. In fact, according to U.S. News, the school is ranked #56 among the best regional universities in the South. For price and intellectual excellence, Keiser takes the top spot on our ranking. 

Albany Medical College is a medical school in Albany, New York 

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) has recognized Albany Medical College’s nurse anesthesia program, making it one of our top choices for nurse anesthesia programs. The clinical component of this curriculum, as well as enhanced rotations at various off-campus clinical institutions throughout New York, set it apart. Nine clinical sites in New York and two off-campus clinical sites in Massachusetts are available to students. In addition, U.S. News and World Report ranks the nurse anesthesia programs as the 36th best in the US out of 177 schools examined. 

Northeastern University is located in Boston, Massachusetts. 

The Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia program at Northeastern University prepares professional nurses to provide anesthesia. Three years is required to finish this full-time, CCNE and COA certified curriculum. The curriculum is designed for licensed registered nurses who do not hold a master’s degree. The National Certification Exam (NCE) has a pass rate of over 80% for first-time test-takers and 100% for second-time test-takers. Northeastern University is a well-known and highly regarded institution. According to U.S. News and World Report, the nursing anesthesia program is tied for 22nd place among the finest nurse anesthesia programs. $24,309 in tuition fees 

Texas Wesleyan University is a private university in Texas. 

One of the greatest nurse anesthesia programs in the country is also one of the largest. Texas Wesleyan University prides itself on its capacity to generate independent nursing practitioners. The front-loaded curriculum at the university is planned to be completed in 28 months. The first year is spent learning theory and studying in a classroom or online setting; students then begin a 16-month clinical nurse anesthesia residency at one of the program’s 21 authorized hospitals. Aside from being one of the largest programs, Texas Wesleyan University also offers affordability, accreditation, and major publication rankings. In fact, the school is ranked #64 in best regional universities in the West and #34 in best value institutions by U.S. News and World Report. $18,133 in tuition and fees.

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