What is a Nurse Anesthesiologist?

Nurse AnesthesiologistA nurse anesthesiologist is a specialist within the field of nursing who provides patients with anesthesia prior to certain procedures and treatments. If you are beginning to study nursing or you currently work in the healthcare industry, learning about the roles and responsibilities of specialists with an advanced set of skills can help you decide if you want to complete additional courses to specialize within the profession.

With the growing need for professionals in the healthcare workforce, there is no better time to enroll in specialization courses to gain certification in a practice area like anesthesia. Read this guide to the anesthesia specialization in nursing, and decide if getting certified is the right route to travel.

What Are Roles and Responsibilities of Certified Nurse Anesthetists?

The primary role of a nurse anesthetist is to administer various types of anesthesia for various types of surgeries and some other routine procedures so that patients are able to experience less pain. They will work directly with surgeons and anesthesiologists to coordinate care, but have a very autonomous role within the healthcare system because of their advanced practice nurse recognition, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Care coordination is common, but in rural settings where there is not a huge population of healthcare professionals, many times nurse anesthetists are the sole administrator of anesthesia.

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

In a specialized field where there is a high level of autonomy you are required to demonstrate that you are capable of meeting the standards in the field. This is why you must apply for and test for a national certification before you can get certified to administer anesthesia. Before you are even eligible to take a national exam, you must meet experience and educational requirements.

To start down the pathway to becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) you need to enter into a bachelor’s degree nursing program. Once you have your bachelor’s degree that fits into the criteria to become a registered nurse, you can take the NCLEX-RN exam. You will need to have at least one year of acute care experience before you can apply to get certified. In addition to the experience, you must take another specialized and accredited nursing anesthesia program.

If you are not sure how to find an accredited program, you can find a list through theĀ Council on Accreditation and then make your choice without taking any risks. Once you are done with your program, apply for the national exam and you will have to sit to prove that you have the knowledge necessary to safely administer anesthesia in simple and more complex situations. Once you pass the certification exam, you can begin to practice in all healthcare settings.

Related Resource: Chief Nursing Officer

Nurse anesthetists have been administering anesthesia for over a century. They have worked aside soldiers on the battlefield and have also worked in hospitals in both metropolitan and rural settings. If you would like to increase your earning potential and take your career to new heights, you should consider the advantages of learning the ins and outs of anesthesia administration. Once you have the year of acute clinical experience and taken an accredited program that takes up to 36 months to complete, you can then turn in your certification application and test to show that you are ready to be a nurse anesthesiologist.