Nurse Anesthetist Salary: How much does a CRNA earn?

CRNAs are considered one of the highest paid nurses these days. With their median salary marked at $157,000 last 2016, it’s not surprising to find more and more nurses and nursing students aspiring to excel in this specialty.

CRNA Salaries Based on State

One factor that can affect the salary you get is your location. So, if you want to earn higher, you need to make sure you are working in one of the highest paying cities for CRNAs.

Your choices include:

  • Montana – $242,140
  • California – $215,539
  • Alaska – $167,900
  • Alabama – $158,060
  • Colorado – $146,410
  • Illinois – $128,080

The Top Factors That Can Affect Your Salary

While nurse anesthetists tend to have a high salary, there are still some factors that can affect what they actually earn.

The location of their employment is one good example. Nurse anesthetists who work in big cities, where the demand for their skills and expertise are high, tend to pay more than areas with less population. The type of employer is an important factor, too.

Like other specialties, a nurse anesthetist who is more experienced can earn more than those who are just starting out in the field. With that, work on earning more credentials and certifications if you want to get a higher salary.

What Does A Nurse Anesthetist Do

Nurses who are working in this specialty care for patients before, during, and after undergoing their medical procedures. They evaluate them and determine the right anesthetic plan for their case. They determine the risks, like allergies, to ensure their patients’ safety.

After administering the anesthetic, they will monitor the patient’s vital signs throughout the procedure until the patient completely recovers from the anesthesia.

As a CRNA, you can work in a wide range of settings. You can get a job in hospitals, plastic surgery clinics, dental clinics, and trauma centers. Your job may involve administering anesthesia via oral medication, gas or intravenous liquid to provide twilight sleep to patients undergoing minor procedures or manage chronic pain.

What You Need to Become A Nurse Anesthetist

Becoming a CRNA, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Like most nursing specialties, you need to be a registered and licensed nurse first. In some programs, you’ll need to possess a minimum of 1-year experience in adult care first before you can become a CRNA.

All in all, you’ll need to spend about 2 to 4 years completing an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program. You can choose from the 113 accredited programs in the country.

If you are looking for the best CRNA programs in the US, you can take a closer look at the following schools:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Duke University
  • Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia (Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia)
  • Rush University

Nurse anesthesia programs are designed to ensure potential CRNAs can function under pressure. Once hired, nurse anesthetists are responsible for careful monitoring of patients before, during, and even after surgery.

They should also be knowledgeable enough to determine the exact type of anesthesia, its concentration and the method of administration suitable for a patient.

Needless to say, CRNAs may mean the difference between a patient’s life and death. And that’s more than enough to justify the impressive nurse anesthetist salary they now enjoy.

See Also: The Quickest Way to Become a Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Career Outlook for CRNAs

CRNAs have an excellent job outlook. With the aging population now seeking medical care and people’s focus on preventive care, you can expect to have a lot more job opportunities in the field.

Between 2014 and 2024, it’s expected that CRNAs projected job growth will be at 31%. That’s about 16% faster than the expected job growth rate of registered nurses.