What does a nurse anesthetist do?

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who administer anesthetics to patients undergoing medical, dental, surgical, and obstetrical procedures. They work in collaboration with physicians or dentists, combining professional nursing skills with the science of anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists are an important part of the surgical team.

What might a nurse anesthetist do in a workday?

  • explain upcoming medical procedures and anesthesia to patients.
  • assemble and test medical equipment needed to administer anesthetics.
  • prepare prescribed solutions and start intravenous injections.
  • administer prescribed anesthetics and medications.
  • observe patients to ensure that anesthesia is maintained.
  • monitor patients for warning signs during anesthesia and assist attending physicians with emergency procedures, if necessary.
  • record each patient’s condition (as well as all anesthetics and medications administered) before, during, and after surgery.

Developing a Career as a Nurse Anesthetist:

Nurse anesthetists may work in hospitals, emergency rooms, dental offices and outpatient surgery facilities.

How much does a nurse anesthetist earn?

  • $100,000 - $150,000

How do I become a nurse anesthetist?

Students interested in a career as a nurse anesthetist should take the most challenging high school courses available in science, math and English, including advanced placement courses.

To be a nurse anesthetist, students must first complete education and training to be a baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse. Students also must have at least one year’s experience in a critical care setting.

To become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), students attend an approved nurse anesthesia graduate program, which includes 24-36 months of course work and a minimum of 800 hours of clinical experience. Finally, they must pass a national certification examination given by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists.

Where else can I learn about becoming a nurse anesthetist?

Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists
2231 Oak Bay Lane / Richmond, VA 23233
tel:  (804) 754-4122 / web:  www.vana.org

Virginia Nurses Association
7113 Three Chopt Road / Richmond, VA 23226
tel:  (804) 282-1808 / web:  www.virginianurses.com

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
222 S. Prospect Avenue / Park Ridge, IL 60068
tel:  (847) 692-7050 / web:  www.aana.com

State License Requirements for Nurse Anesthetist:

A license is required to practice as a nurse practitioner in the state of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications and forms, visit www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing.

Virginia Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300 / Henrico, VA 23233
Phone: (804) 367-4515 / Email: nursebd@dhp.virginia.gov

Educational Institutions in Virginia for Nurse Anesthetist: