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?

Nurse anesthetists:

  • 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 salary do Nurse Anesthetists make?

Annual Mean Wage

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?

Professional Associations:

Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists
250 West Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902

(434) 977-3716
Fax (434) 979-2439

Virginia Nurses Association
6912 Three Chopt Road
Suite H
Richmond, VA 23226

(804) 282-1808

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
222 S. Prospect Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 60068

(847) 692-7050

State License Requirements for Nurse Anesthetists

A license is required to practice as a nurse anesthetist 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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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