As a working nurse, you may have developed a great sense of patient communication and skilled care over the years. If you want to take your career to the next level, you may be considering different advanced nursing specialties. Becoming a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) can be an excellent specialty choice if you want to keep spending most of your time working with patients but want take on an expanded practice role. Contact the schools you find that offer CRNA programs in AL to learn more.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in Alabama fulfill a number of practice roles. You may work on call, providing anesthesia to those who come in for emergency surgery or for women in labor. You may also choose to work for a practice, where you may prepare patients for routine surgery by administering anesthesia.
Since you can take on a more independent practice role as a CRNA, your patients may benefit from more individualized care. It's important to be prepared to work with many types of patients in this specialty. Over the course of a shift, you may see laboring women, patients in the middle of a medical crisis, or those who have chronic conditions. Regardless of the circumstances, you must be ready to treat each patient with respect and professionalism.
Working in this field requires knowledge in many different areas. You must have a strong background in pharmacology, as you may be using many types of anesthetics and other medications on a daily basis. In addition, you will need careful hands and an impeccable knowledge of human anatomy, since different varieties of anesthesia are used in specific parts of the body. If you're ready to find out what you must do to become a CRNA, request information from those Alabama nurse anesthetist programs that interest you.
As you begin evaluating CRNA programs in Alabama and looking for a school that suits you, you may want to look at your academic and work history to ensure that you meet admissions requirements for nurse anesthetist programs. For the majority of schools, you need a Bachelor's degree in nursing. However, there are some schools that accept Associate's-level students into RN-to-MSN programs.
Regardless of which type of program you choose, a strong academic history will likely be required. The majority of schools require a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. You must be willing to supply proof of your nursing experience; schools may ask for one to three years of full-time work experience. In addition, many CRNA programs require you to take the GRE and receive a score of 290 or higher.
To earn a Master's degree in nursing that focuses on nurse anesthesiology, you should plan on completing roughly 60 credits. The high credit requirement is due to the highly specialized work required of nurse anesthetists and the many clinical requirements you must meet. Most CRNA programs can be completed in two to three years, depending on whether or not you take courses during the summer.
Your curriculum may start with core advanced nursing courses like Theoretical Foundations for Health Professionals, Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Pathophysiology. Once you have completed your core requirements, you may move on to anesthesiology courses like Principles of Anesthesia, Clinical Anesthesia, and Clinical Anesthesia.
There are several clinical anesthetic courses that require you to work in a health care setting. A growing number of CRNA schools also require the completion of a special project. This project may focus on a specific population that you may serve in your career, an issue in clinical anesthesia research, or a practical issue in the provision of CRNA services.
There may be scholarships for you to consider as you work through an Alabama CRNA program. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists offers numerous scholarships to those who work in nurse anesthesia or those who are currently working toward a degree. The Health Resources and Services Administration also awards several nurse anesthetist grants. The Bessie May French CRNA Scholarship is available through the McLaren Foundation.
Becoming licensed as a CRNA in Alabama is a crucial part of your career in this field. Before you can begin working as a nurse anesthetist, you must complete the licensure process. This involves using your RN login at the Alabama Board of Nursing website and completing the online application for CRNA licensure. You must provide proof of your nurse anesthesia education and pass a rigorous nurse anesthesia exam. After that, you must keep your RN license renewed as well as your CRNA license. Before you actually begin working, you may need to provide proof of malpractice insurance to your employer and fill out paperwork indicating that you understand the scope of practice in your field.
The job outlook is positive for nurse anesthetists in Alabama. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net anticipates a 20 percent increase in job openings, a job growth rate that is on par with the national average.
You may earn a wide range of salaries as a nurse anesthetist in Alabama. O*Net reports an average salary of $144,600 per year in Alabama. The full reported range of salaries goes from $113,000 to $185,900 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Completing your education as a CRNA can be rewarding and professionally fulfilling. Not only does this job path allow you to provide pain relief to people that need it, it may help you become a more independent practitioner of nursing care. As a result, you may serve as a leader in your place of employment and encourage other nursing professionals to further their education. By implementing the latest nursing research and delivering a high standard of care to your patients, you can positively influence the nursing community of Alabama.
Nurse anesthesia in Alabama is a growing field that can help you get more out of your education and nursing career. Review your options for Alabama CRNA schools, then contact those you are interested in applying to in order to take the next step in your nursing career.