Whether a patient is giving birth, getting surgery, or receiving pain relief for a chronic condition, it is of the utmost importance that anesthesia is administered correctly. In fact, improperly-administered anesthesia can lead to side effects like paralysis, ineffective pain relief, and even death. That's why Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are such a crucial part of hospital and medical practices in Arizona. With specialized training and extensive experience with many types of anesthesia, CRNAs can help patients enjoy effective and safe pain relief.
If you decide to become a nurse anesthetist, you may be particularly important in rural parts of Arizona. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists notes that nurse anesthetists are the main providers of pain relief in rural areas. You may work closely with a number of professionals to improve a patient's experience, including anesthesiologists, surgeons, and dentists.
Starting a career in nurse anesthesia may help you work with patients with very specific needs. Some CRNAs work in obstetrics, providing pain relief to laboring and postpartum women. Others go into surgery, where they help put patients under and maintain appropriate levels of pain relief throughout procedures. CRNAs are also used in chronic pain management and trauma care. If you're ready to find out what this versatile and growing specialty can do for your nursing career, discover what it takes to become a nurse anesthetist in Arizona by contacting the schools you see on this site.
As you learn more about CRNA careers and schools, you may wonder if you are a good fit for a CRNA program. By planning for this degree in advance, you can ensure that you work hard to meet the admissions requirements. Many schools require you to be accepted to the general graduate school before applying directly for the nurse anesthesia program. It's likely that you'll need a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. A higher GPA for your nursing courses may be required. A competitive score on the GRE is necessary for admission; what counts as competitive varies from year to year. Finally, you want to make sure that you meet the work experience requirement. Schools in Arizona tend to require about two years or more of full-time experience as a registered nurse.
When you start the curriculum for your nurse anesthesia program, you may take introductory courses that help you develop a strong base of knowledge in this specialty. Courses you may have to take include Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan, Anatomy & Physiology for Nurse Anesthesia, Chemistry for Nurse Anesthesia, and Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthesia. Other courses delve into the types of anesthesia used in specific procedures or on specific parts of the body. For example, you may take Cardiothoracic Nurse Anesthesia, Obstetric Nurse Anesthesia, and Pain Management in Anesthesia.
Clinical requirements are a significant part of the training in a CRNA program, so you can anticipate spending quite a bit of time outside the classroom and in a health care setting. By the time you complete your 60 required credits, you may have earned over 500 clinical hours. It's likely that these hours will be spread over a range of specialties and settings, to adequately prepare you for whichever position you may take on in your career.
Scholarships may be available for Arizona CRNA students. The Arizona Nurses Association is a good source for scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students. On a nationwide level, consider applying for a grant through the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program.
In order to legally work as a nurse anesthetist in Arizona, you must obtain licensure through the Arizona State Board of Nursing. They have a rigorous licensure procedure that requires you to maintain a current RN license at all times. You must submit the transcript of your approved CRNA program to have your experience and education approved by the board. There is a fee schedule as well. You pay a $150 application fee, a $50 fingerprint fee, and a $35 temporary certification fee. Once your application is approved or you receive your temporary license, you can start working as a CRNA.
Arizona has an extremely promising job outlook for nurse anesthetists. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net expects job openings for CRNAs to increase by 38 percent. This growth rate is 13 percent higher than the national average (O*Net, 2012). Nurse anesthetists often earn salaries that are higher than the national average in this state. Per O*Net, the average salary for a CRNA is $167,100 per year, which is $16,000 higher than the nationally-reported average.
There may be certain factors you need to keep in mind as a CRNA that aren't relevant to RNs. Malpractice insurance may be more costly, due to your increased patient care role. In addition, you may be restricted to working with certain patient populations to minimize a hospital's liability. Being fully familiar with your scope of practice as outlined by your employer can prevent legal issues down the road.
Completing a CRNA program is a major commitment, but it can pay off when it comes to your nursing career. As an advanced nurse, you may be seen as a leader in your community. In addition, you may be indispensable to your place of employment. Many nurses find that becoming a CRNA can increase their earning potential.
Nurse anesthesia is a field that may continue to grow as new health care legislation is enacted in Arizona. Get started in this field today by contacting CRNA schools in Arizona directly from our site.