As a BSN-level nurse, you may be wondering how you can take your education to the next level and explore your career options in nursing. If you enjoy working with other nurses, providing evidence-based care to patients, and putting your skills to use in a variety of settings, you may want to consider CRNA programs in Arkansas.
CRNAs, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, provide anesthesia to patients with varying needs. Over the course of a shift, you may give an epidural to a laboring woman, set up an IV for a patient with chronic pain, and prepare an emergency trauma victim for surgery. This career requires a Master's degree in nursing with a focus in nurse anesthesia. You must have an impeccable knowledge of pharmacology, have a great eye for detail, and be willing to work long shifts to meet the needs of your employer. Contact those schools on our site that offer nursing anesthesia degrees in Arkansas to learn more.
Becoming a CRNA may help you meet a growing need in Arkansas. Nurse anesthesia originally started in the 1800s when medical professionals realized how important proper anesthesia is during surgical procedures, and remains one of the most revered nursing specialties in the nation. The need for anesthetic professionals has only increased over the decades, creating a great career opportunity for hardworking nurses. Learn more about CRNA programs in Arkansas and discover what you must study in order to enter into this career field.
CRNA programs in Arkansas tend to be fairly competitive. But by studying hard during your BSN degree and getting lots of experience as a registered nurse, you may be able to make yourself an excellent candidate for a CRNA program. To start, you need at least one year of full-time nursing experience. Some schools have even more specific requirements, such as critical care nursing experience or emergency room nursing experience. Looking further back, consider how well you did while earning your Bachelor's degree. You should have a GPA of at least 3.0, although obviously a higher GPA may work in your favor. This should not be a problem, since most BSN programs do not let you graduate or stay in the program if you don't maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.
To graduate with a master's degree in nursing anesthesia, you will take courses in fields of study like physiology, pharmacology, patient care, and medical ethics. Plan on completing at least 60 credit hours and spending between two and three years in a CRNA program. Your curriculum may begin with core courses like Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthesia, Introduction to Nurse Anesthesia Practice, and Advanced Health Assessment. As you move to later semesters, courses you may take include Nurse Anesthesia Practice, Gross Anatomical Dissection, Regional Anesthesia & Pain Management, and Nurse Anesthesia Clinical Internship. The core nurse anesthesia courses tend to have a clinical component, which allows you to start building connections in the CRNA community and develop a strong body of experience. Over the course of your two to three years in school, you should anticipate completing at least 500 hours of clinical experience.
In Arkansas, there are quite a few scholarship resources for nurse anesthesia students. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing funds a variety of nursing scholarships, grants, and loans. Some scholarships are unique to different nursing schools, like the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation Scholarship. Through the Arkansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists, you can apply for a scholarship if you are planning on staying in Arkansas after graduation.
Before you can begin working as a nurse anesthetist in Arkansas, you have to go through the proper licensing steps as they're laid out by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The Nurse Practice Act requires you to renew your license every two years. This involves completing continuing education that's specifically relevant to nurse anesthetists and gaining work experience during each licensing period. Continuing education may be offered by your employer, your college, or by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Prior to getting your license, you must pay a $100 licensing fee, a $150 fee for prescriptive status, and a $25 fee for a temporary permit.
The job outlook is promising for nurse anesthetists in Arkansas. In the decade from 2012 to 2022, O*Net expects job openings for nurse anesthetists to increase by 22 percent. These jobs may be found in a variety of settings, including emergency rooms, obstetric/labor & delivery wards, and surgical units.
Earning a CRNA license and degree in Arkansas may help you increase your salary potential as well. O*Net reports that nurse anesthetists earn an average salary of $136,000 per year in Arkansas. Some specialties may offer higher pay, so you may want to look into your career options before you commit to a job after graduation.
In addition to increased earning potential, you may find that becoming a nurse anesthetist helps you get more from your work. Working in an increased capacity with patients may help you develop your communication skills and serve as a leader in your department. Furthermore, utilizing your education to its fullest extent may help you truly feel like you are making a difference in the world of health care.
Clearly, becoming a nurse anesthetist can help you develop a career in a high-demand nursing specialty. It all starts with the right education and training. Discover how to earn an MSN and begin a career in nurse anesthesia by contacting CRNA schools in Arkansas today.