Nurse anesthesia may have been a relatively small field for many years, but it has recently exploded both in popularity and demand. Thanks to changes in American health care law, more and more Connecticut residents have started to get the health insurance they need to stay healthy. This has led to a need for anesthetic professionals that can help prepare patients for labor, surgery, or trauma care. If you have a Bachelor's degree in nursing and you've spent some time gaining RN experience, you may be interested in pursuing a CRNA degree in Connecticut.
Though this may seem like a fairly new specialty in nursing, nurse anesthetists have actually been around for over 100 years. In the late 1800s, surgeons realized that nurses were the right medical personnel to tackle the growing need for anesthesia. As a result, the field of nurse anesthesia was born. Now, nurse anesthetists are an incredibly important part of the nursing field and the medical field as a whole.
While CRNAs have considerably more responsibility than registered nurses, they work in very similar settings. You may come across patients with differing medical needs, medical histories, and pain relief needs, even during the course of just one shift. Your clientele may include patients with chronic pain, patients who are delivering babies, and patients who are heading into surgery. That's why it's important to choose a CRNA program that focuses heavily on practical experience. Learning how to work in many different hospital wings can prepare you for a variety of careers in this field.
If you're ready to put your BSN to use in an exciting new career opportunity, now is a great time to learn about CRNA programs in Connecticut. Keep reading to find out what this job entails and what it means to get a nurse anesthesia degree. You can also contact schools directly from our site to learn more about becoming a CRNA.
Your journey to becoming a nurse anesthetist in Connecticut begins with getting accepted to a CRNA program. Of course, you need a BSN from an accredited nursing school. Your GPA should be at least 3.0, although ideally, you may want a GPA of 3.5 or higher. In addition, you must have used your BSN to gain experience in a critical care, acute care, or surgical care setting. Since these are the fields in which nurse anesthesia is most often used, this experience can be invaluable.
CRNA programs in Connecticut generally last between 28 and 36 months. If you're willing to take accelerated winter and summer courses, you may be able to finish in a shorter period of time. This program does have slightly higher credit requirements than most MSN specialties. At the majority of schools, you need to complete 60 to 70 credits prior to graduation. Much of the courses you complete during this time frame focus on clinical experience, so you may start building connections before you even graduate.
The courses you must take to become a CRNA focus on many aspects of nursing, from research and evidence-based practice to pharmacology and anesthesia administration techniques. Early in your education, you may take courses like Role Development for the Advanced Practice Nurse, Research for Advanced Practice Nurses, Anesthesia Physiology & Pathophysiology, and Chemistry & Physics of Anesthesia. Later courses delve into the hands-on skills you need. You may take Principles of Anesthesia, Perioperative Techniques & Instrumentation, and Anesthesia Practicum.
You may qualify for graduate-level nursing scholarships in Colorado. Since these tend to close early, you may wish to begin your scholarship search as soon as you are accepted to the school of your choice. The Connecticut Nurses' Foundation awards more than $13,000 in scholarships each year. Another local resource is the Connecticut League for Nursing. The Connecticut Student Nurses Association also awards multiple scholarships.
Nursing is a highly regulated field, so it should come as no surprise that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists must meet strict licensing requirements in Connecticut. All testing and licensure goes through the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing. After completing your degree, you may work with a temporary license as long as you are supervised in your place of employment. However, you must take your CRNA exam and apply for your license within 90 days of graduation. Furthermore, you must submit proof of your education to your employer. This may come in the form of an official transcript or a list of recent graduates provided by your school.
Across the nation, the job outlook for nurse anesthetists is very positive. This trend continues in Connecticut. O*Net reports an anticipated 23 percent increase in CRNA jobs from 2012 to 2022. This is very similar to the nationally-reported job growth rate (O*Net, 2012).
Becoming a nurse anesthetist may give you the opportunity to increase your earning potential. O*Net notes that most nurse anesthetists earn between $128,000 and $187,200 per year in Connecticut. The average salary for a Connecticut nurse anesthetist is $168,600 per year (O*Net, 2013). This is more than $17,000 higher than the national average (O*Net, 2013).
Completing the process of becoming a CRNA doesn't just offer positive effects on your career. Rather, this choice can be personally fulfilling as well. You may find that completing your education and getting your license makes you feel good about helping patients, helps you develop your nursing leadership skills, and gives you the chance to reach more patients in your community.
Obviously, choosing this career path requires responsibility and a dedication to your health care community. If it's time for you to explore your career options in nursing, contact CRNA schools in Connecticut today.