Anesthesia is one of the most important specialties in all of health care. Proper anesthetic procedures can minimize the risk of infection, prevent the spread of disease, provide a safe environment for surgery and other procedures, and keep patients comfortable during uncomfortable procedures. As a registered nurse in Georgia, you likely already know how crucial this field is. If you're ready to take your nursing career to the next level, consider becoming a nurse anesthetist by attending a CRNA program in Georgia. You can contact schools directly from our site to learn more about your options.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are nurses who have reached a graduate level of education and passed rigorous testing to earn the title of CRNA. To begin a career in nurse anesthesia, you need to have advanced education in pharmacology, pathophysiology, and different types of anesthesia. A bachelor's degree in nursing can offer a good foundation, but a master's degree is required in this field.
When you become a CRNA, you may work alongside many other health care professionals to provide patients with high-quality care in various settings. Your day-to-day tasks may put you in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, and other highly-trained medical professionals. You may be responsible for administering anesthesia to laboring patients, patients about to undergo surgery, patients who require emergency care, or patients with severe pain issues. You must be able to respond quickly to feedback and emergency situations, skills that you may already have gained as a registered nurse. If it's time for you to take the next step in your nursing career, reach out to CRNA schools in Georgia today.
If you have your Bachelor's degree in nursing, you are on the right path to applying for CRNA programs in Georgia. You'll likely need a GPA of at least 3.0, although a GPA of 3.5 or higher in your nursing courses may make you a more qualified candidate. In addition, you do need some experience working as a registered nurse. Typically, CRNA programs require at least one year of full-time work experience in a field such as emergency care, trauma care, or surgical nursing.
The CRNA program is a 45 to 60 credit program, depending on which school you decide to attend. This means that it takes roughly two to three years of full-time study to earn a Master's degree in nurse anesthesia. Some schools require you to attend school during summer and winter breaks to make the most of your study time. As you progress through the program, your time may be split between the classroom and various clinical settings. In total, you should work with over 550 patients by the time you graduate.
The courses laid out in your CRNA curriculum are designed to help you develop a strong theoretical understanding of anesthesia as well as a solid base of practical skills. You may begin with courses like Advanced Physiology, Basic Principles of Anesthesia, and Chemistry & Physics Related to Anesthesia. Advanced courses in CRNA programs include Anesthesia Pharmacology, Advanced Principles of Anesthesia, Nursing Research Methods, and Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists.
As a nursing graduate student, you may be able to apply for a wide range of scholarships in Georgia. West Georgia Health awards scholarships to employees that are returning to nursing school. The Health Resources and Services Administration has scholarships and loan repayment options for CRNAs that are willing to work in underserved areas. The Georgia Nurses Association is responsible for giving out the Katherine Pope Scholarship and the Annie Lou Overton Scholarship.
Professional licensure is an important aspect of nursing practice, but it is particularly crucial in nurse anesthesia. As a CRNA, you work with some of the most sensitive parts of the human body, so it is of the utmost importance that you be highly qualified. The National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists administers the main certification exam for American nurse anesthetists. You must pass their exam and become certified before applying for your state practice license through the Georgia Board of Nursing. They require proof of certification, proof of education completed, and an active nursing license for CRNA licensure. Once you have your license, you can apply for professional liability insurance; since you have already worked as a registered nurse, this may simply involve upgrading your existing liability insurance.
The statewide demand for nurse anesthetists is very positive. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net anticipates a 28 percent increase in CRNA jobs , a growth rate that's a full 3 percent higher than the national average.
Salaries in Georgia tend to be fairly similar to the national average, although there is quite a bit of variability amongst nurse anesthetists. O*Net reports that most nurse anesthetists in Georgia earn between $97,000 and $180,500 per year, with an average salary of $135,400 per year.
If you're ready to make a change in the nursing community of Georgia and put your education to work for the greater good, it may be time to look into becoming a nurse anesthetist. The increased responsibility you take on may make you feel like you're making an impact on the field of health care, while the increased earning potential and employment options may help you get on the career path of your dreams. Ready to take the first step? Contact CRNA schools in Georgia now.