In a rural state like Idaho, health care is a major concern and priority. This is because the sparsely populated layout of the state means that some communities do not have access to the advanced health care providers they need. If you have a Bachelor's degree in nursing and you're interested in using your expertise in a new way, you may wish to look into becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and serving the people of Idaho.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are an incredibly important part of health care teams around the state. Per the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, CRNAs provide the majority of anesthesia care in rural areas. As a trained nurse anesthetist, you can provide affordable and safe access to pain relief for labor and delivery, pain, emergency care, and surgical operations.
Teamwork is an important part of this field, though you must also be able to work independently. You may consult with anesthesiologists, surgeons, general practitioners, and nurse practitioners to determine the proper course of care for a patient. This job doesn't simply require you to administer anesthesia and move on to the next patient. Rather, you may stay with a patient prior to, during, and after the administration of anesthesia to ensure that their pain relief works effectively and safely.
Your journey to becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist begins with the proper education. Learn more about CRNA schools in Idaho to find out if this is the right path for you.
Are you wondering if a CRNA degree is in your future? Take a look at your previous academic performance and your current work experience to find out how to meet admissions requirements for CRNA programs in Idaho. Any nursing experience can be beneficial, but in particular, many schools prefer emergency care experience, trauma experience, or acute care experience. On the low end, some schools only require one year of full-time experience. Others may require as much as three years. Your performance at the BSN level is also important; a GPA of at least 3.0 is required.
When you enroll in a nurse anesthesia program, you may join a cohort of students that takes the same classes at the same time for two to three years. As a result, most programs do not admit part-time students. Over the course of two to three years, you may complete up to 60 credits in advanced nursing and nurse anesthesia. Amongst your courses you may find Advanced Physiology, Advanced Pharmacology, Applied Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and Anesthesia Principles. Some of the more advanced courses you may take include Immersion Residency in Nurse Anesthesia, Specialty Practicum, and Advanced Anesthesia Principles.
While you may spend quite a bit of time getting theoretical training in the classroom, you can also plan on spending many hours in a clinical setting. Programs in Idaho require you to work with no fewer than 550 patients, although you'll likely work with more throughout your residency experience.
Since Idaho has such a significant shortage of advanced nursing professionals, you should not be surprised that there are quite a few scholarship programs for MSN students. The Idaho Community Foundation is a great resource for students in all specialties, including those going into graduate-level nursing. The Idaho Area Health Education Center funds numerous scholarships for area students. Through the Idaho State Board of Education, you may be able to apply for loan forgiveness programs if you're willing to work in a rural area of Idaho.
Whether you want to work in one of Idaho's main cities or one of its numerous rural communities, you must get licensed to work in the state of Idaho before you start working as a nurse anesthetist. The Idaho Board of Nursing requires you to be certified before you can apply for licensure. The National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists administers the national certifying exam, so you must register with them when you get close to graduation. Once you pass this exam, you can submit your scores, application, and transcript to the Idaho Board of Nursing for consideration.
Becoming a CRNA in Idaho may allow you to benefit from the state's positive job outlook. In the time period from 2012 to 2022, O*Netanticipates a 20 percent increase in nurse anesthetist jobs. Job growth in this state is on par with national growth expected for nurse anesthetists (O*Net, 2012).
You may find that becoming a nurse anesthetist can significantly increase your earning potential over the life of your career. Per O*Net, the average salary for an Idaho nurse anesthetist is $145,400 per year. The highest-earning CRNAs in Idaho claim salaries of more than $187,200 per year (O*Net, 2013). Keep in mind that with this higher salary comes the requirement for professional liability insurance. You should already have this insurance, but requirements tend to be stricter for CRNAs. Most employers require you to be covered before you begin working.
Nurse anesthesia is a field that allows you to provide people with the care they need on a safe and affordable basis. Your nursing skills are valuable, so why not build on them with a CRNA degree? To find out what your options are in Idaho, use our comprehensive school listings to contact schools near you.