In the last several years, health care has become a major issue in the United States. Health care legislation has changed extensively, leading to a greater need for skilled medical providers in all aspects of health care. As a nurse, you have likely contributed to excellent care standards in Illinois and done your part by helping patients and making the most of doctors' time. However, if you're looking for a way to further your education and explore new career options, you may want to pursue a Master's degree in nurse anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists fill many of the same roles as anesthesiologists, making health care more accessible and affordable for the people of Illinois. Contact the CRNA schools in Illinois listed on our site to learn more about your options.
The title of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist has been in use since 1956, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. CRNAs provide anesthetic services in many different settings, from surgical wards and labor & delivery rooms to chronic pain clinics and emergency rooms. This specialty allows you to work with patients of different ages, medical issues, and anesthesia needs. If you'd like to make a difference in your state’s health care industry by becoming a nurse anesthetist, request information about CRNA programs in Illinois now.
It's clear that working as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist requires quite a bit of hard work, specialized knowledge, and dedication. To that end, CRNA programs in Illinois may have fairly strict admissions requirements to ensure that you are up for the job. A Bachelor's degree in nursing is required, with the exception of RN-to-MSN programs that allow you to focus on nurse anesthesia. Your GPA is also a major factor in acceptance; you should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher before applying. Some schools allow you to take courses as a non-degree student to boost your GPA prior to application. You may also wish to get work experience in an emergency or acute care setting, as many CRNA programs in Illinois specifically require at least one year of nursing experience in these fields.
Once you have been accepted into the nurse anesthesia program of your choice, you may want to get familiar with the curriculum of your school. This program can help you develop skills in pharmacology, anesthesia administration, patient communication, and documentation. Core courses that may make up your first couple semesters include Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, Principles of Anesthesia, Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Professionals, and Advanced Health Assessment in Nurse Anesthesia. Courses that may deepen your understanding of nurse anesthesia include Clinical Anesthesia, Advanced Pathophysiology in Anesthesia, and Analysis of Health Policy Issues. Clinical work is absolutely crucial to a CRNA student. To be eligible for certification after graduation, you must work with no fewer than 550 patients. However, many programs exceed this requirement in order to help you build a solid base of experience.
Scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs are in place for MSN students in Illinois. Spending a little bit of time finding these programs and applying may help you save money on your tuition costs. The Illinois Center for Rural Health has scholarships available for those who are willing to stay in a rural part of Illinois after graduation. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is also a good source of financial aid for MSN students. Through the American Nurses Association of Illinois, you may be able to apply for a range of awards in varying amounts.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is responsible for the licensure of nurse anesthetists. Since you should already have a valid nursing license in the state of Illinois, you should be fairly familiar with the licensing process in Illinois. You can first contact the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists to schedule your certification exam. Once you pass the CRNA exam, you may apply for licensure through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. To maintain your state license, you must keep your certification current by completing 40 hours of continuing education every year.
Nurse anesthetists in Illinois may enjoy a positive job outlook for several years to come. In the period from 2012 to 2022, O*Net expects job openings for nurse anesthetists to increase by 17 percent. This may lead to about 50 new job openings per year through 2022 (O*Net, 2012).
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn a wide range of salaries in Illinois. O*Net reports salaries ranging from $120,600 to $187,200 per year. The statewide average is $154,800 per year, which is slightly higher than the national average (O*Net, 2013).
Working as a nurse anesthetist comes with certain professional responsibilities. Professional liability insurance is required, as this protects you and your employer from malpractice suits. You must also make sure to meet your continuing education requirements. Your employer may have CE opportunities or you may need to travel to nurse anesthesia conferences in the Midwest. In addition, it's likely that your employer may expect you to spend time collaborating with anesthesiologists, experienced nurse anesthetists, and other health care practitioners.
The field of nurse anesthesia has been growing for decades, and as health care grows in America, this specialty may continue to expand. If you are ready to use your nursing experience to take your education to the next level, reach out to CRNA schools in Illinois for program details today.