Since you're already a registered nurse, you've likely had a front row seat to all of the health care changes in the United States. You may have seen the effects of new legislation and seen the number of patients you treat increase steadily. As the country's need for registered nurses has increased, so too has the demand for advanced nursing professionals. If you're interested in furthering your education, this may be the opportunity you have been waiting for to advance your career.
Nurse anesthesia is a growing specialty in registered nursing. It's particularly important in New Mexico, where the rural population is far larger than the urban population. In these areas, hospitals and clinics often find it difficult to hire and keep anesthesiologists. Nurse anesthetists can provide the majority of the same services at a fraction of the cost. If you're considering a career in this specialty, you should be dedicated to evidence-based care, ready to serve patients with a variety of needs, and interested in working more independently. Nurse anesthetists are used in many different health care settings, including labor & delivery wards and surgical wards.
A career in nurse anesthesia begins with the right education and in-depth training. To find out what it takes to become a nurse anesthetist, request more information from the schools on our site that offer CRNA programs in New Mexico.
Plan for a rigorous admissions process when you decide to apply for acceptance to a nurse anesthesia program. Whether you want to earn a Master's degree or a doctorate degree, the requirements tend to be the same amongst CRNA programs. You must have successfully completed a Bachelor's degree in nursing and maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher while finishing your degree. Many New Mexico schools also have thorough work experience requirements. You may need at least one year of nursing experience in a critical care specialty. Master's degree programs tend to last between 40 and 50 credits, requiring about two to three years of study. If you want to earn a doctoral degree, plan on earning 50 to 70 credits and spending a couple more years in school.
CRNA schools have multifaceted curricula that build up your nursing knowledge and experience in many different ways. To prepare you for clinical experience and advanced anesthetic theory, your school may start you in courses like Introduction to Anesthetic Management, Advanced Clinical Pharmacology, Advanced Health Assessment, Pharmacology of Anesthesia, and Advanced Physiology. High-level courses in this program may include Anesthesia and Co-Existing Disease, Neurosurgical Anesthesia, Anesthetic Management for Common Procedures, and Cardiovascular/Thoracic Anesthesia. As you proceed through your clinical rotations, you may explore settings like labor & delivery, surgery, and critical care. In total, you may finish over 550 clinical hours prior to graduation.
New Mexico schools, employers, and organizations have many different financial aid programs in place for graduate nursing students. The New Mexico Higher Education Department offers many different scholarships, particularly to students with financial need. The New Mexico Nurses Foundation supports nursing students with a range of scholarships and grants. Through the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence, you may receive extra financial incentives for pursuing a CRNA degree or get assistance with loan repayment.
Nurse anesthetists in the state of New Mexico can anticipate a relatively solid job outlook for several years to come. In the decade from 2012 to 2022, O*Net hopes to see job openings for CRNAs increase by 11 percent. Job openings may be more prevalent in rural areas of New Mexico. Salaries in this area differ widely, depending on where you decide to work and how much experience you have in this specialty. O*Net reports an average annual salary of $118,100 in New Mexico (O*Net, 2013).
The New Mexico Board of Nursing is responsible for the licensing of nurse anesthetists throughout the state of New Mexico. First, they require you to get your national certification from the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. This process involves taking a thorough certification exam and submitting your scores to the Board of Nursing. Once you have submitted your application for an advanced practice license, you may change your registered nursing license into an advanced practice license.
There are many considerations to keep in mind as you begin your career in this field. Nurse anesthetists must have professional liability insurance that meets the standards laid out by their place of employment. This insurance can help protect you from costly lawsuits and malpractice suits. You must also meet continuing education requirements to maintain your license. Consider becoming a member of the group like the New Mexico Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Members of this group may get early access to continuing education opportunities, attend networking events that can help you build connections in the health care community, and get updates on legislature that affects New Mexico nurses.
Nursing is a growing field; use this to your advantage as you take the next step in your career. Contact New Mexico CRNA programs for more information and program start dates.