If you are like most other nursing professionals, you got into this field because you wanted to make a difference in people's lives and use your skills to help patients live healthier lives. Your work experience may have taken you into surgery, primary care, or various health care specialties. One of the main benefits of working in the field of nursing is the variety of ways you can advance your career. If you want to make an impact on the field of health care in North Carolina, it may be time to look into becoming a nurse anesthetist.
North Carolina is a state in which nurse anesthetic care is particularly important. This is mainly due to the makeup of North Carolina's population, the majority of which live in a rural setting. Nurse anesthetists tend to be the main pain relief providers in rural areas, and in some areas, they offer nearly 100% of the anesthetic services provided to patients. Not only does this field give you the opportunity to give patients affordable and evidence-based care, it allows you to reach even more patients by dedicating yourself to work in a rural area.
Does nurse anesthesia sound like the field for you? If you want to find out what this nursing specialty can do for you and your career, request program materials from the schools on our site that offer CRNA programs in North Carolina.
The journey to becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist begins with acceptance to a graduate program in nurse anesthesia, either a Master's degree program or a doctoral degree program. As soon as you know that you're interested in a career in this field, you may wish to plan ahead by studying the admissions requirements for local CRNA programs. A Bachelor's degree in nursing is a requirement. Another expectation is that you obtain the proper type of work experience after graduation with a BSN. Critical care, emergency care, and trauma care may all be acceptable settings for your nursing work. At least one year of work is required.
Your CRNA program may help you meet several important learning outcomes. In the field of management, you may learn how to lead nurses at different levels of education and in different settings. Instructors may ensure that you can properly integrate nursing research into your clinical practice. In addition, your physical ability to administer various types of anesthesia may be tested in multiple ways.
Your curriculum should be designed to help you meet these learning goals. Your education may begin with courses like Anesthesia Concepts, Gross Anatomy for Nurse Anesthesia, Advanced Pharmacology in Nurse Anesthesia, and Research Methodology. Other courses in your curriculum may include Anesthesia and Co-Existing Disease, Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice, and Clinical Practicum. During your practicum courses, you may work with well over 550 patients to meet your clinical requirements. During this time, you can begin building a strong network of nurse anesthesia contacts.
After you get accepted to a graduate program of your choice, you may start looking into grants, scholarships, and student loan repayment plans. Make sure your search includes nursing organizations, health care employers, and government agencies. The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority helps students with low interest loans that may be repaid through service in a rural area. The College Foundation, Inc. is another renowned resource for North Carolina students. You may apply for scholarships through the North Carolina Nurses Association.
When you finish your education and have your Master's degree in nurse anesthesia, you can start becoming a licensed nurse anesthetist. You must first register to take the certification exam through the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. Once you have proved that you meet their educational requirements and you pass the certification exam, you can officially earn the title of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. You can then fill out an advanced practice application and submit it to the North Carolina Board of Nursing. They may require you to submit your transcript and proof of your passing exam score.
After you have achieved national certification and North Carolina licensure, you can begin your career as an independent nurse anesthetist. Through 2022, job openings for nurse anesthetists in North Carolina may increase by 23 percent, according to O*Net. This growth may lead to nearly 100 new jobs per year (O*Net, 2012). Though salaries vary widely in this state, generally speaking, they are close to the national average. Per O*Net, the average salary earned by a nurse anesthetist is $147,800 per year.
It's important to take advantage of professional opportunities as you start working as a nurse anesthetist. Doing so can help you build a network of professional contacts, give you access to continuing education opportunities that may advance your career, and help you keep up with changing care standards in North Carolina. Joining the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists may help you reach these goals.
This growing field may be the opportunity you've been looking for in your nursing career. To get started, contact CRNA schools in North Carolina to learn more about your options.