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Pennsylvania CRNA Programs

Working as a registered nurse has likely changed your life in many positive ways. You may have developed a sense of confidence in your nursing skills, realized the important of evidence-based care, and started to explore the many ways in which you can propel your nursing career further. If you enjoy working with patients and you want to take on more responsibility in this aspect of your career, you may be a good fit for the field of nurse anesthesia.

You may have worked alongside nurse anesthetists in your registered nursing career. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have achieved high-level licensure in the state of Pennsylvania and can administer numerous types of anesthesia to patients. This career may lead to you working alongside anesthesiologists, surgeons, general practitioners, nurse practitioners, and other health care professionals. You may even work independently with patients and have registered nurses working underneath you.

It's clear that nurse anesthetists are a prominent part of Pennsylvania health care. As a result, you must get extensive training and education to begin a career in this field. If you're ready to use your Bachelor's degree in nursing to take the next step in your education, now is the time to get started. Keep reading to learn more about CRNA programs in Pennsylvania.

Admissions and Curriculum for CRNA Programs in PA

As soon as you know you may be interested in a career in nurse anesthesia, it may be worth your while to become familiar with admissions requirements and start working to meet them. You need a Bachelor's degree in nursing and a valid registered nursing license in Pennsylvania. You must also be at least one year out from your BSN, since you need one year of nursing experience to apply for CRNA programs in Oregon. You may need to work in a specific setting; accepted settings often include emergency rooms, trauma wards, or surgical wards.

The curriculum for your program may include between 40 and 80 credit hours. Master's degree programs tend to be on the lower end of this scale, while doctoral programs are often close to 80 credits. In a Master's program, you may complete roughly 600 clinical hours. Doctoral programs often have clinical requirements that exceed 2,000 hours.

Core courses in your curriculum may include Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Health Assessment Across the Lifespan, Applied Epidemiology & Biostatistics for Nursing Practice, and Advanced Physiology. Once meeting the core requirements of your program, you may move on to specialty courses like Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia, Obstetric & Pediatric Anesthesia, Nurse Anesthesia Pharmacology, and Nurse Anesthesia Immersion Residency.

Once you have been accepted to the nurse anesthesia program of your choice, you may want to start applying for different types of financial aid. Options include grants, scholarships, and loan repayment programs. The Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania awards multiple scholarships to advanced nursing students each year. The Pittsburgh Foundation has a variety of scholarship funds, including a nursing alumni scholarship for students that demonstrate financial need. The Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania awards nursing scholarships throughout the year, including the Albert Einstein Memorial Scholarship and the Jack E. Barger, Sr. Memorial Fund Scholarship.

Working as a Nurse Anesthetist in PA

As a nurse anesthetist, you'll need to be able to multitask. Luckily, the certification procedure in Pennsylvania prepares you for that particular part of your job. As you get ready to graduate with your Master's degree or doctoral degree, you should start planning for certification and licensure. At the statewide level, licensing goes through the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. However, they require you to have national certification before you receive your state practice license. You can apply to take the national certification exam through the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. This gives you the title of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and allows you to apply for your nursing license. Once you have received your license from the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, you can begin working to the full extent of your scope of practice.

You may benefit from a fairly solid job outlook in the state of Pennsylvania. Through 2022, O*Net expects job openings for nurse anesthetists to increase by 12 percent. This may lead to more than 50 new job openings per year (O*Net, 2012). You may also earn a range of salaries in this profession. O*Net notes that most CRNAs earn an average salary in Pennsylvania of $160,500 per year (O*Net, 2013).

Professional development should be a big part of your career as a nurse anesthetist. The Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists is a prominent resource for Pennsylvania CRNAs, offering ongoing training, symposia and networking events, and legislative updates. This organization may also help you network with other nursing professionals to learn about job openings in your area.

The field of nurse anesthesia is a promising career path with a long history in Pennsylvania. To become part of it, contact Pennsylvania CRNA schools today.

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