What's your favorite part of being a registered nurse? Maybe you like how the field of nursing is based in evidence and constantly evolves to provide the best possible outcomes for patients. Perhaps your favorite part of being a nurse is spending time with patients and building connections with them. If you want to use your experience to positively contribute to the field of nursing, you may be ready to combine these rewarding aspects of your practice in a nurse anesthetist program in Rhode Island.
Nurse anesthetists are a very important part of Rhode Island health care. Though Rhode Island is a small state, the population density of this state is over 10 times higher than the national average (U.S. Census Bureau). A lack of anesthesia specialists can mean that patients wait longer than necessary for surgery, possibly leading to worse outcomes for patients. Whether you work in one of Rhode Island's smaller communities or one of its big cities, your job as a nurse anesthetist may bring you into contact with all sorts of patients.
To become a nurse anesthetist, you should be ready to thoroughly study various aspects of nursing and work closely with various health care professionals. You may work with anesthesiologists, general practitioners, surgeons, and other advanced nursing professionals. Keep reading to find out what it means to become a nurse anesthetist in Rhode Island.
As nurse anesthetists take on a great amount of responsibility, programs in this field tend to have strict admissions requirements. By becoming familiar with these requirements ahead of time, you can plan your education and work experience accordingly. You should have a Bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school, as well as a registered nursing license in Rhode Island. It's important to have quite a bit of work experience before applying for a CRNA program. Most schools require one to three years. You may need to work in critical care, trauma care, or emergency care.
Your curriculum may be divided into two parts. Most programs start with a classroom portion in which you learn about pharmacology, nursing ethics, and different aspects of health assessment. Courses in this part of your training may include Applied Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Advanced Physiology, Research for Evidence-Based Practice, and Advanced Pharmacology. From there, you move on to clinical-based courses that put you in real clinical settings. Classes in this category include Anesthesia Principles, Specialty Practicum, Anesthesia Pharmacology, and Chemistry & Physics for Nurse Anesthesia. In your clinical courses, you must get at least 550 hours of experience to qualify for certification.
While finishing a nurse anesthesia program in Rhode Island, you may qualify for several different types of financial aid. Loans, scholarships, and grants may all help you pay for your education. Quite a few scholarships are school-specific, including the Class of 1957 Endowed Scholarship and the Eleanor M. Olson Nursing Scholarship. The Nursing Foundation of Rhode Island awards the Graduate Nurse Scholarship, which is worth $500 to $1,000 per student. The Rhode Island Foundation is a more general organization that offers scholarships to students in different fields of study. They have multiple scholarships dedicated to the field of nursing. Even if you have to take on student loans to cover part of your education, there may still be aid available if you are willing to work in an underserved area after graduation.
To work as a nurse anesthetist in Rhode Island, you must meet specific certification requirements and licensing requirements laid out at a state level and a national level. First, you become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist through the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. You complete this process by passing a nurse anesthesia exam and supplying proof of your completed nursing education. You can then have your passing scores sent to the Rhode Island Nurse Registration and Nursing Education Board. You can fill out your application for advanced practice status and become a licensed nurse anesthetist.
Dedicating yourself to the field of anesthesia may have positive effects on your career and your job outlook. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net expects to see a 25 percent increase in nurse anesthesia jobs. This job growth is higher than average when compared to other professions. You may earn a variety of salaries in this career. O*Net reports an average salary of $151,100 per year for CRNAs in Rhode Island.
To get your career started on the right foot, consider joining the Rhode Island Association of Nurse Anesthetists. This group supports nurse anesthetists through training events, networking events, legislative advocacy, and other member benefits. You may also get in touch with other anesthesiology professionals to take your career further.
Becoming a nurse anesthetist may be the key to finding a career path that you love. With your increased education, you may find that you can take on a more hands-on role in patient care and care administration. Furthermore, your Master's-level or doctoral-level education may make you a leader to other nursing professionals in Rhode Island.
If you are ready to explore the field of nurse anesthesia and see what it can do for your career, your journey begins with the right education. Contact CRNA programs in Rhode Island today to get started.