After you've worked as a registered nurse for a year or more, you may decide that you want to take on more responsibility in your nursing practice and work more independently with patients. If you have a passion for pharmacology, want to spend more time with patients, and are ready to dedicate yourself to advanced study, you may wish to look into becoming a nurse anesthetist in South Carolina.
Nurse anesthetists are a growing part of the health care industry across South Carolina. South Carolina has a higher than average amount of people living below the poverty line, which may make traditional anesthesiology services too expensive for some patients. Nurse anesthetists can provide affordable, evidence-based, patient-centered anesthesia services to patients undergoing different procedures. In your career as a nurse anesthetist, you may provide oral medications, use IV pain medications, administer drugs in an intramuscular manner, or use general sedation techniques. You can plan on working with many different health care professionals, from charge nurses and nurse practitioners to surgeons and anesthesiologists.
Are you interested in earning an advanced nursing degree and taking the next step in your nursing career? If so, learn more about what it takes to become a nurse anesthetist in South Carolina by contacting the schools you see on our site.
There are two main types of nurse anesthesia programs in South Carolina. The first is a master's degree program, which takes about two to three years and includes 40 to 50 credits. The second is a doctoral program, which requires three to six years of work. You can plan on completing 50 to 80 credits in this type of program. The main difference between a Master's degree and a doctoral degree in nurse anesthesia is the amount of experience you get. Master's degree programs tend to include 550 to 600 hours and doctoral programs include over 1,000 hours.
Be ready to put your best foot forward when you start applying for CRNA programs, since the admissions process can be fairly competitive in this field. A bachelor's degree in nursing is required throughout South Carolina, and you must also maintain a registered nursing license. At least one year of nursing experience is required. Some schools require as much as three years of full-time nursing experience.
As you start studying nurse anesthesia, you must also study other fields of nursing. Because of this, you may start with courses like Organization and Systems Leadership, Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice, and Biostatistical Methods in Advanced Nursing. However, the majority of your courses should focus on advanced nursing practice and nurse anesthesia practice. As you move through the curriculum, you may take classes like Advanced Pharmacology, Philosophical Foundations of Nursing Science, Nurse Anesthesia Clinical Practicum, Evidence-Based Practice, and Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia.
There are many types of financial aid available for advanced nursing students in South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control funds quite a few scholarships for nursing students and working students. You may also wish to join the South Carolina Nurses Foundation to qualify for grants like the Evelyn Johnson Entrekin Scholarship, the Nurses Care Scholarship, and the Renatta S. Loquist Scholarship for Graduate Nursing Education. Loan repayment assistance may be available to graduates that agree to work in a medically underserved area after graduation.
As a nurse anesthesia professional in South Carolina, you may be in a position to benefit from a great job outlook and earning potential in your state. Job growth in this field may continue for several years yet. O*Net anticipates a 17 percent increase in nurse anesthesia job openings from 2012 to 2022. Most nurse anesthetists in South Carolina earn between $111,200 and $187,200 per year (O*Net, 2013). The average salary for a South Carolina nurse anesthetist is $152,200 per year, which is slightly higher than average (O*Net, 2013). Your income potential may increase as you gain experience in different specialties, get seniority at your place of employment, and further your education with continuing education opportunities.
Of course, to enjoy these new career benefits, you must be fully licensed to work as a nurse anesthetist. Through the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists, you can become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. They do require you to pass a certification exam prior to giving you this title. At the state level, you get your Advanced Practice Nursing license through the South Carolina Board of Nursing. You must prove that you meet the Board of Nursing's education and certification requirements to upgrade your license from an RN license to an APRN license.
To become part of the nursing community in South Carolina, you may want to take advantage of professional opportunities throughout the state. The South Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists may be a good resource for you as you begin your career. They promote the field of nurse anesthesia by upholding high practice standards, providing continuing education and networking opportunities, and advocating for CRNAs in state legislature. Joining a group like this can also help you establish yourself as a leader in your nursing community and your place of employment.
Are you ready to become a nurse anesthetist and serve the patients of South Carolina? If so, take the first step by reaching out to CRNA schools in South Carolina today.