One of the main benefits of starting a career in the field of nursing is the number of different specialties and titles you can take on if you choose to advance your education. Registered nursing is a great career, and the experience you can gain as an RN may transfer to many different career paths. If you have at least one year of registered nursing experience and you'd like to take your nursing career further, you may wish to consider a career in the field of nurse anesthesia in Utah.
We recommend contacting the nursing schools in Utah that offer CRNA programs to begin the process of choosing the next best steps.
Nurse anesthetists in Utah may work in many different wings of a hospital. They are particularly prominent in rural health care organizations, as many rural areas cannot afford to hire or retain full-time anesthesiologists. As a result, you may have to stay on-call, respond to calls in different parts of your community, and be ready to spend several hours with a patient as needed. As you gain experience and further your education in this area of study, you may become a nursing leader and play a prominent role in the nursing community of Utah.
Are you ready to learn how to administer anesthesia to make health care safer and more affordable for Utah residents? If so, keep reading to learn more about CRNA programs in Utah, then reach out to those schools that interest you.
Admissions to CRNA programs in Utah can be fairly competitive, so you want to put your best foot forward while filling out applications. Academic performance is a big part of their consideration, so you should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher from your bachelor's degree in nursing. The higher your GPA is for your nursing courses, the stronger your application may be. You must also have practical experience as a nurse. The majority of schools in this region only require one year of experience in trauma care or critical care, but a few schools do require up to three years of full-time nursing work.
Once you have received an acceptance letter to your school of choice, you can start preparing for your time as a CRNA student. You may complete roughly 50 credits over the course of two to three years. This includes quite a bit of clinical work. To meet national minimum requirements, you must work with 550 different cases, which means a minimum of 550 clinical hours. However, many schools help you get more clinical work, as this can make you a more skilled practitioner. Your curriculum should prepare you for clinical work in several different ways. You may take courses like Anesthesia Pharmacology, Research Methods in Nursing, Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists, Clinical Anesthesia Practicum, and Chemistry & Physics Related to Nurse Anesthesia.
To offset the costs of your nurse anesthesia degree, you may wish to apply for grants, scholarships, and loan repayment assistance programs. At many schools, there are grants and scholarships available for CRNA students. Examples include the Bennion/Wallace Scholarship, the Kumen and Naida Gardner Scholarship, and the Mark Leany Memorial Scholarship. Other schools may offer graduate assistant, research assistant, or teacher assistant programs to help you earn money for school. This experience may also help you in your post-graduation job search. The Utah Nurses Association funds several different scholarships for undergraduate and graduate nursing students, so you may wish to apply early each year to be considered.
The field of nurse anesthesia has quite a few licensing restrictions, so you may want to start preparing for this process while you are still in school. Doing so can help you save time and get started in your career more quickly. You must apply for national certification through the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. They verify that you meet their licensure requirements, including a completed Master's or doctoral degree and a passing score on the certification exam. With your national certification, you can apply for state licensure through the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. This process allows you to turn your regular registered nursing license into the Advanced Practice Registered Nursing license.
As you work through the certification and licensure process, you may want to join the Utah Association of Nurse Anesthetists. This large statewide group may help you become an established part of the nurse anesthesia community in Utah. They host regular conferences and workshops, provide information on the role of nurse anesthetists in this state, and aim to further the growth of CRNAs by supporting them in a legislative manner.
Utah may have one of the highest growth rates for nurse anesthetists in the entire country. O*Net reports an expected 39 percent increase in nurse anesthesia jobs from 2012 to 2022. This growth rate is a full 14% higher than the national average (O*Net, 2012). Salaries in Utah vary widely between anesthetists. O*Net indicates that the average salary for a Utah nurse anesthetist is $124,100 per year.
Becoming a CRNA can help you fulfill your potential as a nursing professional. You may learn how to provide highly-specialized care to patients in need, while contributing to the overall growth of nurse anesthesia in Utah. In addition, your high level of education may strengthen the nursing community of this state.
Now that you know more about how to become a CRNA in Utah, it's time to learn more about your educational options. Take a look at our school listings below and contact CRNA schools in Utah for more information.