If you are considering a career in the health care field, going to CRNA school to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is a great choice. This fast growing field is currently accessible to students through programs at 110 CRNA schools. This article will describe the basic information you will need to decide if CRNA college is the right fit for you and your career.

What is a CRNA

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is a highly trained registered nurse who is responsible for administering anesthesia to patients. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist school is the best way to learn all of the skills and information needed to control the administration of a powerful drug. The average salary in 2009 for CRNAs was $163,000.

CRNA School Requirements

To be accepted into CRNA college, you must have completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Those with high performance in the sciences are more likely to be accepted into a graduate program, meaning you should do your best to keep your grade point average above a 3.0. The applicant must also be a registered nurse and have passed the NCLEX exams to be considered. Most schools require at least a score of 1000 on the GRE, so prepare for this exam early. You will also need to acquire the PALS, ACLS and BLS certifications. Additionally, most CRNA schools will require at least one year of acute care experience. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing, it is wise to acquire an internship or volunteer position in a hospital where you can start to gain this experience before graduation.

What to expect from CRNA School

Upon admission, CRNA students are required to complete a comprehensive and advanced course of study including 106 contact hours in concepts in chemistry and biochemistry, 135 contact hours in anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, 105 contact hours in the practice of anesthesia including an overview of physics and the use of technological equipment in pain management, 45 contact hours in professional practice, 45 contact hours in clinical correlation, and 30 contact hours in research methodology. Accredited CRNA schools also require a clinical residency for CRNAs, offering them the chance to practice anesthesia techniques and derive hands-on experience in an actual hospital setting. Clinical training provides students with opportunities to test their skills in medical, dental, surgical, obstetrics and pediatric care, ensuring that graduate s from CRNA schools have the knowledge and expertise to deal with real-world situations after graduation. Upon completion of an accredited CRNA program, students typically have accrued about 1,700 hours of clinical experience in the practice of anesthesia and, under close supervision, have personally administered around 800 anesthetics to patients.

How much Does CRNA School Cost – CRNA School Tuition?

The cost of tuition varies greatly depending on the state, whether the school is private or public, and whether the student is paying in or out of state tuition costs. For an in state student, with tuition and fees, you can expect to pay between $20,000 and $60,000 per year. For out of state tuition, that number increases to up $120,000 per year.

What you should consider before attending

If you are seriously considering CRNA school, understand the financial and time obligations associated. Keep in mind also that this position has very low patient interaction, as they will be “out” for most of the time you are working with them. Additionally, consider that this position is predicted to be in high demand through the next 20 years, so starting your career now will give you the advantage of being involved while the field grows and changes. With a very healthy income and high job security, training to become a CRNA could be a very smart career decision.