CRNA Programs + 3 Online No GRE for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are some of the the most highly educated and highest compensated nursing professionals. CRNAs are advanced nursing professionals who administer anesthesia during operations, either in a team with an anesthesiologist or alone. The CRNA profession is one of the most rapidly growing in the health field because there is a general shortage of full medical doctors and anesthesiologists.

CRNAs allow more surgeries to be done at a lower cost and with fewer anesthesiologists. A certified registered nurse anesthetist is often supervised by an anesthesiologist, or he or she can work independently. While CRNAs are paid very well when compared to all other nurses, they are more cost effective for hospitals to employ. So, CRNAs enjoy excellent job prospects and stability.

CRNAs do much of the same work as anesthesiologists do. They handle pre- and post-operative care related to anesthesia delivery. This nursing professional conducts pre-op assessments of patients, administers anesthesia during the operation, brings the patient out of the anesthesia, and then does follow up to make sure the patient recovers. A CRNA closely monitors the vital signs of the patient and the level of anesthesia during the surgery.

NOTE:

Previously, earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) was the path to become a CRNA. However, it is important for CRNA candidates to know that in October 2004, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) voted to change the degree level needed to work in advanced nursing practice, including CRNA, from the Master of Science to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This is going to take effect in 2015. This means that for professionals considering most forms of advanced nursing practice, you will now need to earn your DNP, which generally takes longer and costs more than earning an MSN.

So, you should assume that to become a CRNA, you are going to need to earn your DNP. Some universities are beginning to phase out the CRNA-MSN track and replacing it with the DNP track. This should continue for the next several years until most CRNA-MSN programs have been entirely replaced by CRNA-DNP programs.

3+ Online No GRE Options for CRNA

Medical University of South Carolina
Campus: Online
Type: Non Profit
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Per Credit Hour: Full time – in state $7,292 per semester; out of state $11,000 per semester
GRE Required: No
Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
On Campus Requirements: No
Programs: Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
School Site: |Tuition | Financial Aid

Duke University
Campus: Online
Type: Non Profit
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Per Credit Hour: $1425
GRE Required: Waived if your cumulative undergraduate GPA is 3.4 or higher
Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
On Campus Requirements: Yes – 3 day on campus orientation, 4 on campus sessions per year
Programs: Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Specialty
School Site: |Tuition | Financial Aid

University of Southern Alabama
Campus: Online
Type: Non Profit
Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Per Credit Hour: $465
GRE Required: No
Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
On Campus Requirements: No
Programs: Nurse Anesthesia Program
School Site: |Tuition | Financial Aid

Rutgers University
Campus: Online
Type: Non Profit
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Per Credit Hour: $1268
GRE Required: Waived with an undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher
Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
On Campus Requirements: No
Programs: MSN – Nurse Anesthesia
School Site: |Tuition | Financial Aid

Basic Description of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who provide approximately 32 million anesthetics for various surgeries and medical procedures each year in the US. A CRNA administers all types of anesthetic, works in all types of advanced nursing settings, and gives care for all kinds of procedures and operations, from cardiac surgery to pain management.

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RN to CRNA – How Much Does a CRNA Make?

CRNAs work in collaboration with anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists and other types of health care professionals. CRNAs are highly trained nurses and are given a great amount of professional respect and autonomy by physicians.

Interestingly, nursing anesthesia has been in existence since the Civil War, and there currently are 37,000 nurse anesthetists in the US. CRNAs are the only providers of anesthesia in many rural hospitals in the US, which enables these smaller health centers to offer more surgical and trauma services. In some states, CRNAs are even the sole providers in almost 100% of hospitals located in rural areas.

CRNAs work in all types of medical settings, including:

  • Surgical suites
  • Obstetrical delivery rooms
  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Dentist offices
  • Podiatrist offices
  • Plastic surgeon offices
  • Pain management centers

Where Can CRNA – Doctor of Nursing Practice Candidates Find Work After They Graduate?

CRNAs are enjoying strong demand all over the country because of a shortage of physicians and a general increase in demand for health care and surgical services. CRNAs should continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future because while they are the highest paid of all nurses, they still earn less than most anesthesiologists and do most of the same work. So, keeping CRNAs on staff is a cost-effective move for hospitals.

Most CRNAs work in hospitals, pain clinics, doctors’ offices and emergency ambulatory services. There also is strong demand for CRNAs in small communities in rural areas.

There currently are 16 states where CRNAs may work without physician supervision, so the demand for CRNAs in these states could be higher. These are:

Alaska
California
Colorado
Iowa
Idaho
Kansas
Minnesota
Montana
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oregon
South Dakota
Washington
Wisconsin

The highest paying states for CRNAs are California, Washington, New York, New Hampshire and New Jersey, with a CRNA salary of over $170,000.

According to a survey by CRNAjobs.com, the median CRNA salary in 2010 was $166,833. CRNAs with one year to up to 20 years of experienced tended to earn similar median salaries. However, CRNAs with 21 years or more of experience earned up to $175,000 per year.

The job of CRNA was recently ranked as one of the top jobs in the US, according to CNN/Money, with a median pay of $159,000. It also was ranked the #3 top paying job in CNN/Money in 2012.

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