A nurse anesthetist candidate must be a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing to enter the anesthetist program. The candidate must be in satisfactory standing with the local board of nursing. Most nurses have experience in emergency or intensive care environments.
The nurse anesthetist must complete an accredited program to obtain a license; there are numerous programs in North America that offer the education necessary to become licensed. The entrance requirements vary from college to college. Most require a master’s degree in nursing, though some still allow a bachelor’s degree if the candidate has sufficient experience as a nurse.
CRNAs must complete at least six years of full-time classroom and clinical study beyond the high school level.
A nurse anesthesiologist is also referred to as a nurse anesthetist. Because these nurses are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients, they require extensive education and training.
Today, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are masters prepared advanced practice nurses who enjoy a high degree of autonomy and professional respect.