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Careers in Nursing | Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Career Overview

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice nurses who provide anesthesia care to patients, often in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and other health care professionals. They work with a high level of autonomy and responsibility. Anesthesia administered by a CRNA compared to that by an anesthesiologist is the same; the difference is the practice by which it is given (nursing versus medicine). In addition to administering anesthesia, CRNAs are responsible for completing a pre-anesthetic assessment, maintaining patient safety while under anesthesia, and managing the patient after discontinuation of anesthesia. CRNAs can work wherever anesthesia is administered: operating rooms in a hospital, ambulatory surgery centers, obstetrical delivery rooms, dentist offices, and more.


RN preparation and graduation from an accredited master’s level nurse anesthesia
program are both required. Passing the National Certification Exam by the National
Board of Certification & Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists after graduation is
essential. Nurses also need at least 1 year of clinical experience in an intensive care
setting, such as an intensive care unit, prior to entering a graduate in nurse anesthesia
program. Basic life support and advanced cardiac life support certification are also


  • Critical thinking skills
  • Thorough knowledge of medications administered by CRNAs
  • Ability to make important decisions quickly under stress
  • Strong computer and documentation skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent assessment skills and advanced knowledge of anatomy, physiology,
    pathophysiology, and pharmacology


  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (
  • International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists (
  • National Board of Certification & Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists

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Pediatric Anesthesia


Emphasizing safety, efficacy, and evidence, this is the only text representative of the multidisciplinary effort requisite to ensure delivery of optimal pediatric anesthesia care.Featuring the expert perspectives of over 120 professionals across disciplines, this highly anticipated text is designed to meet the needs of nurse anesthesia students and certified registered nurse anesthetists responsible for providing anesthesia for infants and children. Distinguished by its multidisciplinary, practical approach, this user-friendly text delivers a comprehensive survey of all key aspects of the field, including evidence-based techniques and current trends. With brief and consistent chapters organized by body system, this text offers readers a solid foundation in pediatric anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and anesthetic care to ensure the delivery of best practices in the clinical arena.With patient safety at the forefront, brief procedural chapters review the indications, unique ...

Annual Review of Nursing Research, Volume 35 image

Annual Review of Nursing Research, Volume 35


Advances in the delivery and monitoring of anesthesia care have expanded and improved exponentially in the last 30 years. These advances have been driven by a persistent search for best practices based on a foundation of evidence-based care. It is this interest in translation of research to practice that spawned this 35th edition of the Annual Review of Nursing Research, the first of this series to address anesthesia care.This volume bridges that gap for all those involved or interested in clinical anesthesia care including nurse anesthetists, physician anesthesiologists, anesthesia assistants, and postanesthesia care unit nurses. It aims to identify current topics in anesthesia care that generate discussion and disagreement with respect to the available research and evidence and therefore application of best practices.Each author was specifically selected for their interest, expertise, and knowledge of the chapter topic but just as importantly for their direct exposure to th...

Chemistry and Physics for Nurse Anesthesia image

Chemistry and Physics for Nurse Anesthesia


With a focus on chemistry and physics content that is directly relevant to the practice of anesthesia, this text--written in an engaging, conversational style--supplies all the scientific information required for the combined chemistry and physics course for nurse anesthesia students. Now in its third edition, the text is updated and reorganized to facilitate a greater ease and depth of understanding. The addition of a third author--a practicing nurse anesthetist--enhances the clinical relevance of the scientific information. Clinical scenarios now begin every chapter, and a concluding chapter, new to this edition, provides detailed, step-by-step solutions to the book's review questions. Also included is a comprehensive list of need-to-know equations.The third edition retains the many outstanding learning features from earlier editions, including a special focus on gases, the use of illustrations to demonstrate how scientific concepts relate directly to their clinical applica...