How to Become a Chief Nurse Anesthetist

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Chief certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) supervise operations of the anesthesiology department. They also implement physical assessments and dispense anesthesia to patients prior to surgery. CRNAs practice in settings such as academic medical centers, small community hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and the military. They can also work alone or with anesthesiologists. They perform all anesthetic techniques including epidural, general or local. Chief nurse anesthetists are licensed independent practitioners, and their clinical privileges are defined by the facility they choose to work with.

  • Complete your bachelor's of science in nursing in order to be accepted into a master's anesthetist program.

  • Enroll in and complete an accredited nurse anesthesia master's program. This is a two-year program that focuses on graduate-level programs in basic sciences, advanced anatomy and physiology. It also centers on clinical residencies with real-world experience in local and general anesthesiology.

  • Pass a certification exam. This is required of all chief CRNAs and is mandated by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists (CCNA).This test contains 100 to 170 questions, and you are given three hours to complete it. You are tested on all the basics of physical anatomy as well as principles of anesthesia, administering of anesthesia and the complications that may arise.

  • Recertify every two years. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthesists, "CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years, document substantial anesthesia practice, maintain current state licensure, and certify that they have not developed any conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice anesthesia."

References

  • Photo Credit nurse on duty image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com
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