Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice nurses who provide anesthesia to patients during surgical procedures. They essentially do the same things as anesthesiologists, but they don’t have medical doctor credentials. To become a CRNA in Tennessee you must have: a baccalaureate degree in nursing or another associated field, a registered nurse license, at least one year in an acute care work environment, a master's degree from an accredited CRNA program and a passing mark on the certification exam. Salaries for Tennessee CRNAs tend to be above average when compared to those on a national level.
According to the compensation data website PayScale, CRNAs generally earn between $83,000 and $171,047 per year. That amount can fluctuate depending on the number of years a CRNA has been working in the field. For example, PayScale says that with less than a year of experience, a CRNA's salary could be $120,079. With one to 10 years' worth of experience, the salary could fall somewhere between $120,103 and $144,128. Having 10 to 19 years behind the mask is worth $146,342. And with 20 or more years, a CRNA could expect to earn $144,504. (See Reference 3)
If you expected Memphis to have the highest wages of CRNAs in West Tennessee because of its metropolitan status, you’d be correct. Salary.com says CRNAs in Memphis area, including its suburbs, earn an average of $145,218 a year. In Dyersburg, salaries drop by almost $10,000 to $136,541. CRNAs in Linden earn slightly less at $135,707, and in Jackson it goes even lower to $133,311.
In the state capital of Nashville, CRNAs earn $147,397, which is higher than the national average, and also on par with CRNA salaries in both Gallatin and Franklin. Clarksville CRNAs enjoy a respectable $144,595 a year, while those in Murfreesboro can expect $136,236. CRNA salaries in Cookeville average the lowest in all of Tennessee at $132,542.
Although Chattanooga is the second largest city in East Tennessee, CRNAs here actually earn more than those in larger Knoxville at $140,082 and $136,969, respectively. Even CRNAs in smaller Johnson City have an advantage over those in Knoxville, with a median salary of $139,926. In Cleveland, CRNAs only earn slightly less with $138,853. And in Athens, they’re paid approximately $133,780.