CRNAs - The Future is Bright

Nurse anesthetists, the first healthcare providers dedicated to the specialty of anesthesia, have their roots in the 1800s, when nurses first gave anesthesia to wounded soldiers on the battlefields of the Civil War. Today, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice registered nurses with graduate level education who enjoy a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in every practice setting, and for every type of surgery or procedure. They are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly all rural hospitals, and the main provider of anesthesia to the men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

How Do I Become a CRNA?

In order to be a CRNA one must:

  1. Graduate from a nurse anesthesia educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) or its predecessor.
  2. Pass the certification examination administered by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists or its predecessor.

The nurse anesthesia profession is known for its highly respected educational system and its strong commitment to quality education. As of August 2017, there were 120 accredited nurse anesthesia educational programs in the United States, all affiliated with or operated by academic institutions; and 62 nurse anesthesia programs are approved to award doctoral degrees for entry into practice. The programs range from 24 to 42 months in length, depending upon university requirements, and all are at the master's degree level or higher. This sophisticated educational system provides a graduate level science foundation along with clinical anesthesia experience to prepare student registered nurse anesthetists to become competent nurse anesthesia professionals.

Arkansas State University...

Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas is home to Arkansas' only CRNA Program.