The health care system of Hawaii relies on many different medical professionals to ensure a high standard of care, provide patients with the service they need, and maintain the safety and cleanliness of any health care environment. Of particular importance in health care is anesthesia; a patient that has received proper pain management for their situation may enjoy a lower risk of infection, a safer and more sterile work environment for their procedure, and a more comfortable recovery.
Anesthesiologists are not the only health care professionals that can offer pain relief services to patients. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, professionals with a Master's degree in Nursing Anesthesia, can use their experience in patient care and pharmacology to make sure that each person they see gets the right medication, dose, and monitoring for their needs. Completing a degree and getting licensed in this field can make you a leader in the nursing field and in the anesthesiology field.
Consider a career in nurse anesthesia if you want your skills to make a significant difference in patients' lives and in patient outcomes. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists reports that anesthesia is almost 50 times safer now than it was in the beginning of the 1980s. Your education in this area may make you a valuable addition to a surgical unit, a labor & delivery unit, an emergency room, or a pain management wing. With the right training and education from a Hawaii CRNA program, this career may open many doors for you. Contact Hawaii nursing schools today to learn about your options for study.
Before you can start realizing your dream of becoming a nurse anesthetist, you must be accepted to a CRNA program in Hawaii. The schools you can choose from depend on which Hawaiian island you live on. However, admissions requirements tend to be fairly strict across all Hawaiian schools, so you can get a good feel for the work you need to do in order to be a good fit for this program.
To start, you must have a Bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school. Some graduate programs do allow you to transition directly from an Associate's degree in nursing to a Master's degree in nurse anesthesia; if this is what you're looking for, you need an RN-to-MSN program that focuses on nurse anesthesia. A GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required, although some schools do look for students with a 3.5 or higher GPA. The type of nursing experience you have is another crucial part of the admissions process. Because of the type of work nurse anesthetists do, you must have at least one year of full-time experience in an emergency or trauma care setting.
Your CRNA curriculum may be multifaceted and demanding, as you might expect. This type of degree program may help you become a leader in nursing, develop the confidence needed to work independently, and properly administer all different types of anesthesia. Early courses required in a CRNA program include Physiology for AP Nursing, Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics, and Pharmacokinetics & Dynamics of Anesthetic Agents. Other courses that may play an important role in your education include Introduction to Clinical Practice, Advanced Principles of Anesthesia, and Pathophysiology of Human Disease. In these courses, you may visit various clinical sites to meet your practical experience requirements. To become licensed as a CRNA, you must work with at least 550 different patients over the course of your two to three years in school.
Scholarships can go a long way to making your education more affordable, particularly if you apply early and often to find as many opportunities as possible. Some scholarships are specific to different Hawaii nursing schools, like the UH Manoa Achievement Grant and the UH Foundation Grant. The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program may be another option to consider. If you live in the Maui area, consider applying for aid through the Maui Nurses Scholarship Foundation.
Once you have completed your education in Hawaii, it's time to go through the licensure process. This can take quite a bit of time, so you may want to start preparing ahead of time by applying to take the certification exam and preparing your licensure application. Before you can seek licensure at the state level, you must pass the exam administered by the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. Once you pass this exam, you may submit your score to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in Hawaii. You must submit your completed application for nurse anesthetist licensure, which requires a valid registered nursing license. Once you complete these steps, you can receive your license and begin working as a CRNA in Hawaii.
Overall, the job outlook is great for nurse anesthetists. O*Net reports an expected 25 percent increase in nurse anesthetist jobs from 2012 to 2022. This job growth rate is higher than average when compared to other occupations (O*Net, 2012).
As a nurse anesthetist, you may earn a wide range of salaries throughout your career. Your income may start out lower, particularly since you may need supervision or guidance from other CRNAs or anesthesiologists while you get accustomed to your new job title. However, as you gain skill and experience, your earning potential may increase accordingly. O*Net notes that the average salary for a nurse anesthetist is $151,100 per year; the top 10 percent of CRNAs earn more than $187,200 per year.
With more and more people getting health insurance and finally going through the medical procedures they need, Hawaii's demand for nurse anesthetists may continue to grow throughout the years. If you're interested in taking your place in this nursing specialty, reach out to Hawaii CRNA schools for more information.