Whether you live in one of Indiana's major cities or one of the state's many rural areas, your career as a registered nurse has likely exposed you to the importance of proper anesthesia. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists reports that nurse anesthesia is a safe and effective way to reduce health care expenses and expand patients' access to necessary pain relief. This may be a particularly good career choice if you live or want to live in a rural part of Indiana. The AANA notes that in many rural parts of the country, CRNAs provide nearly 100% of available anesthetic services.
With your bachelor's degree in nursing, you likely have much of the leadership and specialty training you need to be ready for a Master's degree in nurse anesthesia. Master's programs in nurse anesthesia help you learn how to work independently, make strong clinical decisions, and use your knowledge of pharmacology to best meet each patient's needs. With this training, you may work in any clinical specialty that uses anesthesia. Major employers include labor & delivery wards, pain clinics, surgical units, and emergency rooms. Find out more about CRNA programs in Indiana by contacting them from our site, if you're ready to take the next step in your education.
Though admissions requirements for Indiana CRNA programs can be fairly stringent, they are often not more than you should already meet by completing a BSN and gaining some work experience. You need a GPA of at least 3.0 from your BSN, which tends to be required for graduation from a nursing program anyway. Work experience requirements vary from school to school. Generally, you need at least one year of full-time nursing experience in a relevant setting, such as acute care, emergency care, trauma care, or surgical care.
As you work through your CRNA program, you may tackle many highly specialized learning goals. By the time you graduate, you should be able to complete a full pre-operative assessment and report on a patient. This should allow you to develop a thorough anesthesia plan for the patient that takes into account their specific needs. You must also be able to meet important safety standards at every step of the anesthesia process. Instructors may watch you to see how well you work with a postoperative patient to assess their pain management needs.
Your curriculum may include many courses that are designed to help you meet these learning goals. You may start with courses like Conceptual Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice, Advanced Pharmacology Across the Life Span, and Chemistry & Physics for Nurse Anesthesia Practice. More advanced courses include Research Methods for Nurse Anesthesia, Pharmacology of Anesthetics & Accessory Drugs, Physiologic Variables for Nurse Anesthesia Practice, and Advanced Principles for Nurse Anesthesia Practice.
Over the course of your two to three years spent in school, plan on gaining over 550 hours of clinical experience. Your clinical hours should take place in a variety of settings and get you involved at various levels, giving you the skills you need to confidently work with patients after graduation.
You may be able to apply for several different scholarships and grants as a CRNA student. The Indiana Center for Nursing funds numerous scholarships at the graduate level. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education funds a nursing scholarship for graduate and undergraduate students. Certain employers, like Union Hospital, also have scholarships for advanced nursing students.
Throughout the course of your master's degree in nursing, you should plan on keeping your Indiana nursing license current. You need a registered nursing license to complete your advanced clinical practice. In addition, maintaining an RN license through the Indiana State Board of Nursing can prepare you for the process of earning a nurse anesthetist license. After you successfully graduate from a nurse anesthesia program and get your Master's degree, you can apply to earn your certification from the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. They can certify you after you have passed their rigorous licensing exam. As a nationally certified nurse anesthetist, you can apply for your nurse anesthetist license in Indiana. To keep your license valid, you must complete 40 hours of continuing education each year.
Job growth for nurse anesthetists in Indiana may exceed job growth rates across the country. For Indiana, O*Net reports an anticipated job growth rate of 29 percent, which is about 4 percent higher than the national average.
For most nursing professionals, a career switch to nurse anesthesia may naturally lead to an increase in earning potential. Per O*Net, the average salary for an Indiana nurse anesthetist is $166,800 per year, which is over $15,000 higher than the national average. O*Net reports salaries that range from $104,100 to $187,200 per year (O*Net, 2013).
If you feel called to the field of nursing and you want to use this calling to make a difference in the health care community of Indiana, nurse anesthesia may be the specialty for you. With your advanced training and body of skills, you can help ensure that patients receive excellent care and lend your voice to the standards of evidence-based care in Indiana.
Ready to move forward in your nursing career? Nurse anesthesia schools in Indiana may be waiting for you. Use our comprehensive list of local CRNA schools to find the right program for your needs.