After you've attained your bachelor's degree in nursing and found out what it's like to work in a critical care setting, you may wonder how you can use your specialized training and passion for patient care to advance your career. Maine, like many other states in the country, has a growing demand for nurse anesthetists. Nurse anesthetists are nurses with training in anesthesiology and pharmacology at the master's degree level.
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists reports that nurse anesthetists fulfill a number of different roles in their day-to-day work. You may perform physical assessments on patients to determine the best anesthesia options for them, prepare them for the administration of anesthesia, and actually provide pharmacological pain relief. Throughout procedures, you may maintain anesthetic levels to keep a patient stable. Even after a procedure, your work is still needed. CRNAs can offer post-surgical pain relief and oversee a patient's post-op healing.
If you're ready to work in an in-demand nursing setting that requires an attention to detail and a deep knowledge of pharmacology, you may be a great fit for a CRNA program in Maine. To learn more about this career option, find out what it takes to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist by requesting information directly from the schools listed on our site.
CRNA programs in Maine may be offered by four-year universities and colleges, particularly those with established nursing programs. As long as you have a Bachelor's degree in nursing, you may be able to graduate from a CRNA program in as little as 2 1/2 years. However, many programs run for three full years. This is due to the fact that CRNA programs require about 50 to 60 credits for graduation.
To be admitted into a CRNA program in Maine, you should have a fairly strong academic history, especially in your nursing courses. A GPA of 3.0 is required, although a GPA higher than 3.5 may be recommended. Work experience in critical care may also be required, so plan on spending some time in the emergency room or the surgical wing before becoming a CRNA student.
The courses you take as a CRNA student are designed to deepen your understanding of the human body, how the human body works, the ways in which anesthesia affects different body systems, and how to properly administer anesthesia. As a new student, you may take courses similar to Principles and Practice of Nurse Anesthesia, Advanced Physiology, Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan, and Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice. As you move into the latter half of your degree, your curriculum may introduce more advanced courses. These classes include Professional Role of the Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Anesthesia Residency, and Seminar in Nurse Anesthesia Practice. In addition to giving you plenty of education in the classroom, these courses help you develop clinical experience. Upon graduation, you should have more than 550 hours of clinical experience.
Maine employers, organizations, and schools may offer scholarships to advanced nursing students. The Finance Authority of Maine awards numerous scholarships to nursing students. The American Nurses Association of Maine funds scholarships of $250 to $500 for nursing students. Local organizations like the Maine Community Foundation hosts several grant opportunities, including the Ruth Milan-Altrusa Scholarship.
After you complete your nurse anesthesia degree, you still have to complete the licensure process before you can officially begin working in Maine. This requires you to apply for certification through the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. You may get your certification after passing a rigorous nurse anesthesia exam. From there, you can have your exam scores sent to the Maine State Board of Nursing. Once they verify that you have taken the appropriate courses and thoroughly filled out your application, you can get licensed in Maine.
As a nurse anesthesia professional, you may wish to network with other professionals to make the most out of your career and stay on top of industry expectations. The Maine Association of Nurse Anesthetists provides support to nurse anesthetists via advocacy, legislative support, networking events, and continuing education.
Nurse anesthetists in Maine may enjoy a fairly stable job outlook. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net anticipates an 11 percent increase in Maine nurse anesthetist jobs.
One benefit of working in Maine is the possibility of an increased earning potential. Nurse anesthetist salaries in Maine tend to be higher than the national average. O*Net reports that the average salary for a Maine CRNA is $159,600 per year. The highest earners in the state bring in more than $187,200 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Furthering your nursing career with a degree in nurse anesthesia can have major advantages, both for you and for your nursing community. Your increased education may help you implement evidence-based care standards wherever you work, while your new body of skills may give patients the chance to receive effective pain relief. Not only may you increase your earning potential, by becoming a CRNA, you might find great career satisfaction in this field.
Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist begins with the right education. To take the first step in your new field, contact Maine CRNA schools today.