Throughout the course of your registered nursing career, you've likely worked with many different patients, explored different specialties in your hospital or clinic, and developed a strong sense of practical clinical reasoning. Now you want to put all of that to use with an advanced career in nursing. With the right training and education, you may pursue a career in nurse anesthesia in Massachusetts.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are a growing part of medical care in Massachusetts. In total, there are over 48,000 CRNAs in the United States, per the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. As hospital administrators look for ways to provide excellent patient care while minimizing costs, they may seek to increase their hiring of nurse anesthetists. If you want to spend your career working with trauma patients, patients undergoing surgery, laboring patients, and others that rely on effective pain management, nurse anesthesia may be the Master's degree for you.
Are you ready to take the next step in your nursing career and expand your scope of practice? Take some time to learn more about becoming a nurse anesthetist and the opportunities presented by this exciting field. You can also contact CRNA schools in Massachusetts to find out more about your options.
Massachusetts CRNA programs tend to last about 2 1/2 to 3 years, depending on the school you select and whether or not you take summer courses. CRNA programs tend to have heavier credit requirements than other types of advanced nursing degrees, simply because of the vast amount of knowledge and experience you need to work in this field. By the time you graduate, you may earn over 50 credits.
You may wish to look into admissions requirements for different schools before you begin the application process; doing so can help you tailor your work experience to the requirements of local schools. Typically, one year of nursing experience is required. In many cases, this experience must be completed in an emergency room or a critical care setting. Furthermore, unless you plan on attending an RN-to-MSN program that offers nurse anesthesia, you need a Bachelor's degree in nursing.
Massachusetts is a state that really supports its nurses, which is why there are so many scholarship opportunities for MSN students. You may need to wait to apply until you have been accepted to a CRNA program. The Massachusetts Nurses Foundation, which is part of National Nurses United, funds several scholarships each school year. The Massachusetts Senior Care Association offers scholarships to those who hope to work primarily with senior citizens and the elderly population. Through the Massachusetts/Rhode Island League for Nursing, you may be able to apply for one of four annual scholarships.
When you get started in the nurse anesthesia program of your choice, that's when the real work begins. You may start earning your MSN through core courses like Principles of Anesthesia, Anesthesia Nursing, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Physiological Variables and Responses. Some of the classes you may take toward the end of your degree include Advanced Practice in Nurse Anesthesia, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, and Research Process in Nursing. In many of your courses, you may complete clinical hours. By the time you finish your CRNA degree, you must have more than 550 hours of direct anesthesia experience, completed under the guidance and supervision of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
Nurse anesthesia is a field that's regulated fairly heavily all over the country, so you should start planning for the licensure process while you are still a student. The National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists is your first stop. Through this organization, you can take your nurse anesthesia exam and officially become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. You must complete 40 hours of continuing education each year to stay certified. With valid certification, you can apply for state licensure through the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. With proof of a passing score, your transcript, and a completed application, the Board can upgrade your RN license to a CRNA license.
As you prepare to embark on your new career path, be aware of the job growth expected in Massachusetts. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net expects job openings for Massachusetts nurse anesthetists to increase by 7 percent.
Across the board, nurse anesthesia salaries in Massachusetts are in line with the national average. O*Net reports salaries ranging up to $186,800 per year, with a statewide average salary of $151,600 per year (O*Net, 2013).
The field of nurse anesthesia may have numerous opportunities for personal growth and professional growth if you are willing to work hard and earn your certification. Your expertise in the field of anesthesia can help you become a valuable member of a health care team and give you the chance to make a difference in patients' lives.
Are you ready to look into the field of nurse anesthesia? If so, you can begin by getting the proper education. Use our school listings to reach out to Massachusetts CRNA schools.