A bachelor's degree in nursing is truly an accomplishment that can help you get started in one of the most in-demand fields in the country. It may also lay the groundwork for an advanced career in nursing after you gain some experience and learn more about different advanced nursing specialties. In states like Montana, where anesthesiologists may be difficult to find and retain, nurse anesthesia may be a promising specialty area for nurses that are ready to take the next step in their education.
Nurse anesthetists have a long and rich history in the United States, dating back to the Civil War. Nurses provided most of the care for injured soldiers and were recruited to administer anesthesia while doctors performed life-saving surgeries. All these years later, highly-trained nurses administer a greater variety of anesthetic medications under the title of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. This career requires you to earn a Master's degree or doctoral degree in nursing.
To work in nurse anesthesia, you must be willing to collaborate with a variety of health care professionals to offer excellent care to patients. Throughout the course of your career, you may work in fields like labor & delivery, surgery, pain management, and emergency care. Since Montana is so sparsely populated, nurse anesthetists are often the main anesthesia providers in hospitals and clinics. If you're ready to learn more about this exciting career, contact the CRNA schools in Montana for program details.
As a nurse anesthetist, you may be one of the main care providers for the patients you see every day. Because of this expectation and the responsibilities you take on as a CRNA, it's important to be well-prepared for CRNA programs in Montana. Prior to acceptance, you must have a Bachelor's degree in nursing. This helps you develop the base skills and knowledge needed for an advanced nursing education. Furthermore, you need at least one year of nursing experience that utilizes your education. Some schools require this experience to be in a critical care or emergency care setting.
Once you've met the admissions requirements for your school of choice and received your acceptance letter, you can begin applying for various types of financial aid. You may want to exhaust your scholarship and grant options before you consider student loans. Luckily, there are many options for nursing financial aid in Montana. The St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation funds five different scholarships, all of which have different application dates, so you should apply early and often. The Montana Health Care Association, which aims to provide Montana citizens with the health care they need, also offers scholarships to advanced nursing students. Another popular resource is the Montana Nurses Association.
Over your two to three years in nursing school, you may complete roughly 50 credits in nurse anesthesia courses. It's likely that your curriculum may start with courses like Advanced Health Assessment, Principles of Anesthesia, Human Anatomy & Physiology, and Advanced Pharmacology. From this point, you may proceed to more advanced courses like Clinical Anesthesia, Advanced Principles of Anesthesia, Professional Aspects of Nursing Practice, and Analysis of Health Policy Issues. Many of your courses may combine clinical work with theoretical study. Clinical requirements are fairly extensive in this field; to qualify for certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, you must work with 550 separate anesthesia cases.
As you prepare to start your career in nurse anesthesia, you may wonder which licensing and certification standards you must meet in Montana. The whole process starts at the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. After they verify that you meet their educational requirements, they allow you to take your certification exam to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. You can then move on to licensing at the state level through the Montana Board of Nursing. With a passing test score, a completed application, and a school transcript, you can become a licensed nurse anesthetist that is allowed to practice in Montana.
There are quite a few benefits to working as a nurse anesthetist. For many RNs, this career path leads to an increase in income potential. O*Net reports an average salary of $138,600 per year for Montana nurse anesthetists. Job openings in this field are expected to increase by 25 percent through 2022 (O*Net, 2012). Furthermore, this career may help you explore your own abilities as a leader, critical thinker, and advanced practitioner.
If you want to get as much out of your new career as possible, consider making use of the resources provided by the Montana Association of Nurse Anesthetists. This group may help you with continuing education courses, networking events that connect you with other CRNAs, and legislative updates that help you ensure that you're practicing within your scope of practice. They also advocate for nurse anesthetists in legislature to protect your career and your area of expertise.
The field of nurse anesthesia is important all over the United States, but it's extremely crucial in the rural state of Montana. If you're ready to move up in your nursing career, contact CRNA schools in Montana today to learn more about your options.