As a working registered nurse, you may realize that there are many ways that you can advance your nursing career and better serve the people of Oklahoma. If you like working with patients every day, you may be interested in a career in nurse anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists are a crucial part of health care in Oklahoma, especially as you move farther away from the state's major cities.
If you have a Bachelor's degree in nursing, you may already be on your way to a rewarding career in nurse anesthesia. To work as a nurse anesthetist, you must have quite a bit of experience working with patients of different needs. Furthermore, you should be ready to serve as a leader in the nursing field and be an example to other nurses in your department.
Getting started in a nurse anesthesia program in Oklahoma may be the key to your new career path. A program in this field can help you build a strong network of contacts, including anesthesiologists, general medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, and nursing researchers. You can learn from some of the top anesthesiology professionals in the industry by attending a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist school in OK. Take the first step in your chosen career path by contacting CRNA schools in Oklahoma directly from our site to learn more.
Before you begin applying for admission to nurse anesthesia programs in Oklahoma, it's important to figure out which type of program is best for your educational needs. A master's degree program typically only requires two to three years of full-time study, while a doctoral program may last up to six years. In a Master's-level program, you may complete roughly 40 to 50 credits at the graduate level. Doctoral students often need to earn more than 70 credits to graduate. Admissions requirements tend to be fairly similar at both degree levels. A Bachelor's degree in nursing is required, and you should have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher while completing your undergraduate degree. Few schools allow you to begin your graduate degree right after earning your undergraduate degree; in fact, you may need up to three years of work experience to qualify for admission to a CRNA program.
As you proceed through your nurse anesthesia program, you may complete courses in several different areas of nursing. Some of the basic classes you may take include Nurse Anesthesia Simulation Lab, Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan, Anatomy and Physiology for Nurse Anesthesia, and Advanced Pathophysiology. Higher-level courses in your degree may include Fundamentals of Statistics for Clinicians, Methods of Nurse Anesthesia Practice, Principles for Cardiothoracic Nurse Anesthesia, and Clinical Correlational Conferences. Many of your courses are divided into two components: a clinical component and a theoretical component. In your study of theory, you may stay primarily in the classroom. Clinical experience totaling over 550 hours may take you into many different settings in a hospital.
Scholarships and grants may be great resources for new graduate students, particularly if you already have student debt and you wish to avoid adding to it. Mercy Oklahoma is one of many local employers that has scholarship programs. Through the St. Anthony Foundation, you may apply for the nursing scholarship. At the state level, the Nursing Student Assistance Program may provide you with financial aid.
As you prepare to begin your advanced nursing career in Oklahoma, you may wonder what kind of job outlook you may encounter in the workplace. It's good news in Oklahoma. O*Net predicts a 19 percent increase in nurse anesthesia jobs between 2012 and 2022, indicating that job growth is in line with the national average. Furthermore, you may be able to claim a wide range of competitive salaries in this field. Nurse anesthetist salaries tend to be significantly higher than registered nursing salaries. Per O*Net, most nurse anesthetists in Oklahoma earn between $56,700 and $187,200 per year. The average salary for an Oklahoma nurse anesthetist is $165,800 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Of course, to enjoy these benefits of a nurse anesthesia career, you must meet national certification standards and statewide licensing standards. It all begins at the National Board of Certification & Recertification in Nurse Anesthesia. They put you through a comprehensive certification exam that tests all of your knowledge in the field of nurse anesthesia. You can then send your passing test scores to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing to start the process of becoming a licensed nurse anesthetist. Once they add advanced practice status to your RN license, you can work independently in the state of Oklahoma.
Through the Oklahoma Association of Nurse Anesthetists, nurse anesthetists at all levels of education and experience can take advantage of numerous membership benefits. You may get the chance to attend nurse training events or networking events. You may also be the first to learn about new career opportunities at employers throughout the state. This group also holds an annual conference for nurse anesthesia professionals.
Now that you know more about the field of nurse anesthesia, you may be ready to take the next step in your career. Contact nurse anesthesia schools in Oklahoma to learn more about how to begin.