As a registered nurse, you may assume that you'll always have to answer to doctors and work exclusively as part of a large team of nurses. However, there are many ways that you can use your nursing experience and education to propel yourself into a nursing career that offers more independence and responsibility. Nurse anesthesia may be the field for you if you want to spend more time taking in nursing research, caring for patients autonomously, and collaborating with other health care professionals.
Nurse anesthetists are in demand in the state of Texas. Health care costs remain high for much of the population, even in light of new health care legislation. Since nurse certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) can provide numerous anesthesiology services at lower rates than anesthesiologists, they can do a lot to keep hospitals' and patients' costs down. Because of the amount of training you complete in a nurse anesthesia program, patient outcomes are statistically very good for nurse anesthetists. You do need to be willing to work in a variety of fields, including surgery, labor and delivery, and emergency care. This job may involve traveling between hospitals or hospital wards in order to meet the health care needs of your community.
Are you ready to take the next step in your nursing career? Find out what it means to become a nurse anesthetist and how you can get the training you need to work in this exciting specialty.
Nurse anesthetists are highly respected health care professionals that take on quite a bit of professional liability and responsibility, so you must be prepared for a rigorous educational program. As you apply for acceptance to different programs, you may find that you need a bachelor's degree in nursing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. CRNA schools in Texas may also contact your current and previous employers to ensure that you have one year or more of full-time nursing experience. Experience in trauma care, perioperative nursing, or emergency care may be a plus.
After you have been accepted to a Texas CRNA program, you may be able to start the process of applying for different types of financial aid. Many nursing schools in Texas offer graduate nursing scholarships, so you may apply for school-specific scholarships through your program. The School of Nursing Scholarship Application may allow you to automatically apply for schoolwide scholarships. The Good Samaritan Foundation may provide financial aid to nursing professionals that hope to advance their education. College for All Texans is a local organization that funds the Professional Nursing Scholarship and other nursing grants.
As you look over the curriculum for your nursing program, you may find that you take a wide variety of courses in your two to four years in school. Beginning courses may include Advanced Physiology, Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Applied Epidemiology. Courses that deepen your knowledge of nurse anesthesia include Anesthesia Principles, Evolving Health Care Environments, Anesthesia Pharmacology, and Health Assessment.
While working toward your CRNA degree, you can plan on getting clinical experiences in many different settings. To qualify for certification at the national level, you must work with at least 550 nurse anesthesiology patients. You may get some of this experience in the early part of your education, but most of it may be finished in the second half of your CRNA program. This part of your training can help you start to make connections in the advanced nursing community of Texas.
You may wonder what other steps you must follow to become a working nurse anesthetist in Texas. The first step requires you to contact the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. Once you submit your school transcripts and proof of graduation, you can take the national certification exam in nurse anesthesia. You can then call yourself a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
Have proof of your new title sent to the Texas Board of Nursing. Once you go through the application process to become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, you can begin working independently as a nurse anesthetist in Texas. Before you actually begin working on your own, however, you must obtain professional liability insurance. This insurance is designed to protect you and your place of employment.
The job outlook for nurse anesthetists is positive across the country, but it is particularly good in the state of Texas. Between the years of 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects to see a 33 percent increase in nurse anesthesia jobs. This is expected to lead to over 150 new jobs per year in this time frame (O*Net, 2012). You may earn a competitive range of salaries while working in this field, as Texas salaries tend to be above the national average. The average salary earned by a Texas nurse anesthetist is $154,900 per year (O*Net, 2013). Those in the top 10 percent of CRNA salaries earn more than $187,200 per year (O*Net, 2013).
As part of your career, you may wish to take part in professional organizations that relate to your field. The Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists unites nurse anesthetists all over the state. You may take part in biannual meetings, attend networking and training conferences, and learn about job opportunities in different parts of Texas.
Nursing is a growing field, and nurse anesthesia is a particularly in-demand field. Take your part in this field by contacting nurse anesthesia schools in Texas today to get program details.