In this post, you will read about how long does it take to become a nurse anesthetist. After high school, you’ll need to attend college for roughly eight years if you want to become a nurse anesthetist. The amount of time required is comparable to that of a medical degree. By going to school full-time while working, you might be able to finish the program in three years and speed up your education. Your time as a graduate student is split between classroom learning, lab work, and clinical experience.

The need for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), however high across the board in the medical industry, is greater than ever. In fact, according to the Department of Labor Statistics, the specialty will expand by more than 30% during the following ten years.

CRNAs are advanced practice nurses that monitor patients after anesthesia and examine them before and after it. At hospitals, the military, and private clinics, CRNAs work alongside physicians. In certain places, such as remote rural hospitals, CRNAs are the only available healthcare professionals.

What kind of training is required to become a nurse anesthetist?

Plan to take on a demanding course load in addition to what you’ve already done to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing if you decide to pursue the CRNA title (BSN). Good undergraduate nursing programs prepare you for the difficulties of a graduate degree that is much more demanding. Programs for nurse anesthetists are quite picky about the applicants they accept. Each program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA to be accepted, but the most prestigious universities require a higher GPA and stellar recommendations.

The prerequisites for becoming a CRNA are as follows:

  • a bachelor’s degree in nursing
  • License as a registered nurse
  • One year minimum of critical care nursing specialization
  • Master’s in nursing and anesthesia
  • Pass the CRNA and NBCRNA exams (National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists).

You can take the tests once you finish the study and receive a Master’s in Nursing Anesthesia (MNA). You may be able to get both an MSN and an MNA at some of the more famous institutions, allowing you to teach in addition to practicing. The certification of these graduate programs is overseen by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs (COA). There are now 121 recognized nurse anesthetist programs in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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What does a nurse anesthetist need to keep learning?

Regardless of your credentials, maintaining your license requires you to complete continuing education (CE) hours. As a CRNA, you must follow a different path than other advanced-level nurses for your recertification and CE. The CRNA CE is administered completely by the NBCRNA board and is known as the Continuing Professional Certification (CPC) program.

Every four years, you must complete 40 credits of professional development coursework and 60 credits in anesthetic care, covering the following five subject areas:

  • Airway
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Anesthetic apparatus

What training is needed to become a nurse anesthetist?

For your nursing degree, you need to have a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology if you’re thinking about becoming a nurse anesthetist. For many programs, classes in nursing theory are also necessary.

The advanced training you do in graduate school expands on the fundamental lectures you took as an undergraduate but is more concerned with the chemistry of anesthesia and keeping track of the vital signs of patients who are asleep. A nurse anesthetist program includes more clinical work and training since practical experience is a crucial learning tool for building the abilities necessary to become a CRNA.

Although every school’s curriculum is distinct, the following fundamental ideas are taught:

  • In-office anesthesia
  • Guidelines for anesthesia
  • advanced health evaluation
  • advanced anesthesia pathophysiology
  • Research

What requirements must you meet to become a certified nurse anesthetist?

You can become a licensed CRNA after completing an accredited master’s degree program. The certification procedure is managed by the NBCRNA through a written test. The exam determines the proficiency of beginning CRNAs. The NBCRNA provides you with an exam guide, which includes information on eligibility requirements, when you register to take the exam. The prerequisites are as follows:

  • possess a valid, unrestricted RN license
  • possess a graduate degree from an American nurse anesthetist program that is recognized
  • Send in your academic transcripts and details of your clinical experience

The following requirements must be met by your records:

  • be submitted by the supervisor of the nurse anesthesia program
  • The records must be signed by the candidate and the administrator.
  • establish that you’ve met the essential academic prerequisites.

How long is the certification test for nurse anesthetists?

You are eligible to take the three-hour certification exam after eight years of education. At a specific testing location, you take this test on a computer. Your general knowledge, abilities, and competency are all evaluated on the test.

Your understanding of the human body and its systems, including anatomy, physiology, and illness, makes up one-third of the exam. The rest of the test is all about anesthesia. It is broken up into three sections that cover its basic ideas, how it is given, and any problems it might cause. For the first two years that you practice as a nurse anesthetist, the CRNA exam is valid. You must finish an additional 40 hours of anesthesia-related continuing education within that period.

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CRNAs Salary

Your yearly earnings as a CRNA might reach the national average of $177,692. Depending on your job, educational background, amount of experience, and geographic area, your income may vary. Relocation aid, health insurance, disability insurance, and employee stock purchase programs are typical benefits for this profession.

8 steps to becoming a registered nurse certified in anesthesia

You will need to go through a number of steps to become a CRNA, which will take you seven to eight years to finish. For admission to a CRNA program, you must have a license as a registered nurse and have worked in acute care before.

Get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is the initial step. A BSN can be obtained on average in four years.

Step 2: Get your license as a registered nurse

The next stage after receiving a BSN is to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). You first need to have a BSN in order to be eligible to take the RN exam.

Step 3: Engage in Acute Care Nursing Work

The next thing you should do is gain experience in an acute care setting before applying to a CRNA school. Although each CRNA program has its own rules that define what counts as acute care, the majority of CRNA programs demand that you have more than a year of experience.

CRNA programs usually define “acute care” as working in an ICU, a coronary care unit, or an emergency room. Before taking a job in an acute care setting, you should look into the requirements of the CRNA programs you are interested in.

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Finish CRNA school

It’s time to submit your CRNA school applications once you’ve satisfied the aforementioned requirements. A nurse anesthetist program lasts two to three years, depending on the school. CRNA programs impart knowledge through classroom instruction and practical clinical experiences. The National Certification Test must subsequently be passed when you have finished your CRNA program.

How long does it take to become a nurse anesthetist

Becoming a CRNA may takeĀ between 7-10 years, including clinical experience working as an RN in an ICU or a critical care department. Beginning in 2022, aspiring CRNAs should plan on spending 2-3 years to complete the required DNP or DNAP degree after earning their BSN and RN license.

Duties and Responsibilities

As a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), you will have a range of duties and responsibilities related to providing anesthesia care to patients. Some of the key responsibilities of a CRNA may include:

  1. Pre-operative patient evaluation: Conducting a thorough patient assessment prior to surgery to determine the appropriate anesthesia plan and identify any potential risks or complications.
  2. Anesthesia administration: Administering various types of anesthesia to patients during surgery, including general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, and sedation.
  3. Monitoring patient vital signs: Monitoring and managing patient vital signs during surgery, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation.
  4. Pain management: Providing pain management services to patients before, during, and after surgery, including managing post-operative pain.
  5. Patient education: Educating patients and their families about anesthesia options, the risks and benefits of each option, and what to expect before, during, and after surgery.
  6. Collaborating with healthcare providers: Collaborating with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare providers to develop and implement safe and effective anesthesia care plans.
  7. Record-keeping: Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of anesthesia administration, patient vitals, and other relevant information.

Overall, CRNAs play a critical role in the healthcare system by providing safe and effective anesthesia care to patients undergoing surgical procedures

Timeline for CRNA

To become a CRNA, you must complete six to seven years of school. It takes seven to eight years to become a CRNA because in addition to the educational requirements, applicants must have at least one year of acute care clinical experience as a registered nurse before being accepted into a CRNA school program.

The Top 5 Reasons of Becoming a CRNA

While CRNAs are well paid (the average CRNA salary is over $160,000 per year), it is now quite difficult to get accepted into a CRNA school program. Registered nurses who want to become CRNAs may need more than one year of clinical experience in acute care to get into a CRNA program. This means that sometimes it can take more than eight years to become a CRNA. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) says that on average, RNs who enroll in CRNA programs have been working in acute care for 2.9 years.


In conclusion, becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is a challenging but rewarding career path that requires significant education and training. CRNAs play a crucial role in providing safe and effective anesthesia care to patients undergoing surgical procedures. Their duties and responsibilities include conducting pre-operative patient evaluations, administering various types of anesthesia, monitoring patient vital signs, managing pain, educating patients and their families, collaborating with other healthcare providers, and maintaining accurate records. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a CRNA, it is important to carefully research the educational and training requirements, as well as the job outlook and salary expectations in your area.


Abdullahi Suleiman a Certified Registered Nurse based in Nigeria, an Entrepreneur and Also a Blogger, passionate about Community Development and Cosmetic Nursing

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