This page was last updated in 2022.
CRNA Training at a glance
The COA requires that each CRNA program:
- Hires program directors and assistant directors with graduate degrees
- Provide a curriculum including academic theory and clinical practice.
- Develop policies and procedures based on observable or measurable results
- Continually evaluate its educational effectiveness
- Continually evaluate its didactic and clinical curriculum
The following is an excerpt directly from the
“The didactic curricula of nurse anesthesia programs are governed by COA stand safe clinical practice.
Most nurse anesthesia programs range from 45 to 75 graduate semester credits in courses pertinent to the practice of anesthesia.
The science curriculum of graduate nurse anesthesia programs includes a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of courses in anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, chemistry, biochemistry, and physics.
Courses in anesthesia practice provide content such as induction, maintenance, and pediatrics.
“Students are instructed in the use of anesthesia machines and papers.
Patient anesthesia simulators are an emerging technology used in many programs to develop dexterity and critical thinking skills essential for the practice of nurse anesthesia.
The supervised clinical residency of nurse anesthesia education provides students the opportunity to incorporate didactic anesthesia education into the clinical setting.
Nurse anesthetists are prepared to administer all types of anesthesia, including general, regional, selected local and conscious sedation, to patients of all ages for all types of surgeries.
They are taught to use all currently available anesthesia drugs, to manage fluid and to interpret data from sophisticated monitoring devices.
Other clinical responsibilities include the insertion of invasive catheters, the recognition and pain management.
“To meet COA stand neurosurgical anesthesia.
This anesthesia experience includes the care of not only healthy but also critically ill patients of all ages for elective and the average number of anesthetics performed upon graduation is 773.
The results of a 1998 survey of program directors show that Nurse anesthesia programs provide an average of 1595 hours of clinical experience for each student.
During their clinical anesthesia experience, students are supervised by CRNAs or anesthesiologists who provide instruction in the safe administration and regional anesthesia.
The clinical faculty also evaluate the technical and critical thinking skills of students on a regular basis.
“With the evolution of nurse anesthesia programs into the graduate education framework, there has been an increase in program requirements for scientific inquiry, statistics, and faculty-guided student research.
This scholarly activity may be in the form of a scholarly project. Areas of student scholarly activities include study surveys, animal studies, bench laboratory research, and clinical studies.
Research studies may include quantitative research using descriptive and anesthesiology.
Students are encouraged and to publish in the professional literature.
This addition of a scholarly requirement to nurse anesthesia graduate programs has increased the demand other nurse anesthesia scholarly endeavors.
Certification and Recertification
“Upon completion of a COA-accredited program, a graduate is eligible to take the national certification examination that is developed and administered by the CCNA.
The purpose of this examination is to measure the knowledge and critical thinking skills required of an entry-level nurse anesthesia provider. Each graduate of an accredited nurse anesthesia program must successfully pass this examination to earn the title of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
CRNAs are recertified by the Council on Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists, which focuses its efforts on ensuring that CRNAs maintain their skills and technological knowledge.
The recertification period for CRNAs is two years. This recertification must be maintained for an individual to practice as a CRNA in the United States and to stay in compliance with state nursing regulations.
From the commencement of the professional education in nursing, a minimum of 7 calendar years of education and training is involved in the preparation of a CRNA.”
To summarize, CRNA training programs must jump through certain “hoops” in order to stay accredited. While it’s true that some CRNA training programs are stronger than others, they all will give you the education you need to succeed as a nurse anesthetist. CRNA training is well worth the time, money and effort, regardless of which CRNA training program you choose.
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