North Dakota is a classic Midwestern state. With plenty of open spaces and known for its cold winters, it can be a great place to live, particularly for individuals who like winter outdoor activities or those who appreciate the changing seasons. The state of North Dakota can also be a good place to obtain education as a CRNA. There is one in-state school offering a CRNA program, the University of North Dakota College of Nursing, which is located in Grand Forks. Texas Wesleyan University offers a distance learning program for CRNAs with a clinical location in Bismarck which also requires some time on-campus in Texas. For more specifics on these two schools see the section below entitled “CRNA Schools in North Dakota.”
If you live in North Dakota and are considering becoming a CRNA, you may have a lot of questions. Below you will find information that will cover various topics about CRNAs including a description of some typical CRNA job duties and specific information about CRNAs in North Dakota.
What does a CRNA do?
Before diving into a new career as a CRNA it is important to do some research and gather information about what being a CRNA might look like in practice. CRNAs work to provide anesthesia to patients undergoing a surgery or medical procedure which requires pain management. CRNAs can work in many different healthcare facilities and with all types and ages of patients. A CRNA receives very specialized training in the field of anesthesia. The types of pharmaceuticals used and the ways in which they are administered to any given patient vary based upon a patient’s medical condition and history as well as the type of procedure. A CRNA must have the knowledge to choose the right type and dosage of anesthetic as well as maintain the desired level of pain management and sedation for the patient. CRNAs must be trained to make important decisions very quickly, especially if they are involved in anesthesia care for emergency or life-threatening situations. CRNA job duties can vary widely but will likely include not only the actual administration and maintenance of anesthesia, but also care of the patient before and after surgery. A CRNA is often involved with the patient throughout his or her entire procedure and thus can become a support person as well as a healthcare provider. CRNAs are able to provide medical expertise in the field of anesthesia while also giving emotional, psychological, and personal comfort to their patients during stressful times.
CRNAs in North Dakota
According to the North Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NDANA), CRNAs are the only providers of anesthesia in the majority of North Dakota’s hospitals. This is due in part to the fact that many of North Dakota’s hospitals are located in rural locations. In fact, out of 34 of North Dakota’s major communities, only 6 are served by anesthesiologists and CRNAs. The remaining 28 communities receive anesthesia services from CRNAs only. Many rural hospitals don’t have a large enough budget to be able to hire a full anesthesia unit or an anesthesiologist. CRNAs offer the same services as anesthesiologists for much less, due to the fact that their salaries are lower than those of anesthesiologists. As an additional cost savings, some CRNAs work as independent contractors meaning that they do not have to be on staff full-time. Many residents of rural portions of North Dakota would be located a very long distance from any anesthesia services if it were not for the work of CRNAs.
A general salary for a CRNA in North Dakota on average falls between $168,230 and $221,240 with an annual mean wage of $171,630. This range is ranked among the top in the nation along with other states such as Wisconsin, Wyoming, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.
CRNA Schools in North Dakota
University of North Dakota College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines- Nurse Anesthesia Track
430 Oxford Street- Stop 9025
Grand Forks, ND 58202
- Degree Offered: Master of Science with Major in Nursing (Entry Level) or Post-Masters Certificate
- Start Month: August
- Duration in Months: 28
- Total Number of Clinical Sites: 13
Texas Wesleyan University- Distance Program (Requires limited time on-campus in Fort Worth, Texas however the main location in North Dakota is in the city of Bismarck.)
Graduate Programs of Nurse Anesthesia Building
1201 Wesleyan Street
Fort Worth, TX 76105