If you are currently working as a registered nurse or are hoping to become one and are looking to further your education and your career into a more specialized field, you may be interested in learning more about becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist. If you live in the state of South Dakota, you are located in a state with a high concentration of CRNA jobs as well as an average salary for CRNAs which is higher than that of many other states. South Dakota currently has one school which offers a CRNA program. Mount Marty College, located in Sioux Falls, offers a Master of Science degree in Nurse Anesthesia. There is more detailed information about this program located below in the section titled “South Dakota CRNA Program”. In addition to the CRNA program in South Dakota, the neighboring states of Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa all have schools which offer CRNA programs.
This article will provide additional information about the individual roles of a CRNA, the requirements for admission to a nurse anesthesia education program, and statistics about CRNAs specifically located in South Dakota.
The Role of a CRNA in South Dakota
According to the South Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists, CRNAs have many different roles. Overall, CRNAs are responsible for providing safe and effective pain relief to their patients through the use of anesthetics. Some typical CRNA duties include performing physical assessments before surgery, administering anesthesia, maintaining anesthesia intra-operatively, overseeing anesthesia recovery, and following a patient post-operatively to ensure their full recovery. This is a general idea of what a CRNA might do, but the specific duties of each CRNA can vary depending on the individual work environment. Some CRNAs practice as part of an anesthesia team in a large hospital or surgery center, while others work alone in rural medical facilities or at the offices of dentists and podiatrists. CRNAs are responsible for providing safe and effective pain relief to their patients through the use of anesthetics.
Admission to a CRNA Education Program
In order to practice as a CRNA, you must first complete a nurse anesthesia education program. Admission to CRNA programs can be competitive. Below are the main requirements that you should meet before you begin applying to CRNA schools:
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing or another appropriate degree (each school will determine what qualifies as an “appropriate” degree for admission into their program)
- A license as a registered nurse
- A minimum of one year of acute care nursing experience (each school will determine what qualifies as adequate experience and some may require more than one year)
If you meet the above basic requirements, you may be prepared to apply to CRNA school. Keep in mind however, that each program will likely have additional specific requirements other than the ones listed above. Some require that you maintained a certain undergraduate GPA or received particular scores on the GRE. Others will require letters of recommendation or have an in-person interview process. Each CRNA program will have a different admission process and it is crucial that you research each one carefully before applying. Making sure that you meet all of each individual school’s application requirements before applying will likely give you a better chance of having your application considered for admission.
Getting accepted into CRNA school is the first step in your journey to becoming a practicing a CRNA. It will likely take a lot of your time and effort as CRNA education programs can be demanding and rigorous, but it will help prepare you for the exciting career of a CRNA.
CRNAs in South Dakota
Working as a CRNA can be a rewarding career, but it can also be very physically and mentally demanding. A CRNA is a highly trained advanced practice nurse and is responsible for the safety and efficacy of anesthesia care. Because CRNAs are more specialized and receive more schooling and training, they can usually expect to be compensated at a higher rate than someone who is an RN. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, CRNAs working in South Dakota made an average of $165,120 per year. This annual mean wage is similar to those of CRNAs in Minnesota, Texas, and Michigan. South Dakota has the third highest concentration of CRNA jobs in the nation overall. The Sioux Falls metropolitan area of South Dakota is among the top ten metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest concentration of CRNA jobs.
The state of South Dakota is a good place to look for employment as a CRNA as it has a large concentration of CRNA jobs and an annual mean wage that is higher than many other states.
South Dakota CRNA Program
Mount Marty College Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia
5001 West 41st Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57106
- Degree offered: Master of Science
- AverageProgram Duration: 30 months
- Start Month: August
- End Month: February
- Number of Clinical Sites: 31