Nurses play a vital role in many parts of the healthcare system. There are many exciting and rewarding opportunities and specialties within the broader profession of nursing. One area of healthcare in which nurses are heavily relied upon is the area of anesthesiology. Certified registered nurse anesthetists are highly skilled advanced practice nurses who have the training and certification necessary to administer and manage anesthesia care. If you are currently looking into becoming a nurse, a potential career path as a CRNA may be of interest to you. If you already work as a registered nurse and are looking for more specialized and advanced work, a CRNA education program may be the place for you to start.
For residents of the state of Utah who are interested in attending a nurse anesthesia education program, there is one in-state option. The Westminster College School of Nursing located in Salt Lake City offers a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree. While there is only one program located within Utah, several nearby states also have CRNA programs including Arizona, Oregon, and California. Most CRNA programs require that the student attend classes full time and in person, so if relocating out-of-state for several years is an option, then a resident of Utah would not be limited to the one in-state school.
If you are contemplating making a career move towards becoming a CRNA, it is important to research your options. This page will give you information on what steps you would need to take in order to become a CRNA and will also provide information specifically for those interested in going to school or working as a CRNA in Utah.
CRNA Education Overview
The administration of anesthesiology is a specialized practice which involves detailed training in order for it to be done well. Because patient safety and comfort is often in the hands of CRNAs, becoming a CRNA is a process which involves specific education as well as certification requirements.
To begin the journey towards becoming a CRNA, an interested student must first apply to CRNA school. CRNA schools can be tough to get into as they have high academic and experience standards. The prerequisites for applying to CRNA school can take many years of education and work to complete. In order to apply for a CRNA education program, it is usually required that a student possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a related field, a current license as an RN, and one to two years of experience working in a critical care environment.
In addition to the above mentioned requirements, some CRNA programs may require that applicants meet additional criteria. Some of these criteria may include having particular scores on the GRE or having maintained a certain GPA in undergraduate schooling. Applicants may also be required to submit letters of recommendation from employers, professors, or colleagues. Some schools also conduct in-person interviews with their applicants before they make a final admissions decision. As an applicant to CRNA school it is important to research the admissions criteria for each school as some programs may have additional requirements or expectations of their applicants.
Once a student completes a program of study in nurse anesthesia, he or she must then take and pass the national certification examination (NCE). The national certification examination is administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists. Once a student passes the NCE, he or she is a certified registered nurse anesthetist. In order to maintain certification, CRNAs must be re-certified every two years. In order to qualify for re-certification, a CRNA must have a current RN license, be actively practicing as a CRNA, prove that they have completed 40 hours of continuing education credits, and verify that he or she does not have any conditions which would interfere with the practice of anesthesia
CRNAs in Utah
CRNAs are nurses with high levels of professional and individual responsibility. As such, they are compensated at a higher rate than registered nurses. The salary of a CRNA can vary widely for many reasons including geography, employment location, and experience level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 records, in the state of Utah a CRNA makes an average of $144,080. Other states with similar average salaries for CRNAs include Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Vermont.
CRNA Schools in Utah
Westminster College School of Nursing and Health Sciences Masters of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
- Type of Degree Offered: Masters of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
- Average Program Length: 29 months
- Program Start Month: August
- Program End Month: December
- Number of Clinical Sites: 24