If you are interested in a job in healthcare, or you already work as an RN, you may have thought about working towards becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist. A career as a CRNA is highly desired by many as CRNAs are known to be well compensated and have a high level of professional respect. CRNAs work in medical facilities all across the state of West Virginia. In order to become a CRNA, you must first attend a CRNA training program. There is one such program offered in West Virginia by the Charleston Area Medical Center School of Nurse Anesthesia. If you are interested in another schooling option, the nearby states of Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all have CRNA schools as well.
This article will provide you with more information on what is required to become a CRNA, the future of the CRNA profession, and specific information regarding the potential salary of CRNAs in West Virginia.
The Requirements for Becoming a CRNA
In order to become certified as a nurse anesthetist in West Virginia, you must follow some specific steps as outlined below.
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing or another related applied science field
- Obtain a license as a registered nurse
- Work as an RN in a critical care setting for at least one to two years
- Successfully complete a CRNA education program
- Take and pass the National Certification Examination
- Obtain a license as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (This step is specific to the state of West Virginia per the West Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists)
Becoming a CRNA is not an easy task and each individual step above may take several years to complete. CRNAs provide very important specialized and detailed services to patients and thus must go through an extensive amount of training in order to ensure patient safety. Working towards becoming a CRNA can seem overwhelming or unattainable, but many students and RNs have embarked on the journey and made it through and are now enjoying the career which they worked so hard to obtain. Working as a CRNA can be a very rewarding job and many CRNAs will tell you that it is certainly worth the amount of effort which they had to put into schooling. It is possible to complete all of the above steps and become a CRNA if you are able to persevere with dedication and hard work.
The Future of CRNAs
If you are embarking on the road to becoming a CRNA, you probably want to know that the profession you are hoping to become a part of has a good future. While there is no way to know the future job outlook for any particular profession, there are some facts about CRNAs that bode well for the future. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists CRNAs are in demand and can find many employment opportunities throughout the country. One main reason for the bright employment outlook for CRNAs is their cost-effectiveness. According to a study released by the AANA, there is no difference in the safety of anesthesia care given by CRNAs and that given by anesthesiologists. Because anesthesiologists are doctors, they are paid more than CRNAs. If a medical facility can hire a CRNA instead of an anesthesiologist and receive the same high quality of anesthesia care, they will be able to save money.
In 2010, the Journal of Nursing Economics published a study which indicated that it costs less to train a CRNA verses an anesthesiologist, that a CRNA provides the same types of services as an anesthesiologist, and that an independent CRNA can provide anesthesia service at the lowest cost. Because of these factors, the future of the CRNA profession appears to be promising.
CRNAs in West Virginia
A career as a CRNA involves a high degree of professional responsibility and autonomy. CRNAs are highly specialized and receive additional education as well as certification, which differentiates them from registered nurses. As such, CRNAs are more highly compensated than RNs. In the state of West Virginia, the average annual CRNA salary in 2014 was $169,190 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The average salary earned by CRNAs in West Virginia is similar to that earned by CRNAs in Idaho, Arizona, and Indiana. This is an average salary calculation and individual CRNA salaries in West Virginia will vary depending on many factors including location, type of facility, and experience. Working as a CRNA in West Virginia can provide a comfortable living.
CRNA Schools in West Virginia
Charleston Area Medical Center School of Nurse Anesthesia
3110 MacCorkle Ave., SE Room 2041
Charleston, WV 25304
- Degree Offered: Doctor of Management Practice in Nurse Anesthesia
- Start Month: May
- End Month: May
- Average Program Duration: 36 months
- Number of Clinical Sites: 1