Working as a registered nurse can be a satisfying and rewarding lifetime career, but some RNs are interested in furthering their training and education and thus choose to become advanced practice nurses. A CRNA is a type of advanced practice nurse. Advanced practice nurses have a higher level of professional responsibility and perform more specialized tasks than registered nurses. Because of their high level of skill and training, CRNAs are compensated more highly than registered nurses. If you are currently living or working in Wisconsin and have considered pursuing a career as a certified registered nurse anesthetist, this page will be a helpful place for you to begin your research.
A career as a CRNA begins with CRNA school. There is one school in Wisconsin that offers a CRNA program, the Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia located in La Crosse. While there is only one CRNA school in Wisconsin, several neighboring states including Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois all have one or more CRNA schools as well. This article will provide you with additional information on the different roles of a CRNA, what is required to become a CRNA, and what type of salary a CRNA in Wisconsin can expect.
The Roles of a CRNA
CRNAs play several different roles when providing medical care to their patients. The first, and most obvious, is that of anesthesia specialist and administrator. CRNAs work to provide pre-anesthetic care, anesthesia administration, intra-operative anesthetic management, and post-operative monitoring. A CRNA often follows their patient from pre-op to post-op, making sure that the anesthesia is administered safely and in the correct dosage. CRNAs not only provide general anesthesia for surgeries, they also provide local or regional anesthesia for procedures like biopsies, plastic surgery, dental procedures, or labor and delivery.
In addition to providing specialized technical medical care, the second role that a CRNA often plays is that of emotional support provider. A CRNA will likely attend to patients who are going through emotionally challenging circumstances such as childbirth, illness, or major surgery. These are stressful and vulnerable times in the lives of these patients, so CRNAs often need to provide emotional comfort and reassurance to the patients and their loved ones. CRNAs provide anesthetics to all ages of patients including children and the elderly, so a CRNA often needs to be prepared to not only administer safe pain management, but to do so with compassion, understanding, and care.
CRNAs may also be called upon to provide administrative support services at their place of employment. CRNAs may be involved in tasks such as reporting, scheduling, or filing. While not the most glamorous part of the job, performing necessary administrative duties is an important role of a CRNA.
Requirements for Working as a CRNA
In order to become a CRNA, you must first attend a CRNA training and education program. These programs offer a rigorous academic course of study as well as many opportunities for hands-on learning through clinical hours. In order to apply for a CRNA program, there are several pre-requisites which most CRNA programs require. While each CRNA program has its own specific list of application requirements, most expect that their students have a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing or an applied science field, have a current and active license as a registered nurse, and have one to two years of experience working as an RN in an acute care environment. Each school will have a different application process that the candidate will need to compete with additional requirements, but generally these three requirements apply to most CRNA programs.
Once you have applied to CRNA school and been accepted, you must complete and pass the course of study. Upon graduation you will then be eligible to take the National Certification Examination (NCE). Each CRNA student is required to take and pass the NCE in order to practice as a CRNA. Once a student has successfully completed the NCE and received an official notice that he or she has passed, he or she can then begin to look for employment as a CRNA.
CRNA Salary in Wisconsin
CRNAs work in every state around the country and perform the same important job duties; however, the average salary for CRNAs varies widely by state. According to 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics information, the average CRNA salary for the state of Wisconsin was $214,150 with the average range being from $171,340 to $222,060. The annual mean wage of CRNAs working in Wisconsin is the third highest in the nation, coming in behind New Hampshire and Nevada.
CRNA Schools in Wisconsin
Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia
700 West Avenue
La Crosse, WI 54601
- Degree Offered: Master of Science in Biology (Entry Level)
- Program Length: 27 months
- Start Month: May
- End Month: August
- Number of Clinical Sites: 4