A post-master's certificate program trains registered nurses (RNs) to help doctors administer anesthesia and monitor patients during and after a procedure. Colleges and universities often tailor their nurse anesthesia programs to students planning to take the Council of Certification of Nurse Anesthetists (CCNA) certification exam, which leads to a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) designation.
Post-graduate certificate programs usually last at least two years and involve coursework (some of which may be offered online), clinical rotations, and an internship experience. To apply to this program, students must have a master's degree in nursing and an RN license. Some schools offer a post-master's certificate in nurse anesthesia in conjunction with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program; applicants to these programs are required to have a bachelor's degree in nursing and an RN license. Many schools also want proof of critical or intensive care experience.
Post-Master's Certificate in Nurse Anesthesia
Most certificate programs call for 40-46 course credits and take a little more than two years to complete. In addition to hands-on training through internship and clinical experiences, students can expect to take courses such as:
- Biophysics in nurse anesthesia
- Regional anesthesia and pain management
- Anatomical dissection
- Pharmacology for anesthetists
- Advanced study of human physiology
- Using physics and chemistry in nurse anesthesia
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for nurse anesthetists was $157,140 in 2015. The BLS projected employment for these workers will increase by 19% from 2014-2024, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
The CCNA, part of the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists, oversees certification for practicing nurse anesthetists. To earn certification, students must graduate from an approved program and take a national exam. There is also a recertification process every two years, which requires students to continue their education through advanced coursework or professional workshops.
In summary, a post-master's certificate program in nurse anesthesia can help registered nurses and advanced practice nurses meet the education requirements for nurse anesthetist certification. These programs can last up to two years and usually include both didactic coursework and clinical sessions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for nurse anesthetists is bright.