There are no online or traditional bachelor's degree programs for anesthesia assistants, but there are online bachelor's degree programs in nursing that qualify graduates to enter master's degree programs for nurse anesthesia. Many courses can be completed through online study as the student's schedule allows, but there are extensive clinical requirements that must be executed in a healthcare facility.
The bachelor's programs, generally called RN to BSN (registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing), are for RNs with associate's degrees. They can be completed in as little as 18 months, but that can vary depending on the number of credits previously earned. Students take courses designed to expand their critical thinking and clinical skills.
In a master's degree program in nurse anesthesia, students take courses in physiology, pharmacology and anatomy. The program involves a great deal of research and reading, as well as extensive clinical experience requirements. It takes two to three years to finish this degree program.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Nursing
Online bachelor's degree programs in nursing are typically meant for registered nurses looking to advance their careers. Students expand upon the skills that they already possess through online coursework. The online format is ideal for working professionals in the field, as they are able to access and complete work as their schedule permits.
Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's degree programs in nursing are typically meant to increase proficiency in aspects other than what students obtained from clinical work. Students learn more about topics in healthcare, technology, health promotion and technology integration. The multitude of topics covered provides registered nurses with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance further in the field.
Coursework is delivered online via the course website. Tests, papers and general assignments are submitted online. Certain software and hardware requirements may be necessary in order to view materials and access some of the Web-based components. Oftentimes, students will have an advisor with whom they create and monitor a plan of study for the program.
Students study a variety of topics, ranging from health related issues to behavioral sciences. Courses are meant to advance the development of critical thinking, clinical skills and analytical skills within the nursing practice.
Nursing Issues and Trends
This course examines theories and principles that provide nurses with the proper ethics and behavior in the context of their jobs. Students explore technological advances and how they relate to the healthcare field.
Students are introduced to qualitative and quantitative methods of research and how these methods relate to solving clinical and systems issues. This course focuses on ethical research methods and protection of the human subjects involved.
This course gives a comprehensive review of health assessment for patients throughout their entire lifespan. Students learn concepts of health assessment and how to apply them in relation to a general systems approach.
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Master's Degree Programs
Students interested in working as anesthesiology assistants typically enroll in master's degree programs. Most programs require students to be registered nurses or hold a bachelor's degree in a science-related field. Due to the necessity of clinics and lab work, anesthesiology assistant programs aren't offered online.
Information and Requirements
Master's degree programs for anesthesiology assistants provide students with practical learning opportunities, both in the classroom and in clinical situations. Programs like this typically require extensive research and readings. Students also have to complete clinical rotations at hospitals in order to gain hands-on work experience in the field. Clinical rotations start off as a mix of work in classroom settings and in hospitals. As students gain more clinical experience and get closer to graduation the rotations increase and cover more aspects of anesthesia practice.
Courses cover topics in anesthesia, including the history, principles and patient care. Students learn how to use the variety of anesthesia equipment, and clinical rotations provide students with hands-on work in the field.
Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesiology
This course teaches students about the history and practice of anesthesia. Topics in ethics, government relations and legal aspects, and how they relate to anesthesia are covered.
Principles of Nurse Anesthesiology
Students are introduced to the equipment used in the field. This course covers basic principles and techniques of anesthesia practice.
This course reviews the anesthesiology literature previously covered in the program. Students analyze, review and discuss topics in preparation for the certification exam.
Career Information for Graduates
Someone who earns a master's degree in the field is prepared to work as an anesthesiology assistant. As of May 2015, the median annual income for the entire field of physician assistants was $98,180, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that between 2014 and 2024 job opportunities in the field are expected to grow by 30%.
Someone holding a bachelor's degree in nursing will typically go on to work as a registered nurse or enter a graduate program. As of May 2015, the median annual income for registered nurses was $67,490, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that between 2014 and 2024 job opportunities in the field are expected to increase by 16%.
Proper certification is necessary in becoming an anesthesiology assistant. Graduates of accredited programs in anesthesiology must take an examination testing them on their knowledge and proficiency in the field. Once the examination is passed, certification is awarded and work as an anesthesiology assistant is permitted.
Earning a bachelor's degree in nursing is the first step to becoming an anesthesiology assistant and may completed in a hybrid program. The master's degree necessary to become an anesthesiology assistant is not offered online due to the nature of the occupation.