Certified nurse anesthetists, known better by the official title of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), are trained health care professionals who administer anesthesia and monitor patients during surgery. Aspiring CRNAs may choose to enroll in either a master's or doctoral degree program in anesthesia or nursing anesthesia.
Top 9 Certified Nurse Anesthetist Schools
At these well-regarded institutions, student can get the training they need for a nurse anesthetist career:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's, Doctoral||$37,392 in-state, $43,290 out-of-state|
|Rush University||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Doctoral||$999 per credit|
|Duke University||Durham, NC||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Doctoral||$1,568 per credit|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$12,397 master's in-state, $25,492 master's out-of-state, $12,600 doctoral|
|Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences||Bethesda, MD||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$0|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Doctoral||$31,068|
|University of Maryland||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Public||Doctoral||$692 per credit in-state, $$1,251 per credit out-of-state|
|Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland, OH||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's||$1,891 per credit|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City, IA||4-year, Public||Doctoral||$17,388 in-state, $35,442 out-of-state|
Source: *U.S. News and World Report
School Selection Criteria
Here is some information to consider when selecting a nurse anesthetist school:
- Students should consider schools that offer programs accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Attending a properly accredited school allows students to sit for certification as a CRNA through organizations such as the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists or the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthesia.
- Programs that offer preparation courses for the certification examination could be beneficial to students upon graduation, and schools with strong employment records are likely to help students find professional positions after successful completion.
- Schools that offer extensive clinical rotations could help students make professional connections that later lead to employment.
- Students interested in specialty areas, such as obstetrics, cardiovascular studies, pediatrics, neurology or orthopedics, may want to look for programs that offer clinical opportunities in these areas.
Master of Science (M.S.) in Anesthesia
A M.S. in Anesthesia may be completed in two years and, when properly accredited, can qualify students to become CRNAs. Clinical experience in a variety of professional settings commonly makes up the final year of study in the graduate program. Some schools may require a thesis in order to graduate. The first year is spent on basic academic coursework.
Master of Nursing in Anesthesia
This program may take anywhere from 24-36 months to complete and can qualify graduates to become CRNAs upon completion. A residency period and research project may be included at this level, as may be an extensive amount of clinical experience.
By completing a master's or doctoral program that provides adequate preparation for the CRNA exam, aspiring certified nurse anesthetists can get the training they need for a successful career in the field.