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What does a CRNA do?

Learn all about CRNA duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a CRNA.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is a type of nurse who specializes in administering anesthesia. CRNAs are responsible for assessing patients before surgery, administering the anesthesia, and monitoring the patient's vital signs during surgery.

CRNA job duties include:

  • Administering anesthesia
  • Monitoring patients during surgery
  • Keeping track of patients' vital signs
  • Adjusting anesthesia levels as needed
  • Providing pain relief
  • Assisting with surgeries
  • Checking equipment for safety
  • Maintaining sterile conditions
  • Educating patients and families about anesthesia

CRNA Job Requirements

A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is a nurse who specializes in administering anesthesia. In order to become a CRNA, one must first become a registered nurse (RN). RNs can become CRNAs through either a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program or an associate degree in nursing (ADN) program. After completing an accredited nursing program, RNs must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). RNs must also complete an accredited nurse anesthesia program, which typically takes about 24 months to complete. Upon completion of the nurse anesthesia program, CRNAs must pass the National Certification Examination administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

CRNA Skills

  • Awareness of different types of drugs and their effects
  • The ability to work with different types of people
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • The ability to think critically
  • The ability to make quick decisions
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure
  • The ability to handle stress
  • The ability to multitask
  • The ability to communicate effectively
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality

Related: Top CRNA Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a CRNA

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice nurses who administer anesthesia for surgeries and other medical procedures. CRNAs are an important part of the healthcare team and play a vital role in ensuring patient safety. If you are a registered nurse (RN) interested in becoming a CRNA, there are a few things you need to do.

First, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). While you can become a CRNA with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), most programs prefer applicants with a BSN. Once you have your BSN, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). After passing the NCLEX-RN, you will need to obtain a minimum of one year of full-time clinical experience as an RN in an acute care setting.

Once you have met all of the above requirements, you can apply to a CRNA program. Most CRNA programs are at least 24 months long and include didactic coursework as well as clinical rotations. Upon completion of a CRNA program, you will be required to pass the National Certification Examination administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

Becoming a CRNA is a lengthy process, but it is one that can be very rewarding. As a CRNA, you will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your patients and their families.

Related: CRNA Resume Example

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