What motivates a nurse to become a CRNA? I'm sure there are a lot of factors. People want more autonomy, respect, the chance to have a bigger impact on their patients' care. Then, of course, there is THE MONEY.
For many working CRNAs, being an anesthetist means working longer shifts, more call, and working far more hours than they ever did as an RN. Those aren't really the motivating reasons that led them to become CRNAs, but since it is a part of the job, they manage. But I think many will tell you, it isn't the money that keeps them going. It is the pure love of the profession.
I see quite a bit of discussion about salaries on this board. That makes sense, salaries are something to consider anytime you are considering such a change. And we all want to get paid what we are worth. I sure don't send my paycheck back every week.
But I worry that some RNs are being seduced by the big salaries. I am afraid all some people see are the dollar signs. I don't mean anyone in particular. And I don't even mean just here on this board. This is just a trend I have noticed in general since CRNA salaries have really skyrocketed the last few years.
I guess I just want to raise a little note of caution to the RNs here considering anesthesia. Not to be a wet blanket, we need all the CRNAs we can get. I am not one of those CRNAs that thinks too many graduates makes for too much job competition (a ridiculous concept, but some people feel that way). I would like to see us graduate many more SRNAs every year.
But if the main thing that draws you to anesthesia is the money, please reconsider your motivation. Believe me, it won't be enough to sustain you. Anesthesia school is the hardest thing you will ever do. Giving anesthesia is the most challenging job you will ever have. And the biggest thrill you will ever feel, if you love doing it. People who are only in it for the money end up being miserable. I simply want to encourage people to look at the big picture, and consider all the factors.
Maybe others can comment on what motivates them. My motivation is the complexity of anesthesia. There is constant challenge. I love that aspect of it.
Dec 28, '02
while the salary is sweet!!!
the reason i chose to pursue this over np
is pure adrenaline... the np's i have seen either run their butts off in the clinic or for those that get to work in the er get swept over to the corner where they take the low acuity (flu, or nagging cough ive had for six months but chose to come top the hospital tonight for)patients.
when there is a code trauma etc they get pushed out of the way so the doctor and residents can "play"
ofcourse when the er doc can't intubate a patient there are only two alternatives mda or crna and if its not on call the decision is premade...
when it comes down to it the job high intensity you love it or hate it...so pop another blood pressure pill and get busy
Dec 28, '02
The satisfaction of a perfectly placed spinal! WOW!
Dec 28, '02
I've aspired to be a CRNA since I was in the 8th grade, when I heard what they did and that they made 'good money'. So I admit that the first attraction had something to do with the money.
I then followed a CRNA while in nursing school then again when I was in ICU. My motivation comes not only from wanting to do anesthesia but mainly from a job satisfaction standpoint. Every CRNA I have ever met, have said they LOVE their job. Ask an ICU nurse or especially floor nurse that and you get varied answers and sometimes just a look! As an ICU nurse, I could NEVER go back to floor nursing. Dont get me wrong, I have just as much respect for those nurses. But I'm thinking that as a CRNA, I will also feel that way about ICU nursing. I'm proud that I am a good nurse and I just want to be the best that I can be. For me, that direction and passion is anesthesia.
Its intimidating tho, because its an enormous responsibility but I feel that school and instructors will prepare me to be the best practitioner I can be. Thats another reason, senior SRNAs seem so confident doing what it is they will be doing when they graduate. Look at new grads from nursing school, we were scared puppies! not that srnas are NOT scared, but i do see a difference.
So my motivation is that in addition to what you mentioned: People want more autonomy, respect, the chance to have a bigger impact on their patients' care.
Dec 28, '02
loisane - you bring up a GREAT subject and it shouldn't be overlooked. Yes, the $$$$ matters as most of us wouldn't go thru all thi$ pain and effort without there being a "raise". Still, you are right about job satisfaction. I absolutely LOVE what I'm doing!
It was this or med-school for me and I'm not 22 anymore (or close enough to it!). I agree school is about the hardest thing I've ever done, but it is worth it and I wouldn't go back to "just" nursing for anything. I guess you could say I possess "massive quantities" of what is called "intellectual curiousity" and I truly enjoy learning more and more about what I'm doing.
To LOVE what you do and get paid (extra!) for doing it... THAT is pretty fulfilling.
Besides, I came to view it this way - I was going to be doing xyz ___ (fill in the blank) SOMETHING during these years/months anyway. Why not go back to school and learn to do something I will enjoy doing for the rest of my life?
Dec 28, '02
It is so great to hear such enthusiasm. That is what I love about this board-seeing the flat out energetic, excitement people feel when they are learning something they have a passion about.
I am completely gratified to see this attitude, and I do believe it is how most SRNAs feel. I am just a little concerned about the minority that are so dreamy eyed at the money that they don't see anything else.
After a while you get tired of so many 24 hour shifts and 90 hour weeks. Although they are great learning environments for new grads! I wouldn't trade my experience in the trenches for anything in this world. But I am happy with my change of pace, even though it comes with a smaller paycheck.
But that is another great thing about anesthesia. There are so many practice patterns and opportunites out there, each person can find the place that suits them well.
There is another motivator-options and flexibility in work environments.
Dec 29, '02
I'm not in school yet, but just like everyone else,the MONEY
plays a big part in my decision, but ... I also like the feeling of being 'tha man' when all HELL
is breaking loose, I'm an adrenaline junkie. I was an anesthesia tech while I was in nursing school, so I have a good idea of what CRNA's do. It's not always fun and exciting, but everyone I spoke absolutely loved their job.
P.S. Once my physician reference gets turned in, I will be interviewing for TX Wesleyan !!! PRAY FOR ME !!!
Dec 29, '02
One of my peers in the school I'm at, (Kaiser) has a brother in the Texas Wes program. We get the day-to-day low down on what they are learning compared to our classes. Kaiser weeds out in the beginning- before admission and admits 30. Texas admits 100+, then weans out. Work hard- do what is asked- you'll make it!
Dec 29, '02
Tired of cleaning up crap!
I'm kidding of course. I must say the autonomy the can eventually be established as an anesthesia provider is one of the things to look forward to. And obviously, the excitement of having to think on your feet in some very difficult situations sounds good, along with most of the previously mentioned statements.
had to throw in the crap comment though, as we all have had "those" kinds of days!
Dec 29, '02
Why is it that most nurses feel apologetic when complaining about the fact that we have to clean plenty of crap and do alot of nures aid work? Especially in the icu's where most of us are working. Most hospitals don't supply an aid in the ICU's because I guess, they feel we should be grateful we only have two patients. Even if the patients are critical. This is one of the main reasons I don't feel like a true college educated professional, this would never be accepted in any other profession. I can't tell you how many times I have heard doctors and other college professionals tell me " Nursing is so important, but I could never do all the dirty work you have to do". But in nursing it is almost like a badge of courage to brag about how much crap work you can do. I would never think about going to grad. school and becoming a crna if they had to still clean crap and wait on the patients like a glorified waiter. One of the main reasons I went back to school to get a college education so that I would not have to do dirty work anymore. Is there anyone else out there that feels like this and wants a more professional job such as a crna or np.
Dec 29, '02
i agree w/ you micu. nursing has stuggled to change their image, and even though they have come a long way, i believe there is much more to be done. no other "professional" would accept or even be expected to do some of the menial tasks that are required of nurses. "this soup isn't hot enough, i need my urinal, i just crapped in my bed, brush my teeth, comb my hair, my call bell has been ringing for five minutes what took you so long." I truly didn't go to college to juggle these tasks yet ~75% of time is spent doing these tasks and others similar to it. in today"s society, nursing in my opinion, even though it is called a profession, certainly isn't seen as one. and working as one i certainly don't feel like a professional when i compare myself to the way society views bankers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc....
now......nurses are of course extremely important and as patient advocates we play a pivotal role in the well being and ultimate survival of our patients. there are some great nurses out there who understand this important role but unfortunatly they are in the minority. i don't know how many times i have heard nurses say, "i can't believe dr. xyz didn't order this or that" yet don't do anything because thier excuse is, "well i'm not the doctor i'm just a nurse." it is attitudes like this that will keep the view and ultimate profession of nursing from progressing. also, it is for these reasons the nusing deficit will continue to be difficult to fill, and nursing turn-over will continue to rise as current nurses seek to find better opportunities elsewhere.
and on a lighter note...
i hope everyone as a fun and safe new year!!!
Dec 31, '02
In my interviews I mentioned I had the goal of becoming a CRNA when I started RN school, I want to do anesthesia because of I liked the job not the job's pay, not because I was burnt out on nursing or looking for a quick raise. The admissions committees seemed to like this "motivator".
My dad graduated in accounting primarily because of the $$, he ended up hating the job and tried to do something w/ degree w/out doing his degree. It has been very important to know what exactly I am jumping into and know that I will enjoy it.
My 2 cents
Dec 31, '02
Hi, i am a registered nurse, working in england, and have been reading these posts with interest. Things seem to be done very differently here, but there is obviously a huge shortage of nurses in both countries. I was particualrily interested in reading how nurse anaethaetists apply and train. I have been qualified for 6 years and work in an elderly rehabilitation unit. I have been ready for a change and challenge for some time and have been lucky enough to successfully apply for a job in theatres as an anasethetic nurse, I would appreciate any general advice or insights, since this is a new challneg for the new year. Also, the pay is no different to that of nurses working in a general ward.
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