Should I Worry About Future of CRNAs?

  1. 0
    So I've been reading about a few things that worry me:

    1. Oversaturation of CRNAs.
    2. MDAs pushing back against them.
    3. Insurance reimbursement going down for anesthesia.
    4. The push for AAs over CRNAs.

    Taken together, this things make me worry about pursing the career. I don't want to spend all of the time and money required to become a CRNA only to find that I can't find a job due to oversaturation + AAs, and I don't want to find that due to insurance, etc, that I will be paid at a level too low for someone with that amount of education.

    I'm not going into this for the money, I have an interest in anesthesia because my family suffers from an anesthesia related condition (Malignant Hyperthermia). I want to do this so badly, but I don't want by the time I get out of school as a CRNA (4-5 years from now) that the field has changed so much that we have no autonomy, low pay, long hours, no competitive advantage due to high numbers available, etc. It's the same thing that happened to the RN profession in recent years - and now pay is lower, no sign on bonuses, no one can find jobs, etc. Should I consider a new career path?

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  2. 29 Comments...

  3. 0
    Unfortunately, we may not always be able to predict the future, but you can take what skills you have and fine-tune them to such an extent that it makes you valid.

    The future is eons away, think and stay positive.
    The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter.

    The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today's work superbly today.

    By all means take thought for the tomorrow, yes, careful thought and planning and preparation. But have no anxiety.

    Waste of energy, mental distress, nervous worries dog the steps of a man who is anxious about the future.
  4. 2
    I'm not going into this for the money, I have an interest in anesthesia because my family suffers from an anesthesia related condition (Malignant Hyperthermia).
    Malignant Hyperthermia has very little to do with anesthesia practice, it is just one of the many adverse reactions that people can have to anesthesia and a very rare one at that. It would make more sense to me for you to come out and say that you're in it for the money

    Anyway, your concerns are valid for any career path, just there are no guarantees. I think the best possible guarantee is find what you love and let the rest take care of itself.
    Zaphod and bibibi like this.
  5. 0
    1. There is oversaturation in some markets, but there are still plenty of CRNA jobs out there. The jobs may not be in your hometown, but there are still going to plenty of jobs out there when you are done with school. The average of CRNAs is around 47y/o so there a lot of CRNAs retiring each year.

    2. There has always been arguments between physicians and APNs over practice issues (money). CRNAs have been around for over 120yrs, and about every year a new state opts out so CRNAs can bill Medicare independently. The worse the economy gets the better practice rights looks for CRNAs. MDA and ACT practices are expensive. Hybrid practices (where CRNAs and MDAs both work independently) and CRNA only practices are the only economically viable solutions for small to medium size practices.

    3. Reimbursement issues are always a problem, but this is one thing that ASA and AANA continue to fight together. Both professional organizations have successfully kept medicare reductions from effecting anesthesia providers for the last few years. Each year it is a different battle, but it will take a lot of cuts before anesthesia providers aren't making a decent living. MDAs are the highest paid hospital based physicians and CRNAs are the highest paid nursing speciality. There is no reason to believe this trend won't continue for the foreseeable future.

    4. AAs cannot work independently and there are actually very few AAs when compared to CRNAs. AAs aren't a economically viable solution. AAs have to have MDAs directly supervising them at all times. That is why you won't usually see AAs in surgery centers, GI procedure clinics, and small hospitals. Unless things change for the detriment of CRNAs AAs future looks bleak.
  6. 3
    Quote from Class2011
    Malignant Hyperthermia has very little to do with anesthesia practice, it is just one of the many adverse reactions that people can have to anesthesia and a very rare one at that. It would make more sense to me for you to come out and say that you're in it for the money

    Anyway, your concerns are valid for any career path, just there are no guarantees. I think the best possible guarantee is find what you love and let the rest take care of itself.
    What the hell kind of comment is that? Don't try to act like you can judge me. While I know it's hard to believe, not every human being is inherently selfish and stingy, as you seem to think. If that's your outlook on life, I'm sorry. Not that I need to explain myself to you, but having a very rare anesthesia-related disorder prompted me to do a lot of research into it, and anesthesia itself. Hence, it sparked interest in studying anesthesia as a profession. That's honestly not that hard to understand.
    Designer NP, CCL RN, and QBoroRN like this.
  7. 1
    My outlook is (i repeat) to find something you love and let the rest take care of itself. Your OP is primarily concerned with the job market and (again i repeat) that is perfectly valid.

    What i didn't understand is how a family history of MH would make someone want to do anesthesia so badly. Sounded to me like you either don't know what anesthesia is and/or you're being overly defensive on the money issue.

    It's for you to know not me, but I am sorry for ruffling your feathers
    bibibi likes this.
  8. 0
    I understand your concern and all 4 of your points are valid. I made a tally of gaswork.com job postings for more than a year. Back in July 1, 2010, there were 689 job postings, on Mar 27, 2011, there were 484 job postings--a drop of 29.7% in less than 9 months. It seems that every Tom, Dick, and Nancy with an RN wants to be a CRNA and schools are sprouting and just accepting everyone left and right.

    CRNA boom, just like the once RN and the US Housing Boom, could turn into an ugly CRNA bust someday.
  9. 0
    Quote from SyberianPuppy
    What the hell kind of comment is that? Don't try to act like you can judge me. While I know it's hard to believe, not every human being is inherently selfish and stingy, as you seem to think. If that's your outlook on life, I'm sorry. Not that I need to explain myself to you, but having a very rare anesthesia-related disorder prompted me to do a lot of research into it, and anesthesia itself. Hence, it sparked interest in studying anesthesia as a profession. That's honestly not that hard to understand.
    Well that actually sounds better than just saying because your family has a history of MH. I think the other person just decided that you did not look into it very much. It would be like me saying I want to be a cardiologist because my grandfather had a heart attack once. Your further discussion makes more sense.

    Take slower steps in your process and start with getting into nursing school first. After you start working, look at shadowing and actually experiencing what a CRNA does everyday. You might not actually like it. Some people discover that is not for them after starting school and taking out massive loans. If you do decide to go to school, I am sure there will still be jobs. As far as AA's go, I believe they can only practice in 16 states and they cannot practice independently.
  10. 1
    Honestly there are going to be ups and downs in all employment areas. Fact of the matter is, people are going to continue to get sick, get older, and need surgery. As long as this continues, nurses, nurse practitioners, and CRNAs will continue to be needed. I am currently teaching 5th grade. Its my second year. Here in Texas, teachers are being laid off left and right, however I've secured 2 teaching positions in 2 years. I'm starting a weekend BSN program in Dallas this fall and I have no doubt that after I get my BSN and a few years of ICU experience I'll be accepted to and complete CRNA school, and secure a CRNA position. Its all about networking. Also, if I have to relocate, take a lesser starting salary, or work in a sub-specialty that may not interest me as much in order to get my foot in the door than that is exactly what I will do. The key is to stay positive!
    bibibi likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from crr1987
    Honestly there are going to be ups and downs in all employment areas. Fact of the matter is, people are going to continue to get sick, get older, and need surgery. As long as this continues, nurses, nurse practitioners, and CRNAs will continue to be needed. I am currently teaching 5th grade. Its my second year. Here in Texas, teachers are being laid off left and right, however I've secured 2 teaching positions in 2 years. I'm starting a weekend BSN program in Dallas this fall and I have no doubt that after I get my BSN and a few years of ICU experience I'll be accepted to and complete CRNA school, and secure a CRNA position. Its all about networking. Also, if I have to relocate, take a lesser starting salary, or work in a sub-specialty that may not interest me as much in order to get my foot in the door than that is exactly what I will do. The key is to stay positive!
    Just make sure you keep those grades up. The accelerated programs can be rough. Now from your title are you going for CRNA of NP?


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