So few CRNA's..

  1. From what I have read...it seems like there are not very many CRNA's in the United States...Is this true?

    If it is...why so? Why are there so few CRNA's?
    Are there a lot of nurses going into CRNA school?
    Is it getting more popular?

    I know most CRNA schools only accept a small number of CRNA students each year....but I wonder how many applicants they usually get each year....I know it depends on the school and location...but in general numbers I am wondering....

    I bet there isn't even a place to find out this info...
    But I posted this..because maybe someone knows..

    Also...why are there so many more men in this profession? I read there are like 45 or 50% men in the CRNA profession...I wonder why.

    Thank you.
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   dreamon
    I think one reason is that CRNAs aren't so widely known. When I decided to go to college for nursing, I had my sites set on becoming an NP who specializes in ob/gyn because my dream since 6th grade was to become a gynecologist.

    It was not until recently had I discovered what a CRNA does. I had no idea nurses could give anesthesia to their patients. When I tell others about my future plan, no one I spoke to had heard of it either.

    But I dont think its unpopular at all, when I hear about the competiton to get into the programs. I guess I was just naive to all the different types of nurse education available.

    I am sure that there are more men going into this field, probably because they are more comfortable doing this than becoming a midwife for example. But I can only guess.

    Some more of your questions should be answered on the other CRNA boards.
  4. by   EmeraldNYL
    There are approximately 30,000 CRNAs in the U.S. I didn't know what a CRNA was either until my junior year in college (for my bio degree), I was all set to become a PA until my fiance's mom (who is an OR nurse) told me about nurse anesthesia. Not many people outside of the health care profession know what a CRNA is.
  5. by   smiling_ru
    There are a few reasons why there are so many more men.
    1. A lot of CRNA's were trained in the military = more males.
    2. It is an attractive profession for men, not so stereotyped, no handmaiden mentality.
    Beyond that I am not sure, I guess some of the guys could answer that.
  6. by   hobbes
    Well, it doesn't really surprise me that there is a large percentage of men who are CRNA's or are striving to be one. I think men in general are less like likely to stay in a position where they have no respect or are treated like crap. We gravitate toward excitement, challenge, competition and prestige and the path to becoming a CRNA affords all of the above. Not to mention, after all that hard work, being awarded with a salary and career worthy of respect. If you look at many of the science and engineering occupations that require demanding, rigorous, and competitive prerequisites for entry, most are dominated by men. Women are obviously just as capable, but I think in general they are more intimidated by what has to be done to become a CRNA - (real) chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, high GPA, GRE, 2-3 years "away" from kids/family, etc. Just my 2 cents.
  7. by   MICU RN
    Half the medical school seats are now occupied by females, so I don't totally buy into the notion that woman are not up for tough challenges. But I agree with many of the other reasons stated thus far.
  8. by   debralynn
    Rumor has it that my local College, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas is the only college now offering this in the state. Rumor is the entire program will cost about $26,000. I personally am not interested in this field, but thought I would give a name of a school that is supposed to be offering it!
  9. by   ASU_Sdvls
    Debralynn:

    This is no rumor, it is a fact. Arkansas State University has been accredited by the COA since January 2003. Here is their website: http://conhp.astate.edu/Nursing/NA.htm. Hopefully there will be a nurse anesthesia program in the state of Arizona by the time I get done with my 2-year requirement of ICU experience.
    Last edit by ASU_Sdvls on Aug 10, '03
  10. by   szoozoo
    Akron University in Ohio has a CRNA program and it only cost you $16,000 for the whole 2 year program...
  11. by   CRNA, DNSc
    Yes a program is just now opening in Arizonia- go to aana.com wegsite and click on accredited programs and you can query an indivdiual states or all states for a list of the 88 current programs. The programs have increased the number of students accepted- there are going to be approximately 1400 graduates this year and about 1600 next year.
  12. by   K38s
    Dreamon has touched on a topic that I have been thinking about: Why is it that CRNA's aren't as widely known (to the general public) as MDA's? Any thoughts?
  13. by   yoga crna
    I have some thoughts on the issue. Most people don't think about anesthesia unless they or a member of their family needs to have our service. Then they usually defer to the surgeon and accept who they recommend or the facility has scheduled.

    Secondly, like it or not "anesthetist" is had to pronounce.

    Third, try as we may, we are not real good at PR. I do think that is getting better, but we will never become a household word, unless we do something very wrong; example the CRNA in Oklahoma who gave a number of patients hepatitis by using the same needle in a hep lock.

    Fourth. The nursing profession as a whole and the nursing educators specifically do not consider anesthesia a "real nursing" speciality. I love to take on these people and usually blow them away. My favorite saying to them is "Why do you think it is that doctors can stick together and nurses can't?" They really don't have a good answer.

    Still the best move I made in my life was to become a CRNA.
    Yoga
  14. by   arkgolfer
    Yoga,

    Your 4th point brings up a question that has bugged me since I first starting working toward the CRNA goal. Why do nursing educators and nursing as a whole not look at anesthesia favorably? I have run into this with several instructors, first in my ADN program and then in my RN/BSN prog. Very puzzling! Is it the $$$$? Is it the lack of "nursy, nursy, touchy, feely" that is pounded in our heads in school? I always wanted to ask what the deal was, but I also wanted to pass my classes. What does everyone think?

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