I am a new grad working in the ICU and aspired to pursue CRNA but I am concerned about the stress. I am under the assumption that there is a lot of stress and I am leaning more towards NP. How stressful is a CRNA job?
You have to decide what is best for you and how you handle stress. Yes, anesthesia can be stressful and there are days that you earn every dollar you make, and there are days that are boring and routine.
The main point I want to make is this--CRNAs rarely suffer BURNOUT like nurses in other specialties. There are probably many reasons for that, but I believe that most CRNAs have figured out how to handle the stress and work with it. You will find CRNAs who are working well into their 70's. A CRNA who used to post here, (Yoga) has been in a full time anesthesia practice for over 45 years.
But, if stress is an issue for you, consider another field. Try shadowing a CRNA for about a week, so you can get a better understanding of the environment.
I think working in a high acuity, fast-paced SICU/CSICU gives you good insight to how you might deal with the stress level that you would undoubtedly encounter as a CRNA. It continues to be a humbling and enlightening experience to work in such a unit. There are some fresh post op patients that crash as soon as they enter our unit and it is absolutely terrifying. If you can stand the terror calmly and do what needs to be done, and it does not take too much out of you, then it might be a good indicator for how you might handle the stress of being a CRNA. I can't speak for CRNA's, and I would be interested in their perspective. Good luck