Do I really want to become a CRNA?

  1. I'm a 26 year old male and taking all of the prerequisites for nursing school, and doing very well in the classes: AP, Microbiology and Chemistry - and they interest me more than most things have in the past. I've fought myself for many years trying to decide on what to do for a career, being a little too picky, and I feel like time is running out. I can't decide if nursing is right for me, but I cannot decide if anything else is either. I really need to choose something, and right now my interests are mostly directed at nursing.

    I'm considering pursuing Nurse Anesthesia as a long term goal. Yes, I'm not even a nurse yet, but I'm not sure if I will be happy with an RN's pay range.

    I'm really struggling. I've done hours of research... I made this thread in hopes that folks who are actually working as CRNA's could tell me all the pro's and con's of your job as you see it, maybe even tell me a little about how it affects your personal life (schedule, stress, significant other, etc), and add any comments of your own to help me make this decision.

    I really appreciate it. Thank you,
    Jeremy
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  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    Jeremy,

    I moved your post to the Pre-CRNA Inquiry Forum, the best place for members to talk to CRNA's and nurse anesthesia students regarding career opportunities.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   UTRN2005
    I would recommend shadowing a CRNA for a few days. That will give you more insight than anything else. And FYI if you give the impression that you're pursuing CRNA for the money (which your original post kind of did) you won't find too many friends on this board or in the profession.

    Good Luck!
  5. by   wildfire2098
    Well, I hope that I came off in other ways too... that really isn't my goal, to just make money. Thanks for the replies so far everyone.
  6. by   SueBee RN-BSN
    Quote from UTRN2005
    I would recommend shadowing a CRNA for a few days. That will give you more insight than anything else. And FYI if you give the impression that you're pursuing CRNA for the money (which your original post kind of did) you won't find too many friends on this board or in the profession.

    Good Luck!
    You must admit that many nurses go into anesthesia for the money. The money is great, and no one can deny it.
  7. by   UTRN2005
    I'm not denying that the pay plays a factor. But the OP didn't mention any benefit over the pay.

    Personally, I like the autonomy, the higher level thinking, the prestige, and ,yes, the pay helps. But salary is not my only or even primary concern in my decision to return to school.
  8. by   SueBee RN-BSN
    Quote from UTRN2005
    I'm not denying that the pay plays a factor. But the OP didn't mention any benefit over the pay.

    Personally, I like the autonomy, the higher level thinking, the prestige, and ,yes, the pay helps. But salary is not my only or even primary concern in my decision to return to school.
    Personally, I would not want anyone in the medical field caring for my family or myself who was just there for the money.

    Is the only reason for your returning to school, autonomy, higher level of thinking and prestige?
  9. by   UTRN2005
    Quote from SueBee RN-BSN
    Personally, I would not want anyone in the medical field caring for my family or myself who was just there for the money.

    Is the only reason for your returning to school, autonomy, higher level of thinking and prestige?

    Okay. You're confusing me. First you say that I have to admit that money is a factor in people going back to school. I agree, it is a factor but in the original post the only reason mentioned for returning to school was that "I don't know if I will be happy with the RN pay range"

    Yes the salary is nice, would I still be going back to school if the salary was the smae as an RN? YES! I don't feel that as an RN I am able to help my patients as much as I could if I was not constantly waiting on MDs to come by, call back, etc. That is the autonomy I'm looking forward to.

    But now that I admitted that the salary is a part in people's decisions I shouldn't be a CRNA because I'm only in it for the money?

    Make up your mind then bash me if you must. But don't come on this board esposing one thing then say you waould never want that kind of person carign for your family.
  10. by   SueBee RN-BSN
    Quote from UTRN2005
    Okay. You're confusing me. First you say that I have to admit that money is a factor in people going back to school. I agree, it is a factor but in the original post the only reason mentioned for returning to school was that "I don't know if I will be happy with the RN pay range"

    Yes the salary is nice, would I still be going back to school if the salary was the smae as an RN? YES! I don't feel that as an RN I am able to help my patients as much as I could if I was not constantly waiting on MDs to come by, call back, etc. That is the autonomy I'm looking forward to.

    But now that I admitted that the salary is a part in people's decisions I shouldn't be a CRNA because I'm only in it for the money?

    Make up your mind then bash me if you must. But don't come on this board esposing one thing then say you waould never want that kind of person carign for your family.
    Bash you, no one is bashing you. How strange you would think that?
  11. by   RN Joe 86
    If I may continue this discussion, I'd really like some advice from any CRNAs. I'm a second year bsn/msn student and just recently I did a few rotations in the OR. Needless to say, I was impressed by the entire perioperative team. I've been used to a busy med/surg. floor where each nurse has 7-8 patients a day, and to see only one patient in the OR means that all the team's focus is stricly on that one patient. I really liked that mindset. However, I wanted some opinions: do CRNAs still incorporate the holistic care that makes them NURSES or do they seem to abandon their nursing ways and stray away from patient interaction? I'm definitely considering going to CRNA school after grad. so some advice would def. help me out. Thanks!
  12. by   SueBee RN-BSN
    My career is not as a CRNA as of yet, but I can tell you they don't abandon nursing. While the nursing process is always used, CRNA's must continue their education, and leadership for the life of their career's. MDA's do not. Having worked with MDA's and Crna's, I must say the nurses are better providers of anesthesia. Better from pre-op assessment, quick in the OR when complications happen, and very professional in the PACU. I can't say the same for the MDA's. Nurses pride themselves on excellent work, and really desire good patient outcomes.
  13. by   Brad_RN_Student_PA
    Quote from UTRN2005
    I'm not denying that the pay plays a factor. But the OP didn't mention any benefit over the pay.

    Personally, I like the autonomy, the higher level thinking, the prestige, and ,yes, the pay helps. But salary is not my only or even primary concern in my decision to return to school.

    I agree. Not a CRNA yet, but that summarizes the reasons that I am pursuing. Thanks for humbling some of us!
  14. by   justif99
    Jeremy,
    I've been a CRNA for a little over two years, and I can't imagine wanting to do anything else. I spent 4 years in my undergraduate work not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I went into nursing because I worked in the OR as an orderly and enjoyed it very much. After working in an ICU for 2 years after nursing school, I decided to become a nurse practitioner and enrolled in school. My wife nannied for a family where the mom was a nurse practitioner and the dad was a CRNA. She told my wife that I should do anesthesia and forget about NP. Her advice as a NP was: it's very difficult to find a job, hours aren't great, and you do the work that the MD doesn't want.
    As a CRNA, you can find whatever kind of job you like, working easy or difficult surgeries, just doing OB, or doing a combo. You can work 40 hours a week or less, or more if you want. Right now, I'm taking overnight call and making much more money. You can definitely make $120K/year plus.
    Anesthesia is like learning a different language...it's very difficult in the beginning, but once you've learned it, it's very easy. I feel almost no stress 98% of the time. The other 2% is why CRNA's are paid well.
    Anesthesia is a wonderful career. I highly recommend it.
    I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have.
    Justin

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