future of CRNA profession?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm a college student somewhat interested in the CRNA profession. I don't know a whole lot about the health-care field, and would like to know what current CRNA's think about the future of their careers. Is a CRNA someone who will be in demand in the future, or is his work something that say in 15-20 years could all be done automatically and without error by computers/machines? (as may happen with a lot of things in this modern world.) Besides that, I have a more approachable question. Is it likely that CRNA's will still received as much of a salary as they do now in the future, and have the same flexibility in schedule? I'd be interested to hear everyone's opinion about the CRNA profession in general also.

    Thanks,

    Sean
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Diahni
    Hi Sean,
    Before you do anything, see if you can get permission as a student to hang out in an OR. I was interested in becoming a CRNA, but after several clinicals in an OR, I'm not sure if I can handle it. First, you are always suited up with gowns, glvoes, etc. It's very hot and claustrophobic. Your work life will likely be on your feet, which I found feels very different than walking around. MAkes me want to run around in circles, which you can't do!
    There's much to like about it, yes the pay is good, it's intellectually challenging. Don't even think about it unless you love your science classes. Look at a programs syllabus. For somebody who loves school, it would be wonderful. The courses you take in the CRNA program, which is a master's program are intense - advanced anatomy and physiology. It's good for somebody who wants their patients unconscious. There's also a huge amount of memorization.
    I think the profession is alive and well although anesthesiologists try mightily to diminish it for obvious reasons. All told, I can see it as being a rewarding and challenging job if you can take the stress.
    Also remember you need at least a year or two of ICU or somethig like like - I think being in an ER would work, too.
    But first do a "reality check" by seeing what the day to day reality is like.
    Don't know where you are, but many programs offer informational sessions which you could go to. Good luck - there is always of shortage of CRNAs, as there is all specialties of nursing.
    Diahni
  4. by   shandsburnRN-CRNA
    Hey Sean,

    Yes, the CRNA profession will be around in 15-20 years, its been around much longer than that already. As a matter fact nurses have been providing safe, effective anesthesia to patients much longer than the MD profession. Demand, yes CRNA's are currently in high demand and are projected to remain so for quite some time since the majority of the current CRNA population are of the baby boomer era and are beginning to retire.

    Shadowing some CRNA's is a great idea, I did that as part of my application process and some schools require it. As far as being suited up, the extent of that is your scrubs, scrub cap, mask and non-sterile gloves since anesthesia is generally behind the sterile field you will not have to wear the surgical gowns.

    The eduation is at the Master's level currently but Doctorate level requirements are in the works, the proposed date slips my mind but I believe its around 2015 for that level to become mandatory, everyone before that will be grandfathered in naturally. The science areas you want to focus on would be organic and biochemistry in addition to the basic health sciences included in the general RN programs. Other education/professional requirements include being a licensed RN with either a BSN or other appropriate BS degree (appropriate to mean science based, like chemistery, etc), at least 1 year ICU experience and certification in CPR, ACLS and PALS, CCRN. You must also take the GRE, most schools require a minimum score of 1000.

    I currently attend the CRNA program at Barry University in Miami, Florida. Here is a link for their program site which is full of information on admission req's, degree plan, course descriptions, etc. (http://www.barry.edu/anesthesiology/) Admission to CRNA programs is very, very competitive, so if you decide this profession is for you start preparing now.

    Good luck and if you have anymore questions, thow them out there.
  5. by   fiveofpeep
    How would a Phd requirement work? Would the program be four years versus 2? Or would you do some random advanced practice degree and then apply?

    Is this nationwide? Whats your source hehe?
  6. by   MB37
    Shands - how do you like Barry? I'll be applying there in a few years, so any honest info from a current student is much appreciated! How are the profs? How's the clinical experience? The classes themselves? The workload? Do you have any time at all with your friends/family? Thanks! (sorry for the hijack) OP - I highly doubt that a computer will ever do the work of a CRNA. It's actually one of the reasons I went into nursing in general - it's one job that I don't believe can ever be done by a machine or outsourced out of the country. And CRNAs have been providing anesthesia in the US since the 1800s, so they should be here to stay!
  7. by   x_coastie
    Sean,
    Good question, I am a first year ADN student but I have been lurking on this site for a long time. Becoming a CRNA is my long term goal. I feel the CRNA will be in demand and continue to pay very well for the foreseeable future. The only thing that may change things would be a total revamp of our health care system like "Hilliary care" or other universal/socialized health care program. Other countries that have universal health care, like Canada don't have CRNAs (as far as I know.)
  8. by   shandsburnRN-CRNA
    The doctorate wouldn't be a PhD, it is a DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice). I read the info somewhere on here, I'll look for it and post a link and yes it would be nationwide.

    MB37, I don't actually start until January so I can't give any personal experience comments just yet, but a good friend of mine is a senior in the program and has nothing but good things to say. But in general, the book work is intense, the clinical hours are long and numerous. As for clinical experience she has gotten good experience in all aspects in all areas of anesthesia (i.e. trauma, peds, OB, cardiac, neuro, spinals, epidurals, blocks.....)

    BTW: Here is some info on the DNP requirement for CRNA education straight from the AANA website. http://www.aana.com/ProfessionalDeve...nuID=6&id=1733
  9. by   BillboSN
    CRNA's will be taken over by robots.
  10. by   Diahni
    It really is a long haul, isn't it? From what I understand, all CRNA programs are extremely selective, which means you need very good grades on top of all the other requirements. And, oh boy you will need your study habits in place! I am curious to know why the new doctorate vs. masters happened? Probably the anesthesiologist lobby.
    Diahni
  11. by   deepz
    Quote from shandsburnrn
    .......Doctorate level requirements are in the works, the proposed date slips my mind but I believe its around 2015......
    2025 is the date AANA has suggested, but even that will certainly be pushed back for mandatory entry level ed as a CRNA.
  12. by   jojieblue
    Anyone know much about University of Miami's CRNA program? I will be applying in January for the August 2011 class. I will be taking the GRE in December. I will also be certified in PALS in December (already have ACLS & BLS). I am a RN in Neuro-Trauma ICU and will have 16 months there by the time the program starts if I get accepted. I have a non-Nursing Bachelor's degree and an ADN. My GPA is 3.95. Are there any current CRNA students there or recent grads who can give me more insight into how I can be more competitive & successful in the application process? Appreciate any input! :-)

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