Is CRNA a solid career?

  1. I realize that I'll probably get a lot of "Do a search" responses but I'd really appreciate even a yes or no answer.

    Is CRNA a career that will be around for quite some time and allow me to financially comfortable and care for my family (someday)?

    I'd hate to pour my heart and soul out to this career only to see it crumble someday later down the road. CRNA is so appealing to me in so many ways; income, autonomy, and a strong science background which I would enjoy, to name a few. No med school, no MCAT, and not nearly as lengthy schooling. Also the thought of being able to have something resembling a life post-graduation. The thought of being a doctor is great, I'm just not sure it's worth it as lucrative as CRNA can be. I don't want to call all of the shots, and I would feel more comfortable as the person in charge for the most part but still having someone to fall back in case I get into trouble (MDA).

    Things like legislation and laws on scope of practice and medicine's view on nursing and CRNA somewhat scare me though. Attitudes I can deal with for the most part, losing my career after working so hard for it I cannot.

    Can I be comfortable in thinking that CRNA is going to be around for the rest of my lifetime?


    Thanks,


    Tyler
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   ann945n
    I am by no means any authority on this but I too have looked into CRNA and what i read is they provide over 61% of anesthesia in the US and they are more cost effective earning half of what a MDA makes so they are more cost efficent for a hopital to staff. I would say you should have no worries that CRNA is here to stay.
  4. by   destined2bCRNA
    I want to be a CRNA one day. When my sister was having a hard time with her labor, an anethesiologist came in to explain her options. Though probably selfish of me, I took the opportunity to ask him many questions. And he was so nice! Before I even got the words out of my mouth, he told me how smart I was because he wishes he would've went the route that I'm going. He's an MD Anesthesiologist. He told me he had to do undergrad, med school, and a very intensive residency (that he was finishing the last year of) and as a result owed a ton in student loans. He also told me that hospitals are leaning more towards Nurse Anesthetists because not only are they superiorly trained, but by Illinois state law they don't have to work under supervision of a MD and it's more cost effective for the hospital since they can hire 2-3 Nurse Anesthetists to every one MD Anesthesiologist and still get the same results and dependability statistically. He even gave me the web address to affirm his opinions- www.gaswork.com On the multiple websites they use the same lingo "Nursing's undiscovered career move". I say go for it!!!
  5. by   Phishininau
    I am in CRNA school now...so brand be "babe in the woods", whatever, but for some reason I feel compelled to give you my opinions.

    1. CRNAs arent going anywhere. Thanks to the hard work that has been done before we got here, there is a strong national organization and a stronger lobbying group that looks out for our interests in Washington. That is essential to keep our profession vital.

    2. We were told from the first day that the market for CRNAs in our area is getting a little tighter, however in some areas there is still a huge demand.

    3. I am studying and trying to learn as much as I can so I wont HAVE to have someone to fall back on, in those scary moments. Please dont misunderstand me, I am all for collaboration, but I feel that if I go through this program and training with the intent of having a net underneath me all the time, I will have cheated myself and my future patients.

    4. Depending on the route that you go, the schooling can be shorter. For me it has not been: 2 Bachelor's Degrees, 2 years working in the unit to get learn and get into school, 2.5 years in CRNA program. That is just as much as medical school, including the specialty and residency. Also, my loan bill will be similar to an MDAs.

    Just my thoughts!
  6. by   TexasGas
    To add to "Phish's" comments,
    Last year, CRNAs performed almost 70% of ALL anesthesia.
    By the year 2014, 35% of the current CRNA workforce has declared they will retire.
    Medicare currenlty reimburses CRNAs the same amount that they do Anesthesiologists. (it should continue)
    The %age of succesful to sentinel events of MDs vs CRNAs is virtually identical (other words, CRNAs have the same safety record as docs)

    I will recommend that you should never begin CRNA school until you are able to say that you don't need the comfort of always having someone to fall back on. You should take that desire for autonomy, learn as much as possible to protect your patients, work as a team, and be willing to accept responsibility for EVERYTHING you do. CRNAs do not use Anesthesiologists as a crutch.
  7. by   MikeyJ
    Quote from Phishininau
    4. Depending on the route that you go, the schooling can be shorter. For me it has not been: 2 Bachelor's Degrees, 2 years working in the unit to get learn and get into school, 2.5 years in CRNA program. That is just as much as medical school, including the specialty and residency. Also, my loan bill will be similar to an MDAs.

    Responding to this quote and to the orginial poster -- I've spoken with many MD/DO's and they all have expressed the fact that its not necessarily the amount of time it takes to finish undergrad, med school, and residency that is so daunting when considering medical school. Surely, it does require a great deal of time; however, all MD/DO's I've spoken with concerning this subject said its the amount of time you need to put forth toward med school and residency. It has everything to do with the fact that during those 7 to 12 years (depending on residency length), you literally have to put everything else in your life on the backburner and only focus on medicine. Most have told me that medical school and residency wouldn't be a bad gig (even in the respect of spending 10 years pursuing it) if it were not so incredibly intensive.

    So when people say they have basically gone through what a physician has in terms of doing a few undergrad degrees, working a few years as a nurse, and then doing a post-bac degree to pursue an APN or some other similar field is horribly mistakened.

    To the OP: I would choose whatever your heart tells you to. If you think that later on in life, you will regret not pursuing MD/DO, then I definitely recommend choosing that route. However, if you are comfortable with being a CRNA and have shadowed other CRNA's and have an idea about the field, then definitely pursue it. You will definitely always have a job throughout your lifetime.
  8. by   TexasGas
    I think Phish was simply stating a realistic timeline. Regardless of one's perception of intensive study, time is here and gone. If time si an issue for some, I'd listen to the poster's accounted experience. I don't think for one second he was comparing med school didactics versus CRNA-Nursing school.
  9. by   CavemanCRNA
    We have been, and always will be around. With projected shortages well into the 2030's you definately have a secure career for awhile. However, all could change in a blink of an eye. When I graduated in 1996, the world was my oyster. I could choose any unit, hospital, or state I wanted. Two years prior, my wife had to take the scrappings others did not want. She graduated VP of her class, suma cume laude. Choose a career based on interest and desire not monitary compensation. Money will not comfort you when you experience frustration, despare, unemployment, or depression. Finally, Anesthesia is one of the fields of practice with the highest drug abuse and suicide rate in the medical profession.
  10. by   SueBee RN-BSN
    Quote from CavemanCRNA
    We have been, and always will be around. With projected shortages well into the 2030's you definately have a secure career for awhile. However, all could change in a blink of an eye. When I graduated in 1996, the world was my oyster. I could choose any unit, hospital, or state I wanted. Two years prior, my wife had to take the scrappings others did not want. She graduated VP of her class, suma cume laude. Choose a career based on interest and desire not monitary compensation. Money will not comfort you when you experience frustration, despare, unemployment, or depression. Finally, Anesthesia is one of the fields of practice with the highest drug abuse and suicide rate in the medical profession.
    Why is the profession the higest for drug abuse and suicide?
  11. by   skipaway
    Quote from SueBee RN-BSN
    Why is the profession the higest for drug abuse and suicide?
    Partly stress and partly availability of drugs. We have easy acess to numerous narcotics/hypnotics.
  12. by   CavemanCRNA
    Not THE highest. ONE of the highest. Skip said it. Stress. Availability of drugs.

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