Reasons NOT to be CRNA - page 4

Hello everyone, I'm a student nurse in a BSN program in florida. I heard about CRNAs shortly after I decided to purse a nursing career. I thought I had my mind set on being a CRNA. However, so far... Read More

  1. by   lmdscd
    I agree with the others that you should shadow a CRNA and see if you think it is something that you would like. I know a couple of people that thought they wanted to be a CRNA and after shadowing decided that it wasn't what they wanted. Then if you think you like it you should go for it. It is a lot of hard work but if you give it your all you can do it and it is definitely worth it. Besides the time and energy of school and the money you have to borrow there aren't really any drawbacks. The only thing I can think of is the stress and responsibility that the job carries with it. Otherwise it is a very fun career.
  2. by   PROPOFOL
    Hey Lionheart, with a screen name like that you need to improve that negative attitude. The answer to your question is NONE !!!!!
    There are no reasons not to be a CRNA, there is no "other side of the fence" as you call it. It is an amazing opportunity, with complete job satisfaction, you will love it, and not to mention a handsome compensation.
    The only reason not to be a CRNA is if you lack passion.
    So if you want to really be a CRNA than you will be.
    Now forget about what went wrong in nursing school and focus on what you are going to do to make it right.
    Always Remember "...if you will it, it is no dream."
    -Theodore Hertzel

    Good Luck young hopeful, I want to see your name on here with CRNA behind it in 4-5 years.
  3. by   Annabelle57
    I can think of one big reason NOT to be a CRNA that I've heard from countless (and wise) CRNA's: if you're in it solely for the money. I can't tell you how many of my nursing school classmates were intent on becoming CRNA's - before ever completing their first undergrad clinical - because it would make them "mad cash". Thankfully, those numbers declined as we headed towards graduation...

    I'm keeping NA school in mind for the future, but only after I've spent enough time around CRNAs to determine if it's what I would love - no amount of money is compensation enough for me for a job I cannot stand or isn't a good match for my abilities! (I've had enough of those jobs in the past...)
  4. by   Zinobile
    I am convinced now that I am well into my 2nd year that if you're in it for the money only, it's not going to be worth what you must endure through anesthesia school. The money is good, yes, but this is not for the faint of heart. There will have to be some other motivation to fall back on when things get rough, and they will. Money is a hollow end-point because for those who are focused on it, there will never be quite enough.

    Find another reason to do it and success will mean that much more.
    Z
  5. by   piper_for_hire
    Wow - what a luxury it would be to not have to worry about money. That's what I hear when people tell me not to worry about money or not do a job for money - or that crazy statement "do what you love and the money will follow". What?

    -S
  6. by   Sheri257
    I think the lectures about not being in it for the money are totally impractical.

    When you look at the amount of debt and lost income involved in going through CRNA school ... it's huge. How can you not to look at the financial consequences? It's absurd.

    :typing
  7. by   Annabelle57
    Quote from lizz
    I think the lectures about not being in it for the money are totally impractical.

    When you look at the amount of debt and lost income involved in going through CRNA school ... it's huge. How can you not to look at the financial consequences? It's absurd.

    :typing
    Excellent point, and I hope I didn't sound like I meant that money should never be considered. It definitely should no matter what you do! Not considering money would be just as ridiculous and impractical as having it your sole motivator (and I mean SOLE). I think I've just talked with too many people who don't know a thing about the profession and just decide to go for it because it pays the best... it was a personal angle, and one written on less than 3 hours sleep. Didn't mean to sound all Oprah-ish!
  8. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Annabelle57
    I think I've just talked with too many people who don't know a thing about the profession and just decide to go for it because it pays the best...
    If people are really in it just for the money, they might want to take a hard look at the numbers. Because if they're just looking at the gross pay and not the net well ... it may not be as much money as they think it is.

    When you deduct the debt with interest, the lost income by not taking other career paths, the additional liability insurance expense, etc. .... for me, at least, I figured would take quite a few years to recoup all of it, even with the higher salary.

    It probably is worth it in the long run but, I don't think it's the cash cow a lot of people seem to think it is either.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 12, '07
  9. by   camoflage
    Quote from lizz
    If people are really in it just for the money, they might want to take a hard look at the numbers. Because if they're just looking at the gross pay and not the net well ... it may not be as much money as they think it is.

    When you deduct the debt with interest, the lost income by not taking other career paths, the additional liability insurance expense, etc. .... for me, at least, I figured would take quite a few years to recoup all of it, even with the higher salary.

    It probably is worth it in the long run but, I don't think it's the cash cow a lot of people seem to think it is either.

    :typing

    "average CRNA salary $164,172".......
    http://www.crnajobs.com/crna-careers...vey-report.pdf
  10. by   Sheri257
    Quote from camoflage
    "average CRNA salary $164,172".......
    http://www.crnajobs.com/crna-careers...vey-report.pdf
    That's great but, for me at least, the numbers didn't look all that good, at least in my area. Kaiser is the biggest employer of CRNA's in my area and they pay CRNA's $120,000 a year with benefits and covering malpractice insurance.

    Now, I live in California where you can make pretty good money just with an RN. I just accepted a job where I'll be making nearly $100k base salary with benefits.

    If I went the CRNA route, that means I'd have to work an ICU job at $55-60K for a couple of years so I'd lose $80K in income just from that. Assuming I'd get into CRNA school, I'd also have to borrow somewhere around $100-130K when I could be making nearly $200K during those two years instead.

    With only a $20K a year salary difference, you can see how it would take a good ten years or more just to make up for the lost income and debt ... not to mention interest on the debt and four years of lost pension income with the $100K a year RN job.

    Add to that the recent Medicare anesthesia cuts which could affect future income and ... it just seemed like a pretty dicey proposition to me. However, it could be totally different for people in other markets where the CRNA route may be much more advantageous than my particular situation.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 16, '07
  11. by   Alpha13
    Quote from lizz
    That's great but, for me at least, the numbers didn't look all that good, at least in my area. Kaiser is the biggest employer of CRNA's in my area and they pay CRNA's $120,000 a year with benefits and covering malpractice insurance.

    Now, I live in California where you can make pretty good money just with an RN. I just accepted a job where I'll be making nearly $100k base salary with benefits.

    If I went the CRNA route, that means I'd have to work an ICU job at $55-60K for a couple of years so I'd lose $80K in income just from that. Assuming I'd get into CRNA school, I'd also have to borrow somewhere around $100-130K when I could be making nearly $200K during those two years instead.

    With only a $20K a year salary difference, you can see how it would take a good ten years or more just to make up for the lost income and debt ... not to mention interest on the debt and four years of lost pension income with the $100K a year RN job.

    Add to that the recent Medicare anesthesia cuts which could affect future income and ... it just seemed like a pretty dicey proposition to me. However, it could be totally different for people in other markets where the CRNA route may be much more advantageous than my particular situation.

    :typing
    To say the least your numbers are a bit slanted.

    Are you talking about becoming a travel nurse for that $100k/year figure as a regular RN? Because if not, I don't see how you would make only 55-60% of other RN jobs as an ICU nurse. In So Cal. ICU pays the same as any other field.

    As for using $120k as the salary for CRNAs, first of all this is on the lower end of the pay scale. Second, obviously this figure is not static and will rise quickly as CRNA gains experience.

    More accurate figures would be something like this:

    New grad ICU RN salary: ~65k-75k from year 1, up to 90k on year 5.
    CRNA school costs: 100k/2 years
    New grad CRNA salary: $130k from year 1, $140k-$150k from year 3.

    If a new CRNA was to pay off his debt as quickly as possible, he'd catch up to the regular RN in about 2 years. But numbers don't tell the whole story. The CRNA has vastly greater earnings potential than the RN, enough so that he's gone from "decent middle class bloke" to "upper middle class yuppie." If he's smart with his finances and career prospects, he can go even higher. The RN has very little upward potential in comparison. Sure, he can move into traveling or management, but that's about it.

    Honestly there's no comparison here in terms of earnings potential.
  12. by   ali anesthesia
    Lizz,
    You did a nice financial analysis of opportunity loss in regards to nurses and nurse anesthesia education. However, you left out a few very important considerations. Most nurse anesthetists practice for many years--well into their 70's, while most nurses leave nursing at a much younger age. Also, there is very little "burn-out" in anesthesia and most CRNAs love their work and profession. That is something I can not say about nursing.

    My decision to be a CRNA had to do more with having a professional career than just a job.

    I have a very good friend who works in California, not Kaiser and makes around $250,000 a year in a private practice setting. It is a cash business and she does have to pay her own malpractice insurance and other expenses.

    I do have to agree that if money is the main motivation to be a CRNA, you are going to be disappointed, because anesthesia education is very competitive and difficult, which is necessary because anesthesia administration is stressful and demanding and we earn every penny we make.
  13. by   I_am_Julia
    what crna school alone cost 100-130k?

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