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Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

Can I Change Specialities After Becoming a CRNA?

Nurse Beth   (492 Views 3 Comments)
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Dear Nurse Beth,

I want to make sure that what I am saying is correct. I know that becoming a CRNA requires either a DNAP degree or a DNP with specialization with Anesthesiology degree. The DNAP degree is sometimes not seen as a terminal degree or not the best if you ever decide to teach. Also, if you decide that this specialty is not for you after receiving a DNAP degree you would have to do a new four year DNP degree towards a new specialty to change your specialty.

There is no one year DNP certificate towards a new specialty for people with a DNAP degree, correct? A DNP with a specialization in Anesthesia degree is seen as a terminal degree and best if you ever decide to teach. Also, if you have a DNP with a specialization in Anesthesia degree and later find out that this specialty is not for you. You can do a one year DNP certificate towards a new specialty to change your specialty, correct? Thank you for any feedback.

Dear Changing Specialities,

The American Association of Nursing Anesthetists (AANA) position statement is "The AANA supports doctoral education for entry into nurse anesthesia practice by 2025." CRNA programs that provide a master's degree will need to change their curriculum to a doctoral program by 2025.

A doctorate in nurse anesthesia practice (DNAP) is a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) with a focus in anesthesia. A DNAP/DNP is a terminal degree. If you were to become a CRNA and later decide you wanted to change your speciality, such as becoming a certified nurse midwife (CNM), you would need to apply to a CNM program and meet their training requirements. You would then be eligible to sit for your CNM certification.

With an advanced practice degree, it's important to be sure it's the career you want before you commit. Changing specialties is expensive, and you will invest a great deal of time earning your degree and certification.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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My advice is not to start CRNA thinking you can always change specialities if you don't like it.

The different APRN specialities are not that interchangeable. You would be starting almost from scratch.

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