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by Gkb1 Gkb1 (New) New Student

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Hello, I am a nursing student that is one year away from graduating with my RN license. I'm interested in CRNA and NP. If I become a CRNA, how would it be possible to attain the authority to diagnose and prescribe medication in a primary care setting? 

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 8,918 Posts; 104,676 Profile Views

CRNAs specialize in providing anesthesia care. You will find them or surgical in procedural settings, not primary care. An NP has the option to work in primary care depending on the specialization track they choose. 

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by Gkb1 New Student

4 Posts; 193 Profile Views

Thanks for your reply. I understand those few points, I am wondering if there is an option of additional training that could allow a CRNA to work in a primary care setting. Is there a possibility of completing 12-18 months of specialized training?

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yournurse has 2 years experience.

112 Posts; 2,374 Profile Views

3 hours ago, Gkb1 said:

Thanks for your reply. I understand those few points, I am wondering if there is an option of additional training that could allow a CRNA to work in a primary care setting. Is there a possibility of completing 12-18 months of specialized training?

I believe there are fellowships for pain management. Is that what you’re looking for? Just look up « fellowships » for CRNAs programs within the United States. 

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by Gkb1 New Student

4 Posts; 193 Profile Views

Thanks for replying. No, I was actually inquiring about a way for a CRNA to evaluate, diagnose and prescribe. For example: Working in a clinic would be an example.

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 8,918 Posts; 104,676 Profile Views

A CRNA who wants to change specialties to another type of advanced practice will need to complete the appropriate education and certification. Not even the NP specialties are interchangeable- someone who completes an FNP track can't become certified and work as an NNP. Unlike the initial registered nurse education who have a general education, the advanced practice roles have a specialized education.

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MountaineerFan57 is a BSN and specializes in Critical Care/CVICU.

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I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just become an NP if you want to diagnose in a clinic setting? 

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by Gkb1 New Student

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I ask because there are aspects of both that attract me.

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11 Posts; 538 Profile Views

Hi Gkb1,

CRNAs mainly work in the OR and different procedure areas performing anesthesia for all different kinds of procedures. The closest thing to any kind of clinic setting would be if you did pre-operative clinic on patients before they have a procedure. As you seem to be interested in primary care, NP would be the way to go. However, being that you haven't finished nursing school yet you have plenty of time to evaluate what you like about each profession and to figure out what you would enjoy doing the most. Try shadowing a CRNA and an NP. This should give you good insight into the day-to-day work for each and swing you in one direction or the other.

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Grizzly20 has 6 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Nursing-Anesthesia.

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Yes, do yourself a favor and just shadow. You'll be able to find what suits your interests this way. We CRNAs do not prescribe meds. We have no need to do that at all. We optimize patients in a pre-surgical setting, then anesthetize them and make sure they are safe intraoperatively. We carry that responsibility going into the recovery unit. The surgery team will usually have meds prescribed for the patient at that point. So again, two completely different routes......Anesthesia vs primary care

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beachbabe86 specializes in Oceanfront Living.

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49 minutes ago, Grizzly20 said:

We CRNAs do not prescribe meds.

Thank you for making this clear.  I have a question. though.  Do CRNAs work in pain clinics and what is their role there, if any?

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Grizzly20 has 6 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Nursing-Anesthesia.

33 Posts; 2,309 Profile Views

They absolutely work in pain clinics. I have dabbled myself working alongside an MDA. Most of the time however, we are not necessarily doing the injections ourselves. We are usually doing the sedation for the injections while the MDA or other pain doc actually performs the injection. There are "fellowship trained CRNAs", if you will, that have went back to school after their anesthesia education to provide this type of service. Granted there are not that many out there due to stringent state laws that prevent this from happening. Good luck with your decision-making process!

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