I am a new CRNA, finally earned my certificate and state license waaaay back in June. The facility I work is based on an hourly rate and OT for us is available via call for the general OR and for OB. Many of the CRNA's I work with earn $200,000 a year, like a previous poster stated, I have seen $300,000 per year, but they are few and far between.
The whole money thing for motivation is a catch-22 position. Did I go into anesthesia for the money....well in a way yes, was it my main concern, no. But one of my goals in becoming a CRNA was to provide a better life for my wife and kids, so yes in a way money was motivation. However, I LOVE LOVE anesthesia and the care I provide my patients. Many patients are scared to death about their surgery, whether they admit it or not. Being able to talk to the patient about what I can offer them in the pre-op period, intra-op and post-op recovery and physically watching them relax when they have a better understanding is just cool.
I do agree with KSCRNA, anesthesia is not shift work. I leave at all different times of the day depending on the case load for the day. Also monitoring of incoming students is important to maintain quality candidates coming into the system. I understand his/her concern, when he/she became a CRNA 30+ years ago, CRNA programs were sparse and classes were small. Today programs are popping up all over the place and class sizes are increasing, heck my class graduated 55. Has this been detrimental to the profession, I don't know, is the potential there, YES.
Good luck with your future aspirations to become a CRNA, you have a LOOOONG, HARD road ahead of you. CRNA school is truly an awesome experience and being able call myself a CRNA finally is truly an unbelievable feeling.