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Relatively High CRNA Wages.

CRNA   (10,765 Views 22 Comments)
by Ekklesia Ekklesia (Member)

2,582 Profile Views; 109 Posts

Simple question: Why are CRNA's salaries higher than those of other advanced practice nurses' salaries?

I was having a discussion with several other of my fellow nursing students on our future aspirations and the handful of us that wanted to pursue advanced degrees (most want at least a MSN) got into a debate concerning why we wanted to go this route. One wants to become a pediatric Nurse Practitioner, one loves education and wants to continue with an MSN and possibly further and I and two others are eyeballing the CRNA option.

My peers stated that going the CRNA route provided more "bang for the buck"--their outlook is that if they're going to spend the money and time for a Master's they might as well "get paid."

I believe that this is the (highly unfortunate) reality of certain people's perspective. I personally know a lawyer, two physician assistants, and even one police officer looking into becoming a nurse anesthetist and the large salary plays a BIG part in their decision. I call this the "show me the money" syndrome and regularly voice my trepidation that their viewpoint (or lack thereof) raises some concerns...to say the least.

To me, it appears that everyone and their brother fancy themselves as future nurse anesthetists, and it irritates me to no end to see people looking only at the $$$.

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Medic/Nurse is a BSN, RN and specializes in Flight, ER, Transport, ICU/Critical Care.

880 Posts; 14,899 Profile Views

It is supply demand economy.

Technical/legal/medical demands of the job.

BUT, if you think that working for less wages makes your practice more "worthwhile" GO TO IT!

Personally, I love saving things. Dogs, cats, the environment, heck I can even get on board with saving the whales.

Saving Lives? Well, that is a lot more complicated, pretty rare and not without considerable risk. But when it happens - pure MAGIC!

But the main thing that I plan to SAVE is money - and the best way to do that is to make more money.

Nursing (in any form) is an admired profession. I personally think that one of the sincerest forms of admiration is often my worth via wages - err, MONEY -

But, hey --- if it offends you on the wage, just don't do the CRNA - or just take less salary. Work and volunteer, serve underfunded organizations with your service. I'll bet that you will be really respected and valued for that!

Keep in mind that MANY that I know that have gone this route have 6 figure debt service!

GOOD LUCK!

;)

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243 Posts; 3,812 Profile Views

Simple question: Why are CRNA's salaries higher than those of other advanced practice nurses' salaries?

My understanding is that salaries are higher because the CRNA'a liability is equal to the surgeon's and nesthesiologist's, should something go wrong with the case. This is how it was explained to me when I asked the same question of my friend, a CRNA student. I was surprised when I found out that PA salaries in my area are half that of CRNA, but both require a masters' degree.

I do know that the program she is in is murderously grueling, and very few students even finish, much less pass the cert. exam. I'm sure she feels that after completing this program, and performing well in the OR giving her patients excellent care, she's earned the large salary.

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deepz specializes in Anesthesia.

612 Posts; 6,200 Profile Views

........it appears that everyone and their brother fancy themselves as future nurse anesthetists, and it irritates me to no end to see people looking only at the $$$.

Never mind them. Lacking the Burning Desire, if motivated only by $$, chances are they'll wash out anyway. They should do med school instead.

--- Why are we CRNAs so highly compensated?

Market value, plain and simple. Our reimbursement is a monetary form of recognition for the responsibility we bear, the education, autonomy, and experience we have achieved, the lives we save, the pain we ameliorate. Highly paid as we are, we're still a bargain.

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28 Posts; 1,190 Profile Views

And it is for this reason that I keep my mouth closed when others ask about my future plans for advancement. I get lots of eye rolls and smirks, as if saying "OF COURSE you want to be a CNRA, then you MUST be only interested in $$,"

I first looked into Anesthesia years ago, well before the salaries went through the roof. I won't lie, the idea of being financially stable for the first time in my life is quite attractive, though this could be fufilled by any advanced degree. Flip-side, I guess I harbor the same ideas about students who talk of being a CRNA, especially those I know are barely making the cut in nursing school.

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11 Posts; 676 Profile Views

I was attracted to your thread, and it opened my mind up to how people in general might think of people who desire to go into CRNA. Yes, the money is a big thing, especially the way the world today is going. I shadowed a chief CRNA for a summer to see if that is the way I wanted to go. Needless to say, I am going to get there. I feel that people that go into this field just for the money will be very unhappy. Money is the down fall to all men and if these individuals go into it just for that, it will come out. I feel you need to have a love for your job, and take pride in it. So I can understand what you are saying, however, it is going to happen. Sounds like you are a very good nurse, and I can only hope to run into more of you. If I were you, I would just let people talk, and the rest will come out.

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109 Posts; 2,582 Profile Views

BUT, if you think that working for less wages makes your practice more "worthwhile" GO TO IT!

But, hey --- if it offends you on the wage, just don't do the CRNA - or just take less salary. Work and volunteer, serve underfunded organizations with your service. I'll bet that you will be really respected and valued for that!

Umm, I think somebody needs to switch to decaf...

Nowhere in my post did I say that I wished for lower wages and/or was "offended" by a CRNA'a higher wage. Please show me where I even inferred such a notion.

You should take the time to actually read my post before making a rambling, reactionary reply.

I was simply asking about the relatively higher wage of certain advanced practice nurses over others. I even went so far as to give some background information on how this topic even came up among NURSING students. There were no ulterior implications.

If your answer is "supply and demand" well then I can go along with that with no problems.

Cheers!

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109 Posts; 2,582 Profile Views

Personally, one aspect of the CRNA job that attracts me is that is the ultimate in critical care. Critical care has always interested me, and I plan to work in a critical care environment upon graduating. If I decide to up the ante and take it to the next level, well then nurse anesthesia will be the way to go.

Notwithstanding NREMT-P/RN's reactionary response, I agree with the supply and demand theory for the high wage. If this is the case then the outlook for nurse anesthetists looks pretty darn good, with demand surely rising and supply not being able to keep up.

Of course deepz makes excellent points concerning the awesome responsibility the CRNA has to the patient.

All good points. Thanks for your input!

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Medic/Nurse is a BSN, RN and specializes in Flight, ER, Transport, ICU/Critical Care.

880 Posts; 14,899 Profile Views

:)

I am not a reactionary kinda person - I strive for responses instead! I'm really into CONTROL - just a terrible side effect of that paramedic part of me!

Sorry if my posts were offensive to the broad sensibilities of any of the AMAZING folks that share here!

There are ONLY 2 things I take 100% seriously 100% of the time:

* My safety and the safety of my team.

* The absolute BEST in clinical care of my patients.

But, really the MONEY comments - just got to be a little...

Judging someone as perhaps "inferior" or "selfish" for pursuing a speciality "just for the money" - may be premature. I think it is a tough road - and I know that given what you go through to get the CRNA, I'd think money may be a poor motivator at times. I will agree withe the poster about those that had money as the ONLY motivation would likely just flame out or not follow through or ....

Hey there Gaylord -

I 100% commend you for having the courage and ability to make a career change to nursing. It can be very rewarding. It can also be exhausting, challenging, (and any # of other things).

But, you are a student right now. Just be careful about judging anyone for their "motives". I think it really does take all kinds.

And so you know, I made $5.29 an HOUR with my FIRST firefighter paramedic position. And if there would be any mistake about my caring/commitment or dedication -

What do you think someone should charge to go into a burning house to rescue someone that you love?

Well, at that very moment - my "value" is EVERYTHING. Thank God that my effort was not just tied to my pay.

:uhoh21:

Honestly, I felt more valued (but paid way less) as a firemedic than a nurse most days!

But, Gaylord Focker - you DO raise some things to think about! Best of Luck with school!

Stay SAFE!

;)

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267 Posts; 4,856 Profile Views

Personally, one aspect of the CRNA job that attracts me is that is the ultimate in critical care.

Disagree. The "ultimate" in critical care is an internist/surgeon/MDA who is board certified in critical care medicine. In terms of nursing, the "ultimate" is an NP trained in critical care. An NP trained in critical care does MANY MANY MANY MORE THINGS RELATED TO CC than a CRNA ever would. CRNAs generally dont manage vent settings in the ICU for example, which is the bread and butter of critical care management.

CRNAs work in the OR 95% of the time. Very few of them spend any significant amount of time in ICUs or critical care settings. If critical care is really what you want to do, CRNA is not the best pathway.

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267 Posts; 4,856 Profile Views

My understanding is that salaries are higher because the CRNA'a liability is equal to the surgeon's and nesthesiologist's, should something go wrong with the case.

Generally speaking thats not true. Only the pure independents have liability thats equal to the MDAs, and the pure independents are few and far between. 90% of CRNAs work in some kind of group setting where they are "collaborating" with MDAs. In the ACT group setting, the MDA shields the CRNAs from some liability.

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Nope we don't manage vents and such in the ICU...we do it in the OR. And I'm not talking about punching in a Tv and RR. We get some very sick patients with major pulm issuse that require a good understanding of vent management. Alot of the newer anesthesia machines are capable of most vent settings you would find in the ICU. And its not just pulm management either, its everything else. So if you want to get technical, a CRNA in the OR may not be the "ultimate in critical care," but it comes dang close.

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