Residency Length

Specialties CRNA


1)What is the usually length of a CRNA's residecy? 2)Does the residency occur AFTER you graduate from anesthesia school or do you go through it WHILE in anesthesia school?

Also, I have a general question about choosing between being an anesthesiologist and a CRNA... What are the advantages of being an CRNA? I'm asking because if I'm calculating correctly, in addition to nursing school, to become a CRNA will be about 5-6 years and an anesthesiologist 8 years, which is really not that big of difference (time wise). I appreciate any and all responses...


297 Posts

Residency occurs while you are in school. The programs last anywhere from 24 months to 36 months.

I don't have a good answer for you other question. The jobs are basically the same. The differences lie in pay and in some of the urban areas ... practice. (When there are a lot of anesthesiologists sometimes the crna practice is limited)

I was an ICU nurse for many years so the CRNA route was right for me. Each person needs to consider their own situation and determine which is best for them.


263 Posts

CRNA= 4 year undergrad. +min. 1yr critical care exper. ( however the average seems to be more like 2-4yrs experience) + 2-3 yr anesthesia program. income potential 100k-200k

Anesthesiologist= 4 year undergrad. + 4 year medical school + 4 year residency. income potential 200k- > 500k possible

although the jobs seem to be identical in many ways, there is a difference in the pecking order, the MDA is still a doctor and the team leader, especiallty in big urban areas. The MDA can also manage patients in an ICU or pain clinic, most crnas seem to work in the OR in either a hospital or outpatient setting.

If you are not a nurse already, I would definitely look at both options. For a nurse, the crna route is a great way to get into a better medical career. However, I think I would have enjoyed the MD route better, mainly because while you are put through hell to become a doctor at least you are at the top of the pecking order and treated as professional from the beginning. You are taught to be a decision maker from the beginning. I have worked in teaching hospitals for the last 5 years and believe me the medicine side has much less BS than the nursing side. Yes, you may not get plenty of respect as a medical student, but at least you will be expected to use your brain power and one day run the show as opposed to bedside nursing where you will be taught mainly to follow orders and do plenty of grunt work. You will not get to the good stuff until you get to aneshesia school. Not to say that I have not enjoyed some aspects of being a bedside nurse, but overall I can't say I would want to do it again. To me it was a means to getting into crna school, but if I had to do it again, I would have looked more seriously into medical school route. I think I would have enjoyed the training much more than the bedside nursing training. But hey, that is just my 2 cents and I know some nurses who really enjoyed being a bedside nurse before becoming a crna, so look into all your options and choose the one that is best for you!

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