Opportunity as a Nurse Anesthetist in Utah?

  1. Hello,
    I am just starting school to acheive my ADN. I know this is way in the future, but I am truly leaning towards becoming an Nurse Anesthetist. I hear that the requirements are a bachelors in Nursing, 1-2 years experience in ICU then you can attend college for your CRNA. Is this correct?

    My big concern is lets say I did get into Westminster and I graduated with my CRNA 10 years down the road.. Is there opportunity as an Anesthetist in Utah? Would I have to relocate? Are thier private physicians or clinics that use an Anesthetist or just hospitals? I heard that IHC does NOT use Nurse Anesthetists, is that correct? Salary in Utah?

    Any advice or thoughts would be much appreciated.. I am a 30 year old Male, supporting my family. I want to make sure I do this right.

    my best,

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    About flyfish108

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 10; Likes: 2
    unemployed (laid off); from US
    Specialty: Son who was born 3 1/2 months premature


  3. by   flyfish108
    Is West Minster the only school in Utah that offers a CRNA degree?
  4. by   MagsMom
    yes, Westminster is the only CRNA program in Utah. I don't think the area is generally CRNA friendly compared to other areas. My neighbor is an anesthesiologist and the group he is in does not employ any CRNAs nor do they like the idea of CRNAs.

    I do know that they are used (very minimally) at the U hospital and I also see them at the VA hospital.

    I would say that relocation would give you more opportunities as well as better pay. Personally, I don't think it is a guaranteed good career move if your plan is to stay in Utah forever, mostly because I don't think climate is great for CRNAs here.

    The best advice I can offer is to finish your ADN and when you get a job start networking with the both the anesthesiologists and the CRNAs. This will give you a better idea of what you will be getting into.

    I just started an ADN program as well - good luck!
  5. by   tfleuter
    From what I have gathered from previous posts and word of mouth is that pay for CRNA's is less in Utah, but then again, many professions are that way. I haven't heard that IHC is agaisnt using them, in fact, my last clinical rotation was at American Fork Hospital and I am almost certain that the person monitoring the anesthesia during surgery was a Nurse Anesthetist. I've also been searching on the IHC website for employment opportunities and recently saw an opening for a CRNA in Payson. Can't say whether job openings are abundant here for new grad CRNA's, but things can change quite a bit in 10 years, so the climate that exists now may not be true in the future. Best thing to do is get the best grades possible for your ADN and BSN and really excel in your clinical rotations so you stand out. Get at least 2 years experience in an ICU and consider taking some grad level courses. Truth is, if you are really interested in going into anesthesia, you may need to apply to several schools to improve your chances of getting in. My main concern with Westminister is that (at least when I looked into it last year) clincial rotations are mostly done out of state and you are gone for about 4 months each time. Not a good option for those with kids, but obviously not a problem for others.
  6. by   nurseman78
    There are fewer opportunities in Utah and the West in general than there are in other parts of the country. That doesn't mean you won't be able to find a job in Utah, but you might be looking awhile. I shadowed a CRNA who works at the U of U Hospital, and I know of other people working throughout the Wasatch Front.

    Of course, if you're talking 10 years from now, there's no telling how the climate might change.

    From what I've seen right now, the hospitals who definitely do NOT employ CRNA's are:

    - Large IHC Hospitals (McKay, IHC Med Center, LDS, Primary Children's)
    - Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful

    The places I know that DO use them are:

    - Ogden Regional Medical Center
    - University (U of U) Hospital / Hunstman's Cancer Center
    - Most IASIS hospitals use them (i.e. Davis, Jordan Valley, etc.)
    - Smaller hospitals in Southern Utah

    As far as pay, it's definitely on the lower end ($110,000 to $140,000), but that's still a pretty comfortable living in Utah. Relocating, if possible, will make the journey to CRNA much quicker. I moved out to Nashville, TN to work at Vanderbilt University Hospital in their critical care residency program to get my ICU experience. The culture (pro or anti CRNA) is very different here. There are 6 CRNA programs in this state alone. That gives you an idea of how much they're used here. Just something to think about.
  7. by   tjharris
    Having lived most of my life (and having done all of nursing school) in Utah, I can say with some confidence that the state is generally not friendly to CRNAs. Those systems that are headquartered outside of Utah do use them (HCA, VA for example) but those indigenous to the state probably don't (IHC specifically) if they can help it. Rural areas like Payson (aforementioned) would be more likely to use a CRNA. I just finished my BSN at Westminster this spring and can recommend its academic integrity as an institution. It is a small, personal, and professional campus. I'd hope you like it here should you attend in the future. Considering that it's almost two years since your OP, I hope that your practice and undergrad education have gone well and that you're working toward your goals. Good luck!
  8. by   nurseman78
    I have recently moved back to Utah to be with family and friends and am working at one of the larger hospitals in Salt Lake City. One thing I would say is if it's an option for you, don't discount the possibility of being a Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant. With the right gig, you can do very well in that profession, even in Utah. I work with many of the mid-levels in the fast track of the ER and in the ICU's, and they do quite well. Quite well as in six-figures. From what I hear, IHC Medical Center in Murray is also starting their mid-level providers at a similarly generous salary.

    But you have to go with your passion. If you love managing vents and pressors, then CRNA is for you. There are CRNAs in some of the hospitals like a previous replier has said. I would also add University of Utah Hospital to that list, I shadowed a CRNA there. However, the level of "hovering" that the anesthesiologists did was a bit annoying from what I saw, especially since the CRNA I was observing had been practicing for over 10 years. But if you don't mind that, it's not a problem. She did say that since the U is a teaching hospital, she enjoys the luxuries of taking the simpler cases, not having to be on call or work weekends since all the anesthesiology residents have to do that. And she still made good money.

    For me, I started to lose my passion for drips, hemodynamics, etc. after working in the ICU. It's cool at first, but I realized I enjoy interacting with patients more and doing more of the diagnosing, treating and preventative care of primary care. So FNP is the direction I am going in. But to each their own. Good luck to you.