Why are you a CRNA?



I have recently been accepted to MUSC's accelerated BSN program. In the long run, I'd love to become a Neonatal NP or a CRNA. I currently volunteer in a Level II nursery and love everything about it. I love the environment, the idea that one day I will help to save babies' lives, I love taking care of them, etc. I feel that being an NNP would be an extremely rewarding career.

I was wondering what you CRNAs out there find rewarding about your profession. I don't mean for that to sound rude if it came off that way. I truly am interested in what you love about the profession, what drew you to the profession, and what you find is most rewarding about being a CRNA. I've done a lot of reading about it online and everyone seems to love being a CRNA but I have difficulty finding WHY.

A little about me: I love interacting with patients, I am a good communicator, I work well with teams. I love teaching, I am able to remain calm in stressful situations, I love knowing what to do when, and I love feeling like my time has been spent doing something useful.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for taking the time!


100 Posts

Specializes in ICU, transport, CRNA. Has 1 years experience.

There are three things I really love about anesthesia. First is the autonomy. I work as the sole anesthesia provider when I am working. I am not supervised in any way. I AM the anesthesia department. As an ICU RN I was often frustrated when trying to talk a green resident into doing what the patient needed. Now if my patient needs something I just provide it. I also get to do some pain management and consult on intensive care patients since my hospital doesn't have an intensivist.

Second thing I really like is knowing that without me, or a CRNA like me, it would impossible for so many people to get their needed surgery in rural areas. We literally save lives by being able to intervene sooner, rather than waiting for transport to a bigger hospital. We couldn't save those lives if it weren't for me and my partner CRNAs being willing to practice in a rural area. Third I make a lot of money, more than most of the staff physicians who I work with. It is nice to be appreciated.


87 Posts

Specializes in CRNA, CCRN- Surgical/Cardiothoracic ICU.

Every CRNA I know absolutely loves what they do. I'd be surprised to ever meet one that disliked their career. Anesthesia is an advanced nursing practice like no other. I have to ask what interests you in anesthesia? I feel that a career in anesthesia has to be something that you have your heart set on. If you love being around babies and in the NICU, I would stick with that. Of course, I tell everyone to shadow a CRNA for the day to see what they do. Most people have no idea what a CRNA does. They just think the idea sounds nice because of the money. But I must say, it is not an easy path and takes a lot of dedication to get there. But in the end, it is worth it. You are the most important person in that O.R. with the patient. You are the one protecting their airway, monitoring their vital signs, making quick decisions, deciding what kind of anesthesia techniques will be the best for that patient. When crap hits the fan, you are the boss and the leader in that room. This is why it's so important to have a strong background in critical care. It can be boring, it can be stressful (just depends on where you work).

The thing I love about it is the response you get from patients and their families. When they see "anesthesia" coming with the "crazy hats", it is like a sigh of relief. They all absolutely love you, you are their best friend (especially if working in labor and delivery and placing epidurals). Every laboring mom will call you her best friend. It is a rewarding feeling to know you are helping patients by keeping them comfortable, pain free, asleep and happy!


114 Posts

Specializes in Gas, ICU, ACLS, PALS, BLS. Has 5 years experience.

Stick with the babies in the NICU, do NNP. The CRNA market is becoming over saturated b/c schools are pumping out way too many new grads every year which is slowly decreasing our pay and benefits packages. I love what I do but soon may be fighting and struggling to get or keep a job.


102 Posts

I'm a SRNA and I absolutely LOVE what I will be doing in the future. I honestly couldn't imagine enjoying anything else this much in the medical field! I love the autonomy that CRNAs have. Even at the clinical site that I'm at right now, the seniors get a ton of autonomy. I'm sure it's not like that everywhere, but my program trains independent providers and I will seek a job that will allow me to practice within my full scope. I love still being able to have direct patient care as opposed to NPs, without having to deal with feces. :) I love that I do not have to deal with family drama or even patient drama. I talk to the patient for a few minutes and put them to sleep. :) The best job ever! The few minutes of interaction that I have with my patients pre-op and post-op is great. Patients are usually more fearful and anxious about surgery more than anything in healthcare and it is so REWARDING to be able to put my patient and ease before surgery. A little Versed always makes them happy as well. :) It's even better when my patient wakes up safely, without any pain and asks "how did it go?" or "it's over already?"; and then thanks you. Then, I'm off to my next patient. I love how heavily science based anesthesia is and I love the "art" of anesthesia. I could go on and on and I'm only 2 months into my integrated program. I've always wanted to do anesthesia and it's truly the love of my life and I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to pursue this great profession. Honestly, if you don't understand why CRNAs love their job, I wont make any extra effort to explain why. I totally agree with @goodgrief. The profession is already becoming saturated and we don't need any more money grubbing folks coming into it that don't have a passion for the profession, to drive down the salaries for the folks that truly have a passion for it and dilute the excellence of nurse anesthesia.


3 Posts


What interests me most about anesthesia is the amount of control a CRNA has during surgery. It took me a while to realize its not just putting some meds in an IV and putting people to sleep. Its more like keeping a patient ALIVE during surgery. As a CRNA, you don't just monitor vitals, you CONTROL vitals - which is an amazing thing to do! Plus, pain management also seems like an incredibly important factor that must be really rewarding.

I do love being around babies, but the more I look into it, the more I realize that an NNP doesn't do what the neonatal nurses do (bedside stuff). I what I love is the bedside stuff. I just feel like I am smart enough and driven enough to go further.

My boyfriend is also going into CRNA, do you think it will be hard for us both to find jobs?


3 Posts


The more I look into CRNA as a profession, the more I love it and am intrigued by it. I've realized that it's no simple task. It's more than just putting people to sleep... it is sort of magical how CRNAs put people to sleep and wake them. It's a mix of magic and science and I love both. Haha, I'd also like not having to deal with feces and any drama involved with patients. I like that you meet the patient, make them feel at ease, help them through their surgery, and wake them up pain free. It's amazing.

Thank you for your thoughtful response. :)