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35 Best CRNA Schools (Online & Campus) in the Nation – 2022


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you looking for a way to boost your nursing career to the next level? Do you like the idea of having increased autonomy, being a private contractor, or teaching others? Have you ever considered the option of going to CRNA school?

Maybe you have thought of working in nurse anesthesia but don’t know where to begin. If that sounds like you, keep reading! In this article, I will answer the question, “What are the best CRNA programs in the nation?” I will also share detailed information about the 35 best accredited online and campus CRNA schools in the nation for 2022 so you can determine if this is the right course for moving your career forward.


RECOMMENDED ONLINE NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAMS

WHAT EXACTLY IS A CRNA (CERTIFIED REGISTERED NURSE ANESTHETIST) SCHOOL?


CRNA schools are post-secondary institutions of learning that offer students the opportunity to pursue a degree as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Some of these schools are private, and others are public. Some CRNA schools are based on religious principles as they apply to nurse anesthesia. Others have military or Veteran’s Administration affiliations. They all have one goal, to prepare advanced practice registered nurses to fill the role of a CRNA, capable of providing high-quality anesthesia-related nursing care.



7 ADVANTAGES OF CRNA SCHOOLS


Before you enroll in CRNA schools, it is a good idea to weigh the pros and cons to determine if this is the right path for you at this point in your life. The following is a list of seven advantages of pursuing your degree through CRNA schools.

1. CRNA Schools Prepare You for an In-Demand Career:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists will experience continued growth in their field, making this degree program an excellent choice.

2. Options for Sub-Specialization After Graduation:

Graduates of accredited CRNA programs who become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists can choose a sub-specialty to focus their practice on, which makes you a more desirable candidate for some jobs.

3. The Opportunity to Learn from Doctoral-Prepared Faculty:

Most CRNA programs employ doctoral-educated Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to teach their students, meaning you will learn from some of the most educated and experienced minds in nurse anesthesiology.

4. Increased Autonomy:

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists work within an interdisciplinary team, but still enjoy high levels of practice autonomy. The independence of nurse anesthesia practice makes this career path appealing to individuals who want more control over their work responsibilities and schedules.

5. Your Income Could Increase Significantly:

CRNAs are the highest paid of all nursing professionals. When you complete a CRNA program, your income could increase by tens of thousands of dollars, depending on your previous role, work setting, and education level.

6. More Flexible Work Schedule:

Many CRNAs choose their own work schedules or work as independent contractors. The flexibility that comes with this title means you can devote time to other people and things that are important to you.

7. A Strong Sense of Personal and Professional Accomplishment:

Graduating from CRNA school is no small feat. When you graduate and become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, you will experience a sense of accomplishment and pride.



3 DISADVANTAGES OF CRNA SCHOOLS


Like there are advantages to CRNA schools, there are also disadvantages. Before you take the final step, here are three of the main disadvantages associated with CRNA schools.

1. The Programs Can Be Very Expensive:

Even CRNA schools with lower tuition rates can cost $100,000 or more. In addition to the cost of school, you still have bills to pay. Therefore, you need to consider how to manage your financial obligations while in school.

2. If You Do Not Have ICU Experience, You May Be Wait-Listed:

All CRNA schools in the United States require students to have at least one year of work experience as a registered nurse in an intensive care unit. If you do not have that experience, your chances of admission are not good.

3. You May Have to Quit Your Job or Take a Leave of Absence:

CRNA programs are tough. The academic workload, clinical rotation schedule, and DNP Scholarly Project demand a great deal of time. Because of the time commitment, you may not have time to work. Even if you think you can manage working as far as time goes, your grades could suffer.



HOW LONG IS CRNA SCHOOL?


The length of time it takes to complete CRNA schools varies. Students entering Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs with a bachelor’s degree may take one to two years longer than master’s prepared nurses. Some students may also choose a post-graduate certificate in Nurse Anesthesia studies, which could take less time. The following are some examples of how long it takes to complete programs at some of our featured CRNA schools.

The CRNA program offered at Duke University is designed for full-time study and can be completed in 36 months.

Columbia University School of Nursing in New York offers a BSN-to-DNP with Nurse Anesthesia specialization that takes 36 months to complete.

The University of Arizona features both a post-BSN to DNP and post-master's to DNP Nurse Anesthesia program. Post-bachelor's students can complete the program in two years of full-time study. Post-master's students have the option of part-time or full-time study and can graduate in 18 to 30 months.

The post-BS-to-DNP CRNA program at the University of Buffalo State University of New York takes 3 to 5 years to complete. Students who choose the post-MS-to-DNP pathway can graduate in as few as five semesters.

Drexel University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia program designed as a full-time program, completed in 39 months.



HOW MUCH DOES CRNA SCHOOL COST?


The cost of attending CRNA schools can be quite expensive. Factors such as in-state or non-resident tuition and whether you have grants, scholarships, or student loan funds can impact the total cost. The following are examples of the cost of some of our featured CRNA programs. These costs are based on out-of-pocket tuition expenses before students apply for any form of financial aid.

Tuition at Gonzaga University is calculated on a per-credit basis at the rate of $1,100 per credit. The BSN-to-DNAP program consists of 88 credits, making the program cost approximately $96,800.

The University of Detroit Mercy charges DNP-NA students a per-semester rate of $12,546. The program can be completed in nine terms, with a total cost of $112,914.

Students at Murray State University’s BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia program pay $720.50 per credit hour and complete 84 credit hours. The total program cost averages $60,522.

Oakland University students pay tuition based on their residency status. Michigan residents pay $834 per credit hour, and non-residents pay $1,027. The program’s curriculum includes 87 credit hours, making the program cost between $72,558 and $89,349.

Carolinas Medical Center DNAP costs North Carolina residents $240.94 per credit hour and non-residents pay $987.28. The 87-credit hour program costs in-state students approximately $20,961.78 and out-of-state students $85,893.36.



HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN CRNA PROGRAMS?


The curriculum for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs includes academic coursework and clinical rotations. Students in these programs complete between 70 and 120 credits or more, depending on the school’s guidelines. The following are examples of credit requirements at some of our featured CRNA schools.

At the University of Pittsburgh, students enrolled in the BSN-to-DNP: Nurse Anesthesia program complete 86 credit hours. Those pursuing the MSN-to-DNP: Nurse Anesthesia program complete 36 credit hours.

Students in the University of Alabama at Birmingham post-BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia program complete a minimum of 14 credit hours.

The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science DNAP program consists of 116-semester credits. Students earn 86 credits from didactic coursework and 30 from clinical experiences.

The BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia program at Baylor University requires students to complete 112 credit hours.

At the University of Southern California, DNAP students complete between 80 and 82 credits throughout the course of the 36-month program.



WHAT IS THE TYPICAL COURSEWORK IN CRNA PROGRAMS?


CRNA program coursework involves instruction in foundation and research courses, DNP core and advanced practice coursework, and anesthesia-specialty courses. The following are examples of classes you may take at any CRNA school.

• Health Promotion and Epidemiologic Methods (Foundation)
• Scientific Writing (Foundation)
• Evaluating Research Evidence for Healthcare (Research)
• Pharmacotherapeutics in Advanced Practice Nursing (DNP Core)
• Principles of Anesthesia (Specialty)
• Clinical Pharmacology of Anesthetic and Adjunctive Drugs (Specialty)


The following are examples of coursework that is required in some of our featured Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs.

At the Virginia Commonwealth University, there are enrollment options for BSN registered nurses and master’s prepared CRNAs. The following are examples of coursework in the curriculum for each option.

The Entry to Practice Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice pathway (post-baccalaureate RN) option includes the following classes:

• Human Factors & Patient Safety for Nurse Anesthetists
• Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology for Nurse Anesthetists I & II
• Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthetists I & II
• Advanced Chemistry and Physics Concepts for Nurse Anesthetists


The post-masters' DNAP pathway consists of 33-credit hours and the following classes.

• Leadership in Nurse Anesthesia Education
• Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthetists
• Health Services Delivery Systems for the Nurse Anesthetist
• Ethics and Health Care


Students in the DNAP program at Georgetown University complete 64 credits over the course of three years. Examples of some coursework required in the program are as follows.

• Advanced Principles of Anesthesia I & II
• Analytical Tools and Evidence-Based Research
• Gross Anatomy
• Anesthesia and Co-Existing Conditions


Rush University offers BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP options for students pursuing the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program. Coursework for both pathways includes the following classes.

• Health Care Economics, Policy, and Finance
• Chemistry and Physics in Anesthesia
• Neuroscience for Basic and Clinical Applications
• Anesthesia Principles I, II, & III (Basic Principles, Advanced Principles, Obstetric and Pediatric)




WHAT IS THE TYPICAL CLINICAL TRAINING IN CRNA PROGRAMS?


Students in accredited CRNA programs engage in clinical experiences in a variety of ways. Most programs involve laboratory simulations and hands-on clinical experiences, which include student-conducted anesthesia administration. Some post-master's programs may offer non-clinical hours that involve more leadership-focused experience. The following are examples of the clinical training required in some of our featured CRNA programs.

DNP-Nurse Anesthesia students at Thomas Jefferson University complete a minimum of 2,000 clinical practice hours.

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities BSN-to-DNP CRNA program provides students with more than 3,000 clinical hours at various clinical affiliate partner sites.

Oakland University DNP-NA students participate in more than 600 anesthesia cases, earning more than 2,000 clinical hours.

The University of Arizona prepares students for anesthesia practice through on-campus laboratory simulation experiences and more than 1,000 hands-on clinical practice hours.

Students in the post-MS to DNP program at the University at Buffalo State University of New York do not engage in clinical practice hours. Instead, they are involved in 400 non-clinical hours of case conferences, mentorship meetings, consultations and DNP project implementation.



WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR CRNA SCHOOLS?


CRNA schools establish admission criteria for their programs based on a number of factors. Admission criteria are developed to align with state and federal guidelines and laws. The following are some admission criteria that are common at all CRNA schools.

• Possess a current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse
• Be a graduate of an accredited BSN, MSN, or DNP program
• Submit a State of Intent
• Provide letters of professional reference
• Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools
• Current resume reflecting at least one year of work experience as a registered nurse in an intensive care unit


The admission requirements for some of this article’s featured CRNA schools are listed below.

Johns Hopkins University BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia admission criteria include the following:

• Have a Bachelor of Science in nursing or an entry-level master’s in nursing degree from a CCNE or ACEN accredited college or university
• Proof of scholastic grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all post-secondary coursework
• One Year of full-time experience as a registered nurse in an intensive care unit or critical care setting
• Certification as a critical care nurse at the time of application


The University of Iowa admission criteria include the following:

• Be a graduate of an NLNAC or CCNE accredited nursing program with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing
• One year of experience working in ICU as a registered nurse
• Possess an active, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse (A license to practice in Iowa is required upon matriculation into the program.)
• All candidates for admission must complete a statistics prerequisite course prior to beginning the program.


The University of Cincinnati College of Nursing admission criteria include the following:

• Minimum one year of full-time intensive care unit experience as a registered nurse within the previous two years
• Current CCRN Certification
• Possess a BSN, MSN or DNP from an ACEN or CCNE accredited school of nursing
• Cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 on a 4.0 grading scale for all college coursework




WHO ACCREDITS CRNA SCHOOLS?


Accreditation is a process by which non-governmental organizations and associations recognize schools or programs that meet or exceed the standards and criteria established for educational quality. Accrediting agencies monitor schools and programs to ensure they offer the highest standards of quality education to prepare students for professional work. The following are a few examples of accrediting agencies that accredit CRNA schools.

1. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN):

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing is a professional nursing organization that supports the interests of nursing practice, nursing education, and healthcare consumers by promoting accreditation of nursing schools and programs. The ACEN provides specialized accreditation for nursing education of all levels and transition-to-practice programs. The ACEN accredits nursing schools and programs nationally and internationally.

2. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE):

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is an independent accrediting agency dedicated to the improvement of public health. The CCNE promotes the quality and integrity of nursing fellowships and residencies and nursing programs at baccalaureate and graduate levels.

3. Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA):

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs accredits schools and programs of nurse anesthesia education at post-master's certificate, master's and doctoral levels. The COA extends accreditation in the U.S. and U.S. territories.



HOW WE RANKED THE BEST CRNA SCHOOLS IN THE NATION?


The table below lists all 4 factors based on which we have ranked the Best CRNA Schools in the nation for 2022.

Factor Weightage
Academic Quality 50%
Acceptance Rate 20%
Enrollment Rate 20%
Graduation Rate 20%
Full-Time Retention Rate 20%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 20%
The Nursing School's Reputation 20%
Affordability 15%
Net Price 60%
Percentage of Enrolled Students Receiving Financial Aid (Grants, Loans, & Scholarships) 40%
Our Editorial Team Rating 15%
View Detailed Ranking Methodology




WHAT ARE THE BEST CRNA SCHOOLS (ONLINE & CAMPUS) IN THE NATION FOR 2022?


(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 35 best accredited online and campus CRNA schools in the nation for the year 2022.)


1. Duke University - Durham, NC


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-NA-DNP

Program Details:

Duke University is home to one of the top-rated, accredited CRNA schools in the
nation. The CRNA program was designed to address the critical need for skills-based leadership in nurse anesthesia.

Candidates for admission must have a minimum of one year of continuous full-time experience in acute care in a critical care setting. Students develop and hone skills necessary to translate evidence-based practice, as needed, to change healthcare systems and promote positive outcomes for patients, communities, and populations.

Duke University’s CRNA school boasts of faculty who are statewide, nationally, and internationally recognized leaders in nurse anesthesia. As a student in this program, you will learn from instructors who have been recognized for a variety of accomplishments, including 2019 American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Didactic Instructor of the Year, American Association of Nurse Anesthesia Journal Reviewers, and Co-Chair for Simulation Subcommittee of the NBCRNA’s Evaluation and Research Advisory Council. (Source: Duke University Faculty Highlights)

This featured CRNA program is formatted for baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses who wish to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Anesthesia concentration. Students who attend full-time and progress according to the plan of study can graduate in as few as 36 months.

The curriculum includes 83 credit hours of coursework combining APRN, DNP, and nurse anesthesia-specific coursework. The program is rigorous, requiring students to commit an average of 60-70 hours per week to class time, studies, and clinical experiences. This accredited CRNA program culminates with the completion of a DNP Scholarly Project.

Interesting Highlights

• The Duke University CRNA program is ranked as one of the best CRNA programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
• The CRNA program offered at Duke University has a 93% retention rate, which speaks highly of the program, the school, and the faculty, as students prefer to stay in programs where they feel supported and well-prepared.


2. Virginia Commonwealth University - Richmond, VA


Programs Offered:

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) and Post-Master’s DNAP

Program Details:

If you want to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at a CRNA school known for exceptional guidance and student education, Virginia Commonwealth University is an excellent choice. The university offers pathways for both baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses and RNs seeking a post-master's Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice.

At the Virginia Commonwealth University, students are prepared with the knowledge, competencies, and skills necessary to provide perianesthetic management to patients in a safe manner, utilizing communication and critical thinking to improve patient outcomes.

Students in the entry to practice Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program complete the program in as few as nine semesters. The first two semesters are offered in a hybrid schedule. Beginning in the third semester, students must participate in full-time, on-campus learning. The entry to practice pathway consists of a 93-credit hour curriculum and six clinical practicum courses.

The clinical component of the entry to practice DNAP program includes opportunities to work in various locations within select affiliate hospitals. Students learn under the direct supervision of CRNA clinical instructors and/or physician anesthesiologist clinical instructors.

The post-master's Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice pathway offers currently working CRNAs the opportunity to earn a DNAP in one to three years, depending on their enrollment preference. This pathway includes a 33-credit hour curriculum designed to prepare students for leadership roles in management, clinical practice, and education. Students who choose this pathway complete six credit hours throughout the program to satisfy clinical practicum requirements.

Interesting Highlights

• The Department of Nurse Anesthesia at Virginia Commonwealth University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best in the Nation” for nurse anesthesia specialty for more than ten years in a row.
• Graduates of the Entry to Practice DNAP program have outstanding first-time pass rates on the National Certification Examination.
• Among students replying to post-graduation surveys, 100% of graduates of the December 2020 Entry to Practice Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program were employed as CRNAs within six months.


3. Georgetown University - Washington, DC


Programs Offered:

DNAP

Program Details:

Georgetown University is one of the best CRNA schools in the nation, offering qualified candidates the opportunity to earn a DNAP in three years. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of full-time experience working in the ICU. Competitive applicants will have three to four years of experience in intensive care.

This accredited DNAP consists of a 64-credit hour curriculum. The DNAP program is structured for delivery in two phases. The first phase includes classroom, didactic learning, clinical simulation, and anatomy lab. Students take classes including Advanced Principles of Anesthesiology, Analytical Tools & Evidence-Based Research, and Anesthesia Safety & Quality.

One thing that sets the Georgetown University DNAP program apart is the human cadaver lab that offers experiential learning, preparing students for real-life patient care. The second phase of the program consists of clinical experiences and a research project. During the second phase, students participate in 50 to 60 hours of scheduled clinical work plus on-call rotations. Clinical experiences occur in unique settings throughout the DC/MD/VA metropolitan region.

Interesting Highlights

• The Georgetown University DNAP program is ranked as a “Top 10 Nurse Anesthesia Program” by U.S. News & World Report.
• 100% of graduates of the Georgetown University DNAP program have reported employment within two months of graduation for classes graduating in 2020, 2021, and 2022.


4. Rush University - Chicago, IL


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

Rush University is another of our featured accredited CRNA schools that offer both BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP with Nurse Anesthesia concentration pathways. The university blends a rigorous academic curriculum with extensive, broad-range clinical experiences.

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program at Rush University is designed for full-time, on-campus study. Because both pathways include specialty curriculum courses, specialty practicum, and specialty immersion, residency requirements occur in a “lockstep sequence,” students in both the BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP pathways graduate in 36 months (about 3 years).

The BSN-to-DNP: Nurse Anesthesia students complete a minimum of 89 credit hours, including 30 hours devoted to specialty practicum, DNP immersion residence, and DNP project practicum. The total clinical clock hours required for this plan is 2,520. The MSN-to-DNP: Nurse Anesthesia curriculum includes a minimum of 77 credit hours, which includes the same 30 credit hours of clinicals as the BSN-to-DNP pathway.

Students in both DNAP pathways at Rush University gain clinical experience at public and private medical centers and community hospitals. Initial clinical requirements are met at the Rush University Medical Center. Clinical sites vary and include the Rush Surgical Center (IL), Rush-Oak Park Hospital (IL), MacNeal Memorial Hospital (IL), Porter Memorial Hospital (IN), and the University of Washington Medical Center (WA).

The DNAP program is designed to prepare students to function as leaders and clinicians in advanced nursing practice, providing anesthesia-related care. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates can apply strategies to manage the ethical dilemmas associated with patient care and implement systems thinking to improve the quality and safety of care, thereby improving patient outcomes.

Interesting Highlights

• Rush University is ranked as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Nurse Anesthesia by U.S. News & World Report.
• Graduates of the Nurse Anesthesia program have excellent NCE pass rates and high post-graduation employment rates.


5. Baylor College of Medicine - Houston, TX


Programs Offered:

BSN-DNP and MS-DNP

Program Details:

Baylor College of Medicine offers another great choice for both BSN and MSN registered nurses who wish to pursue a career as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. The college offers both BSN-to-DNP and MS-to-DNP accredited CRNA programs.

The BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia pathway is designed in a hybrid format which can be completed in 36 months (about 3 years). The track is divided into two 18-month phases.

The first 18 months consist of didactic experiences covering healthcare delivery and policy, basic and clinical sciences, leadership, management, and translational research. The second 18-month phase involves clinical practicum in various clinical settings. During the clinical phase, students are trained to provide local, regional, and general anesthesia.

The college has a state-of-the-art Human Patient Simulator that allows students to experience real-world scenarios in the safety of a laboratory setting. Students in the DNP-Nurse Anesthesia program participate in laboratory simulations that offer various learning opportunities, including a realistic operative room environment. The simulation center offers access to a METI Human Patient Simulator, known as one of the most technologically advanced patient simulators available on the market.

Master’s-prepared Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists can pursue the MS-DNP program. Eligible candidates who are extended advanced standing can complete the program in four semesters, typically taking one course per term. The MS-DNP option is offered online only.

Interesting Highlights

• The Baylor College of Medicine DNP-Nurse Anesthesia program offers one of the highest fidelity human anesthesia simulation laboratories in the world. The simulation laboratory is funded by the College and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
• Baylor’s DNP-NA program has an almost 100% retention rate and high success rates for NCE test scores.


6. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences - Bethesda, MD


Programs Offered:

DNP

Program Details:

The Uniformed Service University of the Health is located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The university prepares CRNAs to provide high-quality, independent nursing anesthesia care to patients in diverse settings worldwide.

This CRNA program combines scientific principles with anesthesia theory and clinical practice opportunities. The curriculum emphasizes research methodology and statistics to promote competent, evidence-based nurse anesthesia practice.

During Phase 1 of the program, students spend 15 months on the USU campus. This time is dedicated to academic and professional education to prepare for entry into the clinical component.

In the second year of the CRNA program, students have a Permanent Change of Station and move to a military medical treatment facility where they complete the final 21 months of training.

The program is only available to active-duty military men and women. Reservists may apply but must transition to active-duty status before admission to the program.

Interesting Highlights

• The Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences is the only federal school of graduate school nursing in the nation.
• Students attending the Uniformed Services University do not pay tuition or fees and receive the full salary and benefits of uniformed officers.


7. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

If you’re looking for accredited CRNA schools and want to find a program with an excellent reputation, you may need to look no further than the University of Pittsburgh. In fact, the University of Pittsburgh Nurse Anesthesia program has been ranked among the top 10 nurse anesthesia programs by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998!

The university offers two pathways to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice, the BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP. The DNP program offers coursework designed to develop organizational and leadership knowledge and skills necessary for anesthesia practice.

The BSN-to-DNP pathway is a full-time, on-campus program that includes an 86-credit hour curriculum. Students participate in classroom and laboratory learning, preparing them for clinical learning experiences. The University of Pittsburgh has clinical partnerships at more than 25 clinical sites where students experience hands-on learning. Clinicals include experiences in Level 1 trauma centers, transplants, obstetrics, pediatrics, surgery centers, physicians’ offices, and cardiothoracic centers. Nurse Anesthesia students complete more than 2,500 hours of clinical practice, administering more than 800 anesthetics.

The online, practice-focused MSN-to-DNP program is designed for CRNAs with a Master of Science in nursing degree. This pathway focuses on helping MSN-CRNAs develop organizational, leadership, clinical and economic skills relative to their profession. Students engage in specialty-relevant and core coursework focus on organizational and systems leadership, evidence-based practice, patient safety and population health, and interprofessional collaboration aimed at improving patient outcomes. The MSN-to-DNP option consists of 36 credit hours.

Interesting Highlights

• The University of Pittsburgh’s Nurse Anesthesia program has been ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report since the first year nurse anesthesia programs were ranked.
• The university employs doctoral-prepared faculty to prepare future CRNAs for practice.
• Graduates consistently have excellent NCE pass rates.


8. Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing - Baltimore, MD


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP and Entry Level MSN to DNP

Program Details:

Johns Hopkins University offers another top-ranked DNP program with Nurse Anesthesia specialty concentration. Students in the program learn from leaders in nurse anesthesia practice who offer their knowledge of clinical nurse anesthesia practice and a wide range of academic experiences.

The BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia program is presented in a hybrid format, with students completing coursework online and, in the classroom, and by participating in clinical experiences at designated clinical affiliate sites. In the first year of the program, all students begin with an on-campus Human Anatomy course followed by the remaining classes of the first year online.

The curriculum consists of 88 total credits. Students complete classes including Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesiology Practice, The Research Process and Its Application to Evidence-Based Practice, Analysis and Evaluation of Individual and Population Health Data, and Organizational and Leadership for Quality Care.

The program includes a clinical component during which students participate in clinical practicum at multiple clinic sites. Clinical sites rotate, according to student progression and include Johns Hopkins Hospital, Howard County General Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Sinai Hospital, and Balitmore VA Hospital.

Interesting Highlights

• The Johns Hopkins Nurse Anesthesia program is consistently ranked among the best master’s programs in the nation by U.S. News.
• The nursing school also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best Graduate Schools for Doctor of Nursing Practice.


9. University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA


Programs Offered:

DNP-NA

Program Details:

The University of Pennsylvania offers another of our featured accredited CRNA programs. The program is designed to prepare registered nurses for advanced nurse anesthesia practice in a variety of settings.

As a student in this CRNA program, you will learn from a team of top nurse researchers and expert practitioners in nurse anesthesia. Under the instruction of the program faculty, you will learn skills to help you use critical thinking, clinical decision-making, and collaborative communication as part of the interdisciplinary team.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia program is designed for full-time study and can be completed in 36 months (about 3 years). Students follow a study plan that includes 36-course units of coursework. The CRNA curriculum is divided into four areas: core coursework, specialty-specific coursework, leadership and management, and translating research into practice.

The program offers a state-of-the-art simulation center where students practice procedures such as utilizing fiber optic intubation equipment and inserting pulmonary artery catheters and central venous catheters. In the simulation center, you will be exposed to life-like experiences including both common anesthesia complications and rare occurrences related to anesthesia. The laboratory simulation experiences prepare you to transition to the clinical component of the program.

Students are matched with a primary clinical site where they spend most of their clinical rotation. You may also choose from several other clinical rotation sites to gain specialty experiences. Clinical experiences include rotation in nationally ranked children’s hospitals for pediatric exposure, cardiovascular care centers, trauma centers, obstetrics, and cardiothoracic specialty centers.

Upon graduation from the program, you will be eligible to take the National Certification Examination given by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. This certification allows CRNAs to practice in every state.

Interesting Highlights

• The University of Pennsylvania is ranked as one of the best schools for anesthesia by U.S. News.
• Graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia program have outstanding pass rates on national certification examinations.
• Among graduates who return post-graduation surveys, most report finding employment as a CRNA within three months of graduating and passing the national certification exam.


10. University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

The University of Iowa Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Anesthesia specialty program is presented as a joint effort by the University of Iowa School of Nursing and the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Department of Anesthesia.

The University of Iowa is considered one of the best CRNA schools in the country. Admission to the program is competitive with only 12-14 candidates accepted each year. The program is open to registered nurses with at least one year of intensive care unit experience.

The CRNA program is full-time and can be completed in 36 months. Students in the DNP-NA program earn a minimum of 80 semester hours and participate in at least 3,270 clinical practice hours.

The first year of the program is dedicated to didactic coursework. During the second and third years, you will complete a minimum of 1,300 anesthetics procedures. Most clinical requirements are met at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Additionally, students participate in seven months of advanced rotations, four of which occur in CRNA-only, critical access, and rural clinical sites.

Interesting Highlights

• University of Iowa DNP-Nurse Anesthesia graduates demonstrate exemplary pass rates on board certification examinations.
• The University of Iowa Doctor of Nursing Anesthesia Practice program has a less than 2% attrition rate, which speaks well of the quality of education students receive. Low attrition rates indicate student satisfaction with course delivery and faculty mentorship, which are vital to student success.


11. University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL


Programs Offered:

Post-BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers another great option to earn a post-BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Anesthesia specialty. This Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program is clinically focused, preparing students to engage in the full scope of CRNA practice.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is known for working to advance and promote diversity in the nursing workforce. The School of Nursing at UAB is partnered with Columbia University, the University of Arizona, Case Western Reserve University, and the Medical University of South Carolina in a pilot program known as LEAP (Leadership Excel and Achievement Program). LEAP was designed to reach populations that are otherwise underrepresented in the nurse anesthesia specialty and to provide access to classes and other resources to promote success in these programs.

The program is delivered in a hybrid format with students completing coursework through both distance learning and in-person didactic experiences and in-person clinicals. The curriculum for the CRNA program requires students to complete a minimum of 114 credit hours, 89 credits from didactic or distance coursework and 25 from clinical practicum/immersion.

Upon completion of the CRNA program, graduates are prepared to promote patient safety and quality healthcare in anesthesia using evidence-based practices and model professional leadership skills. Graduates are eligible to take the NBCRNA certification examination to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

Interesting Highlights

• The University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of only a few universities that offer a LEAP program for prospective DNAP students to get the foundation they need to enter and succeed in nurse anesthesia school.
• Graduates of the UA-B Nurse CRNA program have excellent job placement rates.


12. University of Maryland-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD


Programs Offered:

Post-Baccalaureate to DNP and Post-Master's to DNP

Program Details:

At the University of Maryland-Baltimore, you will find another exceptional CRNA program. UM-B has options for pursuing a degree as a DNP-NA for nurses with a BSN, a master’s in nursing or other healthcare field, nurse practitioners, and nurses looking to make a change in their specialty.

The university offers the program in a full-time study plan designed for completion in 36 months. The Post-Baccalaureate program includes 93 credit hours of coursework and clinicals and the post-Master's option consists of 87 credit hours.

Students who choose to attend the CRNA school at the University of Maryland-Baltimore participate in a curriculum offered through a multidisciplinary framework. The hybrid format offers web-based courses, in-person didactic instruction, lab simulations, and professionally mentored clinical experiences.

If you choose this CRNA program, you will complete most coursework during the first year. In the second and third years of the program, you will participate in clinical experiences that include clinical simulation labs, a Standardized Patient Program, and clinical rotations in various settings, including renowned regional hospitals. A few clinical sites include Saint Agnes Hospital, the VA Medical Centers of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Interesting Highlights

• The University of Maryland-Baltimore is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Grad Schools for its outstanding Doctor of Nursing Practice, per its 2023 ratings.
• Nearly 90% of the UM-B nursing faculty hold doctoral degrees.
• The University of Maryland-Baltimore has more than 700 faculty associates and clinical preceptors, as well as 24 full-time clinical instructors, which means CRNA students have access to a wealth of knowledge from experienced mentors.


13. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus - Cincinnati, OH


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP and Post-MSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

The University of Cincinnati is home to another of our featured Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs. The university offers options for both baccalaureate-prepared nursing seeking a DNP with Nurse Anesthesia specialty and master’s prepared CRNAs who wish to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

The BSN-to-DNP option is a 36-month (nine semester) program designed for full-time study. Students in this pathway complete between 106 and 110 credit hours. The first two semesters involve classroom instruction. During these semesters, students take classes including Biostatistics for Evidence-Based Practice, Chemistry and Physics for Anesthesia, and Advanced Human Physiology and Pathophysiology.

Clinical experiences begin in the third semester and continue through the duration of the program. Clinical requirements are met at affiliated clinical partner sites including the Good Samaritan Hospital, Christ Hospital, Mercy Hospital Fairfield, UC West Chester Hospital, and Cincinnati Children’s Literacy Campus.

The post-Master's DNP pathway is an online program designed for master’s prepared registered nurses who wish to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Anesthesia specialty. The program is completed in two to five years of part-time study. Students complete 39 credit hours of coursework, participate in clinical practicum and submit and defend a DNP Scholarly Project.

One reason the University of Cincinnati DNP-Nurse Anesthesia program is one of the best CRNA programs in the nation is the dedicated faculty. Students receive instruction from 15 simulation and didactic faculty members who guide them through coursework and lab simulations. In clinical settings, students have access to more than 80 clinical faculty focused on the success of the students and the program.

Interesting Highlights

• The University of Cincinnati is home to the fourth oldest Nurse Anesthesia program in the United States. The longevity of the program and student success following graduation makes this an excellent choice for anyone wishing to pursue a post-baccalaureate or post-master's DNP and specialize in Nurse Anesthesia.
• CRNA graduates have high NCE test success rates and excellent employment rates.


14. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston - Houston, TX


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston offers a top-notch BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia program. The program begins once yearly in the summer term. Students engage in a full-time, on-campus learning experience.

The CRNA program prepares students to support the anesthesia needs of patients across the lifespan with varying degrees of health and illness. The program’s mission is to help students develop the skills necessary to integrate evidence-based knowledge into clinical practice, collaborate effectively with patients and the interdisciplinary team, and provide patient-centered, culturally competent care in the delivery of anesthesia care.

The DNP-Nurse Anesthesia curriculum provides students with the knowledge necessary to develop skills related to providing professional nurse anesthesia care. The curriculum is designed to incorporate AACN DNP Essentials and the COA Doctoral competencies for nurse anesthesia programs.

Students in this program complete 112 credits in 36 months. Coursework includes classes such as Advanced Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry for Nurse Anesthesia, Advanced Pharmacy & Pharmacogenetics for Nurse Anesthesia, and Leadership, Organizations, Finance & Practice Management in Nurse Anesthesia.

The final 16 months of the program involve clinical rotations at various clinical sites within and near the Texas Medical Center. With faculty approval, students have opportunities to participate in clinical assignments at sites of their own choosing.

Graduates of the University of Texas HSC BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia program are prepared to create and implement safe, evidence-based anesthesia care to patients from diverse populations, evaluate and translate scientific and nursing evidence into clinical practice, and evaluate patient responses to anesthesia-related care.

Interesting Highlights

• The University of Texas HSC School of Nursing is the only public university in Texas to offer a BSN-to-DNP Nurse Anesthesia specialty.
• The UT-HSC reports exceptional NCE pass rates for graduating classes, which indicates students are well-prepared for certification and to take on professional roles.
• According to surveys returned by graduating students, the most recent cohort reports 100% employment as nurse anesthetists within six months of graduation, which makes it stand out as one of the best CRNA schools for student career preparation.


15. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science - Rochester, MN


Programs Offered:

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) and Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) Postgraduate Degree

Program Details:

The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science features one of the best accredited CRNA schools in the nation. The college offers a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice pathway and a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Post-Graduate degree option.

The program is designed to build upon previous knowledge and experiences of registered nurses and provides the education and clinical direction necessary to prepare you as a leader in nurse anesthesia. Students in the DNAP program learn with a cohort of no more than 30 students, making it easier to develop relationships with faculty and peers and to receive individualized attention from instructors.

The DNAP pathway is offered on-campus and designed to be completed in 39 months of full-time study. Students complete 116 credit hours, 30 of which are clinical-related experiences. Didactic coursework includes instruction based on both basic and advanced anesthesia methods and sciences.

Clinical experiences are focused on the student’s problem-solving and cognitive processing abilities and psychomotor skills. Clinicals are completed in a variety of settings including advanced anesthetizing areas. The final year of the program includes a 10-week off-site clinical period where students work in smaller, community-based settings providing regional general anesthesia.

The DNAP Post-Graduate degree program is designed for part-time study, allowing students up to five years to complete their degree. This pathway is delivered in a hybrid format with students completing two-thirds of their required course content through distance learning and the remaining in a classroom setting.

The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice post-graduate option prepares students for essential DNP roles utilizing evidence-based practice, leadership, informatics, epidemiology, and investigational theory. Students in the program complete 34 credits of coursework with courses related to technology, organizational and systems leadership, nursing information and data-based decision making, and health policy.

Interesting Highlights

• The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program is rated as a Top 10 Nurse Anesthesia program by U.S. News & World Report.
• Mayo Clinic, where students complete most clinical requirements, is recognized by U.S. News as the #1 hospital overall and the top-ranked hospital in fourteen specialties. Access to training at this nationally renowned hospital makes the option of pursuing a DNAP degree at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science seem like an excellent choice!


16. Baylor University - San Antonio, TX


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

Baylor University, partnered with the United States Army, offers a unique opportunity for qualified candidates to earn a DNAP through its U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing (USAGPAN) program. The U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing is designed to produce and equip leaders in nursing anesthesia, grounded in competence, evidence-based practice, professionalism, and competence.

The USAGPAN program is responsible for producing the largest number of active-duty Army Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Students in this program receive specialized training to ensure they are prepared to deploy in times of military or humanitarian need, including serving in areas of civil disorder, war, natural disasters and as part of humanitarian missions.

Students in the accredited CRNA program complete 122 credit hours of coursework. 69 credit hours are learned through a hybrid format of combined in-person and distance learning. 53 credits hours are relevant to clinical practice and completion of the required DNP Scholarly Project.

Upon completion of the program, ARMY Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists serve five years in the United States army. CRNAs have the option of remaining in the army after their five-year obligation is complete, continuing to serve while achieving higher ranks and earning higher salaries.

Interesting Highlights

• The U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing is fully funded, which means tuition is paid for students.
• Students in this program earn United States Army Officer salary and benefits throughout the duration of the program.
• Graduates of the program have 100% job placement in a U.S. Army medical facility.


17. Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA


Programs Offered:

DNP-NA

Program Details:

Drexel University is home to another featured Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program. The DNP-NA program is designed as a clinically focused practice doctorate combining theoretical and scientific evidence with clinical experiences, preparing students for independent practice as CRNAs.

This accredited CRNA program is designed as a 39-month program of study. Students spend the first three semesters devoted to full-time online study. The remainder of the program is completed on campus at Drexel University’s Philadelphia campus.

Students in the program are engaged in a rigorous 135-credit curriculum designed to promote the use of evidence-based practices and critical thinking to support positive patient outcomes. The program offers extensive clinical practicum experiences under the supervision and mentorship of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and Anesthesiologists in various affiliate clinical partner sites. Students also can also participate in clinical subspecialty rotations which offer anesthesia experience in pediatrics, cardiology, obstetrics, and neurosurgery.

Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Certification Examination (NCE). After passing the exam, which is administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists, you will have the title of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

Interesting Highlights

• The Drexel University DNP-NA program has a 95% retention rate, suggesting positive student outcomes and student satisfaction.
• Students in Drexel University’s DNP-NA program have access to archived online lectures which they can use, at their convenience, to prepare for examinations.


18. University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA


Programs Offered:

DNAP

Program Details:

The University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Department of Anesthesiology offer another excellent Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree program.

The program features academic and clinical faculty who are experts in the nurse anesthesia field. Faculty guide students through a rigorous curriculum and diverse clinical experiences using strong leadership skills and dedication to student success.

The USC Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program is formatted to be completed in three years. The curriculum consists of 80 units of credit comprised of academic and clinical instruction.

The first year of the program is spent completing DNP and anesthesia-relevant coursework. Students take classes including Analytic Methods for Evidence-Based Practice, Peri-Operative Evaluation and Management, Advanced Pharmacology of Anesthesia Practice, Pathophysiology Related to Anesthesia Practice, and Advanced Principles of Anesthesia Practice.

Beginning in the second year of the program, students begin a two-year clinical residency. The residency consists of high-fidelity simulations to develop and enhance clinical learning and team development. Students learn to appraise and translate research into clinical anesthesia practice. The program culminates in a DNP Scholarly Capstone Project to demonstrate proficiency in evidence-based practices and skills relevant to anesthesia practice.

Interesting Highlights

• The University of Southern California DNAP faculty are recognized as experts in the field of anesthesiology. The program has more than 75 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and Medical Doctor faculty who instruct students within both academic and clinical settings.
• The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program is recognized as one of the best Nurse Anesthesia Programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.


19. Gonzaga University - Spokane, WA


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNAP

Program Details:

Gonzaga University is home to one of the best CRNA schools in the U.S. The program is designed for baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses who wish to pursue a leadership role in nurse anesthesia. The university is dedicated to preparing competent skilled Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who demonstrate innovative, forward-thinking leadership abilities to advance the nurse anesthesia profession.

The BSN-to-DNAP curriculum consists of 88 total credits. Students take classes including Advanced Principles of Anesthesia, Chemistry and Physics of Anesthesia, Culture, Diversity & Healthcare Policy, and Advanced Principles of Anesthesia Across the Lifespan.

Additionally, students complete a minimum of 3,342 clinical hours as part of the curriculum. Clinical experiences occur at sites in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Clinical sites include Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Providence Holy Family Hospital, Spokane Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, Pullman Regional Memorial Hospital and Kadlec Regional Medical Center.

The program objectives are for graduates to be prepared for independent nursing anesthesia practice in any anesthetizing area. As a graduate of the program, you will be capable of practicing in collaboration with the interdisciplinary healthcare team to provide anesthesia nursing care to patients across the lifespan.

Interesting Highlights

• Gonzaga University is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as having one of the best Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs in the nation.
• BSN-to-DNAP students at Gonzaga University report securing full-time employment at CRNAs, typically within 3-6 months from graduation.


20. University at Buffalo State University of New York - Buffalo, NY


Programs Offered:

Post-BS to DNP and Post-MS to DNP

Program Details:

The University at Buffalo is home to another of our featured accredited CRNA schools. The university offers two options for prospective students to earn a DNP with Nurse Anesthesia focus, the post-BSN to DNP and post-MS to DNP.

The post-baccalaureate to DNP-Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia program is presented in a hybrid format. The program is only offered as a full-time study option and takes three years to complete.

The CRNA program is taught exclusively by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, offering students access to some of the most experienced nurse anesthesia professionals. Faculty prepare students with an educational foundation to assume educational, leadership, research, and clinical positions in nurse anesthesia.

The post-BSN to DNP-Nurse Anesthetist curriculum consists of 124 total credits. In this program, you will complete classes including coursework related to foundation courses, research courses, DNP core courses, DNP project and advanced practice courses, and nurse anesthesia specialty courses.

The program features a health assessment lab and a Patient Simulation Center with an operating room equipped where students learn to use advanced technology to support the care of a computerized high-fidelity mannequin. Simulation experiences help students learn and practice clinical procedures in the safety of the lab under faculty supervision.

The post-MS to DNP program offers master’s prepared CRNAs the opportunity to earn a DNP and advance their careers to higher levels. This plan of study is offered in an online format and designed to be completed in as few as five semesters. Students complete 36 credit hours in classes designed to establish new knowledge related to informatics, leadership, health policy, organization and development of evidence-based practices necessary to improve practice outcomes.

The post-master's pathway does not include direct patient care clinical hours. Instead, students complete 400 non-clinical hours which involve consultations, mentor meetings, case conferences, patient education and implementation of the DNP Scholarly Project.

Interesting Highlights

• 100% of the CRNA program faculty are doctoral-prepared Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.
• The University of Buffalo is recognized by U.S. News & World Report for being one of the Best Graduates Schools for Nursing and for having a Top-Ranked Nurse Anesthesia program. This recognition indicates prospective students can feel assured they will receive a high-quality education, preparing them for roles as CRNAs.


21. University of Detroit Mercy - Detroit, MI


Programs Offered:

DNP-NA

Program Details:

The University of Detroit Mercy offers another excellent option for individuals seeking an accredited CRNA school. The program is designed to prepare students as servants and leaders who promote social justice and health for all patients.

The CRNA program boasts of dynamic, well-rounded, experienced faculty who promote an environment conducive to learning and success for all students. Students learn to exercise professional levels of clinical judgment in both the classroom and clinical areas. Graduates of the program are prepared to use research skills and statistical analysis to evaluate and implement clinical practice in the delivery of nurse anesthesia care.

The DNP-NA program features an 87-credit curriculum designed for completion in 36 months. The first year of the program is reserved for academic instruction; therefore, there are no clinicals during this period. The second and third years of the program involve more in-depth classroom commitments and intense clinical experiences.

The clinical component of the CRNA program is designed to give students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to provide high-quality nurse anesthesia care in diverse settings. Students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia program participate in clinicals at more than 20 clinical affiliate sites in southeastern Michigan.

Interesting Highlights

U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Detroit Mercy Nurse Anesthesia program as one of the Best Nurse Anesthesia programs in the country.
• The nursing school is also ranked as one of the Best Graduate Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.


22. Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia California State University Fullerton - Pasadena, CA


Programs Offered:

DNP-NA

Program Details:

The Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia at California State University is one of the best CRNA schools we found. The university offers a DNP-Nurse Anesthesia option that provides qualified candidates with the professional, scientific, and clinical foundation needed to provide safe nurse anesthesia care.

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program is a full-time, campus-based program, formatted in a three-year (9-semester) course of study. The 109-credit curriculum includes content in data management in healthcare, legal and ethical decision-making, clinical prevention and population health and a specific emphasis on utility in anesthesia practice.

Students participate in supervised clinical rotations where they incorporate anesthesia education into hands-on clinical practice. Clinical assignments occur at one of more than 15 affiliate clinical partner sites. All clinical rotations are supervised by anesthesiologists or CRNAs to ensure safe administration and monitoring of techniques.

Upon completion of the program, students can demonstrate perianesthetic management skills, critical thinking and communication skills, and clearly articulate the scientific underpinnings for nurse anesthesia practice.

Interesting Highlights

• Graduates of the Kaiser Permanente CRNA program are held in high regard for their knowledge and quality of nurse anesthesia practice. Because of this high regard, many alumni work as nurse anesthesia program administrators, hold state and national nurse anesthesia association positions and fill administrative teaching positions in nurse anesthesia programs.
• Students who successfully complete the program report obtaining employment as a CRNA within six months of graduation.


23. Northeastern University - Boston, MA


Programs Offered:

Post BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

The post-baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesia program at Northeastern University’s Bouve’ College School of Nursing is another of the best accredited CRNA programs available. The university’s post-BSN-to-DNP program offers a full-time on-campus experience. Students can earn a DNP with Nurse Anesthesia specialty degree in as few as 36 months.

The accredited CRNA program involves a curriculum designed to prepare students with didactic coursework and anesthesia-relevant clinical courses and hands-on experiences. The program requires students to complete a minimum of 77 credits earned through academic coursework and clinicals.

The curriculum is divided into four components including core nursing coursework, DNP classes, didactic nurse anesthesia specialty courses, and nurse anesthesia-relevant clinical courses. Coursework includes classes such as Applied Chemistry & Physics for Cardiopulmonary Physiology of Anesthesia, Applied Gross Anatomy & Physiology of Anesthesia, and Pharmacotherapeutics in Anesthesia & Critical Care.

Interesting Highlights

• The CRNA program at Northeastern University has an outstanding retention rate, and graduates demonstrate exceptional NCE pass rates, which indicate students are well-prepared for certification and entry into practice.
• Among post-graduate surveys returned to the Northeastern University, 100% of graduates report finding employment as a CRNA within three months of graduation.


24. Columbia University School of Nursing - New York, NY


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

At Columbia University, bachelor’s prepared registered nurses who meet eligibility criteria can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Anesthesia specialty in three years. The program is one of the best CRNA programs in the nation.

This Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program is designed for full-time study. The first year of the program includes instruction in advanced science courses, principles of anesthesia, doctoral core courses and high-fidelity simulation activities. The university also offers a state-of-the-art simulation center and skills lab where students access low and high-fidelity simulation experiences.

All students complete a minimum of 87 credits. Students begin an intensive clinical residency program in the fifth semester while continuing advanced didactic coursework and doctoral seminars. The clinical residency allows students to exercise increased responsibility for anesthesia patients under CRNA or anesthesiologist preceptor guidance. Clinical sites include CRNA-only sites, community hospitals, and large, urban medical centers.

Expert faculty guide students with didactic and lab instruction, preparing them to care for patients of all ages with varying degrees of health and illness who require anesthesia care. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the required National Certification Examination.

Interesting Highlights

• Graduates of the Columbia University Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program consistently exceed the national average for first-time pass rates on the National Certification Examination.
• For the past five years, 100% of program graduates report being employed as a CRNA within six months of completing the program.


25. University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ


Programs Offered:

Post-BSN-to-DNP and Post-Master’s to DNP

Program Details:

The University of Arizona, featuring another of the best CRNA schools in the nation, offers both post-BSN and post-MSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice pathways for registered nurses who wish to pursue a DNP-Nurse Anesthesia degree. The DNP-NA program utilizes a combination of online didactic coursework, campus-based intensives, and in-person practicum and clinical experiences to prepare students for nurse anesthesia practice.

As a student in the University of Arizona DNP-NA program, you will complete 85 credit hours over the course of three years. The program’s curriculum includes classes such as Statistical Inference for Evidence-Based Practice, Nurse Anesthesia Pharmacology, Co-Existing Disease and Anesthetic Implications, and Advanced Anesthetic Principles.

In this program, students complete more than 2,000 clinical hours providing hands-on nurse anesthesia care to a broad range of patients with various anesthesia needs across the lifespan.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates possess the nursing practice knowledge needed to promote research and improve clinical outcomes. Graduates can lead collaborative interdisciplinary teams using scientifically based practices and have the knowledge and skillset necessary to influence policy initiatives and clinical practice transformation for nurse anesthesia practice.

Interesting Highlights

• Nearly 100% of CRNA program faculty at the University of Arizona are doctoral-prepared, giving students access to instructors with the highest level of nurse anesthesia education who can prepare them for practice.
• The University of Arizona is ranked as one of the Best CRNA Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.


26. Murray State University - Madisonville, KY


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

Murray State University, in partnership with Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville, offers baccalaureate-prepared ICU nurses the opportunity to earn a terminal degree as a Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthesia specialist. The 36-month program is presented in a distance-learning format and designed for full-time study.

The first two semesters of the CRNA program are exclusively online, allowing students to learn with the convenience of home. The remaining portion of the program is offered in a hybrid format with students learning core coursework online and specialty courses in a face-to-face format.

The CRNA program curriculum consists of 84 credit hours earned through didactic coursework, clinical practicum, and a DNP Scholarly Project. Students in this program learn from non-CRNA and CRNA faculty. Non-CRNA faculty are experienced clinical nurses and nurse educators who prepare you to integrate the required competencies to practice as an advanced practice nurse. CRNA faculty remain in active practice and offer students first-hand knowledge and experience to promote positive academic outcomes.

Students participate in clinical experiences in diverse settings, including a focus on rural health settings. During the clinical component of the program, students complete more than 1,000 anesthesia procedures, which is well-above the minimum standards set by accrediting agencies.

Interesting Highlights

• With high NCE pass rates and 100% employment rates for graduates within six months of graduation, the Murray State University DNP-NA program is an excellent choice for nurses who wish to set themselves up for academic and professional success.
• The Murray State University CRNA program is ranked among the Best Nurse Anesthesia Programs by U.S. News & World Report.


27. Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH


Programs Offered:

Nurse Anesthesia DNP and LEAP Certificate

Program Details:

Case Western Reserve University offers a traditional Nurse Anesthesia DNP and a LEAP Certificate option for registered nurses who wish to pursue a nurse anesthesia career path. Graduates of the Case Western Reserve University Nurse Anesthesia DNP program are eligible to take to the National Certification Examination, which is required for all CRNAs in the United States.

The Nurse Anesthesia DNP pathway is a nine-semester, 71-credit-hour program. There is no part-time study option for this pathway. Coursework is delivered in a hybrid format, and students participate in one-on-one clinical experiences with an expert nurse anesthesia preceptor.

The program facilitates clinicals that expose students to a broad range of anesthesia opportunities. Students perform in emergency surgery, pediatric and obstetric procedures, and neurosurgery, to name a few.

The LEAP Certificate program is a program option giving nurses who may not qualify for a traditional CRNA program, the opportunity to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. The program is available to registered nurses with critical care nursing experience, a strong work ethic, and who have been rejected admission to an accredited CRNA-DNP program or those who do not meet standards for doctoral program admission.

The LEAP-CRNA pathway is a one-year certificate program focused on science and understanding the scholarship and professional role of nurse anesthetists. The curriculum consists of 16 total credits. Students who successfully complete the LEAP program are granted automatic admission into one of the university’s doctoral CRNA programs.

Interesting Highlights

• Western Case Reserve University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for being one of the Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice and Best Nursing Anesthesia Program.
• The Certified Nurse Registered Nurse Anesthetist program at Western Case Reserve University boasts of low attrition rates, high NCE pass rates, and high employment rates for graduates, indicating it is an excellent choice for nurses wishing to earn a DNP-NA.


28. Oakland University - Rochester, MI


Programs Offered:

DNP-NA

Program Details:

At Oakland University, you can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Anesthesia specialty in 36 months. This fully accredited CRNA school is one of the best in the U.S. The DNP-NA program is presented as a collaborative effort between Oakland University and the Beaumont Health System.

The program offers a curriculum that integrates APRN, DNP, and nurse anesthesia-relevant specialty courses. The university promotes an environment devoted to the scholarly inquiry as students develop psychomotor, cognitive, and psychosocial skills they need to conduct safe clinical nurse anesthesia practice.

Students participate in clinical internships where they apply didactic theory in real-world practice. Clinical experiences are designed to prepare students to become experts in providing anesthesia nursing care to patients at all levels of acuity with varying degrees of complexity.

The DNP-NA faculty design goal-directed learning helping students translate previous and newly acquired knowledge into doctoral-level practice. Small cohorts make individualized learning easier and give students the chance to develop relationships with instructors, peers, and preceptors.

Interesting Highlights

• The Oakland University DNP-NA program has a greater than 96% retention rate, which suggests students are satisfied with the education they receive and indicates successful progression.
• Graduates of the program far exceed national pass rates for first-time NCE test-takers and report a 100% employment rate within six months of graduation.


29. Carolinas Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program/UNCC - Charlotte, NC


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

Carolinas Medical Center offers a Nurse Anesthesia program designed for baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses with critical care experience. The program offers students a learning experience focused on both theory and clinical practice related to doctoral nursing and anesthesia nursing care.

The program is formatted for full-time study and takes nine semesters to complete. Students learn in a campus-based setting. The DNP-Nurse Anesthesia Across the Lifespan program requires students to complete 89 credit hours of coursework, 2,000 clinical practice hours, and a DNP Scholarly Project.

The curriculum includes 18 credits of core coursework, 25 credits of concentration-specific study, 21 credit hours of methods courses, 19 clinical residency credits and six credit hours of Scholarly Project development and presentation.

All students complete a minimum of 2,000 clinical hours under the direct supervision of a CRNA faculty member or approve CRNA or anesthesiologist preceptor. Most clinicals are completed at the Carolinas Medical Center, a Level-1 trauma center. Clinical experiences include opportunities to learn in state-of-the-art facilities providing care to patients with a variety of complex medical conditions undergoing diverse diagnostic and surgical procedures.

Interesting Highlights

• Admission to the CRNA program is competitive with classes starting once per year and a limited number of spots available.
• 100% of nurse anesthesia faculty are doctoral-prepared.
• The Carolinas Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia program is recognized as one of the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.


30. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers another excellent option for the best CRNA programs in the nation. The university and program's mission is to educate eligible registered nurse candidates with at least two years of critical care experience, to become professionally competent Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

The CRNA program is designed to accommodate baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses and delivers a three-year, campus-based curriculum. The program features small class sizes which promote close student/faculty relationships and create an atmosphere for individualized attention.

The rigorous curriculum consists of 100 credit hours. The program also offers a simulation program that takes students from the classroom setting to the safe learning environment of a state-of-the-art learning lab.

Students also complete 3,360 practicum hours and devote 160 hours to a DNP Scholarly Project. Clinical rotations occur at both urban and rural healthcare sites, providing students with a wide range of anesthesia experiences. In this program, you will gain experience providing regional anesthetics and placing invasive monitors.

Doctoral-prepared faculty are dedicated to helping students achieve the highest levels of professional competence in nursing anesthesia. Many faculty continue to engage in clinical practice, which means they have access to the latest technology and anesthesia-related news to prepare students for success.

Interesting Highlights

• The University of Minnesota is recognized by U.S. News for being one of the Best Nursing Schools for Doctor of Nursing Practice, making it an excellent choice to pursue a DNP with Nurse Anesthesia specialty.
• The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program has an almost 100% retention rate.


31. East Carolina University - Greenville, NC


Programs Offered:

DNP

Program Details:

East Carolina University is home to another of our featured best Certified Registered Nurse anesthetist programs. The program is designed to prepare students with a didactic and clinical curriculum that prepares them to pass the National Certification Examination and transition to professional nurse anesthesia practice.

The DNP-Nurse Anesthesia program offers a curriculum that consists of 90-semester credits. Students earn credits through the study of basic science, anesthesia and DNP core coursework and clinical practicum experiences.

To integrate knowledge structures, East Carolina University structures the program to offer didactic and clinical instruction from multidisciplinary faculty members. Students take anatomy, chemistry, pharmacology and physiology under the instruction of science professors alongside medical and doctoral students. Pharmacology requirements are met in a simulated autonomic lab guided by a pharmacist faculty.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates demonstrate systems and organizational leadership skills, apply clinical scholarship to evidence-based practices, and integrate nursing sciences to provide successful nurse anesthesia care.

Interesting Highlights

• 100% of graduates are practicing CRNAs. Most graduates report being employed within six months of graduation.
• The program has a 96% retention rate and excellent pass rates for National Certification Examination testers.


32. University of North Dakota - Grand Forks, ND


Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP

Program Details:

The University of North Dakota is another of the nation’s best CRNA schools. The university offers a three-year, hybrid DNP Nurse Anesthesia program.

The DNP-Nurse Anesthesia program combines instruction in evidence-based practice, healthcare economics, informatics, and healthcare policy with specialized nursing anesthesia practice to prepare students for independent practice as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

Students participate in face-to-face instruction, high-fidelity laboratory and simulation experiences, online learning and in-person clinical practicum experiences. Students complete 90 credit hours, earning credits through classes such as Pharmacotherapeutics for Nurse Anesthesia, Advanced Principles of Anesthesia Practice, and Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice. Additionally, all students participate in a minimum of 2,780 clinical practicum hours.

Graduates of this exceptional CRNA program are prepared to plan and implement physiologically sound anesthesia care plans using evidence-based culturally competent decision-making. Successful graduates demonstrate the highest levels of ethical, legal, and practice standards for nurse anesthesia, promoting positive patient and professional outcomes.

Interesting Highlights

• Graduates of the University of North Dakota CRNA program have had a 100% pass rate on the National Certification Examination for the past five years!
• With job placement assistance offered by the university, nearly all graduates report being employed as CRNAs within four to six months after graduation.


33. Thomas Jefferson University - Philadelphia, PA


Programs Offered:

DNP Nurse Anesthesia

Program Details:

Thomas Jefferson University offers another top-ranked DNP Nurse Anesthesia program. Students engage in a nine-semester (36-month) plan of study. The full-time program combines didactic coursework with clinical practice experience to prepare students to perform as leaders in nurse anesthesia.

The program offers an innovative curriculum to help students develop communication, interpersonal, decision-making, critical thinking and practice skills as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Students complete 92 credits of coursework. Classes include topics such as Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving the Nation’s Health, Crisis Management and Clinical Correlation in Anesthesia, and Advanced Principles of Anesthesia.

Students experience more than 2,000 clinical practicum hours in a variety of healthcare settings. During clinical rotations, all students administer more than 600 anesthetics to patients of all ages receiving a variety of diagnostic or surgical care.

Graduates of this accredited CRNA program are prepared for leadership, offering a systems-thinking approach and reflective practice approach to promote evidence-based clinical practice with the implementation of science.

Interesting Highlights

• U.S. News & World Report ranks Thomas Jefferson University as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Nurse Anesthesia Education.
• The program boasts of a 100% retention rate, high NCE pass rates, and positive post-graduation employment rates.


34. Medical University of South Carolina - Charleston, SC


Programs Offered:

DNAP - Post Baccalaureate and DNAP - Post-Master’s

Program Details:

The Medical University of South Carolina offers post-baccalaureate and post-master's options for qualified candidates who wish to earn a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice. Both DNAP pathways are featured in a hybrid format.

The Medical University of South Carolina works to produce compassionate, competent, practice-ready Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to fill a variety of roles within the nurse anesthesia specialty.

The post-baccalaureate curriculum consists of 118 credit hours. Students participate in a combination of distance and in-person learning and clinical rotations. The first 18 months of the program are dedicated primarily to online or in-classroom instruction. During this period, students practice clinical skills in the university’s high-fidelity simulation lab. The following 18 months involve clinical immersion where students perform anesthesia-related care to patients across the lifespan in a variety of healthcare settings.

The post-Master's DNAP is designed for CRNAs who hold a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia and wish to pursue a terminal degree as a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice. The program’s hybrid model of learning includes online and on-campus education sessions. Students complete 31 credit hours. Credits are earned through coursework, DNAP seminars, crisis management and teaching and learning presentations.

Interesting Highlights

• The Medical University of South Carolina is recognized by U.S. News for having one of the best Nurse Anesthesia Programs in the nation.
• Doctoral-prepared faculty offer DNAP students at the Medical University of South Carolina high-quality educational experiences from the perspective of currently certified and practicing DNAPs.


35. Midwestern University-Glendale - Glendale, AZ


Programs Offered:

DNAP-Entry Into Practice, and Post-Master's DNAP

Program Details:

The Midwestern University at Glendale offers an outstanding Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program. The College of Health Sciences’ DNAP program builds upon the student’s nursing education foundation to prepare you for doctoral-level practice. The DNAP program is offered in part-time and full-time study plans, which can be completed in 12 to 24 months.

The DNAP-Entry to Practice pathway is a 36-month program focused on advanced knowledge and hands-on clinical experiences relevant to nurse anesthesia practice. The first three quarters are offered exclusively online and introduces students to professional leadership, development, healthcare policy and research methods. Students begin face-to-face didactic experiences in the following four quarters. The third phase of the program, which lasts five quarters, involves clinical practice experiences, board certification preparation, and a research-based DNP Scholarly Project relevant to nursing anesthesia.

The post-Master's DNAP Completion program is offered to CRNAs who wish to pursue a doctoral degree. This DNAP program option is offered in an online format. Coursework for this program is designed to strengthen the students’ skills in areas associated with improving clinical practice and education. Some coursework examples include classes in statistics, research, ethics, and process improvement.

Interesting Highlights

• Midwestern University Glendale is a known leader in medical and nursing research, making it an excellent choice for students who wish to earn a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice.
• The University is ranked as one of the best schools for Nurse Anesthesia Education by U.S. News & World Report.


VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY




WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR CRNA STUDENTS?


If you’ve researched CRNA schools at all, you know the cost of an education can be expensive. Fortunately, there are several resources to help students lessen the financial blow associated with earning a CRNA degree. The following are a few examples of some scholarships available to CRNA students.

Dean and Fred Hayden Memorial National Scholarship ($2,500):

This scholarship is offered to provide financial assistance to members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists interested in obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia. Eligible candidates must be enrolled in an accredited nurse anesthesia program.

Tylenol Future Care Scholarships ($5,000 to $10,000):

These scholarships are available to United States students interested in pursuing health career careers, including those pursuing a degree from a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program.

Frank Blanchard Scholarships ($1,000):

The Frank Blanchard Scholarships are offered to AANA members who are residents of New Hampshire or pursuing a DNP-NA in a program in designated states. Funding for the program is supported by the New Hampshire Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Student Scholarships ($2,500-$30,000):

The AANA offers annual scholarships to students in good standing in an accredited CRNA program. By filling out one application, candidates are considered for at least one of more than 70 scholarships offered by the AANA.

Indian Health Services Scholarships (Amount varies and covers tuition, fees, room and board):

The Indian Health Services awards more than 200 scholarships annually to members or descendants of state- or federally-recognized, or terminated Alaska Native villages or American Indian Tribes. Students enrolled in master’s or doctoral healthcare programs, including DNAP programs, are eligible to apply.

Health Occupation Students of America Scholarships (Amount Varies):

Candidates aspiring to become an anesthesiologist or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist are eligible to apply. Applicants are considered for more than 40 scholarships when their application is submitted.



5 IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING WHICH CRNA SCHOOL IS RIGHT FOR YOU?


As you research CRNA schools, you will find there is a lot to consider. Before choosing a specific school, ask yourself the following five questions.

1. How Long is the Program?

CRNA programs can take from one to four years or longer to complete. Knowing how long you will be committed to the program will help you plan your personal and professional life around school obligations.

2. How Much Does It Cost?

CRNA school can be a costly investment, especially if you don’t have a grant, scholarship, or loan proceeds. Proper planning should include creating a budget and preparing for unexpected expenses, so your program is not disrupted by lack of funds.

3. To Work, or Not to Work?

Accredited CRNA programs have rigorous curriculum plans. Many students find it difficult, if not impossible, to continue working through the program. Find out how the schedule is formatted and consider your options carefully before deciding to work while enrolled in the program.

4. How Much Clinical Experience is Offered?

Nurse Anesthesia is a demanding job that requires high levels of critical thinking, decision making, communication, and clinical skills. You need to find a program that offers diverse clinical experiences to prepare you for clinical practice.

5. Is the Program Accredited?

Last, but certainly not least, find an accredited CRNA program. When you attend an accredited program, you can rest assured that the curriculum and clinical experiences you receive meet high-quality standards, which is vital if you want to be successful in your career.



3 MOST COMMON CHALLENGES YOU WILL FACE IN CRNA PROGRAMS AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM


Pursuing a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree is not without its challenges. However, if you are determined, there are ways to prepare for and overcome almost any challenge. The following are a few examples of some challenges you may face and suggestions for how to overcome them.

Challenge #1: The Program is VERY RIGOROUS.



About the Challenge:

CRNA programs consist of a course-heavy, rigorous curriculum that involves extensive clinical practice. Some students find it very challenging to progress seamlessly.

How to Overcome it:

Just because it can be difficult to progress seamlessly does not mean it is impossible. You already know CRNA school is going to be hard. So overcome the challenges by preparing ahead of time as much as possible. Unless you absolutely must work, consider taking a leave of absence from your job (esp. When you get to the clinical component). Establish a schedule for studying and working on your DNP Project and stick with it. It’s easier to stay on track by putting in hard work than it is to catch up after falling behind.

Challenge #2: Not Enough Hours in the Day!


About the Challenge:

One of the biggest challenges CRNA students face is finding time for themselves or their families while balancing a rigorous curriculum and clinical assignments.

How to Overcome it:

I will not sugarcoat this challenge by telling you it is easy to overcome. It is not. While you are in CRNA school, you may devote 60 or more hours each week to the program alone. That, in turn, leads to the question, “what about me?” Having a healthy school/life balance is crucial for your success. So, when you establish the schedule I mentioned in #1 above, be sure to pencil in some time for yourself and your family. Granted, you may not be able to go on a vacation or even have a long weekend for a while, but you can make the most of the time you set aside. Don’t ignore self- and family-time, as it can leave you feeling emotionally and mentally refreshed, which can promote your success in the program.

Challenge #3: CRNA School is Expensive


About the Challenge:

A college degree is expensive, no matter how you look at it. CRNA school is no exception. If you fail to plan for your school-related and personal financial obligations, it could make completing the program challenging, as you could run out of money before the program is complete.

How to Overcome it:

There are many resources where you can apply for financial assistance such as federal grants and loans, private loans, scholarships, or privately funded grants and scholarships. Take the time to apply for every form of financial aid you can think of. Apply for scholarships and grants. Talk to your employer and see if they offer scholarship programs for employees. Lastly, if you receive financial assistance for school, use it for school purposes only.



WHAT ARE SOME USEFUL RESOURCES FOR CRNA STUDENTS?


As you prepare to begin and progress through CRNA school, you will find there are numerous resources available to help guide and encourage you. Whether you like to watch videos, listen to podcasts, or read books, there is something for everyone. The following are a few resources you may find helpful while enrolled in your Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program.

YouTube Videos

The Hardest Part About CRNA School-A Day in the Life of a CRNA:

Student RNA and Nurse Practitioner, David Warren, shares his experience as a CRNA student. In this video, you’ll find his tips for developing good study habits and keeping organized.

Am I Too Old to Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist?:

In this YouTube video, you’ll learn questions to ask yourself to determine if going back to school to become a CRNA is worth it for you.

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)-Degrees, ICU, Certificates, CRNA Programs, Clinical Sites:

Nurse John offers tips and trips to help you get started on the journey of becoming a CRNA.

Podcasts

From the Head of the Bed:

This podcast is presented by Jon Lowrance who is a CRNA with a passion for teaching others. The podcast offers excellent resources for CRNAs and SRNAs alike.

Grace Under Pressure:

Host, Grace D., started this podcast while a nurse anesthesia student and continued it to offer support and insight to student CRNAs and CRNAs as they continue lifelong learning in the practice of nurse anesthesia.

Slice of Healthcare:

This podcast offers nurse anesthetists and CRNA students opportunities to connect with their healthcare communities. Each episode covers a different topic relevant to nurse anesthesia.

Books

Survive CRNA School-A Guide to Success as a Nurse Anesthesia Student:

Author, Chris Mulder, CRNA, MSN, offers personal insight into what it’s like to be a CRNA student, including mistakes he made, and guidance to help you be successful.

The Survival Guide to Make Your First Anesthesia Rotation a Success:

This book was written to give CRNA students a foundation to help prepare for and survive their CRNA programs. Author, Jeff Steiner, gives practical advice to help you get started and stay moving in the right direction to help you succeed.

CRNA Interview Prep:

This book is a must-have for anyone interested in applying for a CRNA program. You can choose a digital download or PDF delivery of content, which is geared at helping you prepare for and ace your CRNA school interview.



CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE INFORMATION FOR CRNA GRADUATES


What Certification And Licensure Do You Need To Get After Completing Your CRNA Degree?


CRNAs are already licensed registered nurses. Therefore, no additional nursing license is required. After completing the CRNA degree program, graduates must become certified as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist by taking the National Certification Exam.


What Is The Step-By-Step Process To Get Your Certification And Licensure After Completing Your CRNA Degree?


After earning your degree from an accredited CRNA program, you must apply to take the National Certification Examination administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. Once your certification exam is scheduled and you pass the exam, you be credentialed as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Certified Registered Nurse anesthetists are licensed to practice in all 50 United States and the District of Columbia.



WHERE DO THE MAJORITY OF CRNA GRADUATES WORK? – TOP 5 WORK SETTINGS


Graduates of CRNA programs work in many settings, depending on their preference for patient population or specialty focus. The following are examples of the five top work settings for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

1. Offices of Physicians:

Some physicians perform minor procedures in their offices that require administration of anesthesia. The CRNA who works in this setting will educate the patient and/or caregiver about the method of anesthesia and any anticipated or adverse responses and monitor the patient in the peri-anesthesia periods.

2. General Medical and Surgical Hospitals:

CRNAs in general medical and surgical hospitals provide anesthesia care to patients admitted for surgical procedures. The role may include responsibilities such as administering anesthesia, monitoring patients, educating patients and caregivers about potential side effects, adverse reactions, and anticipated outcomes.

3. Offices of Other Health Practitioners:

CRNAs may work in offices of healthcare practitioners such as ophthalmologists and dentists. In these settings, they administer anesthesia for procedures relevant to the health practitioner’s specialty based on the patient’s need. In these offices, most anesthesia is local or regional.

4. Outpatient Care Centers:

In outpatient care centers, CRNAs manage the care of patients having same-day surgical procedures. They may provide local or general anesthesia, depending on the type of procedure. The CRNA will monitor the patient for safety and stability before, during, and after anesthesia administration.

5. Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools:

CRNAs often work in academic settings such as colleges, universities, and professional schools. In these settings, the CRNA usually fills the role of nurse anesthesia faculty or clinical preceptor.



WHAT IS THE TYPICAL WORK SCHEDULE AND WORK HOURS FOR CRNA GRADUATES?


The work schedule and hours for graduates of CRNA programs varies considerably, depending on several factors. Some CRNAs choose to work part-time while others work full-time. There are also some CRNAs who work split shifts or take on-call schedules. Schedules also vary depending on the setting where CRNAs work. Those who work in hospitals may work nights, weekends, or holidays as needed. Conversely, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who work in ambulatory surgery centers, eye centers, or dental offices may work typical office hours, enjoying the perk of weekends, nights, and holidays off.



WHAT ARE THE 5 BEST JOBS FOR NEW CRNA GRADUATES?


After you graduate from a CRNA program, you will find there is a world of opportunity for you. Finding the right job to help you further develop and broaden your skillset will be crucial at this time. The following are five of the best jobs for new CRNA graduates that you may find interesting.

1. Private Practice CRNA:

In this role, a new CRNA program graduate conducts patient assessments, administers anesthesia for various types of surgeries and procedures, monitors patient vital signs and patient recovery following procedures. This job is an excellent choice for a new CRNA graduate because the CRNA can develop a rapport with and learn from an established team in the practice. In this role, you can hone your skills and build confidence to prepare you for future practice.

2. General Medical and Surgical Hospital CRNA:

In general medical and surgical hospitals, new CRNA graduates gain exposure to a wide range of surgical procedures. Here, you can continue to develop your skills working alongside anesthesiologists, other CRNAs and the interdisciplinary team.

3. Ambulatory Surgery Center CRNA:

Working in an ambulatory surgery center, CRNA program graduates play a vital role in all the perioperative experiences of patients. In this setting, you will administer anesthesia to patients facing a variety of outpatient procedures. Many CRNAs like the idea of working in ambulatory surgery centers because this type of facility typically operates with a “business work week” where surgical procedures are performed Monday through Friday.

4. Dentist Office CRNA:

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who work in dental offices provide anesthesia services for patients in dental offices. In this job, you will work alongside dentists and monitor patients undergoing general dental procedures for whom anesthesia is required.

5. University Medical Center CRNA:

One of the greatest places for new CRNA graduates to work is in a university medical center. University medical centers are teaching facilities, and new CRNAs can take advantage of learning opportunities under the mentorship of more seasoned nurse anesthetists.



AVERAGE SALARY FOR CRNA GRADUATES IN THE NATION


What Is The Starting Salary For New CRNA Graduates?


The average beginning salary for graduates of CRNA programs is $131,840 annually. This pay equals $63.38 hourly, $2535 weekly, or $10,990 monthly.

Starting CRNA Salary
Hourly$63.38
Weekly$2,535
Monthly$10,990
Annual$131,840
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Is The Average Salary For CRNA Degree Holders?


Graduates of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs earn approximately $97.34 per hour, equal to $3,894 weekly, $16,870 monthly, or $202,470 yearly.

Average CRNA Salary
Hourly$97.34
Weekly$3,894
Monthly$16,870
Annual$202,470
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


How Much Does The Salary Of CRNA Degree Holders Grow With Experience?


As with any profession, the longer you work as a CRNA, the greater your income potential. For example, with one to four years of experience, CRNAs can earn more than $33,000 higher than their entry-level wage. With ten years or more of experience, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn more than $208,000 annually.

Level of Experience Hourly Weekly Monthly Annual
Entry-Level $63.38 $2,535 $10,990 $131,840
1-4 Years of Experience $79.26 $3,170 $13,740 $164,860
5-9 Years of Experience $94.04 $3,762 $16,300 $195,610
10-19 Years of Experience >$100.00 >$4,000 >$17,330 >$208,000
20 Years or More Experience >$100.00 >$4,000 >$17,330 >$208,000
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Is The Total Average Annual Compensation (Salary + Benefits) For CRNA Degree Holders?


After you graduate from a CRNA program and begin to search for job prospects, one important thing to consider is the type of benefits prospective employers offer. Benefits packages include things such as paid annual or sick leave, health or other insurance, supplemental pay, and retirement plan options.

CRNAs who work in private industries earn an average salary of $194,760. Additionally, they may receive total benefits of $82,281, making their total compensation more than $277,000 annually. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who work for state or local governments earn average annual salaries of $199,860 and have benefits packages worth more than $123,000. Therefore, their total compensation is approximately $322,876 yearly.

Component Private
Industry
State and Local
Government
Paid Leave $20,501 $24,539
Supplemental Pay $9,696 $3,229
Insurance $21,609 $37,776
Retirement and Savings $9,419 $40,037
Legally Required $21,055 $17,758
Total Benefits $82,281 $123,016
Average Annual Salary $194,760 $199,860
Total Compensation $277,041 $322,876
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



AVERAGE SALARY FOR CRNA GRADUATES BY WORK SETTING


Your work setting is another factor that may influence the amount of money you make. Graduates of CRNA programs who work in physicians’ offices or offices of other health practitioners average $37.59 to $40.88 per hour, making their annual incomes fall between $179,220 and $194,240. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who work in colleges or universities make a little more than $200,000 yearly. CRNAs in general medical and surgical hospitals can expect incomes of about $212,340 annually, while those who work in outpatient care centers may make more than $254,000 yearly.

Work Setting Hourly Weekly Monthly Annual
Offices of Physicians $40.88 $1,635 $7,090 $194,240
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $35.51 $1,420 $6,160 $212,340
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $37.59 $1,504 $6,520 $179,220
Outpatient Care Centers $44.75 $1,790 $7,760 $254,180
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $34.74 $1,390 $6,020 $200,340
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



AVERAGE SALARY FOR CRNA GRADUATES BY STATE


Individuals holding the same degrees and certifications may earn different amounts, depending on their geographical location. Factors such as an area’s population, the number of qualified providers in that specialty, and the number of anesthesia-related procedures performed impact the supply and demand effect that influences income earning potential.

For example, graduates of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs in New Mexico and Louisiana earn $164,900 and $166,810, respectively. Conversely, CRNAs with the same degree level and experience in New Jersey earn $263,850, while in Connecticut they earn $276,540.

State Hourly Weekly Monthly Annual
Alabama $90.79 $3,632 $15,740 $188,840
Alaska N/A N/A N/A N/A
Arizona $68.39 $2,736 $11,850 $142,250
Arkansas $73.05 $2,922 $12,660 $151,940
California $111.80 $4,472 $19,380 $232,540
Colorado $83.57 $3,343 $14,490 $173,820
Connecticut $132.95 $5,318 $23,050 $276,540
Delaware N/A N/A N/A N/A
District of Columbia N/A N/A N/A N/A
Florida $82.19 $3,288 $14,250 $170,950
Georgia $85.56 $3,422 $14,830 $177,960
Hawaii $105.17 $4,207 $18,230 $218,750
Idaho $82.59 $3,304 $14,320 $171,790
Illinois $120.33 $4,813 $20,860 $250,280
Indiana $91.44 $3,658 $15,850 $190,200
Iowa $99.63 $3,985 $17,270 $207,240
Kansas $76.71 $3,068 $13,300 $159,560
Kentucky $86.70 $3,468 $15,030 $180,330
Louisiana $80.20 $3,208 $13,900 $166,810
Maine $100.50 $4,020 $17,420 $209,050
Maryland $86.81 $3,472 $15,050 $180,560
Massachusetts $105.62 $4,225 $18,310 $219,680
Michigan $104.92 $4,197 $18,190 $218,240
Minnesota $103.11 $4,124 $17,870 $214,460
Mississippi $87.95 $3,518 $15,250 $182,940
Missouri $92.46 $3,698 $16,030 $192,320
Montana N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nebraska $111.65 $4,466 $19,350 $232,230
Nevada N/A N/A N/A N/A
New Hampshire $109.20 $4,368 $18,930 $227,130
New Jersey $126.85 $5,074 $21,990 $263,850
New Mexico $79.28 $3,171 $13,740 $164,900
New York $108.26 $4,330 $18,770 $225,180
North Carolina $99.25 $3,970 $17,200 $206,450
North Dakota $100.08 $4,003 $17,350 $208,170
Ohio $90.10 $3,604 $15,620 $187,410
Oklahoma $87.34 $3,493 $15,140 $181,660
Oregon $108.44 $4,338 $18,800 $225,560
Pennsylvania $97.67 $3,907 $16,930 $203,150
Rhode Island N/A N/A N/A N/A
South Carolina $102.80 $4,112 $17,820 $213,830
South Dakota $95.05 $3,802 $16,480 $197,710
Tennessee $84.63 $3,385 $14,670 $176,020
Texas $94.97 $3,799 $16,460 $197,540
Utah N/A N/A N/A N/A
Vermont $94.35 $3,774 $16,350 $196,240
Virginia $97.88 $3,915 $16,970 $203,600
Washington $117.66 $4,706 $20,390 $244,730
West Virginia $119.06 $4,763 $20,640 $247,650
Wisconsin $113.25 $4,530 $19,630 $235,550
Wyoming $107.54 $4,302 $18,640 $223,680
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



AVERAGE SALARY FOR CRNA GRADUATES BY METRO


Some metropolitan areas across the nation pay graduates of CRNA programs higher salaries than others. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the location, size, and occupational composition of geographical areas significantly impact the impact of wage differences across various U.S. metro areas.

For instance, CRNAs in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA metro make an average of $283,550 each year while those in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR make $141,630. The Springfield, Illinois metro is the highest paying metro as CRNAs there earn approximately $298,890 annually. Conversely, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in the San Juan-Carolina-Caguas, PR metro earn the least with salaries averaging $60,900.

Metro Hourly Weekly Monthly Annual
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $119.16 $4,766 $20,650 $247,850
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX $98.07 $3,923 $17,000 $203,990
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $101.63 $4,065 $17,620 $211,390
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $95.31 $3,813 $16,520 $198,250
Rochester, MN $105.30 $4,212 $18,250 $219,030
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI $104.12 $4,165 $18,050 $216,570
Kansas City, MO-KS $84.64 $3,386 $14,670 $176,050
St. Louis, MO-IL $86.15 $3,446 $14,930 $179,190
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $107.70 $4,308 $18,670 $224,010
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $112.50 $4,500 $19,500 $233,990
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN $78.96 $3,158 $13,690 $164,240
Birmingham-Hoover, AL $95.83 $3,833 $16,610 $199,320
Memphis, TN-MS-AR $83.24 $3,329 $14,430 $173,130
Columbus, OH $88.72 $3,549 $15,380 $184,540
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $109.77 $4,391 $19,030 $228,320
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN $85.32 $3,413 $14,790 $177,470
Knoxville, TN $89.68 $3,587 $15,540 $186,530
New Orleans-Metairie, LA $85.87 $3,435 $14,880 $178,600
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD $84.21 $3,368 $14,600 $175,160
Cleveland-Elyria, OH $101.10 $4,044 $17,520 $210,280
Jacksonville, FL $85.10 $3,404 $14,750 $177,010
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $114.36 $4,574 $19,820 $237,860
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN $88.89 $3,556 $15,410 $184,900
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $111.39 $4,456 $19,310 $231,700
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL $82.01 $3,281 $14,220 $170,590
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $107.62 $4,305 $18,650 $223,840
Dayton, OH $90.67 $3,627 $15,720 $188,600
Ann Arbor, MI $133.08 $5,323 $23,070 $276,810
Winston-Salem, NC $99.48 $3,979 $17,240 $206,910
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC $105.34 $4,214 $18,260 $219,110
Charleston-North Charleston, SC $92.29 $3,692 $16,000 $191,960
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA $111.66 $4,467 $19,360 $232,260
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $85.77 $3,431 $14,870 $178,400
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA $82.15 $3,286 $14,240 $170,870
Huntsville, AL $83.10 $3,324 $14,400 $172,840
San Juan-Carolina-Caguas, PR $29.28 $1,171 $5,080 $60,900
Sioux Falls, SD $91.09 $3,644 $15,790 $189,470
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $136.32 $5,453 $23,630 $283,550
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY $100.14 $4,006 $17,360 $208,300
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $113.77 $4,551 $19,720 $236,640
Richmond, VA $90.67 $3,627 $15,720 $188,600
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $107.86 $4,314 $18,700 $224,350
Columbia, SC $100.40 $4,016 $17,400 $208,840
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL $86.74 $3,469 $15,030 $180,410
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX $126.23 $5,049 $21,880 $262,560
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI $89.38 $3,575 $15,490 $185,910
Chattanooga, TN-GA $75.96 $3,038 $13,170 $157,990
Jackson, MS $74.16 $2,967 $12,860 $154,260
Raleigh, NC $101.71 $4,068 $17,630 $211,550
Portland-South Portland, ME $104.25 $4,170 $18,070 $216,840
Duluth, MN-WI $97.13 $3,885 $16,840 $202,030
Jackson, TN $89.12 $3,565 $15,450 $185,360
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR $68.09 $2,724 $11,800 $141,630
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA $75.75 $3,030 $13,130 $157,560
Greensboro-High Point, NC $102.55 $4,102 $17,780 $213,310
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC $99.18 $3,967 $17,190 $206,300
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $114.96 $4,598 $19,930 $239,110
Albuquerque, NM $76.07 $3,043 $13,190 $158,230
Rapid City, SD $96.75 $3,870 $16,770 $201,250
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS $93.99 $3,759 $16,290 $195,490
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA $80.79 $3,232 $14,000 $168,040
Springfield, IL $143.70 $5,748 $24,910 $298,890
Tallahassee, FL $75.54 $3,022 $13,090 $157,130
Trenton, NJ $114.14 $4,566 $19,780 $237,410
Canton-Massillon, OH $99.36 $3,974 $17,220 $206,670
Flint, MI $99.24 $3,970 $17,200 $206,420
Lafayette, LA $67.92 $2,717 $11,770 $141,280
Mobile, AL $100.58 $4,023 $17,430 $209,200
Rochester, NY $109.88 $4,395 $19,050 $228,560
St. Cloud, MN $103.62 $4,145 $17,960 $215,520
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA $97.66 $3,906 $16,930 $203,130
Dothan, AL $95.29 $3,812 $16,520 $198,200
Lima, OH $92.39 $3,696 $16,020 $192,180
Longview, TX $85.76 $3,431 $14,870 $178,390
Tuscaloosa, AL $96.50 $3,860 $16,730 $200,720
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA $85.26 $3,411 $14,780 $177,350
Columbia, MO $97.58 $3,903 $16,910 $202,960
Florence, SC $95.50 $3,820 $16,550 $198,650
Urban Honolulu, HI $105.17 $4,207 $18,230 $218,750
Charlottesville, VA $96.62 $3,865 $16,750 $200,970
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL $109.57 $4,383 $18,990 $227,900
Fresno, CA $80.00 $3,200 $13,870 $166,410
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN $86.24 $3,449 $14,950 $179,370
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD $86.08 $3,443 $14,920 $179,040
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC $77.36 $3,094 $13,410 $160,910
Cape Girardeau, MO-IL $98.09 $3,924 $17,000 $204,030
Hammond, LA $86.13 $3,445 $14,930 $179,140
Muskegon, MI $90.35 $3,614 $15,660 $187,930
Houma-Thibodaux, LA $83.67 $3,347 $14,500 $174,030
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



DO CRNA GRADUATES EARN HIGHER OR LOWER COMPARED TO OTHER OCCUPATIONS?


CRNA Salary VS. All Other Occupations Salary


Compared to other occupations, graduates of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs earn very generous salaries. The average annual salary for all U.S. occupations is $58,260. CRNAs earn an average of $202,470, a difference of more than $144,000 or 247.53%!

CRNA Average
Annual Salary
All Occupations
Average Annual Salary
Difference
Number %
$202,470 $58,260
+$144,210
+247.53%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


CRNA Salary VS. Other Nursing Salaries


Graduates of accredited CRNA programs are the top money-earners among all nursing professionals. Other nursing salaries range from $33,250 for Nursing Assistants to $118,040 for Nurse Practitioners. The difference between CRNA salaries and other nursing salaries is between $84,430 and $169,220, or 71.53% to 508.93%.

Occupation Average
Annual Salary
Difference
Number %
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist$202,470 $0 +0.00%
Nurse Practitioner$118,040 +$84,430 +71.53%
Nurse Midwife$114,210 +$88,260 +77.28%
Registered Nurse$82,750 +$119,720 +144.68%
Nursing Instructor and Teacher, Postsecondary$82,040 +$120,430 +146.79%
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse$51,850 +$150,620 +290.49%
Nursing Assistant $33,250 +$169,220 +508.93%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


CRNA Salary VS. Other Healthcare Salaries


Compared to other healthcare salaries, CRNAs make more than all other professions except physicians. Physicians earn approximately $50,000 more each year than CRNA, a difference of 19.81%. Chiropractors, speech-language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, optometrists, and dentists make between $81,240 and $177,770, which is a difference of $24,700 and $121,230 less than CRNAs.

Occupation Average
Annual Salary
Difference
Number %
Physician $252,480 -$50,010 -19.81%
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist $202,470 $0 0.00%
Dentist $177,770 +$24,700 +13.89%
Podiatrist $158,380 +$44,090 +27.84%
Pharmacist $125,690 +$76,780 +61.09%
Optometrist $125,440 +$77,030 +61.41%
Physician Assistant $119,460 +$83,010 +69.49%
Veterinarian $109,920 +$92,550 +84.20%
Physical Therapist $92,920 +$109,550 +117.90%
Occupational Therapist $89,470 +$113,000 +126.30%
Audiologist $86,050 +$116,420 +135.29%
Speech-Language Pathologist $85,820 +$116,650 +135.92%
Chiropractor $81,240 +$121,230 +149.22%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



HIGHEST PAID CERTIFIED NURSE ANESTHETIST GRADUATES


What Are The Highest Paying Work Settings For CRNA Degree Holders?


The work settings where CRNA degree holders make the most money are offices of physicians, colleges, universities, and professional schools, general medical and surgical hospitals, specialty hospitals, and outpatient care centers. CRNAs in these settings earn between $194,240 and $254,180.

Rank Work Setting Average Annual
Salary
1 Outpatient Care Centers $254,180
2 Specialty Hospitals $219,540
3 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $212,340
4 Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $200,340
5 Offices of Physicians $194,240
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Are The Highest Paying States For CRNA Degree Holders?


Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, California, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Oregon are the highest-paying states for CRNA degree holders. Graduates of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs in these states earn between $225,560 and $276,540.

Rank State Average Annual
Salary
1 Connecticut$276,540
2 New Jersey$263,850
3 Illinois$250,280
4 West Virginia$247,650
5 Washington$244,730
6 Wisconsin$235,550
7 California$232,540
8 Nebraska$232,230
9 New Hampshire$227,130
10 Oregon$225,560
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Are The Highest Paying Metros For CRNA Degree Holders?


The Springfield, IL, Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, CA, Ann Arbor, MI and San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX metros are among the highest-paying metros for CRNA program graduates. In these metros, CRNAs earn between $262,560 and $298,890. Metros in Minnesota, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, and North Carolina also rank among the highest-paying metros for CRNA degree holders. In these metros, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn incomes ranging between $213,310 and $219,330.

Rank Metro Average
Annual Salary
1 Springfield, IL $298,890
2 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA $283,550
3 Ann Arbor, MI $276,810
4 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX $262,560
5 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $247,850
6 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $239,110
7 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $237,860
8 Trenton, NJ $237,410
9 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI $236,640
10 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $233,990
11 Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA $232,260
12 Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $231,700
13 Rochester, NY $228,560
14 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD $228,320
15 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL $227,900
16 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $224,350
17 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $224,010
18 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $223,840
19 Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC $219,110
20 Rochester, MN $219,030
21 Urban Honolulu, HI $218,750
22 Portland-South Portland, ME $216,840
23 Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI $216,570
24 St. Cloud, MN $215,520
25 Greensboro-High Point, NC $213,310
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


5 Tips To Maximize Your Earnings As A CRNA Degree Holder


Whether you’re saving money for a new car, a home, vacation, or simply need the extra income, there are several ways you can maximize your earnings as a CRNA degree holder. The following are a few suggestions to help boost your paycheck after graduating from any accredited CRNA programs.

1. Think About Working in a New Geographical Location:

CRNAs who work in areas where there is a high demand for anesthesia-related procedures can use their experience to leverage opportunities for higher salaries. While moving to a new location may not be for everyone, it is something to consider, especially if you don’t have significant ties where you are now.

2. Become a freelance or travel CRNA:

Travel nursing has become a popular trend among experienced nurses of all degree levels. What you may not know, though, is CRNAs can take advantage of travel nursing opportunities, as well. You may have established your professional reputation enough to be your own agent, or you could choose to use a travel nursing agency to help you find opportunities. Either way you choose to negotiate work, as a freelance/travel CRNA, you could boost your income by tens of thousands of dollars each year.

3. Be Sure and Earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree:

If you are a CRNA with a master’s degree, consider earning a post-MSN to DNAP, like those offered in some of our featured CRNA programs. You can earn the degree in as few as three semesters at some schools. Not only will you experience increased earning, but you will also earn the highest practice-level degree possible in nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

4. Consider Taking on an Administrative or Management Role:

Surgical hospitals and centers and anesthesia departments need qualified people to manage the goings-on in their facilities, including scheduling procedures and ensuring proper staffing. Gaining leadership and management skills can make you an appealing candidate for administrative roles, and with that comes the opportunity to earn an increased income.

5. Take Advantage of On-Call Rotations or Work Nights/Weekends:

Let’s be honest; most people like the idea of having a typical work week and enjoying relaxing weekends at home or with friends and family. That doesn’t mean that all anesthesia-related procedures are limited to Monday through Friday schedules. If you are unopposed, consider taking the night shift or working weekends and holidays. Maybe even offer to be in the on-call rotation for emergency anesthesia needs. Because these shifts are less preferred, employers offer higher pay for CRNAs willing to cover them. This is another great way to boost your paycheck.



ANNUAL JOB OPENINGS FOR CERTIFIED NURSE ANESTHETIST GRADUATES


How Many Annual Job Openings Are There For CRNA Degree Holders?


There are approximately 2,900 job openings annually for CRNA degree holders. These jobs occur from both new positions that are created in response to the need for anesthesia nursing care and replacement positions resulting from job left vacant by other CRNAs.

NewReplacementTotal Annual
Job Openings
5602,3402,900


What Work Settings Have The Highest Job Openings For CRNA Degree Holders?


The work settings with the highest number of job openings for CRNA degree holders are offices of physicians and other health practitioners, general medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, and colleges, universities, and professional schools.

Rank Work Setting
1 Offices of Physicians
2 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
3 Offices of Other Health Practitioners
4 Outpatient Care Centers
5 Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools


How Many Annual Job Openings Are There For CRNA Degree Holders In Your State?


Of the 2,900 annual job openings for CRNA program graduates, the state-by-state openings vary considerably. States like California, Florida, and North Carolina have between 120 and 220 job openings annually. On the other hand, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii and Maine see only 10 to 20 openings yearly. The state with the highest job openings is Texas where CRNAs should see 510 new and replacement job openings.

State New Replacement Total Annual
Job Openings
Alabama 21 69 90
Alaska 1 9 10
Arizona 5 5 10
Arkansas 8 22 30
California 40 80 120
Colorado 11 19 30
Connecticut 5 25 30
Delaware 3 7 10
Florida 63 127 190
Georgia 27 53 80
Hawaii 1 9 10
Idaho N/A N/A N/A
Illinois 32 108 140
Indiana 12 38 50
Iowa 7 23 30
Kansas 2 18 20
Kentucky 12 58 70
Louisiana N/A N/A N/A
Maine 3 17 20
Maryland 12 28 40
Massachusetts 3 37 40
Michigan 6 114 120
Minnesota 38 112 150
Mississippi N/A N/A N/A
Missouri 20 60 80
Montana N/A N/A N/A
Nebraska 4 16 20
Nevada N/A N/A N/A
New Hampshire 4 16 20
New Jersey 11 39 50
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A
New York 62 118 180
North Carolina 53 167 220
North Dakota 3 7 10
Ohio 35 135 170
Oklahoma 4 16 20
Oregon 10 20 30
Pennsylvania 34 126 160
Rhode Island N/A N/A N/A
South Carolina 11 49 60
South Dakota 7 23 30
Tennessee 51 129 180
Texas 160 350 510
Utah N/A N/A N/A
Vermont N/A N/A N/A
Virginia 16 44 60
Washington 10 50 60
West Virginia 10 40 50
Wisconsin 9 31 40
Wyoming N/A N/A N/A
(Source: Careeronestop.org)


What States Have The Highest Annual Job Openings For CRNA Degree Holders?


The states with the highest annual job openings for graduates of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs are Texas, North Carolina, Florida, New York, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Illinois and California. These states expect between 120 and 510 new and replacement CRNA positions each year.

Rank State New Replacement Annual
Job Openings
1 Texas 160 350 510
2 North Carolina 53 167 220
3 Florida 63 127 190
4 New York 62 118 180
5 Tennessee 51 129 180
6 Ohio 35 135 170
7 Pennsylvania 34 126 160
8 Minnesota 38 112 150
9 Illinois 32 108 140
10 California 40 80 120
(Source: Careeronestop.org)



JOB OUTLOOK FOR CERTIFIED NURSE ANESTHETIST GRADUATES


What Is The 10-Year Job Outlook For CRNA Degree Holders?


The 10-year job outlook for graduates of accredited CRNA schools is promising with an expected 12.67% increase in jobs nationwide.

+12.67%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Are The Top 5 Reasons Contributing To The Demand For CRNA Degree Holders?


Nursing is an excellent career choice for anyone who wants stability, especially in today’s healthcare market. One of the things prospective students, such as CRNA students should look at is the long-term outlook for employment in their specialty. The demand for CRNA degree holders remains steady and is expected to continue to rise. The following are a few reasons for the demand.

1. Shortage of Anesthesia Care Providers:

Some evidence suggests there is a shortage of qualified anesthesia care providers. The shortage of providers and an uptick in the number of anesthesia-related procedures is one of the main reasons for the demand for CRNA degree holders.

2. Cost-Effectiveness:

While CRNAs are the top money-earning among advanced practice registered nurses, they still make less than anesthesiologists. Employers like the idea of hiring CRNAs because they know CRNAs provide high-quality care for less money.

3. Increased Number of Elective or Non-Emergency Surgeries:

According to a study by Stanford Medicine, after rebounding from the COVID-19 shutdown, non-urgent and elective surgery rates began to peak, and they have continued to do so. The increased number of surgical procedures means there is an increased need for qualified people to administer anesthesia medications, which CRNA degree holders can do.

4. Changing Workforce Demographic:

According to a March 2022 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 31,130 anesthesiologists in the United States. The average age for licensed anesthesiologists is 55. As these doctors of anesthesiology reach retirement age, there is a need for anesthesia specialists to fill their roles. CRNAs are perfect options for filling these positions as they can complete their programs in a shorter amount of time and enter the workforce more quickly.

5. Affordability of CRNA vs Anesthesiologist Care for Lower-Income Patients:

We all know healthcare is not free. Some patients with low incomes or who have insufficient healthcare coverage will forego necessary surgical procedures and take the risk of not having surgery or other procedures because they cannot afford the surgery-related expenses. Because CRNAs make less money, their services cost patients less, which creates a higher demand for them when anesthesia care is needed.


What Is The 10-Year Job Outlook For CRNA Degree Holders In Your State?


Although the nationwide 10-year outlook for CRNA jobs is just under 13% (still a favorable outlook), there are some states that should see even higher increases in jobs availability. For example, Colorado should see a 31.43% increase in CRNA jobs and Arizona anticipates a 50% increase. Other states can expect jobs for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to increase at a slower rate. Kansas should see a 6.45% increase, while Mississippi expects a 3.45%

State 10-Year
Job Outlook
(2018-2028
Alabama +16.28%
Alaska +14.29%
Arizona +50.00%
Arkansas +21.62%
California +30.77%
Colorado +31.43%
Connecticut +11.11%
Delaware +20.00%
Florida +27.88%
Georgia +26.73%
Hawaii +12.50%
Idaho +33.33%
Illinois +16.41%
Indiana +16.67%
Iowa +20.59%
Kansas +6.45%
Kentucky +10.08%
Louisiana N/A
Maine +10.00%
Maryland +25.53%
Massachusetts +3.85%
Michigan +2.59%
Minnesota +19.19%
Mississippi +3.45%
Missouri +17.70%
Montana +16.67%
Nebraska +11.43%
Nevada N/A
New Hampshire +17.39%
New Jersey +17.19%
New Mexico N/A
New York +29.38%
North Carolina +17.21%
North Dakota +18.75%
Ohio +13.73%
Oklahoma +14.81%
Oregon +28.57%
Pennsylvania +14.91%
Rhode Island N/A
South Carolina +11.58%
South Dakota +17.95%
Tennessee +22.08%
Texas +25.32%
Utah N/A
Vermont N/A
Virginia +18.39%
Washington +15.38%
West Virginia +13.33%
Wisconsin +13.64%
Wyoming +33.33%
(Source: Careeronestop.org)


What States Have The Highest 10-Year Job Outlook For CRNA Degree Holders?


Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, California, New York, Oregon, Florida, Georgia, and Maryland have the highest 10-year job outlook for individuals with a CRNA degree. The average increase among these ten states is 31.7%. Maryland ranks #10 for 10-year job outlook, expecting a 25.53% increase, and Arizona expects the most, with at least a 50% growth in CRNA jobs.

Rank State 10-Year Job
Outlook (2018-2028)
1 Arizona +50.00%
2 Idaho+33.33%
3 Wyoming+33.33%
4 Colorado+31.43%
5 California+30.77%
6 New York+29.38%
7 Oregon+28.57%
8 Florida+27.88%
9 Georgia+26.73%
10 Maryland+25.53%
(Source: Careeronestop.org)



WHAT ARE THE TOP ORGANIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS FOR CERTIFIED NURSE ANESTHETIST GRADUATES?


One of the best things a nurse can do is join professional nursing organizations and associations. There are many associations and organizations for nurses that cater to all interests and specialties. The following are a few examples of nursing organizations and associations that CRNA program graduates may find useful.

1. American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology:

The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology represents an organization comprised of nearly 60,000 CRNAs and student CRNAs nationwide. The Association promotes education, practice standards, and guidelines for CRNA practice and offers consultation to both governmental and private organizations regarding the practice of nurse anesthesia.

2. American Nurses Association:

The American Nurses Association is part of the ANA Enterprise, a combination of the American Nurses Association, American Nurses Foundation, and American Nurses Credentialing Center. The ANA’s mission is to lead the nursing profession “to shape the future of nursing and healthcare.” The ANA works to support the Nursing Code of Ethics and help nurses navigate through complex professional and moral issues.

3. National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists:

The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists works to promote patient safety by developing and implementing credentialing programs that support lifelong learning of nurse anesthetists. The Board promotes the core values of respect, trust, protection, and recognition for the education and practice of all nurse anesthetists.



WHAT ARE THE 3 BEST ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR CRNA DEGREE HOLDERS?


Once you become a CRNA and gain some experience, it is likely that you will find yourself looking for opportunities to advance your career. Whether you want to make more money or move up in leadership, there are several options. The following are three of the best advancement opportunities for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

1. Apply for a Leadership Position:

Nothing says “career advancement” like moving from a clinical role to more of a leadership role.

2. Choose a Nurse Anesthesia Specialty:

CRNAs are trained to provide anesthesia nursing care to patients across the lifespan. However, if you want to advance your career, you could consider choosing a specific patient group or a practice area and become certified. A few examples of options are pediatrics, cardiology, dentistry, or oncology.

3. Become a Nurse Anesthesiology Instructor:

A career move toward post-secondary education as a CRNA instructor is an excellent way to advance your career. CRNA faculty may choose to work full-time in academia or work part-time while continuing clinical practice.



BONUS! 7 EXPERT TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING ACCEPTED INTO THE BEST CRNA SCHOOLS IN THE NATION


Once you decide you want to become a CRNA, the next thing to do is apply and get accepted into a good program. There are several steps to the application process. Following some of these expert tips can help improve your chances of admission to your preferred school or program.

1. Get as Much Critical Care Experience as Possible:

All CRNA programs in the United States require CRNA students to have a minimum of one year experience working in a critical care or intensive care unit as a registered nurse. The more experience you have, the greater your chances of acceptance.

2. Take Graduate Level Courses Before Applying:

Sure, your DNAP program offers graduate-level courses, but you want to be a competitive candidate. Taking graduate-level chemistry or statistics courses will make you appear a determined candidate, which is something all CRNA faculty look for in applicants.

3. Get Your Post-Secondary GPA to a Good Level:

All CRNA programs require students to have a minimum GPA according to their admission criteria. The higher your GPA, the better your chances of admission. If you need to take a few extra classes to help boost your grade point average, do it now.

4. Spend Some Time Shadowing CRNAs or Anesthesiologists:

Some schools may not require shadowing experience, but if you take the initiative to do it, you will be a better candidate. CRNA admission faculty want to know you have thought through your plan to become a CRNA student and taking the time to shadow those in the profession shows your determination and dedication.

5. Prepare an Excellent Curriculum Vitae:

Your curriculum vitae should reflect how you have personally and professionally evolved. Make sure your time periods are accurate and relevant to the program. You should focus on nursing school and clinical nursing experiences.

6. Be Prepared to ACE YOUR INTERVIEW!:

You can have the best resume and an extensive academic portfolio, but if you don’t know how to communicate with others and articulate why this program and career path are for you, you hurt your chances of being accepted. Network with current CRNA students and members of the profession. Attend open houses and workshops. Think about why becoming a CRNA is important to you and prepare to answer questions.

7. Write a Top-Notch Personal Statement:

Your personal statement is your opportunity to write about anything that interests or concerns you within the guidelines set forth by the program. It is your chance to let the admissions counsel see you any way you want them to. As you prepare your statement, be sure to highlight specific qualities (personal and professional) and nursing experiences that you feel will help you succeed as a CRNA student and professional. You want the reader to be engaged, anticipating what comes next. This will make you stand out and increase your chances of admission.



MY FINAL THOUGHTS – IS CRNA SCHOOL WORTH IT?


One of the great things about a career in nursing is the unlimited opportunities. In this article, we’ve addressed the question, “What are the best CRNA programs in the nation?” We have also provided some insight into what it’s like to be a CRNA, the education required to achieve that goal, and discussed income potential and job outlook. From everything I have found in research about being a CRNA, I believe pursuing a degree from an accredited CRNA school is worth it.

If you have a desire to work in nurse anesthesia, I encourage you to consider the 35 best accredited online and campus CRNA schools in the nation for 2022 featured in this article, find one that aligns with your goals and dreams, and go make those dreams a reality!



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Are CRNA Schools Hard To Get Into?

Admission to CRNA schools is competitive. Therefore, I recommend applying early and suggest that you apply to more than one program to increase your chances of acceptance.


2. Is There A Waiting List For CRNA Schools?

Many CRNA schools accept a limited number of students to each cohort. Therefore, it is not unheard of for some schools to have waiting lists for their programs.


3. Do CRNA Schools Have To Be Accredited?

Although you may find a CRNA program that is not accredited, I strongly urge you to apply to accredited programs only.


4. Are Online CRNA Schools Accredited?

All online CRNA schools may not be accredited. However, there are more than 100 accredited CRNA programs in the nation. Choosing an accredited program is vital!


5. Typically, How Long Does CRNA School Take To Complete?

CRNA school typically takes three to four years to complete, depending on whether you enter as a post-bachelor or post-master's student.


6. How Can I Complete CRNA School Faster?

One way to earn your CRNA degree faster is to make sure you meet all prerequisite requirements before applying. Also, consider enrolling full-time instead of part-time.


7. Typically, How Much Does CRNA School Cost?

CRNA school is definitely an investment. The cost of programs vary, but the average (without grants, scholarships, or other financial assistance) ranges from $50,000 to nearly $200,000.


8. Are Scholarships Available For CRNA Students?

Many public and private organizations, hospitals, and employers sponsor scholarships for CRNA students.


9. Are Grants Available For CRNA Students?

Yes, there are grants available that CRNA students may apply for to help offset some of the expenses related to pursuing their degree.


10. Are Student Loans Available For CRNA Schools?

There are a variety of student loans available for students in graduate programs, like students in Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs.


11. Are GRE Scores Required For Admission Into CRNA Schools?

Some colleges and universities require GRE scores as part of the admission criteria for their CRNA programs. However, all do not. It is necessary to consult with an admissions advisor at any school that interests you to determine admission criteria.


12. Is Professional Nursing Experience Required To Be Accepted Into CRNA Schools?

Yes, all applicants who wish to enroll in a CRNA program must have a minimum of one year experience working in an Intensive Care Unit as a licensed registered nurse.


13. What Is The Minimum GPA Required To Get Into CRNA Schools?

The lowest grade point average most CRNA schools will accept for admission to their programs is a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.


14. Can I Get Into CRNA Schools With A Low GPA?

If you fall within the range of the lowest acceptable grade point average, you may be accepted into a CRNA program. However, preference is given to applicants with the highest cumulative post-secondary grade point average.


15. What If My GPA Is Below The Minimum Requirement, Can I Still Get Into CRNA Schools?

Admission to CRNA schools is very competitive. It is unlikely that applicants with a GPA below the minimum requirement will be extended an offer of admission.


16. Can International Students Apply To CRNA Schools?

Yes, international students may apply to CRNA programs. Some additional criteria, such as proof of English language proficiency and standardized test scores, may be required.


17. What Prerequisites Are Required To Get Into CRNA Schools?

The admission prerequisites for CRNA schools vary, but most include classes such as Nursing Research or Statistics, General Chemistry, Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry, Health Assessment, and Physics.


18. Do I Need To Complete The Prerequisites Before I Apply To CRNA Schools?

Typically, all CRNA schools require candidates to complete an established list of prerequisite courses before applying to the program.


19. What Are The Total Number Of Courses In CRNA School?

The total number of courses needed to complete CRNA schools differs from one school to the next. Some programs, such as post-master's CRNA programs, may only require five to ten classes while post-baccalaureate CRNA students may take twenty or more classes.


20. How Many Credits Do I Need To Graduate From CRNA School?

The number of credits needed to graduate from CRNA school varies, depending on your degree level at entry and according to state and federal guidelines for nurse anesthesia practice. Most programs have curriculum that includes 90-120 credits.


21. Does CRNA School Curriculum Include Clinical Training?

Most CRNA school curriculum includes clinical training. However, some post-master's CRNA programs do not include hands-on clinicals but instead require a set number of hours dedicated to mentorship, conferences, and case studies.


22. Exactly, How Many Clinical Training Hours Are There In CRNA School?

The number of clinical training hours for each CRNA program varies. Students often complete between 2,000 and 3,000 clinical hours.


23. What Are The Hardest Classes In CRNA School?

Opinions vary about which CRNA class is hardest. Some students suggest classes such as Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics for Anesthesiology, Research Methods for Evidence-Based Anesthesia Practice, and Chemistry & Physics for Anesthesia are the most difficult.


24. How Many Hours Do I Need To Study For CRNA School?

The minimum number of hours any student should dedicate to study is three hours per each credit hour they are taking. For instance, if you are enrolled in an eleven-credit hour semester, you should prepare to dedicate a minimum of 33 hours each week to study. This does not include the time you must dedicate to clinicals and working on your DNP Scholarly Project.


25. How Hard Is It To Complete CRNA School?

CRNA school is challenging. The coursework is rigorous, and most programs require students to accomplish 2,000 to 3,000 clinical hours. However, with dedication and hard work, you can complete the program successfully.


26. Are There Any Online CRNA Schools?

Some CRNA schools offer the option of online coursework. However, you may need to make limited campus visits for counseling and simulation experiences.


27. Are There Any Part-Time CRNA Schools?

Yes, there are several CRNA schools that offer the option of part-time study.


28. Can I Work Part-Time And Successfully Complete CRNA School?

Some students in CRNA school find it easy to work during the first year of the nurse anesthesia program, as this period is typically dedicated to coursework only. However, as the program progresses, most students find it challenging to maintain employment and successfully progress through the CRNA program.


29. Can I Work Full-Time And Successfully Complete CRNA School?

While some students may attempt to work full-time while going to CRNA school, it is discouraged. The program curriculum and clinical requirements are rigorous, and scheduling varies, making it difficult to focus on full-time employment and the program.


30. What Is The Best CRNA School In The Nation?

The best CRNA school in the United States is Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Duke University - Durham, NC


31. What Is The Best CRNA School In California?

The best CRNA school in California is found at the University of Southern California.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA


32. What Is The Best CRNA School In New York?

The University at Buffalo State University of New York is the best CRNA school in NY.

University at Buffalo State University of New York - Buffalo, NY


33. What Is The Best CRNA School In Texas?

The best CRNA school in Texas is Baylor College of Medicine, located in Houston.

Baylor College of Medicine - Houston, TX


34. Are New CRNA Graduates In High Demand?

Yes! CRNAs are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that employment rates for CRNAs will increase by 13% between 2020 and 2030.


35. How Many Hours A Week Does A CRNA Degree Holder Work?

The number of hours a CRNA degree holder works varies, depending on whether they chose part-time or full-time employment.


36. How Much Does A New CRNA Graduate Make?

New Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn an average entry-level salary of $131,840.

$131,840


37. On An Average, How Much Does A CRNA Degree Holder Make?

The average annual income for CRNA program graduates is $202,470.

$202,470


38. What State Pays The Highest Salary For CRNA Degree Holders?

CRNAs in Connecticut earn higher salaries than in any other state. The current average yearly salary for CRNAs there is $276,540.

Connecticut
$276,540


39. What Metro Pays The Highest Salary For CRNA Degree Holders?

Springfield, Illinois is the metro that pays the highest salary for CRNA degree holders. In this metro, CRNAs earn an average annual salary of $298,890.

Springfield, IL
$298,890


40. What State Has The Highest Annual Job Openings For CRNA Degree Holders?

Texas has the highest annual job openings for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, with an average of 510 job openings annually.

Texas
510


41. What State Has The Best Job Outlook For CRNA Degree Holders?

Arizona is the state with the best job outlook for CRNAs. The state anticipates a 50% increase in new and replacement jobs.

Arizona
+50.00%


42. Are CRNA School Graduates Happy With Their Career?

According to a Nurse Career Satisfaction Report published by Medscape, 97% of CRNAs report being happy with their careers.


43. Is CRNA School As Hard As Med School?

Any CRNA program will be challenging. However, most healthcare professionals believe that medical school is more challenging. It takes two to four years to complete CRNA school. Medical doctors may complete school in six to eight years or longer.


44. Is CRNA School Harder Than NP School?

The difficulty of a program is better determined by individual assessment. However, it is important to understand that nurse anesthesia is an advanced practice specialty just like nurse practitioner.


45. Will The VA Pay For CRNA School?

The Department of Veterans Affairs will pay for qualified VA nurses who wish to pursue a career in nurse anesthesia.


46. How Can The Military Pay For CRNA School?

There are military-sponsored CRNA schools. For example, Baylor University partners with the U.S. Army to offer the United States Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing. The military pays for tuition and fees associated with the program in exchange for students serving in the sponsoring military branch for a set number of years. In the case of the Baylor University USAGPAN program, graduates serve in the U.S. Army for a minimum of five years after completing the program.


47. Can I Do CRNA School With A Family?

Of course, you can complete CRNA school with a family. To succeed, it will be necessary to plan effectively and make sure you have a solid support system.


48. Are There Any MSN-CRNA Programs?

There are many schools that offer MSN-CRNA programs to qualified candidates.


49. Are There Direct Entry CRNA Programs?

Yes, some schools do offer direct-entry CRNA programs.


50. Do All CRNA Programs Require ICU Experience?

All accredited CRNA schools in the United States require a minimum of one full year of ICU experience in the capacity of a licensed registered nurse.


51. Does NICU Experience Count For CRNA School?

Most CRNA programs do not consider Neonatal Intensive Care experience to meet the criteria for admission.


52. Does PACU Experience Count For CRNA School?

Post-anesthesia care unit experience typically does not count toward the required work experience needed for admission to accredited CRNA programs.


53. Can I Apply To CRNA School With A BSN?

Yes, there are many CRNA schools that offer a post-bachelor's CRNA program.


54. What Is The Acceptance Rate For CRNA School?

The acceptance rate for CRNA programs varies from one school or program to another. Schools with more stringent admission criteria or competitive admission processes may have lower acceptance rates while schools with more than one start date and fewer applicants may have higher admission rates. The average range is 6 to 40%.


55. Does CRNA School Only Look At Nursing GPA?

No, CRNA schools look at much more than your GPA. Admission faculty will review your academic and professional background, any volunteer experience or community service, your professional references, and your criminal background. Most schools also require candidates to participate in an interview with program faculty to determine if they are a good fit for the program.


56. How Many Letters Of Recommendation Do I Need For CRNA School?

CRNA school candidates should be prepared to have at least three letters of professional recommendation. Ideal sources include current employers and present or past college instructors. Your source should have at least a master’s degree, although a doctoral degree is preferred. Also, the letter should speak of your personal and professional qualities and the likelihood of your success in the program.


57. How Do I Write A CRNA School Essay?

As you prepare to write a CRNA school essay, ask yourself a few questions: Why do you want to be a CRNA? Why are you interested in this particular school? What have you done to prepare yourself for this career path? Write from your personal point of view. Try to include a focus on education and research from a nursing perspective. Make sure you have shadowed other CRNAs and include the ways those experiences positively impacted your decision to pursue this degree.


58. What Should Be On A CRNA School Resume?

Your CRNA school resume should include information such as your education, work and volunteer experience, any license and certifications you have, professional membership information, and links for any research or published works you’ve contributed to or completed.


59. What Supplies Should I Buy For CRNA School?

Some of the essentials you may need for CRNA school include an iPad, tablet, or small computer, a whiteboard, headphones for listening to lectures, pens and highlighters, and a small portable recorder for taking audio-notes or recording lectures.


60. How Long Are MSN-CRNA Programs?

Students enrolled in MSN-to-CRNA programs typically take two years to complete the program.


61. How Long Are DNP-CRNA Programs?

DNP-CRNA programs may take three to nine semesters to complete, depending on whether you enroll part-time or full-time.


62. How Long Are BSN-to-CRNA Programs?

BSN-to-CRNA programs typically take three to four years to complete. However, students who enroll part-time may face extended time to completion.


63. How Long Is CRNA School In The Military?

Military CRNA schools take two to four years to complete, depending on your current degree level at admission.


64. How Much Does A Travel CRNA Make?

Travel CRNAs earn approximately $232,840 annually.

$232,840


65. Who Earns More CRNA Or NP?

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists make more than Nurse Practitioners. CRNAs earn an average of $202,470 annually, while NPs make approximately $118,040, a difference of $84,430 or 71.53%.

CRNANP Difference
Number %
$202,470 $118,040 +$84,430 +71.53%


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).