A nursing career is a sure way to a good salary. Just how good is that income? Well, Salary.com reveals that in 2007, the national average salary for a registered nurse was $ 59,000.
But here’s some surprising news: there’s one advanced nursing degree which pays as much or more as some medical doctors salaries – with less time in school. A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists or CRNA can earn up to $ 100,000 annually upon graduating from CRNA programs. This income can even go as high as $ 150,000 a year for an experienced CRNA.
To become one, first you must be a registered nurse. Then you must work for at least a year as a registered nurse in an area of critical care. Then, you can apply for a CRNA program. This is a master’s degree level program. Needless to say, there are a lot of nurses interested in getting into this program so you have to make a good impression when applying. For one, do your best to get high grades in the prerequisite classes which include science and math.
The programs generally last two to three years, and are very intense. Also don’t expect breaks during the summer as most of these programs continue through the summer, although time off during holidays are also given.
A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist will generally work with a doctor at a hospital, clinic, or other medical settings. In some states, a CRNA is left to work without the supervision of a doctor. The CRNA is primarily responsible for monitoring the effects of anesthesia on a surgical patient. He checks on a patient before surgery, getting the patient’s medical history and other important data. Then, he also monitors the same patient while in surgery, and during the recovery period .
It is not a job for everyone, or even a job that appeals to every registered nurse. And it is a job with tremendous responsibility and potential for liability. However, the pay is excellent and there is a huge demand for CRNAs. Most CRNAs graduate with jobs waiting for them.
So if you think you may have an interest, start researching what CRNA schools are available in your state, and talk to guidance counselors at those schools to see if it might be a career for you.