Nurse Anesthetist Training

Certified nurse anesthetist training programs, or CRNA training programs, are very specialized training programs designed for licensed and registered nurses who want to advance in their careers. CRNA schools that have been accredited by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists offer comprehensive classroom-based and hands-on training courses at the master's education level and prepare students for a rewarding career in the field of anesthesia administration. If you are currently a registered nurse and have a BSN or MSN, you may be qualified to enroll in a CRNA training program.

CRNA Training Programs

Nurses with CRNA credentials work in hospitals, surgery centers, army medical facilities and in other healthcare environments to deliver anesthesia under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. Nurse anesthetists must complete an intensive two or three-year CRNA training program.

The clinical portion of this type of training program is very important because nurses can only acquire the necessary skills for this job with hands-on experience. Clinical training and practicum requirements give the student a chance to work with physicians and surgeons, and also provide services in several different environments. They may be able to work in a human patient simulation lab and complete clinical rotations at affiliate hospitals as part of their CRNA training.

CRNA training programs typically encompass the following areas of study:

  • In-depth pharmacology and its application in the practice of anesthesia
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Perioperative care for patients having different types of anesthesia
  • Basic case management
  • Anesthesia and geriatrics
  • Treating burn and trauma patients
  • Army nurse anesthetist basic practices
  • ENT/laser surgery patients
  • Understanding various disorders: hepatic disease, hematologic disorders, neuromuscular disorders and Parkinson's/Alzheimer's disease
  • Patient safety and monitoring during anesthesia administration
  • Developing anesthesia care plans

Successful completion of a CRNA training program prepares students for the national certification examination. This exam measures the nurse's knowledge level and critical thinking skills, and is a requirement for applying for entry-level positions in the field. CRNAs must be prepared to be recertified every two years.

Completing CRNA Training Online

Nurses who are currently working full-time and cannot make a full-time commitment to complete a CRNA training program may consider taking some of their courses online. It's not possible to complete all of your CRNA training online because the national certification requirements include hands-on training at an approved medical center or hospital. Students may be able to take some classroom-based courses over the Web, and complete a portion of their training through online tutorials and simulations.

In order to meet the Council on Accreditation's standards and to be eligible to take the official Certification f Nurse Anesthetists Certification Exam by the COA, the student must have completed a minimum of 450 anesthetics successfully. Students will also need extensive experience administering anesthesia to specific populations such as children, patients undergoing neurosurgery, and cardiology patients. Courses taken when completing CRNA training online can prepare students for their practical training and also give them a chance to work with simulations.

Completing some of the CRNA training online can offer some flexibility for students who want to work while they are in school and work at their own pace.