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Nurse Anesthetists

Nursing - An Occupation in Demand  

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) play a crucial role in the success of a variety of medical procedures. They work in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other professionals to ensure the safe administration of anesthesia. Some of their responsibilities include providing pain management, assisting with stabilization services, and overseeing patient recovery. These services may be used through all phases of surgery and for diagnostic, obstetrical, and therapeutic procedures as well. Due to their advanced training and the weight of their responsibilities, nurse anesthetists are generally well-compensated professionals.

These days, CRNAs are the main providers of anesthesia in rural and medically underserved regions of the U.S., although those aren't the only places where they work. Nurse anesthetists are also the main providers of anesthesia to men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces, and can work in a variety of settings, explored at length below. These healthcare professionals must have at least a master's degree and can practice relatively autonomously, depending on their state's level of CRNA practice authority

TBy 2028, the Gulf Coast region will need over 2,600 Nurse Anesthetists!

28% Growth

Even at entry-level, Anesthetist Nurses command a salary of three times the average salary of all occupations in the Gulf Coast Region!

Entry $134,154 Median $168,182 Experienced $191,481

Start Early and Be Prepared

High School Endorsement: Public Service | STEM Gaining admission into nursing programs is very competitive. More students are turned away each year than are accepted. Students should strive for the highest GPA possible to provide them with the edge needed for acceptance into a nursing program. Nursing requires a high school background with strengths in English comprehension, algebra, chemistry, biology and psychology.

What kind of a person does it take to be an Anesthetist Nurse? * These skills, interests, and knowledge areas are recommended for a career in nursing. The following data describes the relative importance of each knowledge/skill area from the opinion of those in the industry.  

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

  *Source: Texas Career Check.

Most Anesthetist Nurses work for hospitals, but many work for other healthcare providers, while some CRNAS are employed by educational institutions.

Top 5 Industries for Nurse Anesthetists

Pathway to Becoming A Nurse Anesthetists

How to Become a CRNA

You must be legally licensed in your state to work as a nurse anesthetist, which requires having at least a master's degree and earning national certification. But to enter into a master's program, you must first be a registered nurse (RN) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). You'll also need to complete at least 1 year of experience in an acute care setting such as an ICU or ER, though you might need more depending on the acceptance requirements of your school.

School requirements

After earning your BSN and completing your acute care experience, you can then apply to master's programs for nurse anesthetists. Prior to doing so, some nurses choose to pursue specialty certification as a critical care registered nurse (CCRN), which could possibly increase the chance of getting accepted.

When applying to CRNA programs, make sure the schools you choose have been approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COACRNA)Graduation from an accredited program is a requirement for taking the certification test. As for coursework, all accredited nurse anesthesia programs require studies in the following areas:

  • Anesthesia pharmacology
  • Chemistry, biochemistry, and physics
  • Anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology
  • Anesthesia equipment and technology
  • Pain management
  • Statistics and research
  • Professional and legal aspects of nurse anesthesia practice

In addition, your program will include supervised clinical practice that allows you to apply the theories and techniques you've learned in a hands-on way. You'll work at a university-based or large community hospital and gain experience in a wide variety of procedures, from childbirth to open-heart surgery.

Learn more about the requirements for getting into a master's program and what you'll study once you begin. How long does it take to get certified? The necessary steps to becoming a CRNA take a minimum of 7 years to complete.


Helpful Tech to Get Ahead

  • Database User Interface Entry Software: IDX Systems or Microsoft Access
  • Medical Software: Epic Systems, Medical procedure coding software, MEDITECH software, or Siemens SIENET Sky
  • Human Resources Software: HRMS
  • Project Management Software: Microsoft SharePoint

Gulf Coast Region Registered Nurse Programs Community Colleges


Health-Related Institutions

Major Employers in the Gulf Coast Region

  If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact

*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.