What is the job of a Nurse Anesthetist?

Nurse anesthetist


A nurse anesthetist is also referred to as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) or advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). They practice with the minimum of a Master’s degree in Anesthetics. They are also the highest-paid nurses internationally. 

Nurses are the closest health workers to the Physicians. They help in simplifying the job of a physician by taking up less intense duties. For this reason, they are sometimes called Doctors assistants. They ensure patients are properly laid on beds, check their temperatures and other vital signs. They also ensure that the beds are well dressed and that drugs are taken at the right times. This category of nursing is quite wide and tasking. 

Today some nurses study further to have a more autonomous practice. These are the Nurse Anesthetists. Their practice is limited to administering medication to patients before surgery, during the surgery, and after surgery. They work in an enclosed environment, unlike the general nurses.

These professionals do not work alone but under the supervision of anesthesiologists or physicians. They must be people who are very meticulous and pay very close attention to details. This aspect of nursing is critical, as a very little mistake can lead to death. 

Let’s dive right into their responsibilities.

Responsibilities of a Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists do not work alone. They always work together with physicians or anesthesiologists.

Nurse anesthetist
  • Determining the choice of anesthesia for every type of surgery.
  • Administering anesthetic medication to patients before surgery.
  • Monitoring patients during surgery.
  • Ensuring that drugs administered to patients are at the appropriate doses.
  • Monitoring anesthetized patients to observe their responses to drugs.
  • Physically assessing patients before administering anesthesia.
  • Putting patients through what the anesthesia and entire procedures entail.
  • Supporting patients during induction of anesthesia.
  • Monitoring patients to know when they are about to recover from anesthesia.
  • Administering necessary medication after recovery.

There are also other aspects of Nursing Anesthesiology, such as academia and administration. Nurse Anesthetists in these aspects will be into the following:

  • Teaching and training students, interns, and also the younger staff.
  • Providing support in the development of policies and the like in the State Board of Nursing.

Is a Nurse anesthetist the same as an Anesthesiologist?

The answer is no.

An Anesthesiologist is a Medical Doctor who specializes in the field of anesthesia. A Nurse Anesthetist is a nurse who has studied further to specialize in Nursing Anesthesiology. Both professionals mostly work together on the same patients.

Qualifications for practice as a Nurse Anesthetist

For a Nurse to function as a Nurse Anesthetist, he or she must be qualified. The position is very sensitive, as the patient’s life depends on it. The qualifications required include: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science (BSN) or an Associate Degree (ADN). 
  • Registered Nurse (RN) license, gotten by passing the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN).
  • Undergoing advanced training to become an APRN. This can be done after at least one year of practice as an RN.
  • Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN).
  • A Doctorate (this will be compulsory by 2025). 

Other skills that are necessary for practice as a Nurse Anesthetist include:

  • Ability to pay good attention to details.
  • Team spirit.
  • Careful Bess and also compassion
  • Empathy.
  • Research skills.
  • Teaching skills.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Excellent observation skills.
  • Computer skills.
  • High level of self-confidence.
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical thinking skills.

Job Opportunities

Nurse Anesthetists find relevance in several places.

  • Hospitals
  • Healthcare centers
  • Military facilities
  • Surgical centers
  • Dental clinics
  • Colleges and also Universities.


A career as a Nurse Anesthetist attracts great pay. Although the salary depends on the facility and the qualification of the staff, it is never below the staff. In the United States, these professionals are among the highest-paid. They have an average salary of  $181,640 per year.

Work Environment

The work environment of Nurse Anesthetists depends on the aspect of practice they go into. Those who work in hospital settings will be in the hospital setting most of the time. They are also expected to be neatly dressed in their scrubs or uniform with protective clothing. Others in administrative roles, however, do not wear scrubs. Those in schools and colleges will be in classroom or lecture halls more often, attending to students.


A Nurse Anesthetist is a health professional of great value. They help to ensure patient safety, before, during, and after surgery. 

It is a noble and also rewarding career for people who have a heart for others.

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