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How Do I Become a Certified Nurse Anesthetist?

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh

The first step to become a certified nurse anesthetist is to find out the certification requirements in the location where you wish to eventually work as a nurse. This will help you plan the rest of the steps that you need to take to meet your goal to become a certified nurse anesthetist, and can be accomplished by contacting the local government's licensing department in your jurisdiction. There are certain things that you can do that will help you on the path to become a certified nurse anesthetist, such as getting a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) and becoming a registered nurse (RN). After you do this, you should begin working in the field as a nurse to gain experience before applying to graduate programs that have the nurse anesthetist specialty.

A BSN will help you with your goal to become a certified nurse anesthetist by providing you with the training and prerequisites that you need to get a job, and to eventually apply to graduate programs. There are BSN programs at many schools across the world. You can prepare for the degree by taking science and mathematics classes during your time in high school and graduating with a diploma. Nursing programs can be competitive, so it is important to attempt to maintain a good grade point average (GPA) in high school. BSN programs last for approximately four years of full-time study, and also include spending time working in hospitals or clinics doing hands-on training.


Upon graduation from a BSN program, you can take the necessary examinations, and complete any additional training, to become a RN where you live. The next step to become a certified nurse anesthetist is to look for an entry-level job in nursing. Working in an area such as intesive care, pediatrics, or general nursing can help prepare you, and provide the necessary experience needed, to enter into a graduate program.

Graduate programs in the nurse anesthetist specialty will leave you with a master's of science degree in nursing (MSN). With this degree, you are eligible to become licensed or certified as a nurse anesthetist. Master's degree programs generally last for two to three years of full-time coursework and clinical rotations. As being a nurse anesthetist requires ample knowledge of chemistry, you will take many science courses during your course of study. After you finish a program, you can begin to apply for jobs as a nurse anesthetist with hospitals, traveling nurse services, and hospices.

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