The need for educated nursing professionals continues to grow making it possible for the highest paying careers in nursing. The downside is that nursing programs are in short supply of educators causing long waiting lists for many students looking to enroll.
You have probably seen many vocational schools advertising 3 month and 6 months training courses for work as a nursing assistant or nurses aid since these positions does not require a diploma the hourly wages are low and the employment turnover is high.
Getting an Associates Degree in Nursing
It is possible to attend a junior college for 1 or 2 years to become a Licensed Practional Vocational Nurse in this position you will work along side a RN or Physician. The latter may be a good option for those who want to gain experience in a clinical environment.
It is recommended to continue your education and study for your ADN or BSN degree because most registered nurse programs and schools offer weekend nursing classes. Getting your 4 year degree as a Bachelors of Science nurse will help you compete as you work towards advancing your career.
Advancing your Nursing Degree
Not all nursing degree programs are the same and you want to make sure that the one you choose is part of the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission.
According to the occupational outlook handbook the Registered Nurses are the largest healthcare occupation with almost 3 million jobs with over half of RN jobs are in hospitals.
One of the things I do when I counsel my students is discuss how serious they are about a profession letting them know it would be to their benefit to go for the highest academic degree that they can.
For example a nursing students who obtains a masters degree they will have the opportunity to apply for employment as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner or become a nurse anesthetist.
The advantages of starting a career as a Nurse anesthetists is that you will provide anesthesia to patients before and after their surgical or therapeutic procedures.
In the case of diagnostic and obstetrical procedures you will provide pain management and emergency services.
For special cases such as airway management that is used in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, anesthesia, emergency medicine, intensive care medicine and first aid you will make sure there is an open pathway between a patient’s lungs and the lungs are safe from aspiration.
Nurse Anesthetist Licensing and Salary Projections
As a certified registered nurse anesthetist you must obtain your nursing licensure from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing where you must pass the NCLEX a National Council Licensure examination which is taken after you receive your accredited nursing degree.
The pay rate for a licensed professional nurse who provides anesthesia services for surgeons, dentists, podiatrists and anesthesiologists can bank high annual income of $70,000 upwards of $180,000. This is based on experience, employer and job location.
State Job Openings
Qualified candidates with experience in acute care nursing, must complete nurse anesthetist school to learn basic and advanced principles of anesthesia practice. You will also study advanced nursing course work in statistics, research methods, chemistry, anatomy or physiology and clinical pharmacology.
CRNA job openings can be found in Alabama, Utah, Idaho, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado and California.
Interestingly the advanced practice registered nurse who has an graduate level education and is board certified. As a CRNA you can work independently or you can work under the supervision of a anesthesiologist and physician.
More medical centers, outpatient surgery centers, pain clinics, dentist offices and hospitals are using state licensed nurses for the delivery of anesthesia services mainly because it is cost effective but also because it is safe with CRNA care teams.