Certified registered nurse anesthetists, or CRNAs, are used in a number of settings in and outside of hospitals. A nurse anesthetist’s role includes any anesthesia needs for a patient whether that be an adult for a surgery, delivering a baby or anything else requiring anesthesia. CRNA's see and assess their patients preoperatively, answering any questions that the patient and their family may have about their surgery. The nurse anesthetist will prepare the operating room to ensure the patient’s safety during anesthesia delivery. CRNAs then administer, maintain and recover their patients from anesthesia. Finally, they follow the patient's postoperative care to ensure quality of care.
Average CRNA Salaries
Because of the high level of responsibility mentioned above and the level of education needed, certified registered nurse anesthetists tend to be one of the highest paid nursing specialties. In fact, according to a 2005 survey of nurse anesthetists, the average annual CRNA salary was reported to be around $160,000 annually. Starting salaries ,on the other hand, tend to be closer to $110,000-$130,000 annually.
When looking over these salaries remember that these average salaries do vary quite a bit depending on geographic area (both by state and city). Additionally, whether or not a hospital’s nurse anesthetists are unionized can also have a significant effect on salaries.
Locum Tenens Salaries for Nurse Anesthesia
Locum Tenens is when a CRNA temporarily fulfills the nurse anesthesia duties at another hospital. This type of employment is often used in hospitals to fulfill staffing needs that they aren’t able to staff with their existing full-time nurse anesthetists. For Locum Tenens positions nurse anesthesia salaries tend to be hourly. These hourly rates vary over a large range due to the level of need that a hospital has. Hourly wages are usually higher than comparable full time positions but a nurse anesthetist may not be able to find work for all of the hours that they want via finding Locum Tenens positions.