10 Facts and Statistics about Nurse Anesthetists and CRNAs

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Here are 10 facts and statistics about certified registered nurse anesthetists.


1. There are approximately 44,000 nurse anesthetists, including CRNAs and student nurse anesthetists, in the United States, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

2. The average CRNA salary in the United States was $189,000 in 2008-2009, according to Merritt Hawkins & Associates' 2009 Review of Physician and CRNA Recruiting Incentives.

3. Fifty-nine percent of nurse anesthetists are female; 41 percent are male, according to the AANA.

4. CRNAs administer approximately 32 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States, according to the AANA's 2008 Practice Profile Survey.

5. The CRNA credential came into existence in 1956 and today is overseen by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists.

6. To receive the CRNA credential, nurse anesthetists must hold a bachelor's degree in nursing or a similar area, hold a current license as a registered nurse, have at least one year of experience as an RN in an acute-care setting, graduate from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program and pass a national certification exam.

7. There are 109 accredited nurse anesthesia programs in the United States, and programs range in length from 24-36 months, according to the AANA.

8. CNRAs practice in a number of healthcare settings including hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms, ASCs, physician and dentist offices, public health departments and the military.

9. CRNAs are the primary anesthesia providers in rural America, and in some states are the sole provider of anesthesia at rural hospitals, according to the AANA.

10. Nurse anesthetists were the first nurses to receive direct reimbursement rights under Medicare as a result of legislation passed by Congress in 1986.

Learn more about the AANA.

Learn more about Merritt Hawkins & Associates.

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