Nurse Anesthesia Career Path

Nurse Anesthesia

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What is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)?

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice nurses who provide high quality anesthesia services
  • CRNAs have earned either a Master’s or Doctorate degree in nursing
  • CRNAs receive extensive training and education in nursing and anesthesiology
  • CRNAs have been practicing in the U.S. for over 150 years
  • CRNAs safely administer more than 34 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States
  • In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in rural hospitals.

Learn more here: The AANA represents Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)

What CRNAs do

  • Administer and provide anesthesia to patients before, during, and after surgery
  • Keep the patient safely unconscious and unaware of surgery
  • Order and interpret pre-procedure tests
  • Manage an anesthetic based on patient condition
  • CRNAs monitor the patient throughout their procedure
  • Constant monitoring of vitals signs and communication with surgeons and anesthesiologists
  • Manage pain and keep patients safe and comfortable

Where CRNAs work

  • Hospital operating rooms
  • Dental offices
  • Podiatry offices
  • Birthing centers
  • Emergency rooms
  • Plastic surgery centers
  • Outpatient surgery centers
  • CRNAs deliver > 80% of the anesthetics in rural America

High school preparation

Students interested in a career as a nurse anesthetist should complete these helpful preparatory classes.

Biology Chemistry
Algebra Geometry
Calculus English
Physics Psychology
Computer Science Nutrition
Anatomy & Physiology Microbiology


1. Information about events and info sessions at the University of Minnesota school of nursing

2. Demonstrate leadership potential and engage in volunteering opportunities.

3. College prep help at the University of Minnesota 

College preparation

Obtain a nursing degree and become a Registered Nurse (RN). You will need either a BSN or MSN entry level degree in nursing

  1. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  1. Master’s entry-level nursing degree (MSN)

University of Minnesota CRNA program

CRNA program requirements


You need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or entry-level Master of Nursing (MSN)


You must first become a registered nurse and have a license to practice in your state


Competitive GPA (specific to individual program)

Critical care

2 years of high-acuity adult surgical critical care experience.




Shadow a CRNA

About U of M CRNA program

Program length
36 months, full-time

Application deadlines
Dates and deadlines

Starting month

Financial assistance is available

CRNA career outlook

Job Outlook

Overall employment of nurse anesthetists is projected to grow 40% from 2021 to 2031.

Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

There are over 59,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) practicing in the United States.

About Us | NBCRNA

Job Satisfaction

89% of CRNAs feel very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their work (AANA)

Increased focus on diversity in the profession

There is a need for increased diversity in the nurse anesthesia profession.
The University of Minnesota is a leader in this effort to increase diversity:

  • Faculty dedicated to improving diversity and inclusivity formal mentoring program
  • Nursing Diversity Scholarship: Provides financial assistance to minority and/or non-traditional students enrolled in the undergraduate nursing program for the purpose of encouraging diversification & promoting multicultural participation.

Offering mentorship to high school students

  • Connect with the Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Committee (see survey below)
  • Meet us at HOSA events
  • Tell us how we can help
  • We look forward to meeting you

Contact the UMN Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Committee here: Nurse Anesthesia career path