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Many experienced registered nurses (RNs) choose to pursue careers as certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). To become a CRNA, RNs with a bachelor's degree in nursing first gain 1-3 years of experience in an intensive care unit. These nurses then complete a CRNA program.

Most CRNA programs require a bachelor's degree in nursing, a license to practice, and a minimum GPA. Many programs also require work experience for at least a year in critical care units. CRNAs are considered advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and need state licensure to practice. They generally work with surgical teams in hospital settings and coordinate patient care. CRNAs also administer anesthesia and medications to patients.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse anesthetists earn a median annual salary of $115,800. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 45% between 2019-2029, significantly faster than all other occupations.

FAQs on CRNA Programs

Q. How long does it take to become a CRNA?

Most learners need 7-10 years to become a CRNA. This time frame includes the career's required education track and professional experience.

Q. What does CRNA stand for?

CRNA stands for certified registered nurse anesthetist. CRNAs are generally considered APRNs.

Q. What GPA do you need for CRNA school?

GPA requirements for admission to a CRNA program vary by school. Many programs require at least a 3.0 GPA while others ask for a higher GPA.

Q. Can you go from nurse practitioner (NP) to CRNA?

Yes. NPs who want to work as CRNAs can choose this path by earning a CRNA degree.

Top CRNA Programs 2021

  1. University of Iowa


    Iowa City, IA

    Graduation Rate


    Students holding a bachelor’s degree in nursing can earn a DNP degree with specialization in Anesthesia Nursing through the University of Iowa College of Nursing, along with post-graduate certificates in additional DNP specializations. The Nurse Anesthesia program is a 36-month curriculum that prepares students for the national certification exam required to work as a CRNA. During the second and third year, students will gain advanced clinical experience in a variety of settings across the state, including hospitals, rural healthcare environments and outpatient surgery clinics. In addition to grants and loans, students may be eligible for federally funded nurse anesthesia traineeships and clinical stipends.

  2. Drexel University


    Philadelphia, PA

    Graduation Rate


    The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University offers a MSN in Nurse Anesthesia, and for those with a MSN degree, a post-master’s certificate in Nurse Anesthesia. Although the MSN anesthesia program is a full-time, 28-month program, students have the option of completing the MSN core requirements with part-time enrollment, through online courses, prior to completing the anesthesia core and science courses, which are only offered full-time and on-campus. Clinical rotations take place in various settings in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. This program prepares students to sit for the national certification exam, to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

  3. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities


    Minneapolis, MN

    Graduation Rate


    A student planning a career as a nurse anesthetist can earn a DNP degree with specialization in nurse anesthesia through the University of Minnesota’s Nurse Anesthesia Program. This is a three-year, on-campus program, including summers, with curriculum consisting of nurse anesthesia specialty courses along with DNP coursework, and advanced clinical experience through practicum in both rural and urban settings. The program only accepts 12 students a year, with interviews granted by invite-only. Acceptance is based on criteria such as a GPA of 3.4-4.0, a current RN license, at least a year of adult surgical/critical care experience, three essays and a resume.

  4. Columbia University in the City of New York


    New York City, NY

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    Graduation Rate


    The Nurse Anesthesia Program (ANES) at Columbia University School of Nursing is a 27-month, full-time program in which graduates earn a MS degree in nursing and are prepared to take the national certification examination. During the first year, students will take advanced courses in science, core graduate and specialty courses, with clinical rotations beginning part way through the second year, in areas such as cardiothoracic and obstetrical anesthesia. Clinical residency is completed prior to graduation, and may take place in a variety of settings and location, including large, urban teaching facilities or community hospitals, under supervision of CRNA’s and anesthesiologists.

  5. Duke University


    Durham, NC

    Graduation Rate


    Duke University has several specialty nursing programs at the graduate level, including DNP, PhD and post-doctorate fellowship options. The DNP degree with specialization in nurse anesthesia is a 36-month, on-campus, full-time program with a combination of DNP, APRN and nurse anesthesia specialty courses, along with a capstone requirement, and clinical rotations throughout the state. Duke offers state-of the-art teaching facilities, including the Center for Nursing Discovery, and provides a variety of opportunities for experienced-based learning and research, through Duke’s various centers and institutes. Students may also be able to incorporate global clinical experience into their curriculum, through independent study or research projects.

  6. University of Pennsylvania


    Philadelphia, PA

    Graduation Rate


    The University of Pennsylvania (Penn), known for being a prestigious, private research university, offers several nursing degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level, through the Penn School of Nursing. The DNP-NA (Nurse Anesthesia) program, which was the first program of its kind to be offered by an Ivy League university, is a 36-month, full-time program that prepares students to sit for the NBCRNA national certification exam. Students gain valuable hands-on experience through the high-tech Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning and Simulation and through clinical rotations in a variety of settings, including teaching, community and children’s’ hospitals along with outpatient surgery and doctors’ clinics.

  7. Wayne State University


    Detroit, MI

    Graduation Rate


    The Wayne State University nurse anesthesia program, started in 1963, partners with several nearby research and teaching hospitals, providing students ample opportunities for experience-based learning alongside well-established mentors. The university currently offers a MS degree program in nurse anesthesia and a post-master’s program in pediatric anesthesia. The program is typically completed in 24-36 months, and offered on a full-time basis only. To be granted an admittance interview, students must have a current RN license and ICU care experience along with completed prerequisite courses prior to applying to the program. Credits earned at two-year colleges may be transferred in to meet pre-requisite requirements.

  8. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus


    Cincinnati, OH

    Graduation Rate


    Nursing students planning to work as nurse anesthetists can earn a DNP degree with specialization in nurse anesthesia through the BSN to DNP program at the University of Cincinnati School of Nursing. This is a 36-month, nine-semester, full-time program that prepares students for the national certification examination and for work as CRNA’s in a variety of situations, including surgery and childbirth. The curriculum consists of science, core and anesthesia specific courses along with practicum, internships, seminars and capstone. Clinical rotations begin in the third semester, and throughout the program will include the areas of trauma, obstetrics, pediatrics, outpatient surgery and community hospitals.

  9. University of Southern California


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    Los Angeles, CA

    Graduation Rate


    Through the Keck School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Southern California, nursing students can earn a DNAP (Doctor if Nursing Anesthesia Practice) degree through the 36-month nurse anesthesia program. The curriculum combines core science and degree specific courses with hi-tech simulation and clinical residencies. Students are required to complete a doctoral capstone, with proposal during the first semester. Students gain clinical experience in several nearby prestigious medical facilities, including the USC Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, along with veterans’, children’s’ and community hospitals. Students may be eligible for financial assistance through federally subsidized grants, loans, private financing and paid traineeships.

  10. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus


    Pittsburgh, PA

    Graduation Rate


    At the University of Pittsburgh, students interested in nurse anesthesia are able to enroll in the BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia program offered through the School of Nursing. The nurse anesthesia programs meet all accreditation standards set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, so students can know that they are receiving the latest and vital information for the profession. Courses cover the entire process of anesthesia including pre-operative assessment to patient discharge procedures.

  11. Case Western Reserve University


    Cleveland, OH

    Graduation Rate

  12. Graduation Rate

  13. University at Buffalo


    Buffalo, NY

    Graduation Rate

  14. Rutgers University-New Brunswick


    New Brunswick, NJ

    Graduation Rate

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  15. University of Kansas


    Lawrence, MA

    Graduation Rate

  16. University of Connecticut


    Storrs, CT

    Graduation Rate

  17. Barry University


    Miami, FL

    Graduation Rate

  18. Loma Linda University


    Loma Linda, CA

  19. Graduation Rate

  20. University of Alabama at Birmingham


    Birmingham, AL

    Graduation Rate

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  21. University of Detroit Mercy


    Detroit, MI

    Graduation Rate

  22. Location


  23. Location


  24. Location


  25. Location


  26. Location


What Are the Goals of a CRNA Degree?

Prospective CRNAs need at least a master of science in nursing. However, many aspiring CRNAs choose to pursue a doctorate. Doctoral programs for CRNAs include doctor of nursing practice (DNP) and doctor of nurse anesthesia practice (DNAP). Courses in these programs often include advanced pharmacology, fundamentals of nurse anesthesia practice, and evidence-based practice.

CRNAs work in various medical settings, including operating rooms, emergency rooms, and pain management units. They can also specialize in a particular area, such as pediatrics, obstetrics, and neurosurgical anesthesia.

Why Get a CRNA Degree?

Earning a CRNA degree offers many personal and professional benefits. See below for some of the top benefits to earning this degree.

1. Independence

CRNAs typically work with high levels of responsibility and autonomy. In rural settings, patients receive their anesthesia only from CRNAs. Patients in larger cities also receive most of their anesthesia care from CRNAs.

2. High Earning Potential

Earning a CRNA degree allows nurses to make more money. According to the BLS, CRNAs earn significantly more than RNs, who earn a median annual salary of $73,300.

3. Diverse Range of Specializations

CRNAs can work in any setting where anesthesia is administered, including hospitals, dental offices, and surgical clinics.

4. Professional Advancement

The education and experience required to become a CRNA helps RNs advance in their careers. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals look to CRNAs for information based on their expertise.

5. Ability to Help Others

CRNAs know how to administer anesthesia and help patients manage pain. They ensure patients feel as comfortable as possible before, during, and after surgery.

What Are the Requirements for a CRNA Degree?

While specific admission requirements vary by school, most CRNA programs require applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree in nursing. Applicants also typically need RN work experience and a state license to practice nursing. Additionally, applicants need experience working in intensive care units.

CRNA programs usually require prospective students to submit transcripts from previous college programs. Many CRNA programs also ask applicants to submit recommendation letters.

CRNA students must often complete a project or dissertation to graduate. Enrollees also typically complete a clinical practicum, which gives them hands-on experience prior to entering the field.

How Does College Accreditation Work?

Professional Organizations for CRNA Students

By joining professional organizations, CRNA students can learn more about the field and connect with others in their profession. Membership often includes access to educational resources, networking opportunities, and discounts to conferences. See below for some professional organizations available to CRNAs and CRNA students.

AANA represents thousands of CRNAs nationwide. Members receive access to educational resources, sponsored events, and opportunities to network with other professionals.This organization promotes diversity in the field by mentoring and encouraging CRNAs through professional development. Members receive access to special events, participate in mock interviews, and receive editing services on research.ABNS promotes nursing specialty certification. The organization focuses on improving patient outcomes and protection through certification. Membership allows nursing leaders to connect with each other. ABNS also invites members to biannual assemblies and educational events.ANA provides educational resources for nurses at any level. The association also promotes a high quality of standards in the field and advocates for healthcare issues. ANA helps members stay current on information in the field through access to academic journals. Members also receive access to free webinars and discounts on certification renewal.

Scholarships for CRNA Students

Scholarships help students pay for tuition, fees, and other expenses associated with their education. Many CRNA students apply for scholarships to help fund their degree. Students often apply for multiple scholarships based on their academic interests, work experience, and financial need. The following list includes scholarships available to CRNA students.

Good Samaritan Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Good Samaritan Foundation sponsors these awards to help alleviate the nation's nursing shortage. Applicants must be currently working or planning to work in the healthcare field. The Foundation accepts applications three times each year.

Amount: Varies

Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate and graduate student members of the Society of Health and Physical Educators may apply. Candidates must major in the field of dance, recreation, physical recreation, or health, including nursing and other medical sciences. Applicants need a minimum 3.5 GPA and must provide three recommendation letters, transcripts from previous schools, and a letter from their school's dean indicating full-time status.

Amount: $1,250-$1,750

AISES A.T. Anderson Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a STEM degree, including nursing and other medical sciences, may apply. Applicants need a 3.0 GPA or higher and must submit recommendation letters and three essays. The scholarship application includes possible essay prompts.


Amount: $1,000-$2,000


What job in education makes the most money? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of the highest paying careers in education are education administrators. In fact, elementary, middle and high school principals earn an average yearly salary of $95,310. The average annual wage for secondary teachers is $62,860.

Which education field is best for future? ›

Information Technology Degrees For the Future
  1. Computer Science. ...
  2. Internet of Things (IoT) ...
  3. Health Information Technology. ...
  4. Information Technology. ...
  5. Big Data Systems. ...
  6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) ...
  7. Management Information Systems (MIS) ...
  8. Computer Science and Mathematics.

What kind of careers are there in education? ›

Top career paths for education graduates
  • Instructional Coordinator. ...
  • Special Education Teacher. ...
  • School Counselor. ...
  • Education Administrator. ...
  • K-12 Teacher. ...
  • Other top careers in education.

What are career opportunities in education? ›

Most careers in education require at least a bachelor's degree. Graduates can find jobs as adult literacy educators, career and technical education teachers, elementary teachers, and librarians with a bachelor's degree. These jobs typically pay significantly more than careers that only require an associate degree.

Can you make 6 figures in education? ›

Yes, it's true. Teachers who've been on the job for several years can earn six figures in many states. Sure, teaching isn't the highest paying gig out there, with a median salary of $57,949 ($3,000 below other professions that require a BA degree).

Who is the highest paid teacher in the world? ›

Luxembourg. According to an OECD report, Luxembourg (a European country) has the highest-paid teachers in the world. Another source indicates that a bachelor's degree holder is entitled to an initial salary of €67,000 (US $70,323.20) per annum at the start of their teaching career.

Where do teachers make the most money? ›

Highest-Paid Teachers By State
RankStateAverage Teacher Salary
3New York$57,919
46 more rows
2 Aug 2022

What is a good second career for a teacher? ›

HR positions make great second careers for teachers because they utilize the systems analysis, evaluation and problem-solving skills you gained as an educator. Most HR management positions seek candidates with a bachelor's degree in human resources, business management, education or a related field.

What is the most useful degree? ›

25 of the most valuable majors for college students
  • Biomedical engineering. ...
  • Computer science. ...
  • Marine engineering. ...
  • Pharmaceutical sciences. ...
  • Computer engineering. ...
  • Electrical engineering. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Software engineering.

Which degree is best in world? ›

RankDegree subjectAverage early career pay
1Petroleum Engineering$94,500
2Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)$88,000
3Applied Economics and Management$58,900
4Operations Research$77,900
6 more rows

Which is the hardest degree in the world? ›

It is believed that a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN is the toughest course in the world as per the Guinness Book of World Records along with courses like MBBS, BCom, IAS, IPS and Engineering, etc.

Why is career education important? ›

Career education provides them with the skills, knowledge, and encouragement they need to get the most out of their desired career path. Students display higher levels of engagement and motivation when they have a clear understanding of what they want to do.

What is the career of a teacher? ›

Teachers are responsible for the facilitation of learning and the development of skills in children. Another vital role for teachers is to contribute to the development of the child's character and sense of responsibility.

What are your career plans as a future teacher? ›

11 teacher career goals
  • Teach a new course. There are several reasons why a teacher may set a goal to teach a new course. ...
  • Teach extracurricular activities. ...
  • Explore new teaching methods. ...
  • Advance education. ...
  • Develop skills. ...
  • Improve student grades. ...
  • Mentor upcoming teacher. ...
  • Integrate technology.

Which job is similar to teaching? ›

Top 10 Alternative Careers for Teachers
  • Career guidance counselor. Choosing a career can be an overwhelming process. ...
  • School administrator. ...
  • Librarian. ...
  • Private Tutor. ...
  • Corporate trainer. ...
  • Adult literacy teacher. ...
  • Parenting coach/educator. ...
  • Writer.

What are educational and career goals? ›

College applications and scholarship applications sometimes ask you to describe your educational and career goals in an essay. Educational goals address your plans for college; career plans outline what you plan to do with your college education in the work force.

Is teaching a good career? ›

Is teaching a good career choice? Again – yes! Whether you get into teaching for a few years or a lifelong career, it's a respected profession that is sure to enhance your professional skills in many ways. Firstly, you'll build skills such as organization, motivating others, coaching, creativity and public speaking.

How can I make a lot of money as a teacher? ›

There are also many other opportunities to increase your teacher salary:
  1. coaching after-school athletics.
  2. advising after-school clubs.
  3. becoming a department head.
  4. becoming a mentor for new teachers.
  5. helping with after-school tutoring programs.
  6. administering and grading placement exams.
  7. teaching summer school programs.

What is the highest paying occupation? ›

Highest Paying Occupations
General internal medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Family medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
Emergency medicine physiciansThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year
17 more rows
8 Sept 2022

Will teachers make more money in the future? ›

According to the 2022 NEA Rankings & Estimates report released this week, the average teacher salary in the United States was $65,293 in 2020-21, an increase of 1.9 percent over 2019-20. By 2021-22, it is projected to increase to $66,397.

Which country is best for teachers? ›

Article Contents:
  • Best for job availability: China.
  • Best for job benefits: South Korea.
  • Best for professional development: Japan.
  • Best for teaching and traveling: Vietnam.
  • Best for non-native English teachers: Thailand.
  • Best for country infrastructure: Taiwan.
  • Best for work-life balance: Spain.
5 Oct 2022

Which country needs teachers the most? ›

China. Based on many studies, China runs at the top of the list. China has continued to be the most sought-after teaching destination right now because it has almost 300 million English learners.

In which country teachers are most respected? ›

In countries like China and Ghana, society sees teachers as highly competent and, at the same time, they are viewed with great respect.

Are teachers quitting? ›

Teachers in California are struggling with the high cost of living, rent increases and over-work and are increasingly leaving the profession, especially in the wake of a pandemic that has worsened those factors, a new study has revealed.

Where do teachers get paid the least? ›

The District of Columbia, Arizona, and Virginia were among the states paying their teachers less than their state average of all other occupations.

Why are teachers underpaid? ›

A number of factors contribute to how far a teacher's salary goes—family structure, caregiving responsibilities, health issues, and student loans among them. While many teachers in the U.S. must work second jobs to live comfortably, plenty do not. Some of them live in states that pay better than others.

What else can teachers do for a living? ›

Teachers may add a psychology or counseling certification and become career counselors. Some teachers can even make more as education consultants. A career change out of teaching may just be diving deeper into the world of education.

What can teachers do after they quit? ›

Activities Director. Leadership roles in community service are often a good fit for people who've left the teaching profession. Many youth organizations and retirement communities have positions for people skilled at planning, coordinating, and leading fun recreational or educational activities.

What jobs can teachers do outside of teaching? ›

21 Jobs for Teachers Who Want To Leave the Classroom but Not Education
  • Educational Policy Expert. ...
  • Curriculum Writer/Director. ...
  • Coach/Mentor. ...
  • Educational Consultant. ...
  • Online Educator. ...
  • Community Director. ...
  • School Counselor. ...
  • Education Manager.
19 Apr 2021

Who is the highest paid teacher in the world? ›

Luxembourg. According to an OECD report, Luxembourg (a European country) has the highest-paid teachers in the world. Another source indicates that a bachelor's degree holder is entitled to an initial salary of €67,000 (US $70,323.20) per annum at the start of their teaching career.

Which career has more scope in future? ›

A few high potential career options in India are:

Full Stack Software Developer. Company Secretary. Therapist (Occupational Therapy Assistant) Software Engineer.

How can I make a lot of money with a teaching degree? ›

How to make more money as a teacher
  1. Find opportunities to earn supplemental money at your school. ...
  2. Do research on your location's pay rates. ...
  3. Earn an advanced degree. ...
  4. Take advantage of professional development opportunities. ...
  5. Transition to an administrative career. ...
  6. Offer tutoring options.
8 Mar 2021

Which masters degree in education pays the most? ›

A master's degree in Education Administration is among the highest paying education degree which qualifies graduates to work as school principals. School principals are among the highest paid professionals in the educational system.

Which country is best for teachers? ›

Article Contents:
  • Best for job availability: China.
  • Best for job benefits: South Korea.
  • Best for professional development: Japan.
  • Best for teaching and traveling: Vietnam.
  • Best for non-native English teachers: Thailand.
  • Best for country infrastructure: Taiwan.
  • Best for work-life balance: Spain.
5 Oct 2022

Which country needs teachers the most? ›

China. Based on many studies, China runs at the top of the list. China has continued to be the most sought-after teaching destination right now because it has almost 300 million English learners.

Where do teachers get paid most? ›

Highest-Paid Teachers By State
RankState90th Percentile
3New York$89,000
46 more rows
2 Aug 2022

What is the best career in the world? ›

Top 10 Careers in the World
  • Chief Executive Officer. ...
  • Petroleum Engineer. ...
  • Plastic Surgeon. ...
  • Neurosurgeon. ...
  • Registered Nurse. ...
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  • Air Traffic Controller. ...
  • Video Game Designer.
15 Feb 2022

Which skill is best for future? ›

What are the top skills you should learn for the future?
  1. Artificial intelligence. You don't need to work in the artificial intelligence (AI) field to expect to encounter AI in your workplace. ...
  2. Coding. ...
  3. Cloud computing. ...
  4. Blockchain. ...
  5. UX design. ...
  6. Critical thinking. ...
  7. Emotional intelligence. ...
  8. Communication.

Which job is trending now? ›

Cloud Developer

Cloud developers are experts who work towards the development of cloud solutions. This is one of the most trending jobs in India 2022.


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