Becoming a CRNA

When considering a career in nurse anesthesia, individuals often have questions about the profession. The following includes answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and suggestions on where to get answers to other questions you may have. It is hoped that you will find this information useful in considering a career as a nurse anesthetist.

Meet a CRNA in our CRNA Spotlight feature.

Read testimonials of those served by CRNAs

Learn more about what CRNAs do.

Learn more about CRNA programs and career prospects.

Click here to listen to AANA's Senior Director of State Government Affairs Anna Polyak RN, JD, talk about where the organization is focused and what they're doing to help CRNAs.


What are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)?
Nurse anesthesia is an advanced clinical nursing specialty. As anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer approximately 30 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year.

How Does a Nurse become a CRNA?

A nurse attends an accredited nurse anesthesia education program to receive extensive education in anesthesia. Upon graduation, the nurse must pass a national certification exam to become a CRNA.
What does a Nurse Anesthesia Education Program Include?

A program will include 24 to 36 months of graduate course work including both classroom and clinical experience with:

  • The classroom curriculum emphasizing anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and pharmacology as related to anesthesia.
  • The major clinical component providing experience with a variety of anesthesia techniques and procedures for all types of surgery and obstetrics.
  • All nurse anesthesia education programs offer a master's degree. Depending on the particular program, the degrees are in nursing, allied health, or biological and clinical sciences.

What are the Requirements for Admission to a Program?
The requirements for admission are:

  • A bachelor's of science in nursing or another appropriate baccalaureate degree. (Each program determines "appropriate" degrees and "approved" programs.)
  • A license as a registered nurse.
  • A minimum of one year of acute care nursing experience. (Each program determines what constitutes "acute care" nursing.)

Nurse Anesthesiology Programs in NYS

Albany Medical College  

Columbia University 

Hofstra University 

University at Buffalo