Your 2023 Guide on How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Ohio

Your 2023 Guide on How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Ohio featured image

Pursuing a nursing career is an excellent choice. 

But, if you want to advance your nursing career even more, becoming a CRNA is a solid option!

And guess what? We’re here to map out the steps for you!

Becoming a nurse anesthetist is a long journey with a lot of requirements, so it’s good to strategize for the most efficient – and fulfilling – way to get there.

A roadmap on how to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Ohio will help you achieve that. 

Besides giving you the essential information on becoming a nurse anesthetist, we’ve also included the commonly asked questions of CRNA hopefuls — so don’t forget to check out our FAQ section!

Are you ready to learn more? Here we go!

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist in Ohio in 5 Steps

The path to becoming a nurse anesthetist may vary between states, but here are the things you must do in Ohio:

  • Become a Registered Nurse in Ohio
  • Gain Relevant Experience
  • Take a Master’s or Doctoral Degree in Nurse Anesthesia
  • Take the National Certification Exam
  • Apply for Your License with the Ohio Board of Nursing

These may seem daunting, but we’ve detailed each step in the simplest way we can. 

Let’s dive into each one.

How to Become a CRNA in Ohio Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse in Ohio

A nurse anesthetist is an APRN specialty. And, as its name implies, you can’t be an APRN without being an RN.

So that is our first step — getting your RN license.

In Ohio, there are two ways to do this. You can become licensed by examination or endorsement. The process you take depends on your starting point.

Licensure by Examination

License by examination is your path if you’re starting from scratch (meaning you’ve never had a nursing license before).

Nursing hopefuls will have to take an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) or BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree.

But since the end goal is to become a CRNA, then it’s advisable to get the 4-year BSN course since this is what most CRNA schools require.

You must also take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. 

Once you pass, you can begin practicing as a licensed Registered Nurse in Ohio.

Licensure by Endorsement

You’ll go through the endorsement process if you’re already a registered nurse licensed in a non-compact state.

The good news? There’s no need to retake the NCLEX-RN. 

The bad news? You don’t get your Ohio license automatically.

However, the steps are straightforward. You’ll complete your application, submit the necessary documents, and verify your license.

Ohio just recently joined the Nursing Licensure Compact as well. So, if you’re a nurse with a multistate license, you don’t need to apply for a separate RN license in Ohio. 

For more details on how to become an RN in Ohio, you can read this guide

How to Become a CRNA in Ohio Step #2: Gain Relevant Experience

After receiving your RN license, there’s no time to waste.

You should seek to work in an acute or critical care setting to gain experience.

Most CRNA programs require at least one year of experience in critical care, but some prefer 2-3 years (or more!). 

Experience in these settings will prepare you for the demanding and high-stakes career of a nurse anesthetist. 

How to Become a CRNA in Ohio Step #3: Take a Master’s or Doctoral Degree in Nurse Anesthesia

After becoming an RN and gaining relevant experience, you can now continue your education.

Yes, you read that right! Just when you thought your studying days were over — they’re not.

Your next step is completing a nurse anesthesia program — you must at least have a Master’s Degree.

But by 2025, aspiring CRNAs will be required to achieve a doctorate. 

Currently, the Council of Accreditation has accredited seven CRNA programs in Ohio. These programs typically take 28 to 36 months to complete.

When comparing schools, it’s best to inquire about their eligibility requirements. The basic ones are as follows:

  • A BSN degree
  • An active RN license
  • Experience as a critical care nurse (one or two years)

A CRNA program isn’t all about theory — after all, nurse anesthetists must know how to react quickly and appropriately if they observe a patient in distress. 

As a CRNA student, you must complete clinical hours as part of your advanced education.

On average, you’ll accumulate almost 2,500 clinical hours, according to the Ohio State Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

How to Become a CRNA in Ohio Step #4: Take the National Certification Exam

All the studying and the practical experience boils down to this — the National Certification Exam. You need to pass this to become a certified nurse anesthetist! 

This national exam is offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). 

The current version has this coverage breakdown:

  • General Principles of Anesthesia: 30%
  • Anesthesia for Surgical Procedures and Special Populations: 30%
  • Basic Sciences: 25%
  • Equipment, Instrumentation, and Technology: 15%

However, come 2024, the NCE’s content outline changes as follows:

  • General Principles of Anesthesia: 35%
  • Anesthesia for Surgical Procedures and Special Populations: 25%
  • Basic Sciences: 20%
  • Equipment, Instrumentation, and Technology: 20%

You can focus on the right areas if you know what the NCE covers. 

Remember, the NCE application fee is $1,045. If you don’t pass on your first try, you can apply for a retake, but it’ll cost you the same amount.

It’s a good thing that the NBCRNA offers a lot of resources about the NCE. 

How to Become a CRNA in Ohio Step #5: Apply for Your License with the Ohio Board of Nursing

Upon passing the NCE, there’s only one step to go — applying for your APRN license.

You do this through the Ohio eLicense page.

You must answer yes to two questions to proceed with your application. One confirms your completion of the required education, the other about passing the NCE.

Besides filling out the required information and uploading the required documents in Ohio’s eLicense Ohio Professional Licensure System, you must also ensure that the board receives the following:

  • Your official transcript, showing you hold a master’s or doctoral degree, which must come directly from your program provider.
  • Your national certification, which the National Certification Organization must send

You must pay a $150 application fee for this step. There is also a $3.50 state fee.

Once the Board of Nursing approves your application, congratulations are in order. You’re officially a nurse anesthetist in Ohio!

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Nurse Anesthetist in Ohio

What is the scope of work of CRNAs in Ohio?

As its name implies, a CRNA or nurse anesthetist often deals with administering anesthetics to patients. However, your role isn’t limited to that.

CRNAs conduct physical assessments and participate in preoperative teaching outside the operating room. 

Part of their role is preparing for anesthetic management during (such as maintaining anesthesia intra-operatively)and after surgery (such as overseeing a patient’s recovery from anesthesia).

How much do Ohio CRNAs earn per year?

The national average salary for CRNAs is $202,470 per year. Nurse anesthetists in Ohio earn an average of $187,410, which is 7% lower.

However, your compensation may change depending on where you work in the Buckeye State. For example, CRNAs in Cleveland earn an average of $210,280 annually, while those in Cincinnati earn $164,240.

How do I keep my CRNA license active in Ohio?

You must renew your APRN license biennially. However, to qualify for a renewal, you must comply with the following requirements:

  • Continued national certification
  • 24 contact hours of Continuing Education

Remember, you must renew your RN license before you can work on the one for your APRN status. That means you’ll need an additional 24 hours of Continuing Education for your RN license renewal.

For more information on CE requirements, you can read our guide

In Conclusion

And there you have it! 

A comprehensive guide to becoming a nurse anesthetist in Ohio.

It might seem daunting, but as long as you focus on these five steps, you won’t lose your way.

Just take it one step at a time and you’ll become a CRNA in no time! 

Although the process will require time and effort, the rewards are worth it. 

We hope you found this guide helpful.

Good luck!

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