How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Connecticut – A Simple Guide

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Connecticut

So, you want to become a Nurse Anesthetist in Connecticut, right?

You have always been drawn to the medical field and you know that CRNAs are an important part of the healthcare system. 

However, becoming a Nurse Anesthetist is no easy feat.

CRNAs provide anesthesia and pain management services to patients during invasive medical treatments and procedures. 

It’s only natural that they’d need multiple certifications and licenses to qualify for the job.

Unfortunately, many people don’t know the steps needed to become a CRNA and may find themselves facing an overwhelming amount of information.

This article will walk you through the process of how to become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Connecticut in a simple and organized way.

We’ll do it in just 5 steps!

We will also answer two of the most frequently asked questions from applicants:

  • How long will it take to become a CRNA in Connecticut?
  • How much do CRNAs make in Connecticut?

Are you ready to begin?

Let’s get right into it!

Overview of the Role of Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)

CRNAs are highly specialized nurses who are responsible for monitoring, administering, and managing anesthesia medications. 

They collaborate with anesthesiologists, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals to ensure the safety and comfort of patients during treatments. 

They also play an important role in postoperative care, helping to reduce pain and improve outcomes after surgery.

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Connecticut in Five Steps

These are the five steps to becoming a CRNA in Connecticut:

Step#1: Become an RN and Gain Clinical Experience 

Step#2: Enroll in an Approved CRNA Program

Step#3: Take the CNE and Gain Certification

Step#4: Apply for a License from the Connecticut BON

Step#5: Maintain and Renew Your License 

Step#1: Become an RN and Gain Clinical Experience 

To set yourself on the path to becoming a CRNA, your first task is to get an RN license. 

This will mean:

  • Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN). BSN is required to enroll in a CRNA program, so this is the path you need to take. 
  • Passing the NCLEX-RN exam
  • Apply for your RN license with the Connecticut Department of Public Health

For a more detailed guide, check out our “How to Become an RN in Connecticut” article

Also, as a future CRNA, you must gain at least one year of critical care experience. This experience can be earned by working or volunteering in specialized settings such as intensive care units (ICUs) or emergency departments (EDs).

Critical care experience is vital because it helps you develop advanced clinical skills, such as managing complex patient conditions and working with life-support technologies. It also prepares you for the fast-paced, high-pressure environment you’ll face as a CRNA.

Step#2: Enroll in an Approved CRNA Program

After obtaining an RN license and gaining the requisite clinical experience, the next step is to enroll in an approved CRNA program. 

These programs offer advanced education and specialized training that will prepare you for the rewarding and demanding role of a CRNA.

Now, Connecticut requires CRNAs to hold a graduate degree, which can be a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP). 

The degree should align with Connecticut’s guidelines for advanced nursing practice, including thirty (30) hours of education in pharmacology.

You can find several accredited CRNA programs in-state. It’s vital to select a program that meets your needs, career goals, and the state’s educational requirements. Here are some of the schools offering CRNA programs in Connecticut:

1. Fairfield University and Bridgeport Hospital Nurse Anesthesia Program

  • Degree Offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Average Program Length: 36 months
  • Starting Month: May
  • Number of Clinical Sites: 3

2. Nurse Anesthesia Program of Hartford

  • Degree Offered: Master of Science in Biological Sciences: Anesthesia
  • Average Program Length: 29 months
  • Starting Month: May
  • Number of Clinical Sites: 2

3. Quinnipiac University Nurse Anesthesia Program

  • Degree Offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice (Completion and Entry Level)
  • Average Program Length: 24 months for completion and 36 months for Entry Level

4. Yale New Haven Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia

  • Degree Offered: Master of Science in Biology/Anesthesia
  • Average Program Length: 29 months
  • Starting Month: May
  • Number of Clinical Sites: 6

Once you’ve selected the CRNA program that fits your career aspirations, you must complete the application process. This may include submitting transcripts, letters of recommendation, and possibly attending an interview.

During this period, consider joining professional organizations or participating in conferences to connect with fellow students, faculty, and practicing CRNAs. Networking can open doors for mentorship, internships, and future employment.

Step#3: Take the CNE and Gain Certification

After graduating from your CRNA program, you need to take a national certifying exam (NCE). 

It’s kinda like taking the NCLEX so that you can qualify to become an RN. But this time, it’s a national exam specific to CRNAs.

The NCE is a two-part exam administered by the NBCRNA, which consists of written and clinical components.

 The written component is composed of 100-170 multiple-choice questions that assess the nurse anesthetist’s knowledge in four major areas:

  • Basic Sciences (25%)
  • Equipment, Instrumentation, and Technology (15%)
  • Basics Principles of Anesthesia (30%)
  • Advanced Principles of Anesthesia (30%)

The clinical component is a simulation of actual CRNA cases with real-world scenarios which the CRNA must respond to appropriately. 

In order to prepare for this exam effectively, CRNAs should consider taking practice exams and attending CRNA review courses. 

CRNAs should also review the CRNA Practice Analysis (CPA) to become familiar with the types of questions that may be on the exam. 

If you pass the exam, you can become nationally certified as a CRNA. 

But after becoming nationally certified, you still need to apply for a license from your state’s BON.

Step #4: Apply for a License from the Connecticut BON

After completing your education and passing the CRNA certification exam, the next step is obtaining your CRNA license from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH).

Before applying, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a current Connecticut RN license.
  • Maintain current certification as a nurse anesthetist from an approved national organization, such as the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
  • Complete thirty (30) hours of education in pharmacology for advanced nursing practice.
  • Hold a graduate degree in nursing or a related field recognized for certification by one of the qualifying certifying bodies.
  • Alternatively, if you completed an advanced nurse practitioner program on or before December 31, 2004, and hold current licensure as an APRN in another state requiring a master’s degree, you may also be eligible.

Once you complete these requirements, arrange for the following documents to be sent directly from the source:

  • Official verification of certification from a national certifying agency.
  • Official transcript of your master’s degree in nursing.
  • Verification of all licenses held (current or expired) as a nurse practitioner.
  • A completed application form along with a fee of $200.00

All documents must be sent to the below address: 

Connecticut Department of Public Health

APRN Licensure

410 Capitol Ave., MS # 12 APP

P.O. Box 340308

Hartford, CT 06134

Phone: (860) 509-7603

Fax: (860) 707-1981


As part of the licensing process, the Connecticut DPH conducts a criminal background check on all applicants.

Applicants must provide proof of their clean criminal record from all relevant jurisdictions, including any records from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database.

Additionally, applicants must disclose any information regarding prior disciplinary action taken against them by either professional licensing boards or other healthcare oversight agencies. 

An unresolved disciplinary action may prevent you from obtaining a CRNA license until such actions are resolved.

The DPH reserves the right to deny an applicant’s eligibility for licensure based on the results of the criminal background check. If denied, you will receive a notice outlining the reasons for the denial and the necessary steps for possible reconsideration.

Step#5: Maintain and Renew Your License 

The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) requires that nurse anesthetists complete a Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program every eight years. 

This is composed of two four-year cycles. 

Each cycle must include at least 60 Class A credits on activities directly related to the delivery or improvement of anesthesia care, as well as 40 Class B credits on anesthesia practice or professional development topics such as patient safety, public education, and research. 

Additionally, each cycle must also include four core modules focusing on airway management, applied clinical pharmacology, physiology, and pathophysiology. 

Anesthesia equipment and technology also apply to those in their first four-year cycle. 

These courses may be taken online or in person at an accredited college or university and typically range from $50-$500 depending on the length and intensity of each course. 

Besides that, the Connecticut DPH has its own requirements as well. 

If you’re renewing your CRNA license for the first time, you don’t need to complete any continuing education requirements. 

If not, then you must complete 50 hours of Continuing Education every 2 years. This should include:

  • 5 hours of training/education in pharmacotherapeutics
  • 1 hour of training in each of the following topics – HIV/AIDS training, risk management, sexual assault, domestic violence, cultural competency, substance abuse/prescribing controlled substances, and pain management

For every 3rd renewal (6 years), you must also study:

  • 2 hours of mental health conditions common to army veterans and family members of veterans

You can find more information on this here. 

FAQs About Becoming a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Connecticut

Now that we’ve discussed the five steps to becoming a CRNA in Connecticut, let’s answer two FAQs. 

How long will it take to become a CRNA in Connecticut?

Generally, the path to becoming a CRNA may take between 7-10 years, depending on individual circumstances. 

This includes the time it takes to become an RN and gain clinical experience working as an RN in an ICU or critical care department. 

Starting in 2022, any aspiring CRNAs must complete at least 2-3 years of graduate-level studies to get their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree.

For those starting from scratch, it could be expected that it would take up to 10 years to achieve your goal of becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Connecticut. 

How much do CRNAs make in Connecticut?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean CRNA salary in Connecticut is $240,580 a year, depending on individual qualifications and experience. 

This is higher than the annual national mean salary of $205,770.

Additionally, CRNAs typically receive excellent benefits packages as part of their compensation.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a CRNA is an incredibly rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. 

CRNAs are highly valued by healthcare facilities and are able to make a great difference in the lives of patients every single day. 

Pursuing your CRNA goals could provide you with many satisfying opportunities for personal growth and success. 

With this article, we’ve helped clear the path for you to become one! 

We’ve given you everything you need to know about becoming a CRNA so that you can embark on the journey with confidence and direction. 

Now, it’s your time to take that first crucial step! 

With dedication, hard work, and persistence, you can become a CRNA in Connecticut and make a positive impact on the lives of patients. 

We wish you all the best! 

Are you thinking about pursuing a career in nursing? Check out our guide on how to become a nurse!

Posts You May Like

September 28, 2023

September 27, 2023

September 27, 2023

September 26, 2023

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch

0 of 350