Are you interested in becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Georgia?
If so, you’re in the right place!
CRNAs administer anesthesia to patients during childbirth, surgical procedures, and other medical procedures.
Since this is a highly-specialized and critical skill, you can expect that the process will be challenging. It requires dedication, hard work, and a strong desire to help others.
But at the end of the day, it is very rewarding!
In this article, we’ll give you detailed steps on how to become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Georgia.
We’ll also answer some FAQs, such as:
- How long will it take for me to become a CRNA in Georgia?
- What job outlook should I expect for CRNAs in Georgia?
- How much do CRNAs make in Georgia?
Are you ready?
How to Become a CRNA in Georgia in 5 Steps
Here’s an overview of how you can become a CRNA in Georgia:
- Obtain an RN Degree and License
- Gain Clinical Nursing Experience
- Earn a Master’s Degree or Higher
- Pass the Certification Exam
- Obtain a State License
Let’s discuss each one!
Step #1: Obtain an RN Degree and License
A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is a type of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.
This means that you first have to become a Registered Nurse before you can proceed to become a Nurse Anesthetist.
Thus, the first step to becoming a CRNA in Georgia is to earn an RN degree from an accredited nursing program.
There are two main types of nursing degrees:
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
A BSN degree is a four-year program that provides a more comprehensive education in nursing, including coursework in liberal arts and sciences in addition to nursing-specific coursework.
Many CRNA programs prefer applicants who have a BSN degree, as it provides a more well-rounded education and may give you a competitive edge in the admissions process.
An ADN degree is a two-year program that focuses primarily on nursing-specific coursework.
While an ADN degree may be sufficient for some nursing roles, it is generally considered less competitive for CRNA programs and may require additional coursework in order to be eligible for admission.
After completing your nursing education, you need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain your nursing license in Georgia.
To learn more about how to become an RN in Georgia, you can read this article.
Step #2: Gain Clinical Nursing Experience
Gaining experience is an essential step in becoming a CRNA in Georgia.
Most CRNA applicants are required to have at least one year of experience as registered nurses before they can enroll in a nurse anesthetist program.
Many schools prefer applicants with experience in an intensive care unit (ICU) or other acute care settings because CRNAs are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients during surgical procedures, childbirth, and other medical procedures.
In addition to gaining clinical experience, working as an RN can also provide you with valuable knowledge, skills, and experience that will serve you well in your future career.
Step #3: Earn a Master’s Degree or Higher
The next step is to earn a Master’s or Doctoral degree in nursing with a concentration in evidence of advanced pharmacology and anesthesia.
By 2025, all CRNA applicants are required to have a Doctoral degree. Those with Master’s degrees will no longer be accepted for the CRNA program.
CRNA programs take about 24-36 months to complete and involve both classroom and clinical training.
During the classroom portion of the program, students will take coursework in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and anesthesia principles.
The clinical portion of the program involves hands-on training in a variety of healthcare settings, where students will work with patients under the supervision of experienced CRNAs and anesthesiologists.
Don’t forget to choose a CRNA program that is accredited by the Georgia Board of Nursing and by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
Step #4: Pass the Certification Exam
You’re one step closer to becoming a CRNA in Georgia!
You’re probably thrilled to work as a CRNA after getting your Master’s degree. But, first, you need to pass the National Certification Exam (NCE) offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetics (NBCRNA).
It’s quite similar to the NCLEX-RN you took previously, but the NCE is made specifically for CRNAs.
Passing the NCE is a key step in becoming a CRNA in Georgia and starting a rewarding career in the field of nurse anesthesia.
The NCE consists of 100-170 questions and is divided into two parts.
The first half covers basic sciences and clinical principles, while the other half covers patient care and safety. The exam is designed to test CRNAs on their knowledge of anesthesia principles, pharmacology, physiology, and patient management.
You have a maximum of 3 hours to answer this exam.
Here is a handbook from NBCRNA that will give you a more comprehensive guide on the NCE exam.
Step #5: Obtain a State License
Finally, you’ve come this far and soon all your hard work will be paid off!
You can now apply for a CRNA license from the Georgia Board of Nursing. All applicants must submit all required documentation and pay the fees.
To qualify for a CRNA license in Georgia, you must be:
- A registered nurse in Georgia or an RN with a multistate license from an eNLC compact state
- A master’s or doctorate degree holder from an approved nursing education program
- A passer of the national board certification exam
To apply for your CRNA license, you should submit:
- A completed, signed, and notarized application with the $90 application fee.
- Your Official Transcript with the date and degree awarded
- Must be Master’s level degree or higher
- Must show proof of Advanced Pharmacology
- Proof of one of the following within the past four years:
- Graduation from your CRNA program; OR
- Five hundred (500) hours of practice as a CRNA; OR
- Completion of a Georgia Board-approved CRNA reentry/refresher program.
- National Certification Verification (from Certifying body)
- Disciplinary Action/Sanctions (if applicable)
- Court Documents
- Letter of Explanation
- Enrolled in Alternative to Discipline
- Background Consent Form
- Secure & Verifiable Document
- Affidavit of Citizenship
- Immigration Documents (If applicable)
After submitting your application, the processing time usually takes around 20 business days. As all applications are individually evaluated, the processing time would depend on the volume of applicants and on individual circumstances.
CRNA license holders in Georgia are required to renew their license every 2 years, by January 31st of the expiry year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a CRNA in Georgia
Now that we know how to become a CRNA in Georgia, let’s answer some FAQs.
How long will it take for me to become a CRNA in Georgia?
Completing a CRNA program alone takes about 24-36 months. This does not include getting your nursing degree, gaining relevant nursing experience, and earning your master’s or doctorate degree.
As you can see, becoming a CRNA is challenging and may take some time.
What job outlook should I expect for CRNAs in Georgia?
The job outlook for CRNAs in Georgia is generally positive.
CRNAs are in high demand in the healthcare industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of nurse anesthetists will grow much faster than average for all occupations between 2019 and 2029.
Becoming a CRNA in Georgia is definitely one of the best career choices you can make!
How much do CRNAs make in Georgia?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for CRNAs in Georgia is $177,960 in 2022.
CRNAs in Georgia may earn more or less depending on factors such as their level of experience, location, and type of employer.
Becoming a CRNA in Georgia is a challenging but rewarding process that requires dedication, hard work, and a strong desire to help others.
The job of a CRNA is rewarding and gives you the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of patients and the satisfaction of being a respected member of the healthcare team.
If you’re up for the challenge, consider pursuing a career as a CRNA in Georgia!