Calling all registered nurses (RNs) in Indiana…
Don’t know where to take your career?
Well, why not become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)?
CRNAs have very meaningful and critical careers, administering anesthesia to patients during surgical procedures.
They also earn one of the highest salaries among nurses.
But how do you become one?
We’re here to tell you all about it!
This simple guide will give you everything you need to know about how to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Indiana.
Although the process is long and there are a lot of requirements, we’ve simplified the process into 5 steps that you can follow.
We’ll also answer a few FAQs.
Becoming a CRNA is not for everyone. But if you like a challenging and rewarding career while helping countless people, then read on!
Let’s dive right in!
How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Indiana in 5 Easy Steps
- Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
- Gain Experience in Critical Care
- Enroll in a Graduate School of Nurse Anesthesia
- Pass the National Certification Exam
- Find a Job as a CRNA
Step #1: Become a Registered Nurse (RN)
If you are not yet a registered nurse, then this is where your CRNA journey begins. (If you are already an RN, you can skip to the next step).
CRNAs are advanced practice nurses, so you first have to learn the basics of nursing care.
Enroll in a BSN Program
This starts with enrolling in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at an approved and accredited nursing school.
Check if the school is state-approved by the Indiana State Board of Nursing as some schools operate without a license.
Studying in a BSN program will take four years. This is the time when you hone your skills and passion for your future nursing career.
Get Your RN License by Passing the NCLEX
Once you finish your nursing education with a BSN degree, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
If you pass, you will be issued your RN license by the Indiana BON. But you will be required to pass a few other documents as well.
To learn more about how to become an RN in Indiana, you can read this simple guide.
Step #2: Gain Experience in Critical Care
As an RN, you can find work and gain experience in various healthcare facilities.
But since you want to become a CRNA, you should aim to work in emergency rooms or intensive-care units (ICUs) in hospitals.
This is because work experience in acute or critical care settings is required for admission into CRNA programs. CRNA schools require at least one year of experience.
Working in these settings will equip you with the skills and fortitude that you need as a future CRNA.
Step #3: Enroll in a Graduate School of Nurse Anesthesia
Once you’ve gained experience for at least one year in critical care nursing, you must complete a postgraduate nursing degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
Take note that by 2025, all aspiring CRNAs will be required to have a doctorate.
Make sure that the nurse anesthesia program that you enroll in is recognized by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs.
Getting an MSN degree will roughly take 2-3 years of education, however, this still depends on the university’s requirements. There are also accelerated programs that can be completed in only 18 months.
DNPs, on the other hand, usually take about 3-4 years to complete.
Part of these programs is clinical training which can either be done inside the university/school or in large community hospitals.
Step #4: Pass the National Certification Exam
As soon as you finish your CRNA program and have earned a master’s or doctorate, you’re eligible to take the National Certification Exam offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
Aspiring CRNAs are required to take the exam to ensure safe practice and high standards in their area of expertise.
The exam consists of 100-170 items.
It’s a challenging exam, but NBCRNA offers a lot of resources and guides to help you succeed.
Once you pass, you will become a nationally-certified nurse anesthetist.
CRNAs must recertify every two years to maintain their certification.
Step #5: Find a Job as a CRNA
After passing the NCE and becoming nationally certified, you can start working as a CRNA in Indiana.
All you need is your RN license and your NBCRNA certificate to start working as a CRNA in Indiana.
Indiana does not require a separate advanced practice (APRN) license for you to practice as a CRNA, unless you want to prescribe medications.
If you want the authority to prescribe, then you can apply for an APRN license.
You’ve worked hard and you made it.
You won’t have difficulty landing a job because CRNAs are valued and in-demand.
To keep yourself in the loop and updated, you can join professional associations that support APRNs in Indiana such as the Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses of Indiana, Indiana State Nurses Association, and the Society of Nurses in Advanced Practice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Becoming a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Indiana
Where do CRNAs work?
When you’re a CRNA, you have a lot of opportunities and options where to work.
You can work in hospitals, surgical clinics, doctors’ offices, emergency rooms (ERs), psychiatric institutions, and outpatient care centers. You can also work in military areas where administering anesthesia is greatly needed for severe injuries.
The working hours depend on the type of work a CRNA is placed in. The job can be demanding in medical areas where a CRNA is mostly needed.
How much does a CRNA earn in Indiana?
The average salary of a CRNA in Indiana is $220,020/year or $105.78/hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Your actual salary, however, will depend on several factors such as what city you are in, how many years of experience you have, etc.
How do I renew my nursing license in Indiana?
Licenses expire on October 31st of every odd-numbered year.
The renewal fee is $50. You will pay an additional $50 if you fail to renew before the expiration.
There are no CEU requirements for the renewal of your RN license.
But if you have prescriptive authority, then you are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education.
You can read more about the CE requirements here.
That was a long one!
But we’ve completed all the steps of how to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Indiana.
Hopefully, this how-to guide will help you take your career further as a CRNA.
Just follow the steps one at a time and you’ll be a CRNA before you know it!
So, if you’re an aspiring CRNA in Indiana, sound off in the comments below and let us know if you have any questions.
We would love to hear from you.