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

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Arkansas - A Simple Guide

It can feel overwhelming.

You want to become a nurse anesthetist, but when you research how to do it, you end up with a LOAD of information. 

Because there are a lot of requirements and steps, it’s easy to feel lost and, honestly, a bit discouraged. 

But that’s exactly what we’re going to help you out with today!

We will give you everything you need to know about how to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Arkansas in just five simple steps.

And, by the end of it, you’ll feel ready for the journey ahead!

Of course, it will still require a lot of effort on your part, but at least you won’t waste any time and resources on unnecessary steps. We’ll give you a clear path! 

We’ll also answer some common questions, such as:

  • How long does it take to become a CRNA in Arkansas?
  • How much do Nurse Anesthetists make in Arkansas?
  • What exams do I need to take to become a CRNA in Arkansas? 
  • How do I find accredited CRNA programs in Arkansas? 

So, if you’re looking for a challenging career that offers the chance to help people every day, keep reading! 

If you’re up to the challenge, becoming a nurse anesthetist in Arkansas can be an incredibly rewarding experience!

Let’s delve into the details!

The Role of Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)

CRNAs provide essential services to patients in hospitals, ambulatory centers, and other healthcare facilities throughout Arkansas. 

They administer anesthesia for surgical procedures and pain management treatments—enabling life-saving operations and providing relief to patients in need. 

Nurse anesthetists play a critical role in ensuring patient safety. 

They collaborate with physicians, surgeons, registered nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide optimal care throughout the entire anesthetic experience. 

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Arkansas in 5 Steps

These are the steps to becoming a CRNA in Arkansas:

Step#1: Become an RN and Gain Experience

Step#2: Enroll in a CRNA Education Program

Step#3: Take the NCE through the NBCRNA

Step#4: Apply for a CRNA License from the Arkansas BON

Step#5: Maintain Your License to Continue Working as a CRNA

Step#1: Become an RN and Gain Experience

The first thing you need to become a CRNA in Arkansas is your RN license. 

There are two degrees you can get for this: 

  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) 
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

If you’re in a hurry, the ADN is quicker.

However, the BSN can open more doors and even bump up your paycheck down the line. Not to mention, it’s best to have this when you’re applying for a CRNA program. 

Once you’ve got that shiny new degree, you’ll need to apply for your RN license. 

This means jumping onto the Arkansas Nurse Portal, creating an account, proving you live in Arkansas, and paying some fees. 

Also, you need to register for the NCLEX-RN exam with Pearson Vue and get your background check done.

After that, you need to take and pass the NCLEX-RN to get your RN license. 

Learn more about how to become an RN in Arkansas.

And now, the fun part! 

Once you’re an official RN, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into work. 

Most CRNA programs like to see some experience in a critical care setting under your belt. So, consider this as your prep time for the big leagues. 

Plus, the more experience you have dealing with critical health situations, the better you’re gonna be when it’s your turn in the spotlight as a CRNA.

Step#2: Enroll in a CRNA Education Program

To become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Arkansas, you need special training and knowledge to help during surgeries or other medical procedures with anesthesia.

This is why you have to take a nurse anesthesia educational program that is approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) and the Arkansas Board of Nursing.

For a list of approved programs, visit the Arkansas Department of Health website.

Program Length and Content 

CRNA programs typically range from 24 to 42 months in length, depending on the university’s requirements. This extended period is necessary for students to gain the specialized skills needed to provide life-saving care to patients.

During their studies, CRNA students will take a variety of courses, such as anatomy, biochemistry, and pharmacology. 

They will also gain hands-on experience in the OR or ICU, learning about anesthesia delivery systems, monitoring techniques, and airway management. 

Enrollment Requirements 

Most universities that offer CRNA programs require applicants to submit an application packet that includes a general student application, official transcripts from nursing school, and letters of recommendation from previous employers or instructors. 

Additionally, applicants must submit a current resume and provide evidence of their BSN and active RN licensure. 

CRNA programs also require applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or a similar assessment, such as the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), prior to applying. 

Additionally, some CRNA programs may require applicants to attend an interview before being accepted into the program.

Step#3: Take the NCE through the NBCRNA

Alright! You’ve earned your graduate degree and have your RN credentials in hand. 

Now you’ve got to tackle the National Certification Examination (NCE). This test is provided by the NBCRNA, and it’s your ticket to becoming a bona fide CRNA.

But hold on, it’s not as easy as just signing up for the test. There are some criteria you need to meet…

  1. You must ensure you’re registered as a professional nurse in all states where you’ve got an active license. And it’s crucial that your licenses aren’t restricted or suspended in any way.
  2. You need to have finished a Nurse Anesthesia Program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) within the last two calendar years.
  3. You need to submit a filled-out application form, an academic and clinical experience record, and details about your RN license. Also, you need to provide a recent digital color photo of yourself (make sure it’s a good one!).
  4. You need to make sure you certify that you’re in good standing with your nursing license. This means you haven’t been adjudicated as mentally or physically incompetent, you’re not currently suffering from a substance use disorder impacting your practice, you haven’t been convicted of or pleaded no contest to a crime, and a few more things.
    (Basically, this is where they make sure you’re good to go both personally and professionally.)
  5. Finally, you’ll need to sign a waiver of liability and a series of agreements. This makes sure you understand and agree to the conditions of your certification.

Once you’ve done all this, you’re ready to take the NCE! You can get more details from the NBCRNA NCE Handbook.

Step#4: Apply for a CRNA License from the Arkansas BON

To become a CRNA in Arkansas, you need to acquire your APRN license from the state’s Board of Nursing

To do so, you have to take the following steps:

Step 1: Create a User Profile

Applicants must create a user profile on the Arkansas Nurse Portal. It is important to use a personal email address rather than a work email as this will expedite the application process. 

Step 2: Get Licensing History

Once the profile has been created, applicants must go to and select the Quick Confirm tab. 

Scroll down and select “I agree”, then enter the requested information before downloading their report. 

This report will provide applicants with their complete licensing history which must be printed out for reference during the application process.

Step 3: Get Notarized Proof of Experience

All applicants for initial licensure must provide a notarized statement attesting that they have practiced as an RN for at least 2,000 hours before applying. 

Step 4: Access your Educational History

You need to give your educational history including the month and year you graduated from every degree you completed. 

Step 5: Submit your Application 

Once the steps are completed, you can submit your application through the Nurse Portal along with any required documentation such as transcripts or diplomas from nursing school. 

You will also need to pay associated fees for processing your application.

You may also be asked to submit additional requirements, such as proof of national certification. 

Step 6: Criminal Background Check

Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) requires that applicants pass background checks conducted by the state and federal governments. 

The Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) provides instructions for the completion of the Criminal Background Check (CBC). 

This process must be completed within 12 months to remain valid.

The CBC process is initiated by submitting a printed fingerprint card supplied through ASBN, or by participating in Arkansas Live Scan fingerprint scanning. 

Background check fees are at the applicant’s expense and may be paid within the CBC application.

It is important to print a copy of your payment page for your records. 

On it, you’ll find your INA Search Number which must be included on the fingerprint card. 

After submitting the fingerprint card, results will be sent straight to both state and federal government databases for review. 

Depending on how many other applications they have received, this can take anywhere from three to five weeks, sometimes longer if additional information is needed. 

Once you’ve successfully passed both criminal background checks, you can start finalizing your license application. 

Those who fail either part of the background check process may need to submit additional fees and/or documentation before being allowed to retry.

Step#5: Maintain Your License to Continue Working as a CRNA

Once your application is accepted, you will receive your CRNA license and you can start working as one.


But even as you work and enjoy the benefits of being a CRNA, you must keep in mind that you need to keep your license active. 

While both your RN and CRNA license expires together, you have to renew them separately. Here’s how you can do that:

For RN License:

Choose one of the following to renew your license:

  • Score 15 practice-focused contact hours.
  • Maintain a certification, or get recertified by an approved body.
  • Graduate from a nursing college course with a 2.0 grade or higher.

For CRNA License:

  • Keep an active certification related to your area.
  • If you prescribe meds, do an extra 5 continuing education hours on pharmacotherapeutics.
  • For first renewals, complete one continuing education hour on prescription use and abuse.
  • If your license expired over 2 years ago, take a refresher course or an in-depth orientation.

Stay on top of these, and you’ll keep rocking as a CRNA. 

For step-by-step guidance, check out Nursing CE Requirements in Arkansas – Everything You Should Know.

FAQs About Becoming a Nurse Anesthetist in Arkansas

Now that we’ve covered the steps to becoming a CRNA, let’s answer some common questions readers have.

How long is a CRNA program in Arkansas?

A CRNA program typically takes 24-42 months of study from an accredited school. 

Additionally, applicants should have graduated with a BSN and should have an RN license. They must also pass the certification exam before they can practice as CRNA in Arkansas. 

How much do Nurse Anesthetists make in Arkansas?

According to, the average salary for CRNAs in Arkansas is approximately $187,852 per year. 

This amount varies depending on experience level, specialty area, and location. 

What exams do I need to take to become a CRNA in Arkansas? 

Aside from the NCLEX which is needed to become an RN, you must also take the national certification exam to become a CRNA. The certification exam is administered by the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). 

How do I find accredited CRNA programs in Arkansas? 

You can look up CRNA programs on the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists website, which provides detailed information about accredited programs in each state. 

Additionally, you can contact nursing schools and universities in your area for more information about their specific CRNA program requirements and admissions process.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a CRNA in Arkansas can seem complex and overwhelming.

But with this guide, you have all of the necessary information and requirements to embark on the journey. 

Yes, it will require dedication and hard work.

But the rewards are worth it!

With careful preparation and attention to detail, you can get one step closer to achieving your career goals as an advanced practice nurse. 

We wish you all the best!

Looking for more information on how to become a nurse in your state?

Scroll through our rich collection of guides to find the article that suits your needs!

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