Is it your dream to become a nurse anesthetist?
We think that’s great!
Nurse anesthetists are SO crucial in the healthcare field.
They play a significant role in caring for patients in critical care and surgical procedures, helping with pain management before, during, and after operations.
They are also in demand, which is why they are some of the highest-paid professionals in their field.
However, the main problem is determining HOW to become one.
The process can get pretty confusing — what with all the certifications, exams, and documents required.
But don’t worry!
We’ve prepared a simple guide that will show you how to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Delaware in just 6 steps!
We’ll also answer three important FAQs:
- How much do CRNAs in Delaware earn?
- How long does it take to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Delaware?
- What is the difference between a DNP and a DNAP?
- How soon can I retake the National Certification Exam for nurse anesthetists (CRNA) in Delaware?
Whether you are a nursing student with great ambition or a registered nurse looking to take your career a step further, this article is for you.
So, if you’re ready to begin, let’s get started!
How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Delaware in 6 Steps
These are the 6 steps to becoming a CRNA in Delaware:
- Obtain RN licensure
- Gain invaluable clinical experience in acute/critical care
- Graduate from a nurse anesthesia program
- Pass the national certification examination
- Apply for a CRNA license from the Delaware BON
- Explore career opportunities as a CRNA and keep your license current
Step #1: Obtain RN Licensure
Before you can become a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist), you first need to become a registered nurse.
Hence, the very first step on your CRNA journey is to become an RN.
This involves several steps, such as:
- enrolling in an approved BSN program;
- taking the NCLEX–RN; and
- applying for your RN license.
In this article, we will focus more on how to apply for a CRNA license.
So, if you do not have an RN license yet, we suggest you read this easy, step-by-step guide on how to become an RN in Delaware.
Once you obtain RN licensure, you can proceed with the next step.
Step #2: Gain Invaluable Clinical Experience in Acute/Critical Care
Another prerequisite to becoming a nurse anesthetist in Delaware is to gain one to three years of clinical experience in critical care, in any of the following settings:
- Intensive care units (ICU)
- Medical-surgical units
- Emergency centers
Hands-on experience in any or all of the above settings will prepare you for life-or-death situations during and outside surgical operations.
Training in acute care teaches you how to tend to critically ill patients, which is very crucial if you want to work as a CRNA.
Not only will the experience of working in these settings help you become a CRNA later on, but it is also essential for you to proceed to the next step.
Having at LEAST 1 year of critical care experience is an admission requirement for nurse anesthesia programs.
Step #3: Graduate from a Nurse Anesthesia Program
The next step is to complete the necessary education by applying to and graduating from an accredited nurse anesthesia program.
To be eligible for admission to a nurse anesthesia program, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- You must possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing or any relevant field of study.
- You must have a current RN license.
- You must have 1-3 years of experience in critical care.
- You must submit letters of recommendation.
- You must meet the school’s minimum GPA requirement.
Note that the eligibility requirements vary from school to school. Some may even require personal essays and completion of the GRE.
Beginning in 2025, the minimum degree requirement for nurse anesthetists will be either a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) or a DNAP (Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice) instead of an MSN (Master’s Degree in Nursing).
Completing a CRNA program takes about three or four years with full-time attendance.
Step #4: Pass the National Certification Examination
Once you earn your degree in nurse anesthesia, you must pass the national certification exam given by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
To qualify to sit for the licensing exam, you must meet the following requirements:
- A valid RN license
- A certification that confirms that your RN license has not been revoked, restricted, or suspended
- Proof of academic and clinical experience from an accredited nurse anesthesia program
- A document certifying that you do not suffer from drug or alcohol addiction or any condition that may affect your work as a CRNA
- An electronically signed application form
- A color digital photo taken within the last six months
- Exam fee of $1,045
The exam fee of $1,045 is effective January 2023.
The administrator of the nurse anesthesia program will submit your application on your behalf. NBCRNA does not accept direct submissions from applicants.
The national certification exam (NCE) is available year-round. Once the NBCRNA confirms your eligibility via email, you may schedule an appointment to take the test at any Pearson Vue test center.
If you do not receive an eligibility notice within four weeks after submission, you may email email@example.com.
Upon taking the exam, you will receive a pass or fail report. The NBCRNA will provide the official test results, which may take weeks.
Step #5: Apply for a CRNA License from the Delaware BON
To get your CRNA license, you must apply with the Delaware BON (Board of Nursing).
Applications must be submitted via the DELPROS (Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services) portal.
Below are the steps on how to file an online application:
- Go to the Apply/Manage a License.
- Sign in or create an account if you don’t have a DELPROS profile yet.
- Gather the following required documents and upload them to the Attachments page:
- A copy of your active RN license
- A copy of your driver’s license
- A copy of your certification notice
- You may send the following third-party documents or request the corresponding party or individual to mail them directly to the Board:
- Official transcript of records of your APRN program
- Verification of national certification
- Original copy of self-query from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)
- Criminal Background Check (CBC) must be forwarded by the State Bureau of Identification (SBI).
You may save your application without submitting it while waiting for other documents.
You can log in later and resume your application.
However, you must complete it within six months — otherwise, DELAPROS will reset your progress.
To check the status of your application, go to your e-license dashboard and click View Application Status.
For more information, you can check out the DELPROS page.
Step #6: Explore Career Opportunities as a CRNA and Keep Your License Current
Congratulations! Now you are a fully qualified nurse anesthetist in Delaware!
Once you have your CRNA license, you may explore career opportunities and begin employment as a CRNA.
You may work in a hospital, surgery center, clinic, or military base.
But remember that you need to keep your license active!
To maintain your license, you must apply for recertification every two years.
You must complete 40 hours of continuing education by the deadline, which is August 1st.
You must also substantiate your nurse anesthesia practice within the last two years, provide proof of current RN licensure in Delaware, and certify that you do not suffer from any condition that may interfere with your work as a CRNA.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Nurse Anesthetist in Delaware
Now that we’ve gone through the 6 steps to becoming a CRNA, let’s go through some relevant FAQs.
How much do CRNAs in Delaware earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary of CRNAs in Delaware is $198,070.
This translates to about $95.23 per hour.
How long does it take to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Delaware?
It may take you around seven to 10 years to become a nurse anesthetist in Delaware, depending on several factors.
Here’s a possible breakdown of the years:
- BSN – 4 years
- Gaining relevant RN experience – 1-3 years (or more)
- CRNA program – 3-4 years
What is the difference between a DNP and a DNAP?
A DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) requires students to select a specialty, whereas a DNAP (Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice) already includes a specialized curriculum.
How soon can I retake the National Certification Exam for nurse anesthetists (CRNA) in Delaware?
There are no required intervals between exam attempts. However, you must re-apply, pay the $1,045 test fee, and wait for a new eligibility notice.
You can only take the NCE up to four times within one year of completing your nurse anesthesia degree.
If you do not pass the exam during the given period, you will be allowed four more chances within one more year to take the test.
Is it your dream to become a nurse anesthetist in Delaware?
Were you confused about how to achieve your dream?
Well, with this guide you have everything you need to know about how to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Delaware.
Becoming a nurse anesthetist requires patience and hard work.
The process is not easy, but your efforts will all be worth it!
Not only will you benefit from a high-paying job, but you will also have the opportunity to help even more people with your skills.
We hope you found this guide helpful, and we are cheering you on as you take your first step to becoming a CRNA.