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

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Mississippi

Starting your career journey as a CRNA in Mississippi can be daunting. 

You need to have advanced skills and knowledge in nursing practices and anesthesia to be able to practice as a CRNA.

It doesn’t help that when you research on how to become one, you end up with a load of information!

Navigating through all the requirements and processes can make you feel even more overwhelmed. 

It’s difficult to know where exactly to begin.

But that’s why we’ve come up with this guide! 

It will serve as a roadmap for your journey because we’re going to take you through the process of how to become a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) in Mississippi step-by-step. 

We’ll also answer the following frequently asked questions (FAQs):

  • How much do Nurse Anesthetists make in Mississippi?
  • What is the best state to work in as a CRNA?

So, if you’re confused about how to become a CRNA in Mississippi, this one’s for you.

Are you ready?

Let’s begin!

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

Here are the 5 basic steps to becoming a CRNA in Mississippi:

1. Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree and Become an RN

2. Gain Experience as an RN

3. Obtain Your Graduate Degree

4. Pass the National Certification Examination (NCE)

5.  Apply for CRNA Licensure in Mississippi and Renew It Every Two Years

Let’s dive in!

Step #1: Get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree and Become an RN

To qualify for any CRNA program in Mississippi, you must first do some preliminary work before you can proceed to advanced practice.

Completing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and becoming a licensed RN will give you a strong foundation in patient care and nursing practice, which will be helpful in your CRNA career. 

Get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree

There are two RN programs that you can choose from to become an RN in Mississippi— an ADN or BSN program. However, most CRNA programs require you to have a BSN degree. 

Associate Degree in Nursing or ADN only takes two years to complete and focuses on basic health procedures and management. The downside is ADN holders are not qualified enough to pursue advanced or specialized nursing careers. 

This is the reason why one of the requirements for becoming a CRNA is completing your BSN degree.

BSN programs take four years to complete and cover topics such as patient care, primary health procedures, chart monitoring, and other essential nursing practices. Moreover, you will also have an in-depth discussion about evidence-based research, managing a team, and other complex laboratory procedures. 

Since you will be applying for an advanced nursing program, most CRNA programs may require a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Apply for Your RN License

License by Examination

After completing your BSN program, you just need to complete an online application on the Mississippi Board of Nursing portal and submit all required documents and pay for the fees. 

This step will allow you to schedule an exam for the NCLEX-RN. 

License by Endorsement

If you already have an active license in another state, then we have good news! 

You don’t need to take another nursing program or the NCLEX in Mississippi as long as you’re qualified for licensure by endorsement. 

For more information on how to become an RN in Mississippi, read our article here.

Multi-state License

Mississippi participates in the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) which allows RNs from NLC states to practice in other NLC states without having to apply for a separate RN license. 

So, if you are an RN from another NLC state, you don’t need to apply by endorsement if you want to practice as an RN in Mississippi. The Mississippi BON will recognize your multistate license. 

Step #2: Gain Experience as an RN

The next step is to gain at least one year of nursing experience in an acute care facility. CRNAs make sure that they provide safe anesthesia care to patients undergoing surgery or other medical procedures.

Gaining experience as an RN will give you the tools and knowledge in handling challenging situations and emergencies. 

Some schools require specific critical care experience, but here are the most common acceptable experiences:

  • ICU (Intensive Care Unit)
  • Neurosurgical ICU
  • Level III Pediatric ICU
  • Level III Neonatal ICU
  • SICU (Surgical Intensive Care)
  • CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit)
  • MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit)
  • CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit)

Depending on your chosen program, some may require at least two years of experience in critical care. It’s best to check the specific requirements of your chosen school.

Step #3: Obtain Your Graduate Degree

The minimum requirement for becoming a CRNA in Mississippi is to earn a master’s or doctoral degree majoring in nursing or nurse anesthesia. 

However, it’s important to note that all new CRNAs by 2025 will need to possess either a Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree or a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

Since graduate programs will take 2-3 years to complete, you must be enrolled in a doctoral program as a master’s degree will no longer be accepted by 2025.

When choosing a program, make sure that it is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

Graduate programs must include the following core coursework for classroom discussions:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology/Physiology
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Advanced Health Assessment 

The program must also include didactic and clinical coursework related to nursing anesthesia and must:

  • Prepare you for diagnosing, managing problems, and assessing patients including prescribing non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic treatments
  • Prepare you in maintaining the health of patients
  • Give you an in-depth understanding of the importance of decision-making principles as a CRNA

By completing your graduate program, you will be qualified for the following nurse anesthetist roles:

  • Induction of anesthesia
  • Pre-anesthesia and postanesthesia care
  • Clinical experience (at least 500 hours)
  • Emergence and maintenance of anesthesia
  • Perianesthetic and clinical support functions

Earning a graduate degree in nursing can be tough, so you will need hard work and determination. 

Step #4: Pass the National Certification Examination (NCE)

You’re almost there!

The Mississippi Board of Nursing requires aspiring CRNAs to become nationally certified before state certification will be issued. 

This can be done by passing the NCE from the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

According to the American Association of Nurses Anesthetists, before you can use the title “nurse anesthetist”, you are required to obtain an NBCRNA certification. 

The main reason why you should take the NCE is to ensure that you have what it takes to practice effectively and safely as a CRNA. 

Here are the details of the NCE’s content to help you prepare for it:

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

To help you prepare for the NCE and track your progress, you can sign up for the Self-Evaluation Examination during your graduate program.

After passing the initial examination (NCE), CRNAs are required to maintain their certification by taking the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) exam every 4 years.

Step #5: Apply for CRNA Licensure in Mississippi and Renew It Every Two Years

After all the hard work you’ve put into becoming a CRNA in Mississippi, you finally made it! 

But there are a few more things you need to do to seal the deal. 

Apply for CRNA Licensure in Mississippi 

The last step is to complete the initial licensure. According to the Mississippi Board of Nursing, applicants must hold an active RN license or unrestricted RN multi-state compact license. 

Submit your application by logging in or creating a profile on the Nurse Gateway portal. Select which licensure you’re applying for, submit all required documents and pay for the fees. 

Currently, the initial APRN certification for CRNAs costs $100.

For more information about the initial license, this guide will be handy.

Renew Your RN and APRN License in Mississippi

To continue working as a CRNA in Mississippi, you must renew both licenses every two years on the 31st of December of an even year—which is around the same time when your RN license will expire.

You can renew both licenses online.

To be able to renew your CRNA license, you are required to maintain national certification with the NBCRNA and to complete at least 5 contact hours of CE directly related to controlled substances.

You can view more information on the CE requirements here

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a CRNA in Mississippi

How much do Nurse Anesthetists make in Mississippi?

CRNAs are, by far, the most well-paid nursing professionals in Mississippi. 

According to ZipRecruiter, the annual average salary of CRNAs is about $195,822 as of January 2023. While senior anesthetists make more or less $311,435 annually. 

The average pay of CRNAs varies greatly on the location, years of experience, and skill level.

What is the best state to work in as a CRNA?

In general, CRNAs receive bigger paychecks compared to other nursing specialists. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, here are the top states that have the highest salaries for nurse anesthetists including the annual average salary:

How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Mississippi


Becoming a CRNA is not easy. 

It requires dedication, effort, and time. Not to mention, investing in your education costs lots of money, too.

But we’ve also seen that the career it opens up for you is also rewarding in many ways – professionally, financially, and personally. 

You get to be a top nurse in the industry, work with other healthcare professionals, get a big salary, and help countless patients in critical, life-saving procedures.

You may face ups and downs along the way, but you’re not alone in this journey. 

Our guide is here to help you navigate through the process like a pro.

Just take things one step at a time and you’ll reach your goal before you know it! 

We are excited for you!

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