NOTICE: The application deadline for the next class starting in Fall 2013 is November 1st 2012. All application materials must be received by this date.
Anesthesiology Nursing Overview
There are over 36,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in the nation today. Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care in the United States for over 125 years. When anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is recognized as the practice of nursing; and when administered by an anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine. Anesthesiology nursing was the first recognized specialty practice area of nursing. CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; primary and specialty hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. Military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities in the US and at military bases around the world.
CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who personally administer approximately 65% of all anesthetics given to patients each year in the United States. In the majority of urban and suburban settings, nurse anesthetists work in a collaborative team practice with physician anesthesiologists. However, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in approximately two thirds of all rural hospitals in the United States, enabling these healthcare facilities to offer obstetrical, surgical, and trauma stabilization services. In some states, CRNAs are the sole providers in nearly 100% of the rural hospitals.
Irrespective of the practice setting, all CRNAs are educated to the same high standards to deliver safe anesthesia care, for all patients of all age groups. They are licensed in all states and serve as commissioned officers in all branches of the military as well as the United States Public Health Service. Studies conducted by the federal government have detailed the need for many more CRNAs in the U.S. today.
CRNAs have always been in high demand and the nationwide overall shortage of nurses has only escalated the situation. In a 2002, USA Today reported on the nationwide shortage of CRNAs. Since that report the vacancy rate for CRNA positions has continued to rise.
Today there are approximately 106 graduate programs for anesthesiology nursing education around the country. Each program must be accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Nurse Anesthetists Education Programs. However, not all programs are offered at an institution that is accredited by one of the six regional organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit postsecondary institutions within the United States. FIU is accredited by The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
If you are a highly capable and motivated professional, comfortable with the sciences, seeking to expand your professional education and autonomy, this program may interest you. Completion of this program will permit the graduates to take their place among the ranks of the highly respected CRNAs who will mold the health care history of our next century.
Note: Application information contained herein supersedes the
information in the print edition of the FIU Graduate Catalog.