The miracle of anesthesia made pain-free surgery a reality. Nurse anesthetists, the first healthcare providers dedicated to the specialty of anesthesia, have their roots in the 1800s when nurses first gave anesthesia to wounded soldiers on the battlefields of the Civil War.
Today, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice registered nurses with graduate-level education who enjoy a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in every practice setting, and for every type of surgery or procedure. They are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly all rural hospitals, and the main provider of anesthesia to the men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
To become a CRNA you must first become a Registered Nurse with a bachelors or master’s degree. After achieving your degree, you must work a minimum of one year of full-time nursing experience in a critical care setting. The average experience for students entering a CRNA program is 2.9 years of ICU experience.
Though there are a few master’s degree programs left, all CRNA students must graduate with a doctorate level degree starting in 2025 to be eligible to sit for their board exam. Following graduation from an accredited nurse anesthesia program you will be eligible to take the National Certification Exam (NCE) and become a CRNA. This is a long journey but well worth it.
If you are unsure if becoming a CRNA is right for you, please contact us and consider clicking the “Shadow a CRNA” link so that we can get you paired with a practicing CRNA to show you first-hand what CRNAs do.
Registered Nurses currently working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) may submit their interest to shadow a CRNA by completing the form below. CRNA Shadow Requests are processed at the end of every month.
As early as 1916, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) were providing anesthesia at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. In 1938, seventeen CRNAs established the Georgia Association of Nurse Anesthetists (GANA). Spearheading the formation of the GANA was Rosalie C. McDonald, who became its first president. Ms. McDonald later served as the sixth president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), our national organization. More than 90% of U.S. nurse anesthetists are members of the AANA.
Today, the GANA has grown to represent over 1300 members and is among the oldest and largest CRNA state organization in the United States. CRNAs are committed to caring for Georgia by providing vigilant, high-quality, and cost effective anesthesia services. Nurse anesthesia is safe anesthesia.
CRNAs in Georgia practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access 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.