A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist or CRNA is a registered nurse (RN) who specializes in giving patients anesthesia and other medications. CRNA check on patients who are given and recovering from anesthesia. They are required to have a doctorate degree in anesthesia, complete many hours of practice in a clinic, and to have passed a certification exam.

CRNAs work with a team including other anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists, and other doctors. They usually work in hospital operating rooms (OR), emergency rooms (ER), intensive care units (ICU), or other specialized units. CRNAs are responsible for looking after how a patient will respond to anesthesia and giving these patients the appropriate dose. They are also responsible for helping educate their patients before and after getting anesthesia on what to expect.


High school students considering a profession in Nursing should enroll in chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy, and mathematics courses. CRNA programs required a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and being licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN), along with years of experience.

Steps to becoming a CRNA include: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (four year program), Licensed as Registered Nurse (RN), one to three years of experience as a registered nurse in a intensive care unit (ICU), two to three program for nurse anesthesia, and a certification from the national certification exam for nurse anesthetists.


LSUHSC School of Nursing Nurse Anesthetist Program
1900 Gravier Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
– Degree Type Offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice (Entry Level)
– Program Length: 36 month
– Start Month: May
– Clinical Sites: 37 (Located in Louisiana and Mississippi)

Our Lady of the Lake College Doctor of Nursing Practice- Nurse Anesthesia Program
5414 Brittany Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
– Degree Type Offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
– Program Length:36 months (DNP) and 28 months (MSN)
– Start Month: January (DNP) and August (MSN)

Texas Wesleyan University- Distance Program
Graduate Programs of Nurse Anesthesia Building
1201 Wesleyan Street
Fort Worth, TX 76105
– This program is based in Louisiana but requires the student to spend a limited amount of time on-campus in Fort Worth, Texas. The locations in Louisiana are Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria and LSU Medical Center in Shreveport.


After graduating from Nurse Anesthetist program, CRNAs need to pass a national certification exam approved by the National Boards of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) to be able to practice.

CRNAs can work in a range of locations including medical and surgical hospitals, critical access hospitals, mobile surgery centers, outpatient care centers, nursing research facilities, and other medical professionals offices. Depending on where CRNAs work, they might work early mornings or late nights. If they are in a location that requires them to be on call, it is not unlikely for them to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Earning vary according to the number of years in practice, but the median annual wage of CRNAs in Louisiana is $159,000.