Anesthesia School Years

anesthesia school yearsWhen I tell people I’m a CRNA, they always ask me one of two top questions.  These questions are: how many years to become a nurse anesthetist or how many years does it take to become a nurse anesthetist?  The answer is not so straight forward because becoming a CRNA takes a lot of planning for your undergrad studies, job experience as well as anesthesia school years.  In this article, I’ll explain thoroughly the total years of commitment needed to be a CRNA from the time you step out of high school to the CRNA school length to the day you attend your CRNA graduation with a job offer at hand.

The first requirement to be accepted into CRNA school is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.  Nearly all CRNA schools require this.  In general, a BSN degree usually takes up to four years to complete at traditional universities and usually includes both liberal arts classes as well as nursing related coursework.  Once you complete your BSN degree, you take the NCLEX exam to become an RN.  Note the subtle difference: You do not need a BSN to become a RN, because you can become an RN through an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) degree.  However, in order to get into CRNA school, you need a BSN degree. 

Exceptions to a BSN

CRNA exceptions to a BSNFirst, if you have a Masters of Nursing or DNP in another medical field, those are considered acceptable for almost all CRNA schools.

Second, if you are an RN with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you can apply for ‘RN to BSN programs’ to obtain your BSN degree.  This is a topic to discuss another time for those interested.

Third, there are 37 CRNA schools that accept a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree if you also have an Associates Degree in Nursing.  ADN degree typically takes 24 months under normal programs.  Nonetheless, some schools allow you to leverage your BS degree to get a BSN degree in 18 months under an accelerated program.

Critical Care Job Experience is Required Before Your Nurse Anesthetist Schooling Years

After getting your BSN degree, you’ll have to fulfill the job experience requirement.  All CRNA schools require minimum 1 year of Critical Care Experience as a requirement before applying.  Some schools are even more strict and require 1.5 years or 2 years.  We recommend getting 1-2 years of experience at a large Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a hospital, especially in a Level 1 trauma center.  The reason CRNA schools require critical care job experience is so all CRNA students coming in have real world experience as a foundation for their studies.

The following CRNA schools require 1.5 years of Critical Care job experience

  1. UNE CRNA Program
  2. USM CRNA Program
  3. UNC CRNA Program
  4. Mayo Clinic CRNA

The following CRNA schools require 2 years of Critical Care job experience

  1. Quinnipiac CRNA Program
  2. Georgetown CRNA
  3. UM CRNA Program
  4. UNF CRNA
  5. USF CRNA Program
  6. NorthShore CRNA
  7. Murray State CRNA
  8. University of Minnesota CRNA
  9. Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes
  10. Albany Medical College CRNA Program
  11. Cleveland Clinic CRNA Program
  12. Drexel CRNA
  13. UPMC Hamot
  14. UPenn CRNA
  15. UTC CRNA

All other CRNA schools not listed here require only 1 year of Critical care experience prior to your nurse anesthetist schooling years.

CRNA Years of School

crna years of schoolCurrently, the anesthesia school years requirement is 3 years or 36 months to receive a Doctor of Nursing degree (DNP).  You need this degree in order to become a nurse anesthetist.  So to become a CRNA, you will need 3 CRNA years of school.

Previously, the minimum amount of anesthesia school years required to be a CRNA was only 2 years.  This is because before, most CRNA schools offered Masters of Nursing programs that allowed you to get a CRNA degree in 24 to 30 months.  However, back in 2007, the AANA voted to require all CRNAs to get Doctors (DNP) degrees rather than Master of Science in Nursing Degrees (MSN).  This change was quite dramatic and the reason was due to medical error complaints as well as the increasing complexity of healthcare delivery and systems.  Due to this law change, all CRNA schools need to follow the DNP 3 anesthesia school years requirement by 2025.

This year was the first year that almost all CRNA schools have started implementing this program for the 2021 academic year.  All current CRNAs with masters degrees prior to 2025 will be grand fathered in and will not have to get doctorate degrees to continue practicing.  However, as stated, the CRNA school length is now 36 months for all new graduates.

The following CRNA schools are the last remaining schools to offer CRNA Masters of Nursing (MSN) degrees for the 2021 year.  After this, all CRNA schools will be DNP degrees.

The CRNA school length for these MSN degree schools is 24 to 30 months.

  1. Samuel Merritt CRNA
  2. Wake Forest CRNA
  3. UPMC Hamot
  4. Inter American University
  5. University of Puerto Rico
  6. Saint Joseph Hospital
  7. Westminster CRNA

I strongly believe that the current shortage of nurse anesthetists will worsen with the degree requirement change and this will result in the CRNA starting salary and overall CRNA salary to increase in the years to come.

Anesthesia School Years

anesthesia school yearsWe list out all CRNA Schools in the United States with detail on the CRNA program offered (MSN or DNP) and the number of months the program lasts. All the CRNA programs have been approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Please click on the CRNA School name for more detailed information on the selected CRNA School.

In terms of CRNA degrees offered, MS, MSN and MSNA are Master of Science in Nursing Anesthesia programs.  DNP, DNPA, DNPNA are Doctor of Nursing Practice of Nurse Anesthesia programs.

All CRNA SchoolsDegree OfferedCRNA Program Length (Months)
AdventHealth CRNADNAP36
Albany Medical College CRNA ProgramMS28
Antillean Adventist UniversityMSN24
Army CRNADNP36
ASU CRNAMSN28
Augusta CRNA ProgramDNP36
Barry University Nurse Anesthesia ProgramDNP36
Baylor College of Medicine CRNADNP36
Bloomsburg CRNAMSN33
Boston College CRNADNPNA36
Bryan College CRNADNAP36
Buffalo CRNA ProgramDNP36
Case Western CRNADNP36
Cedar Crest CRNADNP36
Charleston Area Medical CenterDNAP36
Clarkson College CRNADNP36
Cleveland Clinic CRNA programDNP36
Columbia University CRNAMS27
Detroit Mercy CRNADNP36
Drexel CRNAMSN28
Duke CRNA ProgramDNP36
ECU CRNADNP36
Emory CRNADNP36
Excela Health School of AnesthesiaDNAP36
Fairfield CRNADNP36
FIU CRNA ProgramDNP36
Florida Gulf Coast University CRNADNP36
FranU CRNADNP36
FSU CRNAMSN28
Georgetown CRNADNAP36
Goldfarb CRNADNP36
Gonzaga CRNADNAP36
Integrated Anesthesia AssociatesDNAP36
Inter American UniversityMS28
Jefferson CRNA ProgramDNP36
Johns Hopkins CRNADNP36
Kaiser CRNADNPNA36
Keiser University CRNADNAP36
KU CRNA ProgramDNAP36
La Roche CRNAMSHS24
La Salle CRNA programDNP51
Lincoln Memorial University CRNA ProgramMSN28
Loma Linda CRNADNP39
Lourdes University CRNAMSN28
LSU CRNA ProgramDNP36
Marian University CRNADNP36
Marquette CRNADNPNA36
Mayo Clinic CRNADNAP42
Mayo Clinic Health SystemDNP36
Michigan State University CRNADNP36
Middle Tennessee School of AnesthesiaDNAP36
Midwestern University CRNAMSNA27
Military CRNADNP36
Millikin CRNADNP36
Minneapolis School of AnesthesiaMSNA27
Missouri State University CRNADNAP36
Mount Marty CRNADNAP36
Murray State CRNADNP36
MUSC CRNA ProgramDNAP36
National University CRNADNAP36
Newman CRNAMSNA24
NKU CRNADNP36
Northeastern CRNADNPNA36
Northshore CRNADNP36
Oakland University CRNA ProgramDNPNA36
OHSU NursingDNP36
Old Dominion University CRNADNP36
Otterbein CRNADNP36
Quinnipiac CRNA ProgramDNP36
Raleigh School of Nurse AnesthesiaDNP36
Rosalind Franklin CRNADNP36
Rush University CRNADNP36
Rutgers CRNADNP36
Saint Francis CRNADNP36
Saint Joseph HospitalMSN30
Saint Marys CRNAMSNA27
Samford CRNADNP36
Samuel Merritt CRNAMSN27
SIUE CRNADNP36
St Elizabeth Health CenterDNP36
TCU CRNADNPA36
Texas Wesleyan University CRNADNAP36
Truman CRNA ProgramDNP36
U of M CRNA ProgramDNAP36
UAB CRNADNP36
UAMS CRNA ProgramDNP36
UM CRNA ProgramDNP36
UNC CRNA ProgramDNP36
UND CRNA ProgramDNP36
UNE CRNA ProgramMSNA27
UNF CRNADNP36
Union University CRNADNP36
University of Akron CRNAMSN27
University of Arizona CRNADNP36
University of Cincinnati CRNADNP36
University of Iowa CRNADNP36
University of Maryland CRNADNP36
University of Minnesota CRNADNP36
University of Pittsburgh CRNADNP36
University of Puerto RicoMSNSA29
University of Scranton CRNADNP36
University of South Carolina CRNADNAP36
University of Tennessee Health Science CenterDNP36
University of Tulsa NursingDNP36
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh CRNADNP36
UPenn CRNADNP36
UPMC HamotMSN28
USC CRNA SchoolDNAP36
USF CRNA ProgramDNP36
USM CRNA ProgramDNP36
UTC CRNADNP36
UT Houston CRNADNP36
UTK CRNA ProgramMSN27
VCU CRNA ProgramDNAP36
Villanova CRNA programDNP36
Virtua Our Lady of LourdesMSN27
Wake Forest CRNAMSNA24
Wayne State CRNADNAP36
Webster University Nurse Anesthesia ProgramDNAP36
Western Carolina University CRNADNP36
Westminster CRNAMSNA29
WVU CRNA programDNP36
Yale CRNADNP36
York College CRNADNP36

Top CRNA Schools

best crna schoolsWe spent hundreds of hours studying all CRNA schools and interviewing over 125 nurse anesthetists to create our exclusive list of Best CRNA Schools.  So now you know Anesthesia school years, your next research is to compare the Best CRNA programs with the CRNA School length in order to see which CRNA schools are the best fit and which programs you should apply to.

Map of CRNA Schools by State

After studying Anesthesia School Years, we also list out all CRNA programs by State in the map below for your further research and study.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Notes:
The darker the blue color equivocates to more CRNA Schools in the State.
Tier 1 = 6 or more CRNA Schools
2nd Tier = 3 to 5 CRNA Schools
Tier 3 = 1 or 2 CRNA Schools
White means no CRNA schools in the State.
Data source: everythingCRNA

Nurse Anesthetist Salary

CRNA Starting SalaryAs you’re interested in anesthesia school years, be sure to check out our CRNA Salary Guide and CRNA Starting Salary.  If you are still a student or if you’re wondering how much a fresh CRNA can make right out of nurse anesthesia school, this information will be especially helpful.  You might be surprised too!  We spent hundreds of hours researching salary information from the BLS, the AANA CRNA survey from over 5,000 actual nurse anesthetists as well as from my own CRNA job offers after I graduated.  In addition, different states have different demand and supply economics for nurse anesthetists, so our CRNA Salary by State Guide will help you see which States are the best fit for you.

Anesthesia School Years Conclusion

So, how many years of school to be a nurse anesthetist? If you plan your CRNA career well, your total nurse anesthetist schooling years will include:

  • 4 Years in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program
  • 1-2 years experience in an ICU
  • 3 CRNA years of school

If you play your cards right, it will take you a minimum of 8 years of school and experience in order to become a CRNA.

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