Work life balance is often a relative term for most professions as most it really depends on the person you’re speaking with. Some professions, however, are definitely a lot more stressful than others. The great thing about being a CRNA is work life balance is one of the advantages of the job. As a CRNA, you are usually able to make the decisions on what you want in your personal life rather than have your job tell you where you need to be. My advice to all CRNAs (especially CRNA students in the last year of CRNA school) is to sit down, ask yourselves these questions and write down the answers. You might be surprised at what you may find. Many CRNAs jump to the first job offer they receive, or one closest to their current school rather than the right CRNA job that suits them best. After truthfully answering these questions, you might will find yourself with a CRNA job more suitable for a CRNA life and CRNA work life balance that you are looking for.
Money Oriented Questions
- What are your personal goals? Work life balance? Or earning more money?
- Are you interested to take calls to earn more money or do you prefer never having to take calls?
- What are the tax rates in the State and City you are looking at for your CRNA job? Some states have much higher tax rates than others.
- What is the average CRNA salary by State where you want to work?
- Are you willing to commute?
- How will the commute be when you get to work and when you come home?
- Are you able to live closer to the hospital if you value convenience? How much more would that cost you? Some people prefer living closer to the hospital that they are working to shorten commute time while other people prefer being farther away so they have a ‘break’ away from work when they return home
Hospital Choice (Small versus Large)
- Do you prefer working together in large teams or small teams? This might affect your decision on whether you work at a large hospital or small hospital.
- How is the relationship between CRNAs and Medical doctors at the hospital you are looking to work at? One of the problems in general with smaller places is there is a lack of staffing for sufficient mentorship and career growth.
- Are you ok with higher CRNA stress, CRNA stress level and higher workload environment? Small community hospitals will be less stressful in general.
City versus Suburbs
- Do you enjoy living in the city or living in the suburbs? The city will generally provide better CRNA work life while suburbs will provide better CRNA work life balance.
- Do you enjoy the outdoors? Or the city night life? Living in the suburbs or country side will more likely lead you to become an independent CRNA, while in the city you’ll be part of a larger ACT (Anesthesia Care Team)
- Do you have case preferences? For example, are you ok doing cardiac and open heart surgeries again? Do you prefer pediatric CRNA cases? Or high / low acuity cases? Larger hospitals in cities generally provide more choices to choose from.
- Do you prefer 8 hour shifts x 5 days a week? Or 10 hour shifts x 4 days a week? Or 24 hour shifts!
- How many hours of OT are there available for interested CRNAs?
Other Personal Considerations
- Do you or your significant others / dependents need health insurance? Or will you be covered under your spouse? Most 1099 employees are responsible for their own insurance
- Do you have family / significant others that you need or would like to live close by to?
As you’re interested in CRNA Work Life Balance, 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.