When people find out I’m a CRNA, the top questions they always ask me is how many years does it take to become a nurse anesthetist or how many years to become a nurse anesthetist. The answer used to be 24 months (2 CRNA Schooling Years). This is because most nurse anesthetist programs were master’s degrees previously. However, as of today (2020 and 2021), the answer has changed to ‘It takes between 24 to 36 months to become a nurse anesthetist.’ And to make things more complicated, the answer in the next few years will change again to ‘It takes 36 months (3 CRNA Schooling Years) to become a nurse anesthetist. I’ll explain more below:
CRNA Years of School Required for MSN Masters Degree
Most CRNA schools start their school year in the month of August or September.
For an MSN degree, the average CRNA Years of School
is 26 months (2 years and 2 month). This applies to both MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) and MSNA (Master of Science in Nursing Anesthesia) degrees. All the schools vary between 24 months to 33 months. The following CRNA Schools are the shortest programs and require 2 CRNA years of school (24 months):
Nurse Anesthetist School Years Required for DNP Doctors Degree
For a DNP degree, the average CRNA Schooling years is 36 months (3 years). This applies to both DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) and DNAP (Doctor of Anesthesia Nursing Practice Degrees).
Today, all DNP programs require 3 nurse anesthetist school years (36 months) with the exception of:
- Mayo Clinic CRNA Years of School is 42 months for a DNAP degree
- La Salle nurse anesthetist school years is 51 months for a DNP degree. The reason for this is because 2 years are conducted online part-time while the remaining 27 months are on campus.
- Loma Linda CRNA Years of School is 39 months for a DNP degree.
Back in 2007, the AANA (the official Nurse Anesthesia Association in the US) voted to require all CRNAs to get Doctors (DNP) degrees
rather than Master of Science in Nursing Degrees (MSN). Due to this law, all CRNA schools need to abide by the DNP 3 CRNA schooling years
requirement by 2025. Previously, over 70% of CRNA schools were Masters programs while 30% were Doctors programs. Today, for the 2020 and 2021 school years, those figures are reversed. Now, we see only 20% of CRNA schools offering master’s 2-year CRNA programs, while 80% of CRNA schools offer the DNP with 3 CRNA Schooling years
. The good thing is that all current CRNAs with master’s degrees prior to 2025 will be grand fathered in and will not have to get doctorate degrees to continue practicing.
CRNA Schooling Years
We list out all CRNA Schools
in the United States with detail on the CRNA program offered (MSN or DNP) and the CRNA Schooling Years
with number of months the programs last. 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. Roughly speaking, CRNA Schooling years is 2 years for MSN degrees and 3 years for DNP degrees for nurse anesthetists
Top CRNA Schools
We 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 how many years it takes to become a nurse anesthetist, your next research is to compare the Best CRNA programs
with the CRNA School years
in order to see which CRNA schools are the best fit and which programs you should apply to.
Nurse Anesthetist Salary
As you’re interested in how many years to become a nurse anesthetist, 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.
Conclusion on CRNA Years of School
In conclusion, times have changed for nurse anesthetists. To answer ‘how many years of school to be a nurse anesthetist’,
previously 2 CRNA schooling years were required. Now due to the new AANA regulations, all CRNA programs require 3 years to become a nurse anesthetist. As all the CRNA schools are in process of implementing the new rules, it’s still possible to become a CRNA in 2-3 years’ time at the moment depending on the school.