Nurse Anesthetist

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):


Hourly Wage:

$36.62-$100+ (Mean: $80.72)
*Based on 2016 Alaska DOL Data

One-page Description (PDF):

Nurse Anesthetist

Professional Activities

Nurse anesthesia is an advanced clinical nursing specialty. (Anesthesia is the use of special drugs that temporarily block sensation in an area of the body or enable a patient to be kept unconscious and free of pain during a surgery.) A nurse anesthetist takes care of a patient’s anesthesia needs before, during, and after surgery or the delivery of a baby. Because nurse anesthetists are licensed as nurses, they provide services in conjunction with a qualified physician, surgeon, dentist, podiatrist, or anesthesiologist.

Nurse anesthetists practice in a variety of settings in the private and public sector and in the US military, including traditional hospital operating rooms, ambulatory surgery centers, pain clinics, and physician’s offices. Some nurse anesthetists practice in conjunction with anesthesiologists, but in many states Nurse Anesthetists are independent practitioners. In most rural communities, they may be the only anesthesia providers. In Alaska, nurse anesthetists typically work in hospitals and surgery centers.

Educational Requirements

  • Graduation from high school with coursework in math, science, and English.
  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing
  • A license as a registered nurse
  • A minimum of one year of acute care nursing experience
  • A Masters in Nurse Anesthesiology (Programs include 24 to 36 months of graduate course work, including both classroom and clinical experience.)
  • Nurses must pass a national certification exam to become a CRNA.
  • Recertification is required every two years. The national certification board requires 40 hours of continuing education every 2 years. A few states or facilities require up to 10 hours more per year and some states require a certain number of CE units for prescriptive authority.

Academic Programs

There is no accredited school in Alaska, but there are currently 110 programs nationwide. For a list of these programs and other information about Nurse Anesthetists, go to . Two programs in the northwest region are in Spokane, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

Gonzaga University has a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP).
For more information, contact:
Gonzaga University
Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP)
502 East Boone Ave.
Tilford Center, Suite 312
Spokane, WA 99258
Contact: Karen Wilson
Phone: 509-474-4971

OHSU opened its Nurse Anesthesia program in 2006 in response to a growing need for high quality Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in the state of Oregon and Western U.S. This post-baccalaureate 27 month master’s degree program is geared to the RN who has substantial prior experience working in critical care settings, has a record of outstanding academic achievement, is patient care focused, and who desires the challenges found in anesthesia education. For more information, contact:

Oregon Health & Science University
School of Nursing,
Nurse Anesthesia Program
3455 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd., SN-ADM
Portland, OR 97239
Phone: 503-494-7725
Toll Free: 866-223-1811


State Contact:

Alaska Association of Nurse Anesthetists
c/o Alaska Nurse’s Association
3701 East Tudor Rd., Suite 208
Anchorage, AK 99507

National Contact:

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
222 South Prospect Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 60068-4037
Phone: (847) 692-7050

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