Best CRNA Schools: Eligibility, Fees & Process

If you are a nurse a want to become CRNA, then there are lots of criteria that you need to fulfill. A nurse who wants to become CRNA must attain the degree with some required marks. You must go through an interview, which is very important to enroll in a CRNA program.

What is a CRNA?

CRNA is an abbreviation for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. These professionals have completed advanced education and clinical training in anesthesia, enabling them to provide preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care to patients requiring anesthesia services. This includes administering all types of general and regional anesthetics, as well as airway management, resuscitation techniques, and pain management.

CRNAs are highly skilled healthcare providers who work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals to provide patient-centered care. They have the autonomy to practice in any setting where anesthesia services are needed – from surgery centers to delivery rooms. CRNAs have an in-depth knowledge of anesthesia techniques and technology, enabling them to deliver safe and effective care.

What are the Best CRNA Schools

• Duke University School of Nursing – Durham, NC
• Vanderbilt University School of Nursing – Nashville, TN
• Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing- Cleveland, OH
• Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies- Washington D.C.
• Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing- Atlanta, GA
• University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing – Philadelphia, PA
• Columbia University School of Nursing – New York, NY
• Rush University College of Nursing – Chicago, IL
• Yale School of Nursing – New Haven, CT
• University of Washington School of Nursing – Seattle, WA
• University of California San Francisco School of Nursing – San Francisco, CA

What is the Admission Process

Step 1

Educational Eligibility

To become a CRNA, you must have a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) and be eligible for state or national licensure.

Step 2

Clinical Experience

You must also have at least one year of experience as an RN in an acute care setting, such as the emergency room or intensive care unit.

Step 3

Certification Program

After meeting the eligibility requirements, you must apply to and complete a certification program in nurse anesthesia accredited by either the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) or the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

Step 4

Licensing Exam

After graduating from a certification program, you must pass the National Certification Examination to become certified as a CRNA.

Step 5

Maintain Certification

Once you have been certified, it is vital to maintain your certification by completing continuing education requirements and re-certifying every two years.

How to Get into CRNA School?

To be admitted into a CRNA program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

• BSN from an accredited college or university
• Current registered nurse (RN) license in the United States or Canada
• Current certifications in BLS, ACLS, and PALS/ENPC
• At least one-year full-time experience in an acute care setting
• A minimum GPA of 3.0
• Completion of a personal statement
• Three reference letters, preferably from individuals with direct knowledge of the applicant’s nursing experience
• Evidence of any relevant scholarly research or volunteer activities completed by the applicant
• National certification exam (either the CGFNS or NCLEX-RN) for applicants not educated in the U.S.
• Official transcripts from all undergraduate studies for applicants who completed their degree outside of the United States
• Completion of an interview with a faculty member in the CRNA program.

How Hard is the CRNA School?

CRNA school is a rigorous and demanding program requiring dedication, hard work, and perseverance. The curriculum includes didactic coursework in pathophysiology, pharmacology, anesthesia equipment and techniques, anatomy & physiology, and clinical practice.
In addition to the classroom work, students must also complete at least 1 year of clinical training to gain hands-on experience in administering anesthesia and caring for patients. CRNA school is a challenge, but the rewards of becoming a certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist make it worth the effort.

Pros & Cons of Being CRNA


  • Autonomy– As a CRNA, you can practice in any setting where anesthesia services are needed.
  • Highly respected profession: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) are highly respected in the medical field, providing great pride and accomplishment.
  • Job security: Because anesthesia is a critical part of almost all medical procedures, CRNAs are in high demand and can expect job security for years.
  • Variety of responsibilities: In addition to administering anesthesia for patients, CRNAs may be responsible for overseeing anesthesiology residents, educating medical students and other healthcare professionals, and performing research.
  • Flexible schedule: Because anesthesia is a critical part of almost all medical procedures, CRNAs can often work flexible hours to accommodate their lifestyle.
  • Opportunity for travel: Many CRNAs find they can take on locum tenens assignments and travel to different parts of the world while working.


  • Stress– The job can be stressful due to the responsibility of providing anesthesia services and ensuring patient safety.
  • Schedule– CRNAs may work long hours or varying shifts depending on their work setting.
  • Education & Certification Requirements– Becoming a CRNA requires extensive education and certification, which can be costly and time-consuming.
  • Physical Demands– The position also involves physical demands such as standing for long periods.

What Kind of Jobs Can You Get as a CRNA?

CRNAs are highly skilled healthcare providers who can work in various settings. Some joint employment opportunities for CRNAs include:

  • Hospitals
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Private offices and clinics
  • Pain management centers
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Military medical facilities
  • Dental offices
  • Home health care services.

CRNAs are also in great demand in rural and underserved areas, where access to anesthesiology services is limited or nonexistent. With a certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist on staff, these areas can provide much-needed medical care without sacrificing patient safety.

What are the Fees of CRNA Schools?

The cost of attending CRNA school varies from school to school. Generally, the tuition for a CRNA program ranges from $20,000 – $50,000 and may include additional fees such as application fees, books & supplies, and clinical rotations. Some CRNA schools offer scholarships and financial aid to help offset the costs of attendance. Be sure to thoroughly research the schools you are considering and inquire about their available financial options.

What is the Average Salary of a CRNA?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists as of May 2019 was $174,790 annually. The highest 10 percent earned an average of $220,270 yearly. Salaries vary based on location, experience and other factors.

What Kind of Skills does a CRNA need?

CRNAs require a range of skills to provide safe and effective anesthesia care. These include:

• Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology
• Expertise in administering anesthesia and monitoring patient vital signs
• Ability to make quick, accurate decisions
• Excellent communication skills for working with patients, doctors, and other healthcare team members
• Expertise in operating medical equipment such as ventilators, anesthesia machines, and monitors
• Attention to detail and problem-solving ability.

How to Prepare for the CRNA Interview?

The interview is an vital part of the application process for CRNA school. It’s an opportunity to show the admissions committee that you are a strong candidate and will make a great addition to their program.

Follow the below points to prepare for interview:

Research the Program– Take some time to research the program you are applying to and familiarize yourself with its curriculum, faculty, and mission statement.
Practice answering questions– Have a friend or family member ask questions similar to those you may be asked in your interview. It will make you more relaxed and confident when it comes time to answer actual interview questions.
Prepare questions– Take some time to think about potential questions you could ask the admissions committee. This demonstrates your interest in the program and allows you to learn more about them.
Prepare answers– Ensure you have thought through possible solutions to commonly asked interview questions such as “Why did you decide to become a CRNA?” or “What sets you apart from other applicants?”
Dress professionally– Dress appropriately for the interview, as this shows your respect for the program and its faculty.

Taking the time to prepare for your CRNA school interview will help ensure you have a positive experience and make a great impression on the admissions committee.

Final Words

Becoming a CRNA is no easy task. It requires extensive education and training, along with dedication and hard work. However, the rewards of working as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist make it all worth it in the end! Please take the time to research potential CRNA schools and prepare for your interview so you can be sure to get accepted into the program of your choice.

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