The average annual median nurse anesthetist salary is $161,000. This is also an hourly pay rate of about $77. The range of salaries for the middle 50% of employed nurse anesthetists is between $150,000 and $173,000, which is also an hourly rate between $72 and $83. The lowest 10th percentile of nurse anesthetists should expect an hourly rate of $67 or less, adding up to at most $140,000. As can be seen, even nurse anesthetists making the least amount of money in their field will make a six figure salary. The top 10th percentile of working nurse anesthetists should see a comfortable salary of $185,000 or higher. This is equal to about $89 per hour.
Many factors can determine the annual income of a nurse anesthetist. Normal factors such as experience and education play a major role, as they do in most other job fields. Region also is important. Metropolitan areas tend to offer a better pay grade since their standards of living are higher. It is a trade-off. Although, these factors are seen in many professions, not just the field of anesthesiology.
The total compensation package after benefits for a nurse anesthetist is on average about $214,000. Paid benefits from an employer may include vacation time, health insurance, social security, and pension, to name a few.
Job Description of a Nurse Anesthetist
Nurse anesthetists are the primary providers of anesthesia. These professionals are registered nurses and advanced practice nurses that work specifically with anesthesiologists, surgeons, and other medical professionals. The nurse anesthetist will deliver the anesthesia for medical and surgical procedures.
A nurse anesthetist will be providing care for the patient both before, during, and after a surgical procedure. Besides assessing the patient to know the proper levels of anesthesia, a nurse anesthetist will monitor the patient to ensure he or she is properly sedated during the procedure. After the procedure is complete, a nurse anesthetist will monitor the patient as he or she regains consciousness and assess any immediate needs.
Nurse anesthetists can be found in a number of employment areas, including hospital operating rooms, critical and intensive care floors, labor and delivery rooms, outpatient centers, and various physicians’ offices (like dentists and plastic surgeons).
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It will take approximately seven to eight years to fully complete the training needed to become a nurse anesthetist. First of all, an aspiring student must obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited college or university. This will take about half the training time (four years). Next, one must become licensed as a registered nurse. This occurs through a licensing exam that can be taken after the bachelor’s degree has been obtained.
Clinical experience must then be completed. At least a year must be spent in an acute care setting. This means that the only way to become a nurse anesthetist is to first become a registered nurse and work for a year in such a position. This is used to gain experience as a nurse in general.
After this, an accredited nurse anesthesiology program must be undertaken at a college or university. This program will last from two to three years, and it will prepare a nurse anesthetist for the proper administering of anesthesiology, a crucial component to the job description. Following graduation from this program, a certification exam in nurse anesthesiology must be passed in order to begin practicing.
Nurse Anesthetist Salaries in Other Countries (Canada, UK and Australia)
A nurse anesthetist working outside of the United States may see comfortable salaries nearly identical to those found in the U.S. For instance, Australia pays her nurse anesthetists an average salary of AU$180,000 per year. It is important to note that there are no nurse anesthetists in Canada. Only a licensed anesthesiologist can administer anesthesia in Canada.
There are nurse anesthetists in the United Kingdom, and they receive an average nurse anesthetist salary higher than many other registered nurses in the U.K. The annual income of a nurse anesthetist will be on average about £73,000. This is equivalent to about $117,000 in America.
Verdict on Nurse Anesthetist Salary
Nurse anesthetists can make a very comfortable salary right from the beginning. These are some of the highest paid nurses in the medical field. However, that salary also comes from being some of the most experienced and educationally trained in the health care industry. It will take at least seven years to complete the training required to become a nurse anesthetist, but the salary will be more than comfortable upon entering the work force.