CRNA salaries

CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) make almost as much, if not more, than primary care physicians – with 2 years of college education. This post from a forum wonders how:

CRNAs make 224% as much as RNs and 156% as much as advance practice nurses (NP). According to the allnurses.com website, 58% of nurses are certificate nurses only, ie. have no advanced degree beyond a RN. It is not clear whether all these nurses were trained in 2 year certificate programs or whether some may have been trained in 18 month programs . . . Most of these CRNAs with a diploma RN and a certificate CRNA are still in practice and therefore have only 2 years of college education, period.

Some are even wondering if FPs can go back a re-train as CRNAs:

I wonder what would happen if a FP tried to apply to CRNA school. Certainly the degree they have qualifies them over a mere RN degree. Then they would go to work as a CRNA. From there it’s hard not to see them lobbying to have full anesthesiologist status.

topics: crna, salary

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  • Medicienne

    This is very interesting.I am an FMG US resident & this route does not sound too bad.

  • Anonymous

    This post is misleading. To get into any CRNA program you have to be an RN with at least 1 year of critical care ICU experience. So you start out with 4-6 years of traiing before you take your 2 year CRNA course. Yes there may be CRNA’s around who trained years ago that have been grandfathered in but that is not the case today. Most programs are very competative and it usually takes much more than 1 year critical care experience to get in.

  • Anonymous

    A “mere” RN degree huh….nice.
    Anyway, for those of you who haven’t bothered to ask or educate yourself, purely from my point of view- the lowly, mere RN degree I received didn’t take 2 years. Yes, it’s only an Associates degree, but I had 2 years of pre req’s ONLY before I even started the 2 year “nursing” degree.
    Apparently there must be a high call for anesthesia. Do you think it’s really the most efficient use of limited resources (i.e. money, personnel) to limit even the most simple procedures to MD’s only?
    I’d wager many of those CRNA’s are on a par with many MD’s as far as intelligence, experience and common sense.

  • Anonymous

    Did you not get the memo? MDieties are akin to the lords of Mount Olympus when compared with mere RNs. That is, unless a level of responsibility commensurate with their societal status and after expense compensation is required. Then, of course, the RNs serve as a good scapegoat.

  • Anonymous

    “I’d wager many of those CRNA’s are on a par with many MD’s as far as intelligence, experience and common sense.”

    My wife, an anesthesiologist, would tell you if she had to do it again she would have become a CRNA rather than an M.D.. “They are a lot smarter than doctors, let me tell you” she says. Less training, better hours, high pay, and the doctors kiss a** because there is high CRNA demand relative to supply. Criminallo. should know that the CRNA profession is very good at limiting their numbers, much better than the medical profession. And they keep the foreigners out, unlike the medical profession that insources competition from other countries. You are much more likely to have an American born and trained CRNA than an American born and raised anesthesiologist, for better or worse.

  • Anonymous

    Anesthesia is an overpriced and overvalued service for both MDs and CRNAs. The only thing floating this sinking ship is the fact that private insurers pay 300-700% of Medicare rates to MDs and CRNAs.

    When the finally open their eyes and figure out that passing gas is a nurse level job, they will eliminate those fat payments and you can say goodbye to the high paying field of anesthesiology.

    ONce this market correction kicks in, I predict CRNAs make about 100k per year, which is still more than the average NP (70k) but nowwhere near their bloated figure at more than twice an NPs income.

    After all, what are the CRNAs going to do? ARe they going to go to working as an NP at 70k? Hell no, they’ll take hte CRNA wages at 100k.

    Their salary is going to fall like a rock, and it will drag the MD anesthesiologists down with them.

  • Anonymous

    Anon 5:03 is obviously ignorant of the current situation regarding anesthesiology. I cannot get MD’s to cover the Medicare or Medicare cases at my surgery center; reimbursement is absurdly low. A hairstylist makes more for their time. I WILL NOT accept the liability of supervising a CRNA as a surgeon; this is a fool’s game.

    Do you work 36 hours straight making life-or-death decisions? Do you get perpetually sued for millions of dollars for adverse outcomes in patients who would be left to die instead of coming to surgery in any other country? Do you want a slug of whiskey and a bullet to bite? That is where things are heading with public sector reimbursements.

  • Anonymous

    “Passing gas” is what Crim and some others do on this blog. Do you know what an anesthesiologist actually does?

    Hemodynamic and airway management are particularly involved areas of practice; both underlying pathology and surgically induced blood loss, fluid shifts, etc. can make for a lot of excitement. I have great respect for these professionals. I chose not to pursue this career as I consider it too stressful, unappreciated, overlitigated, and undercompensated. And that was 18 years ago, when times were “good”.

  • Labor Nurse

    What my understanding was that CRNA’s were RN’s with a Masters degree, or a post Masters if their previous Masters was in another area of advanced practice nursing.

    My understanding is that CRNA’s do not have the same level of responsibility as anesthesiologists do. They can’t take complicated cases. Many hospitals use them to staff obstetric anesthesia as most patients are low risk. CRNA’s are cost efficient, much like other advanced practice nursing fields.

    And if hospitals and insurance companies are willing to pay them that 6 figure salary, then why not take it? As much as I would like that sort of salary, I wouldn’t be a CRNA. But great for those who are.

  • Blog, MD

    I may be a little biased (my wife is a CRNA) but they deserve everything they get and then some. My wife had a BSN (4 years, private), 2 years of critical care experience, and then 2 years of CRNA school.

    She gets paid 1/3 – 1/4 of what an MD anesthesiologist makes for the same work.

    Given what I’ve experienced having worked in an anesthesia department for 3 years, I’d rather have my wife do my anesthesia than just about anyone else. She delivers technically excellent care with the compassion of a nurse.

    If the American Soceity for Anesthesiology came to its senses, they’d see than antagonizing CRNAs is going to be non-productive.

  • Anonymous

    “She gets paid 1/3 – 1/4 of what an MD anesthesiologist makes for the same work.”

    My wife is an anesthesiologist. She supervises and is responsible for 3 or 4 CRNA’s (when she isn’t doing her own room) and has 13 years of training beyond high school. Her training, experience, and practice capabilities (regional, cardiac, liver) far surpass those of the CRNA’s. She teaches residents, runs the schedules, participates in reseach, serves as a liason with very demanding hospital adminstrators, serves on multiple hospital committees, and mainly tries to keep everybody happy.

    Her hours are unpredictable, frequently dragging into the evening even when not on call, and often dragging on toward noon the day after when she is on call. Her practice is a business engaged in providing high quality anesthesia services while meeting the demands of surgeons and hospital administrators. Multiple federal, state, and insuror mandates must be met.

    The most demanding employees in the practice are the CRNA’s. They don’t/won’t take call and have a better lifestyle than the MD’s. When their shift is up, they are out the door. Their husbands and children know when they will be home for dinner. They love independence until the next lawsuit comes around, then being a subordinate is not such a bad thing.

    I would never chose to do what my wife does, as I consider her compensation inferior relative to mine for what she does.

    So pardon me if I disagree with your statement.

  • Anonymous

    Ir’s very interesting how much inaccurate information is floating around on a blog such as this. Of all the comments on this blog, my favorite of all, is the following:

    “My understanding is that CRNA’s do not have the same level of responsibility as anesthesiologists do. They can’t take complicated cases. Many hospitals use them to staff obstetric anesthesia as most patients are low risk”

    Whoever submiitted this comment is quite obviously clueless. At the institution I am employed, CRNA’s routinely undertake such cases as AAA’s, craniotomies, complicated vascular procedures, hearts, and level one traumas. It’s a glorious day whenever a ASA 1 or 2 patient comes rolling into my OR.

    Another sign of your obvious lack of information is classifying OB anesthesia as low risk. OB is never low risk. Anyone knows that these patients can go south on you in a hurry.

    I have been a practicing CRNA for 15 years. I went to a diploma nursing school, followed by 2 1/2 years of education to receive my BSN. Having obtained 3 years of ICU experience, I spent 2 1/2 years in a Masters Degree program. I am a highly educated health care professional, who works hard to provide outstanding anesthesia care to every patient presented to me. And yes, I feel I deserve every penny I get.

  • Anonymous

    It is funny how your wife complains of “CRNA’s” being the first one out the door and also accuses them of being the most demanding EMPLOYEES. If it were not for these employees her salary would be 1/2 to 1/4 of what it is and she knows it. Did you ever think that maybe if her group gave CRNA’s ownership in the company as group members rather then employees they might get a change in attitude and hours? Until then your wife has no business complaining about an employee leaving after their time is up. Without ownership overtime is an option.

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking about trying to become a CRNA. Do you all think the salaries are sustainable over the next 20-30 years?
    Thanks

  • Anonymous

    Yes- the damand for surgery is high and the aging baby boomers will further fuel the demand. CRNAs have consistently shown to be as safe if not safer than anesthesiologist- see research done by cardiologist Dr.Pine.
    CRNAs are safe practitioners and are more cost effective for hospitals and surgeons to employ.

  • Anonymous

    For the Anesthesiologist that complain about their CRNA employees having a better life. Well, thats because they are paying your income. I wont repeat a previous post. But, I will say that I am an completeley independent CRNA (no MDA’s) in a group of four CRNA’s. We are their till the cases are done…and there at 4am if needed. Granted, I make twice what an employeed CRNA makes. But I work more and have no vacation time. I absolutely refuse to hand over my provider ID# so someone can bill for my work and give me only a fraction.

  • Anonymous

    Yes there are typos…but who cares…I dont proof read. Im a man… Besides, I dont mind admitting that I suck at spelling…thats what spell check is for. :)

  • Anonymous

    CRNAs are highly qualified, clinically competent practitioners. The upcoming transition to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) for advanced practice NPs and CRNAs would better reflect their education and responsibilties. A case could be made that FMG Docs are, well, over paid for their foreign medical training. I agree that this can be corrected with further training in the United States after their graduation as, FMGs. To the person expounding on what a CRNA’s salary should really be, your lack of knowledge of reimbursement by insurance carriers and your dire prediction of anesthesia practitioner salaries is uninformed and just plain rambling at best.

  • Anonymous

    You reap what you sow! You make the decisions for yourself, too bad yoiu didn’t make a smart one

  • proudCRNA

    Dear Dr. Kevin
    It’s amazing to me that you can post such false information in your blog. To be able to graduate from an accredited CRNA program applicants must hava a bachelor degrees in nursing, at least 2 years of ICU experience,and score highly in the GRE exam. Getting into the programs is very competitive so most applicants are opting to do observation in the OR, following a CRNA or Anesthesiologist. The Nurse anesthesia program at Columbia University, which I attended, requires you to have a B+ average. I did clinical rotation at the most prestigious hospitals in NY and took call just like the residents did. We also did open heart, high risk obstetrics, and trauma rotations just like the anesthesia residents did. The programwas extremely hard , but I graduated and have been practicing as a CRNA for 3 years now. All CRNA programs are Master degree programs, and in the next 15 years all CRNAs will be required to have a Doctorate degree. All together is 4 years for a bachelor degree and 2 years and 10 months of anesthesia school. That adds up to 6 years and 10 months, plus the 2 months you spend studying for state boards= 7 years. The doctorate degree is 2 more years, so I will have 9 years of training under my belt, not a mere nursing degree, is it??
    I work with anesthesiologist and we do the same cases, same acuity, and our patients have the same outcome. CRNA’s like my self give up their billing rights to the group we practice with. So they collect from insurance companies and pay us a salary. So, lets say they collected $1200 for general anesthesia for a gastric bypass case, I get $95 an hour and it is a 2 hour case, that equals $190. The anesthesia group keeps the rest!!! ($1010) I am getting paid, but the group is collecting 12 times more than what they are paying me!!
    Dr. Pho where is the hate comming from??? Could it be that in reality it all comes down to money?? Do not question our training , profesionalism and ability to provide safe anesthesia, just because you are mad and think we make too much money to be “mere” nurses. We are not taking that money from you, we work hard and we are qualified and highgly educated health practioners!!!!!

  • proudCRNA

    Dear Dr. Kevin
    It’s amazing to me that you can post such false information in your blog. To be able to graduate from an accredited CRNA program applicants must hava a bachelor degrees in nursing, at least 2 years of ICU experience,and score highly in the GRE exam. Getting into the programs is very competitive so most applicants are opting to do observation in the OR, following a CRNA or Anesthesiologist. The Nurse anesthesia program at Columbia University, which I attended, requires you to have a B+ average. I did clinical rotation at the most prestigious hospitals in NY and took call just like the residents did. We also did open heart, high risk obstetrics, and trauma rotations just like the anesthesia residents did. The programwas extremely hard , but I graduated and have been practicing as a CRNA for 3 years now. All CRNA programs are Master degree programs, and in the next 15 years all CRNAs will be required to have a Doctorate degree. All together is 4 years for a bachelor degree and 2 years and 10 months of anesthesia school. That adds up to 6 years and 10 months, plus the 2 months you spend studying for state boards= 7 years. The doctorate degree is 2 more years, so I will have 9 years of training under my belt, not a mere nursing degree, is it??
    I work with anesthesiologist and we do the same cases, same acuity, and our patients have the same outcome. CRNA’s like my self give up their billing rights to the group we practice with. So they collect from insurance companies and pay us a salary. So, lets say they collected $1200 for general anesthesia for a gastric bypass case, I get $95 an hour and it is a 2 hour case, that equals $190. The anesthesia group keeps the rest!!! ($1010) I am getting paid, but the group is collecting 12 times more than what they are paying me!!
    Dr. Pho where is the hate comming from??? Could it be that in reality it all comes down to money?? Do not question our training , profesionalism and ability to provide safe anesthesia, just because you are mad and think we make too much money to be “mere” nurses. We are not taking that money from you, we work hard and we are qualified and highgly educated health practioners!!!!!

  • proudCRNA

    Dear Dr. Kevin
    It’s amazing to me that you can post such false information in your blog. To be able to graduate from an accredited CRNA program applicants must hava a bachelor degrees in nursing, at least 2 years of ICU experience,and score highly in the GRE exam. Getting into the programs is very competitive so most applicants are opting to do observation in the OR, following a CRNA or Anesthesiologist. The Nurse anesthesia program at Columbia University, which I attended, requires you to have a B+ average. I did clinical rotation at the most prestigious hospitals in NY and took call just like the residents did. We also did open heart, high risk obstetrics, and trauma rotations just like the anesthesia residents did. The programwas extremely hard , but I graduated and have been practicing as a CRNA for 3 years now. All CRNA programs are Master degree programs, and in the next 15 years all CRNAs will be required to have a Doctorate degree. All together is 4 years for a bachelor degree and 2 years and 10 months of anesthesia school. That adds up to 6 years and 10 months, plus the 2 months you spend studying for state boards= 7 years. The doctorate degree is 2 more years, so I will have 9 years of training under my belt, not a mere nursing degree, is it??
    I work with anesthesiologist and we do the same cases, same acuity, and our patients have the same outcome. CRNA’s like my self give up their billing rights to the group we practice with. So they collect from insurance companies and pay us a salary. So, lets say they collected $1200 for general anesthesia for a gastric bypass case, I get $95 an hour and it is a 2 hour case, that equals $190. The anesthesia group keeps the rest!!! ($1010) I am getting paid, but the group is collecting 12 times more than what they are paying me!!
    Dr. Pho where is the hate comming from??? Could it be that in reality it all comes down to money?? Do not question our training , profesionalism and ability to provide safe anesthesia, just because you are mad and think we make too much money to be “mere” nurses. We are not taking that money from you, we work hard and we are qualified and highgly educated health practioners!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Kevin,

    You are just jealous about us CRNAs. Until you can manage life-threatening issues in the O.R. then talk to me. I am both an NP and a CRNA so do not talk to me about your simple primary care activities passing po drugs and referring people to subspecialties. If you can manage a difficult airway sometime in your career then let’s talk. Otherwise, be content with your measly salary and existence Mr. MD. Love, Harry

  • Kevin

    To those who are directing their responses against me, if you read carefully you will note that I did not make any comments regarding CRNAs – they were quoted from another site.

    I suggest you re-direct your rebuttal to the poster of the quote in the appropriate forum:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=385503

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  • tony

    The article is wrong in the assumption of two years of college education. It’s a very competitive program, and most schools want a BSN, so 4 years, then 2-3 years ICU experience, plus two years of graduate level work.

  • SRNA

    To The CRNA who did a 10 month nurse anesthesia education. Where was that? The shortest CRNA school I can come by is 27 months, most are at least 30 months. I am only saying this to show that going to CRNA school requires a BSN (4 years) in nursing. AT LEAST 2 years ICU experience (many colleges want more) and then school is almost another 3 years. That equals at least over 8 years to become a CRNA. I am currently in CRNA school and please let me tell you that while you are in school you live, breath, and become anesthesia. The responsibility for nurse anesthetist is high. CRNA school is much different than schooling to become an AP nurse. CRNA school is totally focused and is longer than an APN degree and the schooling is much more difficult. I do not say this to say that an NP is not a smart as a CRNA because I know if they had wanted to become a CRNA they could. Even in the nursing world their is some discourse between nurses and NP against CRNA’s. This really has only manifested itself to me during my nursing masters courses that are not related to anesthesia (ethics, research, and theory) the instructors have a little animosity towards CRNA students. I dont mean to generalize or get off topic I am just saying that CRNA’s are the highest level of nursing. This is why we have the highest nursing salary.
    I have no problem with MDA’s or any doctor making more money then me. They went to school longer, put in more educational time, and should be compensated for it. The harder you are to replace, the more money you will make. That is the way the medical profession works.

  • Student

    I am looking into becoming a CRNA. What kind of hours do they work? Like compared to doctors?

  • Anonymous

    I have seen this arguement over and over again. It took my husband almost 10 years to become a CRNA. Legally, he can do everything that an Anesthesiologist can. As far as billing goes, CRNA’s get reimbursed excactly the same as an MD. If an MD is supervising, the reimbursment is split 50/50. Then the MD pockets the money and pays the CRNA a minimal salary. The MD’s where my husband works, their idea of “supervising” consists of sitting in the break room eating, watching tv and playing on the computer, then come out to sign the chart when the case is done. What a joke! They all freak out if they actually have to deliver anesthesia. I would take a CRNA any day over an MD. They have more hands on experience, not just book smart. My husband is excellent at his job and is the most requested anesthesia provider here. The problem is that MD’s are money hungry. In my opinion, CRNA’s are underpaid for what they do. Also, none of the MD’s will go to L&D and half of them can’t even put in an epidural without 4 or 5 sticks. L&D is not a cakewalk with easy patients. It can definately turn nasty fast. My husband ends up working an average of 60 hours per week. I never know when he will be home. While he works his butt off for a minimal average CRNA pay and the MD’s sit on their butt raking in the dough.

  • gareth

    I recently had anesthesia andhad the misfortune to have a CRNA administer (or try to administer) anesthesia. It was a disaster from start to finish. The anesthesiologist was nowhere to be found; when he finally arrived, the damage was done. His contribution to the procedure was swearing at the CRNA for being an unquallified nurse who should stick to backrubs and bedpans. She was a arrogant person and now I’m scared to have any type of surgery. When did doctors become so few and far between that we have to have urses do this job? Maybe the flight attendants should fly the airliners?

  • hospitalist

    I have heard this argument for many years; crna vs physician..which is better? if you are saying that a crna salary even comes close to that of a physician, then it’s clear: anesthesia should be performed by a physician. If patients agree to a reduced price with increased risk, then let them decide to get their anesthesia from a nurse. But be honest with them; I’m sick of patients being told in a preop interview just prior to surgery that a nurse will be doing their anesthesia! When they question how an anesthesiologist can “supervise” simultaneous procedures (many crna’s, one physician), I tell them: depending on the schedule, you might not even have MD supervision at all! I would never receive any type of anesthesia from anyone except for a board-certified anesthesiologist 1:1; an dI document this on the consent: “I agree to anesthesia provided 1:1 by Dr X; I am not consenting to anesthesia services provided by any other person(s). This works well.

  • Gary

    Dr Pho’s article raises interesting questions. I had surgery scheduled this week and called to inquire about the anesthesia practitioners; specifically I asked to speak to the anesthesiologist who would be performing the anesthesia for my case…..this is a reasonable request and I don’t want to ask questions on the day of surgery, but they told me that nobody would call me back except for a CRNA. The CRNA told me that she would be doing the case, that she’s licenced to practice without supervision and that CRNA’s can do any anesthesia function that an anesthesiologist can do. If this is true, why do we have anesthesiologists? Aren’t they supposed to supervise CRNA’s? Evidently not. My surgeon said that he will request an anesthesiologist for my case (that’s what he would demand for his own surgery), but he could not be sure that one would be available. The surgery was to be this morning and there was no anesthesiologist available, despite my waiting for 2 hours. What a waste of time, IV’s, preop drugs etc. I needed to have the surgery done so I almost agreed to have the CRNA do the case until she repeated the line about being equal to an anesthesiologist; my surgeon interjected politely: “no, you are not”. Then the surgical nurses tried to convince me how good the CRNA’s were, but since my surgeon didn’t have confidence in them, I cancelled the procedure. The surgeon told me that he would make sure that an anesthesiologist was available when we reschedule. I wonder how many patients are put at unecessary risk by getting anesthesia from an unsupervised nurse? I won’t be one of them.

  • Stephen

    With respect to the comments of the last three posters, I think that it should be made clear that there are NOT enough physician anesthesia providers to allow 1:1 anesthesia coverage for every patient requiring anesthesia in this country. The anesthesia care team, consisting of an anesthesiologist, a CRNA or more recently an AA, has been providing safe, quality care for years and years and will continue to do so. To equate the nonphysician providers with flight attendants flying planes is clearly over the top and only serves to continue the sort of hysterical fear-mongering that appears in the last three posts. As a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist, I chose CRNA colleagues to care for both of my children when they required surgery.

  • IRISHCRNA

    Wow! Still amazes me how ignorant the public is concerning anesthesia providers. I have experienced the full circle of providing care. I have been supervised by “ologists”, some who never even show up to the room, some who are incredible to work with, some who resent we only have 7 years of school compared to their 12, some who value the work we do. Let’s talk about the work we do GARY, HOSPITALIST— this CRNA takes 75 call days a years where I am on. When you arrive into the ED, bloodied and gasping for air, fighting to save alive, I am there, securing your airway, stabilizing you hemodynamically, dropping lines and ordering drugs, blood, labs. All to save your life. I work in close alligence to any and all physicians also involved in your care. You are not a paycheck to me, you are not job security to me, I don’t read stocks, chat on the phone, leave the room as you sleep, or play on my blackberry, I watch every beat of your heart, every breathe you take. You are someone’s dad, someone’s brother, someone’s son. I speak for you when you can not speak for yourself. -
    Hospialist-ha-you are just an arrogant buffon. And when a patient wants a real doctor with a specialty, don’t ask for a glorfied hopitialist, it a cheaper form of care, ask for an internal med doc. Cause I’m sick of explaining that you are an end all catch all for cheaper care..
    I bust my irish arse, and I do EVERYTHING a “ologists”does and then some. So Gary, your surgeon is an idiot and you should consider getting a new one. He has the Doc God syndrome and has misinformed you.
    Oh, and thank God, I do what an “ologist” does because now I am providing anesthesia services to a small rural community where “ologists” don’t want to come to. Not a big money maker for them.

  • SRNA

    Anesthesia was a nursing specialty long before it was a physician specialty. The notion expressed here that nurses perform anesthesia because we don’t have enough physicians is absurd.

    Good anesthesia depends on the person administering it. Nurse Anesthesia education is every bit as detailed in anesthesiology as an anesthesia residency. You may have an inadequate provider, but that will be due to the weakness of the individual, not nursing versus medical training.

    Remember that CRNAs spent time (some for many, many years) providing watchful, vigilant care in an ICU, watching for hemodynamic issues and other critical complications. They serve as the eyes and ears for the intensivist MDs who cover the unit. That experience lends an assessment capability that serves them well at the head of the OR table. Most ICU nurses could not even tell you how many times they had to advocate for medical intervention when a physician refused to see that something was wrong with a patient. As a nurse, I was obligated on more than one occasion to correct anesthesia residents on their pharmacology. I was obligated by my duty to the patient, not by personal pride.

    I’m not saying that makes doctors bad, but I am saying that nursing training and experience is not something to scoff at.
    I could have gone to medical school. I chose not to. I will never make as much as an MDA, but that doesn’t bother me in the least. It does bother me when people who are clearly misinformed about the requirements and scope of practice for CRNAs make assumptions about the quality of care they provide.

  • Also a SRNA

    I am also a SRNA, and frankly I am sick and tired of all the hate-mongering that goes between MDs and CRNAs. I understand that some (and I do truly mean just some, not all) MDs think that we are ‘taking a piece of their pie.’ But as it stands, there are not enough anesthesiologists to perform the anesthesia in this country (especially in rural towns.) I believe that CRNAs are perfectly capable of providing great anesthesia care to a variety of patients.

    I also believe that when you get down to it, the people that are angry with CRNAs are not truly angry at them because of the work that they are certified to do; they are angry at them collectively because of the pay that they receive. I feel no shame in saying that I believe we should be paid what we do; it is an incredible amount of work that we had to put in, not to mention those of us that worked night shift in ICUs while trying to raise a family (those that have ever worked the 7pm-7am know what I mean).

    Healthcare should boil down to one thing–patient care. With the sparse amount of anesthesiologists out there, it truly benefits the patient to receive anesthesia from not only competent providers, but providers that do NOT show animosity towards one another. We should be fostering teamwork and not creating this gigantic rift between our professions.

    Sorry if this was long-winded, but I needed to vent.

  • crna1972

    I am a CRNA and work with 10 MDAs and 9 other CRNAs. I have given anesthesia to 3 of the mdas for thier surgical procedures, at their request. ( over their partners) My point is this; its not the letters behind the name…MD v CRNA…its the individual providers competence. I have encountered many incompetent providers regardless of their qualifications. So, choose your provider on reputation, not by the letters that follow their name.

  • a real anestheia provider

    The “bufoon” comment by IrishCRNA sums up the arrogance of many CRNA’s who are credentialed as nurses but “act” as physicians. I have been a MDA for 30 years, I started out as an RN then went to med school. Along the way, I have met many good MD’s, nurses and support personnel (such as CRNA’s). I want a MDA doing my anesthesia, but I don’t have to insult CRNA’s to express that opinion. Irishcrna-take a deep breath; nobody is trying to take your job as a nurse away; but don’t become apoplexic thinking that as a CRNA you are an anesthesiologist. You are not. Patient’s deserve an anesthesiologist, not a CRNA if they so choose.

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