Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice registered nurses that are certified by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. All CRNAs are registered nurses, hold a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) and have at least one year of full-time critical care nursing experience prior to admission into a CRNA program. All current CRNA training programs are at least three years of education and graduates earn a Doctor of Nursing or Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia degree.

Froedtert Hospital CRNAs clinically educate and precept student registered nurse anesthetists from both Marquette University and Rosalind Franklin University. Presently, we have around 70 CRNAs staffing Froedtert Hospital operating rooms and procedural areas, making it the largest group in the state of Wisconsin. CRNAs have been and will continue to be an integral part of the healthcare team at Froedtert Hospital. All Froedtert Health CRNAs hold active registered nursing licenses and hold advance practice nurse prescriber licenses issued from the state of Wisconsin.

Apply to Be a CRNA

What a CRNA Does

  • Review patients' medical history
  • Perform a pre-anesthetic physical assessment
  • Discuss the plan of anesthesia, including the risk/benefits/alternatives
  • Collaborate in the selection of the type of anesthesia used for specific procedures
  • Administer anesthetics
  • Monitor patients during procedures
  • Provide immediate post-anesthesia care

Where You Will Find CRNAs

CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered:

  • Traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms
  • Critical access hospitals
  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Ketamine clinics
  • Offices of dentists, podiatrists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists
  • U.S. military
  • Public Health Services
  • Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities. 

CRNAs at Froedtert Health

Froedtert Health CRNAs have access to:

  • The only adult Level I Trauma Center in eastern Wisconsin
  • Our State-of-the-art Integrated Procedural Platform — integrates IR, CT, Cath Lab, EP and OR to one centralized location
  • An anesthesia care team practice consisting of CRNAs, residents, CAAs and anesthesiologists
  • A variety of surgical case types, including:
    • Cardiac surgery
    • ENT
    • Eye surgery
    • Gastrointestinal (GI)
    • General surgery
    • Neurosurgery
    • Obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN)
    • Oncology
    • Orthopaedics
    • Plastic surgery
    • Thoracic surgery
    • Transplant surgery
    • Trauma
    • Urology
    • Vascular surgery
  • 40,000+ anesthetics/year

CRNA Qualifications at Froedtert Health

All Froedtert Health CRNAs must have the following: 

  • Graduate of accredited school of nursing
  • Graduate of accredited nurse anesthetist school
  • Current state of Wisconsin registered nurse license or a multistate nursing license from a participating state in the NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact)
  • Current Wisconsin advanced practice nurse prescriber (APNP) license 

Apply to Be a CRNA at Froedtert & MCW health network

CRNA Career Path

It takes a minimum of seven to nine years of education and experience to become a CRNA. The minimum education and experience required to become a CRNA include:  

  • A BSN or MSN, or a bachelor's or master's degree in an appropriate field of study
  • An unencumbered license as a registered nurse and/or APRN in the U.S. or its territories. 
  • A minimum of one year of full-time work experience, or its part-time equivalent, as a registered nurse in a critical care setting within the United States, its territories, or a U.S. military hospital outside of the United States.
  • Graduation from a nurse anesthesia educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
  • Board certification by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)

The average experience of RNs entering nurse anesthesia educational programs is 4.5 years, according to the NBCRNA. 

Before they can become CRNAs, graduates of nurse anesthesia educational programs must pass the National Certification Examination.  All CRNAs are board certified. All 130 accredited programs have transitioned to award doctoral degrees for entry into practice.

The Difference Between a CRNA and an Anesthesiologist

CRNAs have a nursing background, while a physician anesthesiologist has a medical school background. While the path to the practice is different, all anesthesia professionals administer anesthesia the same way. CRNAs in Wisconsin practice under a physician collaborative agreement where the physician does not have to be an anesthesiologist.

After a rule change in 2001, state governors may opt out of the federal physician supervision requirement. To date, 22 states and Guam opted out of the requirement, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. Additional states do not have supervision requirements in state law and are eligible to opt out should the governors elect to do so. 

More than 80% of the anesthesia providers in rural counties are CRNAs, providing a vital service in communities where there are no physician anesthesiologists available. Independently practicing CRNAs are the only anesthesia professionals in many rural hospitals — most of which are critical access hospitals. They safely administer anesthesia and provide pain management in these communities.

Source: The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology, aana.com.